The airline with the best average rating is EVA Air with 8.0/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 13 minutes.More information
Hello Everyone. Thanks for reading my latest report. Today I'm flying from Taipei Taoyuan to Manila on BR 277. Today's flight will be on one of Eva's Hello Kitty painted aircraft, "Gudetama." To watch the review, you can watch the video below.
Today I chose to take the MRT from Shuanglian Station two stops to Taipei Main Station. From there I had the option of taking the bus or the express train to TPE. I discovered my flight was eligible for check in at the train station so I decided to check in there and ride the express train to the airport. There are many signs pointing you to the Taoyuan MRT (Airport train). It is a long walk and in the summer, it may be a little warm. I think I took about 10 or 15 minutes to walk from the subway platform all the way to the check in.
Once at the In Town Check In Services area, you first use a kiosk to print your boarding pass. Then you go to the staff to drop off your luggage. Before you leave, you will watch a monitor to verify your luggage has been screened. Once verified, you're ready to go. The process took 5-10 minutes. There was no line.
The express train entrance is clearly marked and you go down to the platform. The train was just about ready to depart and once onboard, there were no seats available. Oh well, stand up it is. All told, it was quite convenient and the train is very comfortable and air conditioned. The journey is only 35 minutes. The cost is NT$ 160 or $5.10.
With my boarding pass in hand and my luggage already checked in for the flight, it was quite easy to go to security and immigration. This took about 25 minutes.
Now I had about 2 hours and had a choice of lounges to visit. As Star Alliance Gold, I had the choice of the Star (Eva) or Silver Kris Lounge (Singapore Air.) I decided to visit Star first. Unfortunately at the time of my visit, this lounge was undergoing a re-model so certain areas were closed off and the seats brought out. Thankfully in the afternoon, it is not busy and there were plenty of seats. But I could see it being too crowded later.
The food was ok. And yes, this is the lounge that has the hot dogs and I did get a hot dog. However the did have Movenpick Ice Cream, and by the looks of it, that was really popular, as the case really needed to be refilled. I spent a majority of my time in Star. In retrospect, I should've gone to Silver Kris first. The food was better and it was just as quiet but more orderly. Lesson learned. Enjoy these pictures of the Star Lounge.
I looked out and saw that my flight, B-16205, a 6 year old Airbus A321, was one of Eva Air's Hello Kitty themed airplanes. The character on our plane is Gudetama. "Gudetama" means "Lazy Egg.: According to the EvaKitty website this plane represents, "The Lazy Egg, Gudetama, is taking his time packing his luggage since he is going on an overseas vacation. The concept behind the Comfort Flight is to invite passengers to escape from the tedious life and travel at their pleasure. Let's all get on board, laid back and carry out the "Gudatama's philosophy of laziness" !
Okay, now back to the flight. As Star Alliance Gold, I was in the first group to board. Once on board, there was nothing to indicate we were on a Hello Kitty plane. There were no amenities or special dressed flight attendants. It looked very much like a normal flight. The only thing that was different was the safety card. That had Gudetama on it.
The flight attendant came over to confirm I had ordered a special meal, Asian Vegetarian. I did and was good to go. I like how unlike Asiana, you can place a special meal order on-line. For a two hour flight, I was intrigued to see what I would get. Boarding was very orderly. Thankfully, no one was seated in the middle seat. Every seat had air. I realize this makes a difference in temperature and comfort and was glad this was available. The only thing we had on the seat were some earbuds if you chose to watch the overhead TV. The seats were fine, not too hard. Again, the flight is about 2 hours so no big deal. Announcements are given in English and Mandarin. The safety video was shown on the overhead monitors. We pushed back about 30 minutes late. We took off and were on our way to Manila.
Service started very quickly and efficiently, about 25 minutes after take off. A flight attendant came by and served my AVML. The meal consisted of mung bean and cucumber salad with some bell peppers. The peppers and cucumber were crunchy and the mung beans were cooked perfect. It was not spicy. Slices of apples and oranges had a slight citrus taste, probably to keep the apple from going brown. And similar to Asiana, you are given metal utensils, though these weren't as freezing cold as the ones on Asiana.
They translated the main as braised vegetables with herbs. The herbs being Indian spices like cardamom. The vegetables were cooked really well. They were not wilted. The beans were not mush. The rice was not dry or overcooked. Not bad. I had a cup of tea to finish off my meal.
Shortly, arrival cards for the Philippines were distributed. The in-flight magazine was the standard travel stories and airport maps and where Eva flies. There is a magazine with items you can purchase duty free. I saw several times flight attendants going back and fourth taking orders and bringing customers their orders.
We had about an hour and a half to rest and relax. I partially closed the window so I could look out. That's my entertainment for day time flights. The scenery is not much. But from my side, you could see clouds building. That's always an amazing sight and I saw part of Eastern Taiwan and the Northern Philippines. Quick nap after filling out the arrival card and we were ready to land in Manila.
The landing was uneventful as you will see the skyscrapers of Makati and the traffic nearby the airport. You'll also see some nearby resorts.
Perhaps you remember hearing about Xiamen Airlines 8667 crashing and skidding off the runway during a storm last August. Well, almost nine months later, the wreckage is still there. It's been moved to an area near the runway. You can see it when you land. Although they've covered part of the plane and tried to remove the logo from the tail. It is an interesting and not very nice thing to see as you land. You be the judge. Why no one has cleared it all these months later is beyond me?
My luggage was already on the conveyor once I got through immigration. I had nothing to declare and was out and ready to take a three hour drive to my accomodation in Batangas.
I'm Filipino and it is such a shame for family and guests first impression to see such a terminal as Terminal one at NAIA. Terminal two and three are slightly better. But terminal one is what a majority of International flights still use. There are long lines. There are not enough immigration desks and even for a small A321, it still took about 30 minutes for all of us to get through, even with the Filipino citizens having their own e-gates. The restrooms are small. And transportation options are not great. And even outside it sometimes feels so chaotic. I'm sure it is better than it was a few years ago, but still, compared to HKG, TPE, ICN, SIN, KUL or BKK, this airport is a mess and I don't think it will change anytime soon. Departures are worse as you'll see in a future report.
Overall, I've become a fan of Eva Air. I think the flight attendants are very helpful and offer great service, like Asiana. I think the fact you can check in for most flights and even check your luggage at the Main Train Station is a great service. Hopefully the lounge experience will be better once the Star remodel is complete. Though I didn't get the full Hello Kitty experience, not that I was looking forward to it, I did feel quite relaxed so the idea worked. Too bad the arrival airport is not my favorite airport.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading my experience on Eva Air 277!