Here is the story of my flight last month to Fukuoka in Japan, a first experience for me on Eva Air.
The ticket was booked with Aeroplan miles. The loyalty program offers a very good return on investment for travel to Asia. With its generous stopover policy it is possible to visit Europe en route to your destination in Asia. This time I stayed wise, we are going to visit some friends in Seoul and on the way we thought to stop in Fukuoka. Ramen’s capital is located at the tip of Japan and is very well served by Star Alliance airlines. Our final route will be:
- Montreal – Toronto on Air Canada
- Toronto – Taipei with Eva Air
- Taipei – Fukuoka with Eva Air (Stopover)
- Fukuoka – Seoul with Asiana (Destination)
- Seoul – Los Angeles with Asiana
- Los Angeles – Montreal with Air Canada
This last flight is to be avoided if possible, Air Canada uses Airbus A320 far from being comfortable for this “red eye”. It is preferable to go through Toronto where the connection is assured with a Boeing 767 or 787. We took advantage of the long connection in Los Angeles (13 hours) to have lunch in the sun on the terrace of a hotel where French friends were staying on vacation. There are worse places to stop!
Salon in Toronto
We arrive from Montreal at 10:30 pm. Toronto airport allows you to change terminals without going through security. The transfer is a little long on foot but that does not disturb me, we are going to be sitting during 15 hours…
The flight leaves very late (or very early) so Eva Air sends its passengers to the Plaza Premium lounge. The Air Canada lounge closed its doors with the last flight of the company shortly before 11pm. So we head to the lounge which is also open to Priority Pass holders.
First disappointment, the salon is being renovated. But the biggest surprise awaits us: the lounge has been moved to the terminal. Not in another location but in a corner of the terminal in the middle of the boarding gates. The living room is delimited by flower pots. There are no power outlets, the Wifi is the airport’s and the restrooms are the terminal’s. The food offer is limited and I don’t mean the drink offer. For a place that is supposed to be a haven of rest, we are closer to camping…
Eva Air flight to Taipei
The boarding will be done in a very orderly way. Several agents of the company pass through the rows to check passports and indicate to passengers their boarding area. The company then posts employees with a sign indicating the area at different locations so that several lines form without ending in chaos.
Eva Air has an aircraft with seats in 3 classes: Business, Premium Economy and Economy. Business class is arranged in rows of 4 seats: 1-2-1. If you are traveling as a couple, unfortunately the central seats are not very practical because they are very far away. We had trouble communicating. The Asiana A380 airbus will be perfect in this aspect, the central seats being side by side one row on 2.
The seat offers quite a bit of storage, something I find important because with the proliferation of devices (phone, tablets, computers) it’s not easy to juggle this material when the seat has little room.
Eva Air is giving away a (nice) Rimowa comfort kit, ambient noise cancelling headphones and pajamas. For a business class we are well spoiled. During boarding, the flight attendant assigned to our corridor comes to introduce herself and take the meal order. We took advantage of the pre-order on the Internet to choose the lobster.
We will soon take off but just before distribution of hot towels, a square of chocolate and a glass.
Here is an excerpt from the menu, on the beverage side Eva Air offers Veuve Cliquot from Toronto and Krug from other cities like Chicago.
The service begins with an aperitif and a foie gras toast. The starter is a mix of salmon and scallops with a salad and finally the lobster. Fast service, decent food, the reputation of the Asian company is up to par.
After the meal I will try the bed. A little disappointed on this side because if the cover is comfortable, the seat is a little hard and no “mattress” is provided.
The cabin is plunged into darkness. When I wake up I go to consult the entertainment system, there also small disappointment on the follow-up of the flight where the device does not allow you to choose the information and obliges you to look at a loop of animations. As for the films, the selection is quite large, I take the opportunity to watch a Korean feature film about the Japanese occupation.
A snack is served in the middle of the flight. Then 2 hours before landing, breakfast is served. I opted for the congee.
Eva Air The Infinity Lounge
Being in correspondence we have no control at the border and the transit is done very quickly. We arrive at The Infinity. Eva Air has several lounges but this one, dedicated to business class passengers, will do very well.
We take advantage of the living room to eat another congee then we go to take a shower.
The shower is one of the most spacious and well-equipped I’ve ever used. In addition to the basic products, there are razors, toothbrushes, hair gel etc. By comparison, the showers at the Star Alliance lounge in Los Angeles offered no services other than soap and shampoo.
A successful first experience for me. It is a very long flight but with a service and comfort that makes it bearable. Eva Air flies from Toronto and Vancouver, the latter route will no longer be served by an old 747 as of this summer. The other option is to go to Chicago for example. In short, it’s a flight where you get your miles back!
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