The airline with the best average rating is China Airlines with 8.2/10.
The average flight time is 10 hours and 50 minutes.More information
Journey December '18 & January '19
While I just returned from Thailand in October '18, it was now time for me to head back to Thailand once again to start one of my bigger journeys of 2018 (a period of four weeks originally, but decided to add another week to it and travel to Singapore). I decided to book plenty of flights to different cities to explore in both Thailand and Myanmar together with my girlfriend.
A small tip regarding to airlines in Myanmar for domestic flights. In case you want to book a flight with them long in advance, expect your itinerary to be changed from what you originally booked it for. Two or three weeks in advance is sufficient as prices will be the exact same as you would have paid for like six months ago and be sure to verify your flight on their site 24 hours for any change.
So the routing below will give you an idea what my upcoming reports are going to be. Enjoy your read!
The start of BR 76's Journey
I used to be a silver member with EVA Air long ago when they were still using their Boeing 747-400 to Amsterdam and frequently got an upgrade for free, but unfortunately never tried them when they changed their aircraft to a Boeing 777-300ER. Fortunately I found a very nice deal with them in December 2018 and directly booked it. EVA Air is going to change their aircraft once again in June 2019 to a Boeing 787.
While the flight departs around 9.30 pm, it was luckily enough very easy for me to arrange a transport and at this time the airport is not overcrowded and customs plus security should be no hassle at all at Amsterdam. Instead of the usual drop-off section, my driver (family member) decided to park his car in the garage and say our goodbyes in the terminal as I would not be in the country during Christmas and new year and yeah, the weather was rather disappointing.
While the garage requires a few minutes walk to reach the terminal, you have the option here to print out your boarding pass for some airliners including EVA Air as I would have thought it would be smoother during check in, but oh boy what was I wrong…. more on that later.
When you finished your walk from the garage to the terminal itself, you will end up in the main plaza. It is just a minute walk to the closest escalator. While there are usually two escalators next to each other, I had only one choice as the other one was broke. To my luck, the other one broke down when I was halfway up forcing me to push up my luggage.
And yet another very nice surprise was waiting for me when I reached the check-in counters. A very very long line of waiting passengers to check in. Three lines were created and were divided into Business & Members (Gold), Premium Economy, Baggage Drop-off & Check-in. Now to my knowledge, I do not understand why they promoted online check-in so hefty if it still going to be a process that takes as long as a normal check-in would take.
About 75 minutes later, I finally managed to pass check-in and yet there was still a very very long row behind me to clear check-in…. I have never seen such a poor check-in for many years.. The worst thing that happened is that halfway during my wait, they just decided to close two desks which slowed down the process even more.
Like I previously expected, customs and security would not be a problem as there were only a very few non-schengen flights left to depart at this time of a night. The nice thing of security nowadays in Amsterdam is that when you carry a small bag with you instead of a trolley, you can use one of their priority lanes and it will definitely smoothen it for you. Luckily enough all belts are now equipped with a modern scanner and you do not need to separate your notebook/ipad or whatsoever from your bag. Customs and security all together took less than five minutes.
As check in took so much longer as I expected it to be and I had no chance for any food at home due to several reasons yet again, I decided to grab a quick sandwich with some crisps and a smoothie of mixed fruits at the bread! cafe you could see in the left corner in the picture above.
While finishing my food, I had about 20 minutes to spare before my flight would be ready for boarding. I decided to slowly head my way to my gate and do some planespotting, but unfortunately the pier my flight was departing from did not have many planes parked yet as most of them were already gone or simply on their way to Amsterdam for landing.
PH-BQN, A KLM Boeing 777-200ER who was going to be pushed any minute now to perform his flight to Kuala Lumpur as KL 809.
A Boeing 737-800 of Transavia who'se duty was probably over for today coming most likely from an exotic Northern African destination and PH-BQN is taxiing off to it's runway.
A few more KLM & Transavia's B737s were parked at our pier, but I did not bother to photograph them as they were such a common sight for me.
And here is my ride for today. B-16707, a Boeing 777-300ER who has been introduced to EVA in 2007 (Lifespan of 11.7 years as I write this article) and has never seen any previous owner.
Boarding was on-time and as usual the long row of people trying to board the plane in the wrong order as they are simply not paying attention to the announcements as to what seating rows are now allowed to board, yet staff didn't really bother to verify it either. I must say that even though it was a bit chaotic, the boarding went speedy and I was quickly on my seat 61A.
While I took KLM's 777 on a longhaul flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok previously, the legroom on my flight (Seat 61A) was luxurious compared to them. The legroom with KLM was definitely not poor (if compared so to Aeroflot for example), but this was just spacious for an economy class.
EVA Air is yet operating their staff on this flight as it did many years ago with a mix of Thai and Taiwanese crew and mine section was controlled by a Taiwanese purser who had a dreadful accent and could barely make herself clear to the guys in front of me regarding the exit row and spoke so loud. Another flight attendants came to the rescue and it was settled. (It really did go on for at least 10 minutes or so).
Pushback was slightly behind departure time, but this is quite a common procedure in Amsterdam as flights are given an airport slot and will only receive an clearance within a time limit of that slot.
While the engines were firing up, the personal tv screens started to play their mandatory safety instruction videos (Even if you are a frequent flyer, it is always recommended to pay attention to be prepared the best for an unlikely emergency) and thereafter I took the safety card out for inspection, though I have my doubts about it. I feel like some vital information is mixing, yet it is very confusing and childish looking for information that could potentially safe your life.
As our parking stand was not far from the active runway used for departures, it took just a very few minutes to be rolling for take off and it didn't even take more than a minute to disappear in those sad rainy clouds that had covered the Netherlands already for a week or so.
Shortly after take-off, the flight attendants came by to serve us some refreshing towels (Unfortunately no hot ones as I'm very used to with other airlines) and another flight attendant served us the menu for today's flight. The first meal was a choice between Chicken Curry with Rice or a Stewed Beef with Mashed potatoes. The second one was Egg fried rice or a crepe stuffed with Chicken.
Before I stowed away my menu, I quickly scan through the literature in my seat pocket and noted that two out of the three magazines were simply shopping magazines. I, myself barely shop through airlines or on flights as I do not add any value to those expensive brands.
And EVA's own magazine, which was up to date.
About a good hour in flight, the flight attendants started to move the trolleys forward to serve us our first meal. I opted for the Chicken Curry with rice hoping it to be a red curry, but it turned out to be green. Probably the wiser choice as most travelers were Europeans. The starter, a lentil salad was enjoyable. The curry itself was good and the fruit was fresh. Not personally a fan of Tiramisu, but this one was ok.
A round of coffee or tea was served shortly after, but I did not take any of the options. Once our tables were cleaned, I quickly decided to grab my chance to head to the lavatories before I'm becoming a hassle to my neighbours and to grab some amenities to have a nap.
The toilet itself was yet very clean as it was barely being used and the amenities you could take here were an toothbrush with toothpaste, a sleeping mask (which I most definitely took), earplugs and the obvious aromas and soaps to clean up yourself and to smell fresh once again.
Waking up with about four hours left to landing, I decided to watch a movie. The entertainment does offer plenty of films, but I found the offer rather limiting compared to KLM once again. I decided to watch Papillon 2017, which turned out to be a massive disappointment as it was not even as close as the masterpiece of Papillon '73 directed by Schaffner.
Flightlevel 350 and I must say that the clouds were very high today.
While I just hit play on another movie ''The Spy Gone North''. a Korean movie which was very entertaining I must say, the trolleys were moved once again forward to serve us our breakfast. I opted for the Crepe with Chicken as I had rice on my first meal and I would eat plenty of rice in the upcoming weeks. The meal itself was decent, but I couldn't get used to the texture of that crepe. It did not feel like a crepe when cutting it nor did it when you bit in it and I would have believed them too if they said the filling to be some kind of a mushroom sauce.
While we had only a hour left and tables were cleaned, I was still flustered that none of the flight attendants in my section of the cabin did not really engage to any of the customer for the entire flight and were very passive. They were not rude, but it was kind of disappointing to see so. While the cabin crew of KLM (a direct competitor of EVA on this leg) is very active and engaged with their passengers.
About half an hour left, the plane was descending towards Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and due to two very busy airports in Bangkok, some of the routes are odd, but it will definitely give you a view of the airport if you are sitting on the correct side and for this instance I was.
A turn over a small section of the Gulf of Thailand near the Chao Phraya River will bring you straight in for one of their runways and it was 01R for us today.
While we need to cross the entire airport to our stand, I had barely any view but trees, until we were very close to our gates.
A Vietjet Air A321 (The 9000th aircraft delivered by Airbus) bound for Ho Chi Minh City and an A321 of Vietnam Airlines would follow soon to Ho Chi Minh as well.
The usual UAE carriers are present plus a Turkish and trust me that Emirates was well-presented too with two A380s.
Our gate was one of the furthest away and we were parked next to a Boeing 747-400 of Korean Air
And we we're off to customs, which barely took a few minutes as I was lucky enough to bump into an immigration desk that was about to open and luggage was within five minutes on belt after clearing customs.
To be honest I had a bit of a mixed feeling after the flight. Check-in was very very poor and chaotic. The flight attendants were not as active as I was used to with them from my previous flights and they barely smiled to any of the passengers and compared to KLM, the personal tv entertainment system I found rather limiting. On the other hand, the legroom was superb, the tasting of food was above average for airline food and wifi for a decent prize is available in all their 777s.