Review of EVA Air flight Taipei Toronto in Business

Airline EVA Air
Flight BR36
Class Business
Seat 3A
Flight time 12:55
Take-off 26 Sep 18, 19:48
Arrival at 26 Sep 18, 20:43
BR   #17 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 91 reviews
atco
By 1052
Published on 31st January 2019

How I booked



photo asia_2018

After my first experience of flying Business last November, I had got the taste for this whole Premium Cabin thing.

Strangely enough it was a chance comment from a friend that was the opening to the rabbit hole. He mentioned about how he was taking his dad from London to LAX in BA First using Avios.
Now honestly I'd never really had a clue about miles, points etc and how the whole thing worked. Boy did I ever waste a lot of years! I'd always wondered how so many people could afford to pay the insane prices airlines charged for F and J. Little did I realise that many of those people were there for pennies on the dollar.
After diving into the whole scene full blooded I'd unlocked the key to do this on a big scale. So less than a year after starting I was able to put together a trip around Asia all in Business.

The YYZ-ICN-BKK flights cost 75,000 Aeroplan miles. The TPE-YYZ flight also cost 75,000 Aeroplan miles and for reasons I'm not entirely sure I understand I wasn't able to make my multi-city itinerary accept my return flight KUL-TPE-YYZ so I had to book KUL-TPE as a separate leg. This was highly annoying however the blow was softened by a 30% transfer bonus on my SPG points, so that effectively made the flight free in the end.
I used 15,000 BA Avios for the BKK-SIN leg on Cathay which is a crazy good value.
However my terrible luck bit me again on this flight which frankly I booked because it was on the A350-900 and I was yet to fly on one and with the rave reviews it was getting was to be a highlight of the trip for me.
Of course about 2 months before we left ExpertFlyer delivered the brutal news that there had been an aircraft change to an A330-300.
I was gutted especially when I checked EF and found that of the 30 days in September the A330 was operating on only 2 of them. The day after I traveled it was an A350-1000 which would have been even better. I thought long and hard about changing plans to fly a day later but it was just too much hassle. While my wife is nice and understanding even she has limits on how much she will accommodate my avgeekness!

The rest of the flights were cash bookings.
The most expensive flights was the SIN-KUL return on SQ. I originally booked in Y as the cost difference between Y and J was too much. However not flying in J was eating away at me and I started to wonder about how often I would get the chance to fly SQ J again and I buckled and upgraded the flights. It was crazy for a 50 minute flight, but our travel decisions are not always made with the head are they?
It ended up about $775 return.

KLM was about $390 for SIN-DPS, Garuda was about $260, Malaysian CGK-KUL-BKI was $330 and BKI-KUL was $190
*All prices per person in CAD


all good things must come to an end


So here we are at the end of this epic jaunt around Asia. 3 weeks of flying, eating, drinking, resting, swimming, sunbathing, touristing and living the high life. It had been an amazing experience.
For my wife and I it was our first real taste of what its like to fly Business Class and to say that it had been eye opening and enjoyable would be a massive understatement.
We had varied experiences from outstanding to very poor.
There was one thing we both agreed on though was that traveling in future was going to be a lot more expensive as there was no way back to Economy for us, at least not for anything longer than 3 or 4 hours.

It's true what they say about not being able to go back.
From my perspective its not just all about the nice seat on the plane. Flying in a premium cabin makes the whole experience so much more tolerable from the moment you arrive at the airport.
Being able to check in without having to stand in a snaking queue of 100 people. Using Fast track to beat security lineups and even at some airports immigration queues. Having a lounge to spend time in relaxing. Getting to board first and get comfy before you start getting pampered with nice little touches like hot towels, noise cancelling headphones, drinks and snacks. Getting to have significant personal space, usually without being wedged into a middle seat. Legroom that means you never have to worry about having your knees crushed by the person in front of you. Being able to eat your multi course meal off china with proper cutlery and not having to have hamster arms because the tray table is wedged into your belly by the seat infront of you only being 30" away. Being treated like you are a human being. Having dedicated washrooms. Being able to watch a movie on a decent sized screen. Being able to lie down and actually sleep on a bed like surface while wrapped in comfy bedding. Not having to fight for overhead space. Being able to arrive on the other side of the World feeling half decent and not as if you had just crawled through a hedge backwards. Being able to get off the plane first and beat the rush to immigration. Getting your priority tagged bags off the belt first.
To me these things have become almost priceless, its not just any one thing its the whole combination of things that combine to make traveling feel enjoyable again.

Its a shame that airlines have devalued the Economy experience so much, but that is what the market has dictated for the most part. Airlines have to compete harder than ever on price now and that's why Premium Economy is now such a fast growing cabin because the true Y experience is so bad many people are willing to pay a premium for a better experience, similar to what Economy used to be like 30 years ago!


looking forward to a flight home? and hotel adventures


photo 20180926_174808aaa

In truth one of the prime motivators for booking the itinerary I did was to fly EVA Air home. The trip actually ended up being a few days longer than originally planned because of EVA availability.

I had read so many reviews of EVA Business Class and everyone raved. Often called the best Business Class across the Pacific, I knew that this had to be the way to cap off our trip. When booking I worked backwards, starting with finding 2 J seats on TPE-YYZ with EVA and then constructing the trip from there.

While it was our flight home and thus ending an incredible 3 weeks away I had secretly been really looking forward to this since booking. This for me was unknown luxury and something not to be missed.
Its rather hard to describe the feeling of being excited about a flight but also not wanting your adventure to end and of course the prospect of heading back to reality - Bills, work, household chores, grocery shopping and the looming threat of another Toronto Winter.

Alas the morning of the 26th had arrived and it was time to get ourselves ready to go home. I had booked a late checkout at the Novotel Taipei as our departure was 8pm (that turned into an interesting story!).
I was up stupidly early to make the most of some spotting time, and then we had breakfast at the hotel before returning to our room for the day. My wife had come down with a bug the previous day scuppering our plans to see Taipei. While she was bed ridden the previous day I consoled myself with an unexpected day of spotting from the comfort of our hotel room while the plan all along on our departure day was to spot from the room so I got myself 2 almost full days.
The airport view rooms at the Novotel are superb. I thought originally it was going to be a nightmare as the glass was brutal for distortions and many of my early photos were wrecked. I then discovered one of the windows opened and I was completely set!
I'll post some of my spotting highlights in the bonus below, but if you want to do some spotting in Taipei the Novotel is an outstanding choice!

I had planned to visit a cafe near to runway 05L during the day however this proved to not be necessary as the view from the Novotel was so good and allowed me to see both runways rather than just one. You simply can't beat spotting from a comfy hotel room!

We spent the day of course in the room and packed our bags and headed down to the lobby around 4:15pm to check out with the plan to get the 4:30 shuttle to the airport.
Check out was an interesting affair to say the least.
When I made my reservation I booked our room and also the late check out which Accor was selling for $30. As we had such a late departure I figured it was worth it as we could leave all our stuff in the room and as I mentioned the original plan was to go off site for spotting during the day and I didn't want to be lugging our bags around. So I entered my credit card details and prepaid for the reservation.
I got my confirmation showing amount paid and amount owing at hotel showing as $0.

Imagine my surprise when on check out the agent said I had to pay TWD900 for late check out. Being the prepared type of person that I am I had my printed confirmation with me so I showed it to her confident this was just a simple slip and this would be sorted out within seconds and a laugh.
Not so………….She insisted it hadn't been paid. So we went back and forth for a bit, with me simply pointing to the part of my confirmation where it stated in black and white "Amount Due at Hotel:    TWD0.00"
After a phone call, the agent then told me apparently while it says that the hotel doesn't bill for late checkout when it takes the payment just the room rate.
We were getting to a bit of an impasse I wasn't going to back down on this and things got a bit awkward for a while. By this point we had missed the 4:30 shuttle and my wife and I were getting very frustrated. This was not the way we wanted our trip to end.
Eventually one of the managers came down to speak with us and again explained that its a difference between corporate and the hotel. Corporate shows what it says on my invoice and the hotel bills something different. I looked up the charge on my card though and it was significantly more than the cost of the hotel room rate. She tried to suggest exchange rate differences between the time it was billed and now which just didn't wash. The CAD had not cratered that badly!
She was very nice though and I surprised myself by remaining very calm while being firm and clear. I figure she probably realised that I wasn't going to back down on this and it wasn't worth it anymore because she agreed to waive the "charge" and apologised for the confusion.
I mentioned to my wife we had missed the shuttle and that we would now have to wait until 5 for the next one at which point the manager offered to pay for us to take a taxi to the airport. I did say that it wasn't necessary as we had lots of time, but after settling everything at the front desk we were taken to a taxi which was very nice of them. Perhaps they just wanted me gone at that point!
I have a friend who is in the hotel industry and spoke with him about it and he confirmed that they were full of it and I was absolutely right to stand my ground. My contract was with Accor and their paperwork was very explicit that there was nothing due at the hotel and that any relationship between corporate and the hotel is nothing to do with me and a smokescreen.
So while the Novotel was a great hotel in many ways and the perfect spotting location, I do attach a caveat. Watch their billing especially if you prepay anything and their breakfast buffet was one of the poorest we had in Asia which seems to be a haven for sumptuous breakfast feasts putting hotels in Europe and N America to serious shame!


taoyuan airport and the eva air lounges


Once we had arrived at the airport it was easy enough to find the massive EVA Air check in area.

Somewhat surprisingly given how other airlines approach their best cabin at their main hub there was no specially enclosed private check in area. There was of course dedicated Business and Star Gold check in desks but they were just regular desks. Even Air Canada has an enclosed private area at YYZ. However there was no queue and we were soon checked in and bags appropriately tagged for our journey.

Once we were done there, we were thrown into the regular queue for immigration and security. No Fast Track here which was a bit disappointing. Overall the ground experience at Taipei with BR wasn't very special at all.

Through security and it was off to find the lounges. I had been expecting to be blown away by the lounges here and its safe to say that didn't happen. We entered the joint entrance with the Star and Infinity and were guided off to the right to the Infinity lounge.
It all looks very grand and stylish when you enter, the expectation was building that this was going to be special.
Unfortunately inside is just a very average lounge.
Firstly it was fairly busy so some of the prime seats near the buffet were all taken so we headed off to some seats along the windows. The view was rather uninspiring of the check in area. There are no views outside at all so the whole thing is very dark and full of artificial light.

Feeling a bit let down so far I headed to the buffet area hoping for a pick up.
This might well be one of the worst lounge buffet's I've seen. First it was tiny. There is very little to choose from here and the alcohol selection was similarly small and deeply uninspiring.
First all the food was almost all Chinese so if you're not a fan of Chinese food you are pretty well out of luck. I understand I'm in Taiwan and flying a Taiwanese airline so I get it, but with so many flights to N America and Europe EVA has a pretty decent chunk of non-native travelers and there was a single Western pasta dish that looked pretty dire. There were also some rancid looking hot dogs that I wasn't touching with a 50ft pole. Hot Dogs in a 5 star Business lounge?
The alcohol selection was small although in fairness it did contain some top shelf names. There was no champagne however so it loses a star just for that omission!
One nice thing was the freezer with Movenpick ice cream which was a big hit.
I picked away at some food that I didn't really enjoy but did manage to enjoy a couple of glasses of chilled wine and a beer or three. My wife who is very into Chinese food was perfectly happy, I just found it all a bit disappointing in all honesty.

Perhaps I'm being harsh, the lounge wasn't terrible but I wasn't wowed, not even close infact. Maybe it was a case of my expectations being too high, but overall I thought this was a disappointingly average experience.


photo br36_faphoto br36_fr24

br36 tpe-yyz boarding, cabin and seat


photo 20180926_193955

Flight Details:
Airline: EVA Air
Flight Number: BR36
Departure: Taipei Taoyuan TPE
Departure Time: 1948
Arrival: Toronto Pearson YYZ
Arrival Time: 2043
Flight Time: 12:55
Travel Date: Wednesday September 26th
Class: Business Class
Seat: 3A
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration: B-16726

With boarding scheduled for 1910 we left the lounge around 1845 and took a leisurely walk to gate C8. It appeared that this general area is where all EVA's flights to North America depart from. We had our boarding passes inspected and went down some stairs into the holding area.

Of course 1910 came and went and boarding hadn't started, I should have learned by now that the boarding time never happens!
There was an apology announced that boarding was delayed and this triggered a rush of gate lice who didn't bother listening to the announcement but merely heard the word boarding and roared into action. As there were no seats and we were standing anyway we joined the lice in the separate Business Class queue becoming lice ourselves!

Around 1930 boarding started for the special assistance passengers of whom there were many on this flight. There must have been at least a dozen wheelchair passengers. Given how effective wheelchair assistance has been at Toronto for my mum when she arrives in Terminal 1 I can only imagine that some of those poor souls are still there now waiting for a chair to get them off the aircraft.

Soon after Business Class boarding began, there was no real announcement or maybe I just missed it but just a nod of the head and the queue started forwards for the boarding pass scan.

Off we went down the dedicated jetway to door L1 where we were greeted and taken to our seats.


photo 20180926_193534

The first thing that strikes you is the EVA cabin is very white. There's not much colour to it except for some green accents on the seat fixtures with the seats themselves being very grey. It's all a bit flat and boring. If you compare it to how beautiful the China Airlines 77W looks this is all very understated.
That said nobody ever picked a cabin based on what colour it is, and thankfully EVA's seats are exceptional.

Waiting for us at our seat was some lovely bedding, slippers and noise cancelling headphones.


photo 20180926_194637

And also one of the highlights of flying EVA ex-TPE the ever popular Rimowa Amenity kit


photo 20180926_194631

Everything was beautifully presented in lovely bags, it just all exuded style and class.

Soon after we were brought the pyjamas and handed food and drink menus


photo 20180926_193453

A short while later we were brought a hot towel and asked if we would like a drink.

I spent at least a nano second thinking about the choice before asking for a glass of champagne. Given we were talking Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 I think my choice was quite reasonable. It will likely not surprise anyone to know this was not the only glass of this fine champagne I consumed that evening.

Not only were we given a drink to start but a nice chocolate to go with it.

After meal choices were taken and our pre-orders were confirmed. I absolutely loved how every interaction the crew would kneel down to talk to you at eye level. You're always made to feel important and valued on EVA Air


photo 20180926_193631

Lets take a quick look at the seat shall we


photo 20180926_193516

This was the nerve centre of the seat. Reading light, dual USB ports and power outlet as well as of course the obligatory IFE remote. There was a storage compartment off to the side where I kept my headphones case.


photo 20180926_193511

The seat controls were off to the side of the chair just above the armrest. There was so much room in these seats it was very easy to spread out and get very comfortable. These seats were all around superb.


photo 20180926_194645

Under the fold out monitor was more storage shelving to the left where I could put most of my things as well as store my slippers until later.
I don't know about you all but I keep my shoes on until after take off. I don't fancy having to evacuate in a hurry wearing a pair of airline slippers, so I pop them on once we are safely up in the air.

As you can see legroom is laughably massive. I'm not tall being under 6' but I couldn't even get close to the footrest there was just that much room.
There was also some lighting down there as well which was nice to help you see in the storage areas. Everything was completely customisable so you could have it as light or dark as you wanted.

Its quite something how Asian airlines board airplanes. I wish they would share their secrets with the Western World, because its insane how quickly they get boarding done.

Despite starting boarding late we actually pushed back ahead of schedule at 1948 and began the long taxi to 05L

On checking the map and flight info I was absolutely gutted to see our flight time was estimated at a ridiculously short 12:40. This flight averages almost 13:30 so we must have had some serious tailwinds. Just my bloody luck!
A flight I had been looking forward to for months and I get cheated out of an hour of it! I didn't want to get home that fast, I wanted to enjoy every second of being in one of the World's best Business Classes. Damn you jetstreams!


photo 20180926_195323

It took a while to get to the runway and then start the takeoff run.
I was expecting a pretty long roll given how far we were going. The GE90s started to spool up and that magnificent sound marked the end of our trip. It was over, we were on our way home.
We got off the ground far faster than I was expecting and more or less headed in a straight line towards the South Coast of Japan.


br36 tpe-yyz amenities


One of the most popular EVA amenities are their Rimowa amenity kits. These used to be standard on all EVA flights but last year the company changed policy so now they are only given out ex-TPE. I hope these are not going to be "enhanced" away completely


photo 20181110_112652photo 20181110_112818

The contents were not jaw dropping, the usual eye shade, ear plugs, some Clarins creams, dental kit, hair brush and a glasses cleaner.
But the hard shell case is beautiful and I still have it at home.


I took this shot at home after the event, but here are all the things you get on EVA and why its soft product is so loved.
Rimowa Amenity Kit, very comfy Slippers, socks and pyjamas. All beautifully bagged and presented. You almost feel like you've been shoplifting after an EVA Air flight!


photo 20181110_113003aaaaa

I still have and use the pyjamas, they are awesome and so nice to see airlines still giving out Business Class pyjamas. Yet another thing to hope doesn't get "enhanced" away in the years to come.
You could certainly get used to being spoiled like this


br36 tpe-yyz menus


photo 20180926_193639photo 20180926_193745

Everything on EVA Air is presented so beautifully. The menu and drink lists are no exceptions

I'm sorry these are all portrait style pictures


photo 20181110_113055photo 20181110_113101

Of course EVA Air allows you to pre-book your meal beforehand on their website which is a really useful feature to avoid those awkward situations where they run out of your preferred dish.


photo 20181110_113116photo 20181110_113120

There's a large cash prize for anyone who can correctly guess what I had for my main :D

The second meal however was a disaster for me!


photo 20181110_113140photo 20181110_113147

Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame………well don't mind if I do!


photo 20181110_113203photo 20181110_113208

So much choice


photo 20181110_113215photo 20181110_113218

You're not going to go thirsty on an EVA flight


photo 20181110_113224photo 20181110_113228

And a final, special insert


photo 20181110_113237

br36 tpe-yyz meal service


After we departed we were quickly into bumpy air. Unfortunately this continued for several hours and it was pretty steady continuous moderate chop. It was by far the most turbulent flight I've ever had/ The air didn't smooth out until we were several hours North of Japan and out over the Pacific.

That said it didn't hold back the crew who delivered a flawless service.

Drinks were soon offered and I took a top up of my champagne. Why mess with a winning formula?

We were also brought a small appetizer of shrimp and crab meat in an egg crepe parcel and goat cheese in a mini tartlet.
No picture of that as it didn't appeal at all and I asked to pass.

The meal service was the most impressive and elaborate I have yet seen on an airplane.

We were presented with the stunning signature EVA linens


photo 20180926_203637photo 20180926_203642

I mentioned how beautiful the linens were to the crew member and she explained that the deer head is an important Taiwanese national symbol which was one of many of the wonderful interactions with this superb crew, who were never rushed in their and all spoke flawless English.

Now it may surprise anyone who has read any of my reports so far that I actually ate all of this.
While it absolutely falls into my category of "fancy food" it was quite tasty. Not sure about anyone else but I'm far more willing to try different things on an airplane than I am at other times. If I saw this on a menu at a restaurant I'd be "No way, ever!"
I guess there is something about not having a choice that makes you either try something or go without!


photo 20180926_204220photo 20180926_204226

The table presentation was beautiful, the cutlery beautifully wrapped in a bright orange napkin and even the paper wrap on that was beautifully detailed. First the side plate was delivered with butter, olive oil and salt and pepper together with a bread bowl.
I kept with the champagne and added some water to drink and then this starter of smoked salmon, champagne jelly and goose liver mousse was served (I'm going to guess that is the politically correct way of naming foie gras these days as isn't that exactly what foie gras is?)
Bread was then offered from a basket and we were ready to start!

This was a very tasty starter and I think I surprised even myself by eating it all.


photo 20180926_204230

Of course the perfect and attentive crew notice the moment you finish and come to clear away the empties and ask if you are ready for the next course.

The next course was a delightful beetroot and celery soup. I've only ever heard good things about airplane soup, the consensus seems to be that no matter the airline you can't screw up soup. This would be my first airplane soup and it was again delicious.

More bread was offered and gratefully accepted


photo 20180926_204912

Once that was consumed it was time for the salad course


photo 20180926_205455

A very basic garden salad that was nevertheless in keeping with the rest of the meal and of very nice quality.

Once that was gone it was time for the main and I'll be you can't guess what I had?


photo 20180926_210405

I know right, you're shocked I had the beef!

Such beautiful presentation and good grief did it ever taste good.

At this point even I was getting full but there was no way I was going to skip dessert.
I just elected to have the ice cream at this point and a very frozen tub of Haagen Dazs was delivered. Mmmmm Belgian chocolate.
I had to wait a while for it to be edible but it was the perfect way to wrap up a fabulous meal.


photo 20180926_211738

It was getting late and as people were wrapping up dinner it was time to darken the cabin and finish up the service.

I still had some of my wine left over (Yes white wine with beef again lol) and I had a cup of tea as my nightcap.


photo 20180927_062055

Its difficult not to slip into superlatives when talking EVA Air Business Class dinner. Its got a very First Class hint to it.

I don't remember how long the service took but it didn't drag out and neither was it rushed, it just seemed to all fit together perfectly and completely individually. The crew must have to work their socks off, but it all looked so effortless and co-ordinated.
I can't say enough good things about how well the EVA crew work. The service was absolute perfection.


br36 tpe-yyz


By this point I was ready for sleep.

Off I went in my EVA slippers to the washroom with my pyjamas in hand ready to change. The washroom wasn't the biggest so getting changed was a logistical challenge and at one point I did crash into the door. I was hoping that the crew wouldn't open it to make sure I was OK as I was standing there in just my underwear at that point and the embarrasment meter would have been off the charts.

Fortunately I was left to fend for myself and managed to change into my stylish pyjamas without further harm!
I returned to my seat, popped my clothes into my bag and readied my seat for some rest.

Bottles of Fiji water were handed out and a lovely flight attendant came over to help me turn my seat into a bed with the mattress pad, quilted blanket and pillow. The cabin was turned into a starry night sky and I climbed into my little cocoon and set off for a snooze.

Now as it was fairly early body clock wise I figured I would get maybe 3/4 hours of sleep.
All in I ended up with 7!
Here's a classic example of the EVA Air touch.
So I attach my GoPro to one of the windows when I board using the suction cup mount and I leave it there all flight so I can record take off and landing.
Now because I'm stupid sometimes I totally forgot we would be hitting daylight at some point. We were taking off at night and landing in YYZ at night and for some reason I convinced myself we would be in darkness all night so I left my GoPro on the window and went to sleep.

What of course I had stupidly forgotten was that we were heading East away from the Sunset and back into the day.
I had closed my one window shade but left the one where my GoPro was up because I couldn't close it anyway with the GoPro attached and hey it was going to be dark anyway
While I was fast asleep obviously we then hit daylight. Rather than disturb me or try to take my GoPro down a crew member stuffed a pillow over my window to cover it up and block out the light. I woke briefly at some point and noticed. I took the GoPro down and closed the shade so as not to be a further menace to the rest of the cabin. But I thought that was so thoughtful. They could have easily woken me up as it was my silliness that was at fault in the first place.


photo 20180927_070311

When I finally woke I was stunned to see where we were!


photo 20180927_062211photo 20180927_062219

By this point we were over the Canadian midwest and only 2 and a half hours from Toronto!
You can see the groundspeed showing a rather rapid 637mph
I couldn't believe how long I had slept for, but clearly I was very comfy!

It actually ended up really hurting me because once we got home that night I couldn't get to sleep and was still awake at 3am!


photo 20180927_062226

Passing over Humboldt, a place that sadly isn't just one of those non-descript places you only ever see on airplane maps, but a town that is forever scarred by the horrendous bus tragedy involving the Broncos hockey team.

It was soon time for the second meal service.
Now I thought on the menu that I was getting the Pork and Turkey with salad. What I didn't realise was that was just the starter portion and it was followed by Mussel and Squid with Ravioli. I don't like any of those things!

This part was very nice and tasty


photo 20180927_062616

This was not!

At first I thought that a mistake had been made, I said that I had ordered the Pork and Turkey not seafood, but of course in my somewhat groggy state I couldn't find my menu (because I'd already put them in my bag so that I [strike]could take them home [/strike] I mean borrow them for trip reporting purposes obviously!). The poor crew member must have thought that I had completely lost the plot and after a while I found the menu on the IFE screen and it finally sunk in. I felt like a complete moron, so when she returned I apologised and tried to explain my confusion.
I left it untouched and with a look of great concern she asked if she could get me anything else. I declined though as I was still quite full from dinner and I didn't want to make extra work for her after being such a buffoon.


photo 20180927_063730

As we headed further East we saw our second sunset of the day


photo 20180927_074703

The low sun shining through the back of the GE90 illuminating the inner core



The sky outside was just beautiful


photo 20180927_075214photo 20180927_075220

A blanket of clouds over Canada


photo 20180927_075715

The stars come out! What a sight


photo 20180927_075651

Darkness descened once again


photo 20180927_080132

There was further drinks service before we started out descent into Toronto on the BOXUM3 arrival which I know well.


photo 20180927_071733

Sadly there would be no delays into YYZ tonight and we flew the arrival around for an approach onto RW23


photo 20180927_083838photo 20180927_083859

After a very nice landing on 23 we made the long taxi down E for Terminal 1.

We pulled onto our gate and that was it. Our 3 week trek around Asia was over and that was a sucky feeling for sure.
It was back to dealing with the harsh realities of every day life.

I really like T1 at Toronto. We were off the aircraft quickly via door L2 as the other cabins were held back to let Business Class passengers off first. We were quickly through Immigration using the automated kiosks and only had a short wait for our bags which were among the first onto the belt. Either airports are getting way better at processing priority bags or I've had amazing luck because of all the Business Class flights we've done our bags have always been really fast to appear. Its one of the features of flying J that I've come to appreciate a lot.

If you have followed this series from the start thank you and I hope its been interesting and enjoyable.

Its been a blast writing these reports and I've learned much to make my reports better in future.

Thank you all for your time and comments


Bonus : Click here to display
See more

Verdict

EVA Air

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering8.0

EVA Air / The Infinity

4.2/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering3.0
Entertainment4.0
Services4.0

Taipei - TPE

6.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness8.5

Toronto - YYZ

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I found the EVA ground experience to be greatly underwhelming.
No ground service at all, not even a fast track security and the lounge didn't do anything for me.

That all changed onboard though.
From start to finish EVA's product is exceptional. The seat is wonderful. Very roomy and lots of storage and incredibly comfortable for sleeping on.
The IFE appeared to be very good although I barely used it on this flight.
The bedding and amenties are out of this World. Rimowa amenity kits, slippers and pyjamas Business Class? There's not much out there that can compete with that.
It's a truly industry leading product and when people claim its the best J across the Pacific I'd have to agree. I'd certainly like to experience anything better than this!

The food service was more of a banquet than an airplane meal. Everything about it was perfect and EVA gets a thumbs up for being able to preorder your main beforehand.

I loved my EVA Air experience, if they could do just a bit more on the ground then it would be so far ahead of anyone else as to be out of sight, that said this is most definitely a World Class product and everyone who like to travel should have this on their aviation bucket list.
To say I would love to try EVA Business again would be a massive understatement

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 486337 by
    YGeorgeW 61 Comments

    Thanks for the report Atco! The entire journey has been a pleasure to read.

    “From my perspective its not just all about the nice seat on the plane. Flying in a premium cabin makes the whole experience so much more tolerable from the moment you arrive at the airport.”
    -Absolutely, and there’s so much variety in the different premium cabins that exploring them is an adventure onto itself.

    “Watch their billing especially if you prepay anything and their breakfast buffet was one of the poorest we had in Asia which seems to be a haven for sumptuous breakfast feasts putting hotels in Europe and N America to serious shame!”
    -Maybe it’s just because I am Asian, but I would never bother with a hotel breakfast anywhere in Asia. Usually, there are so many great (extremely) cheap options right around the corner that give you a more authentic taste of the local cuisine.

    “There were also some rancid looking hot dogs that I wasn't touching with a 50ft pole. Hot Dogs in a 5 star Business lounge?”
    -I’ve heard this a lot from Western travelers in China or Taiwan. They’re not quite hot dogs. Chinese sausages (香肠) aren’t quite the same caliber or connotation as an New York City frank. They also taste a bit better (in my opinion). Perhaps a better comparison would be bratwurst? Though I’m not sure what exact caliber bratwurst would be considered in Germany (despite visiting the country a bunch of times, I never thought to ask).

    “With boarding scheduled for 1910 we left the lounge around 1845 and took a leisurely walk to gate C8.”
    -Hey! Same gate!

    “Around 1930 boarding started for the special assistance passengers of whom there were many on this flight. There must have been at least a dozen wheelchair passengers.”
    -That was the case for my flight as well. There was literally a fleet of wheelchairs both at Taipei and in Chicago.

    “Yet another thing to hope doesn't get "enhanced" away in the years to come.”
    -No, in fact they’re starting to roll out new pajamas designed by Jason Wu.

    “There's a large cash prize for anyone who can correctly guess what I had for my main :D”
    -Well-done beef with white wine again?

    “I still had some of my wine left over (Yes white wine with beef again lol) and I had a cup of tea as my nightcap.”
    -I was right, now excuse me while I expel the contents of my dinner at the thought of well-done red meat with white wine. Also, what tea did you order? The tea snob in me must know!

    “The washroom wasn't the biggest so getting changed was a logistical challenge and at one point I did crash into the door.”
    -Maybe I’m just used to contorting myself, but I found the lavatory size to be just fine. That said, I exclusively used the left lavatory for the rear business cabin. Maybe there’s a difference?

    “More EVA Hello Kitty madness”
    -The second picture here, Shining Star, is the one they fly to/from Chicago.

    Overall, a great series of flight reports!

    Happy Flying!

    • Comment 487165 by
      atco AUTHOR 84 Comments

      Good evening YGeorgeW,

      Sorry its taken so long to respond, been a busy few weeks at work with the polar vortex causing all kinds of problems!

      Thanks as always for taking the time to read and comment.

      "Maybe it’s just because I am Asian, but I would never bother with a hotel breakfast anywhere in Asia"
      - Haha, well as a Westerner I have to say I loved all the hotel breakfast buffets we encountered (Most of them were included anyway either through staying in suites or through status, so came at no cost). Asian hotel breakfasts put N American ones to shame (much like Business Class products!)

      "They’re not quite hot dogs"
      - Thank you for your education in Chinese sausages, I've learned something today!

      "Well-done beef with white wine again?"
      - LOL

      "I was right, now excuse me while I expel the contents of my dinner at the thought of well-done red meat with white wine. Also, what tea did you order? The tea snob in me must know!"
      - Sorry for making you lose your dinner :) I'll make you a promise that next time I have my well done red meat on a plane I'm going to try a red wine, does that make things a little more palatable? I'm not compromising on my well done though, I hate pink meat!
      I don't remember my tea, sorry though I suspect it was likely English Breakfast as that's my go to.

      "Maybe I’m just used to contorting myself, but I found the lavatory size to be just fine. That said, I exclusively used the left lavatory for the rear business cabin. Maybe there’s a difference?"
      - The lavatory size of course was fine, it was purely a function of my clumsiness and inexperience changing into airline pyjamas!

      Thanks for taking the time to read my reports and for the comments and encouragement, it is greatly appreciated.
      Safe travels!

  • Comment 486473 by
    JW19 98 Comments

    Good review but more pictures less words please the next time. Also flight report is a very good reference point for popular airlines, so there is no excuse of finding an element of surprise other than last minute changes.

    Either way, looking forward to future reports.

  • Comment 486496 by
    dreamweaver888 65 Comments

    What a delightful trip report — I loved every word and the photos were great (loved the bonus section too). I felt like I was on board — what a fabulous experience EVA’s business class is! Thank you!

    • Comment 487164 by
      atco AUTHOR 84 Comments

      Hello Dreamweaver888,

      Thank you so much for your very kind and encouraging comment. It was greatly appreciated and very welcome.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my report.
      Happy flying!

  • Comment 486539 by
    hometoyyz 488 Comments

    Hello Atco!

    And here we are, at the end of the epic series! And on one of my favourite business class products, and a route I know quite well. I look forward to your insights.

    “When booking I worked backwards, starting with finding 2 J seats on TPE-YYZ with EVA and then constructing the trip from there.”
    - How far out did you book? EVA used to reliably release a ton of space, but not until two weeks pre-departure. Other than that, it was a little bit of catch-as-catch-can.

    What a bummer of a kick-off with the tense showdown at the hotel.

    I suspected you wouldn’t be into the lounge cuisine at TPE. Most of it isn’t very interesting even as someone who embraces Chinese food.

    “There must have been at least a dozen wheelchair passengers.”
    - Based on my memories of boarding for YYZ-TPE a few times, that’s actually quite low. There are a lot of elderly Chinese people on these flights typically.

    “I mentioned how beautiful the linens were to the crew member and she explained that the deer head is an important Taiwanese national symbol”
    - Well, I’ve officially learned something today. Time for me to quit.

    Catering looks about as good as to be expected on EVA. Definitely living up to their reputation. And getting your to try unique things too. Good for you, EVA. A shame about the mishap on the second main — I think I would have liked that dish.

    As expected, some great spotting at Taipei. I love that Far Eastern Air Transport decided to completely ignore the “Eastern” in their name when putting it into acronym form.

    Thanks for sharing this finale to a great series. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. Cheers!

    • Comment 487166 by
      atco AUTHOR 84 Comments

      My fellow GTA-er,

      I hope you are enjoying yourself currently luxing around in CZ First.
      Thanks as always for taking the time to drop in and leave your thoughts. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      "How far out did you book? EVA used to reliably release a ton of space, but not until two weeks pre-departure. Other than that, it was a little bit of catch-as-catch-can."
      - That's testing my memory greatly but we booked in April 2018 for flying in September so it wasn't too far out. Didn't get the exact dates we wanted for the outbound flight and the inbound but was within a day or two. Ideally wanted to do this trip in October but there was zero availability all month, so once I found the EVA return flights I locked them down right away. There wasn't much out there.

      "What a bummer of a kick-off with the tense showdown at the hotel"
      - Yeah wasn't a great way to end the trip. I'm happy I stood my ground though. Years ago I would have caved.

      "I suspected you wouldn’t be into the lounge cuisine at TPE. Most of it isn’t very interesting even as someone who embraces Chinese food."
      - You already know me far too well. I should probably start trying to surprise you all with my food and drink choices before I get a reputation I can't shake!

      "Based on my memories of boarding for YYZ-TPE a few times, that’s actually quite low. There are a lot of elderly Chinese people on these flights typically."
      - There may have been more, frankly I was too excited to keep count! Once I could see that EVA 77W out of the window pretty much everything else ceased to exist at that time!

      "Time for me to quit."
      - No! You can't ever!

      "Catering looks about as good as to be expected on EVA. Definitely living up to their reputation. And getting your to try unique things too. Good for you, EVA. A shame about the mishap on the second main — I think I would have liked that dish."
      - Yes it was wonderful. The second meal misunderstanding was 100% my fault. I wasn't bothered though as the main meal was so filling

      "As expected, some great spotting at Taipei"
      - Yes the Novotel would be on my blacklist if it wasn't for the fact that it offers completely unrivaled views of TPE and with the windows that open it's one of the best spotting locations in TPE, so I'd go back there for sure.

      "Thanks for sharing this finale to a great series. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. Cheers!"
      - Thank you friend for following along.

      Upcoming will be a pair of flight reports in March on a leisure carrier you will be very familiar with before a lengthy odyssey starting in May. I'm going to take a leaf out of your book (otherwise known as copying) and try to live blog each flight, and hopefully see if anyone can guess the next legs as we go along. I've already dropped some hints :)

      Looking forward to the next legs of your current adventure!

  • Comment 487937 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4584 Comments

    Hi Atco! A lovely report to wrap up your first series!

    EVA Air's long-haul J product seems to be well-liked in this community, and rightfully so. Your report once again confirms the great quality of the onboard product. Also consistently seen in other reviews is the underwhelming nature of the ground/lounge experience. Good think EVA make up for it in flight!

    Once again, I'm very impressed that you were able to put together such complete reports and such a long series of reports before even knowing the site or having the intention to make reports! I have no doubt that future reports will be truly epic and I very much look forward to them.

    Thanks again for sharing!

Login to post a comment.