Last December, I took a trip to Vietnam and flew economy on EVA Air flight BR31 which had a stopover. I’m reviewing the 16 hour flight from JFK airport in New York to Taoyuan International in Taipei, Taiwan. This segment is about 7,808 miles.
EVA Air on this Boeing 777-300ER operates three classes of service:
- Royal Laurel – This is what EVA brands as business class with lie-flat seats.
- Elite – This is a premium economy class that’s a step between business and economy.
- Economy class – Typically the most basic fare offered. This is what I flew on this flight.
As I was paying cash for this flight and our trip was a bit last minute I was just happy enough to go that I didn’t mind sitting in economy for 16 hours on this leg and a few more hours on the next segment.
EVA boards their flights at JFK in boarding groups. I didn’t hear too many announcements over the intercom but noticed employees holding up signs with group numbers and people lining up behind those signs.
Configuration and Seats
The economy class is broken into two sections and for most of the layout there’s 9 seats in each row with a 3-3-3 configuration. To make room for the galleys, rows 57 and 69-71 have a configuration of 2-3-2 which might be ideal for two traveling together (but note the proximity to the galleys and restrooms).
The seats have a pitch of 33 inches which is typically considered generous. Other airlines typically offer 31-32″. The width is 18.5″ which is nice when compared to say American Airline’s flights out of Dallas, Texas to Beijing, China which offer 17″. I didn’t feel crammed together at all on this flight.
Entertainment and WiFi
Each seat comes with individual screens. The entertainment system contains a wide variety of TV shows, movies and music in various languages.
The WiFi was pretty expensive:
- 3 hours was $16.95
- 24 hours was $21.95
EVA Air will generally offer a Western and Eastern style version of the meals. I always opt for the eastern style based on experience. Don’t forget to read about my travel hack in regards to meal preferences as my travel partner got her meal 30 minutes before I did. This is especially useful on this flight as it leaves a little after midnight if you want to eat and catch some sleep.
I opted for the eastern style dinner, which was:
- Shrimp in oyster sauce with vegetables and rice
- Side of smoked salmon salad
- Side of fruit
- Bread and butter
- Pastry with frosting (I didn’t eat this as I tend to avoid sweets)
They did serve a sandwich pastry in the middle of the flight which I was asleep for.
For breakfast they had run out of the congee (Chinese porridge) by the time they got to me so I opted for the eggs and bacon. I hate having eggs because it’s never good when it’s made this way and re-heated in an oven.
The EVA Air economy product is very nice especially when you compare the product to economy class offered by US airlines. The seat pitch being generous is key for those that can use the extra space. If you have to be on a long-haul flight to Asia, EVA is a pretty good choice.