Review: EVA Air 777 Premium Economy Taipei to Los Angeles

Hey there, and welcome to my first full flight review! I stayed in California for about 5 weeks last summer. As a result, I had the opportunity to experience EVA Air’s Boeing 777-300ER Elite Class (Premium Economy) on flights between Taipei and Los Angeles.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Taipei Airport

Booking the Flights

I got inspired to write this post from Peter Cook’s excellent review of the product, which I highly recommend you to read through. For this flight, I booked my fixed date premium economy ticket for around US$1550, which is fairly reasonable when taking into account that we were traveling during peak season. Cathay Pacific was going for US$1900 at the time of booking, so I was pretty happy with the deal I got. Were my dates flexible, I would’ve been able to try China Airlines’ stunning-looking fixed-shell premium economy product for cheaper, though unfortunately circumstances didn’t work out for me to try that. Regardless, I was excited to try EVA Air’s premium economy.

Since I was travelling alone on this flight, my parents agreed to book me in Premium Economy, which is a huge step up in comfort on a 14-hour flight. I’m really fortunate and grateful that my parents are willing to spend more for my comfort – and I hope my pictures below are worth the cost, too! 🙂

Ground Experience

EVA Air offers priority check-in desks, boarding, and baggage delivery for Elite Class passengers. However, lounge access is not offered, as is the norm for premium economy, still, I’d have liked to visit one of EVA Air’s lounges.

EVA Air Check-In Counters Taipei Airport 

All EVA Air flights operate out of Terminal 2. During the Monday morning rush hour the day of my flight, there were significant queues at check-in counters. The line for Elite Class was longer than usual, which resulted in a 5-10 minute wait. At EVA Air’s outstation airports, Royal Laurel and Elite lines are organized quite well, with at most only 1 or 2 parties waiting in line at any given time. This was not the case before my flight, however, which wasn’t the best start to the flight.

We were assigned boarding gate C1, by the East B/C concourse mainly parked with EVA Air, Cathay Pacific, and low-cost airlines’ aircraft. However, I hurried towards the West A/D Concourse to briefly check out the United 747 parked there before turning back. The last Queen of the Skies from United Airlines has officially been retired in the meantime, so I’m glad I went the extra mile to check out this gorgeous, beautiful bird that dominated the skies for the last 50 years.

United Airlines Boeing 747 Taipei Airport

I also went to a few boarding gates for planespotting before rushing back to my own boarding gate in an attempt to board as early as possible. I managed to get a shot of three EVA Air aircraft, each with different liveries: the old EVA Air livery at the very back, the new EVA Air livery in the middle right (which I personally enjoy most), and the livery of Uni Air, EVA’s subsidiary.

UNI Air Airbus A321 Taipei Airport

I also spotted a 777 in the Star Alliance livery, which was recently repainted, as the EVA 777 that previously bore the Star Alliance livery was recently retired.

EVA Air Boeing 777 in Star Alliance Livery Taipei Airport

Finally, after arriving at gate C1, I was slightly disappointed to see that the aircraft flying me to Los Angeles would be an old livery plane. FlightRadar24 actually suggested that a 777 with the updated livery would be flying me to Los Angeles, though I suppose there was a last-minute equipment swap.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Taipei Airport

I lined up at the boarding area early so I could take unobstructed cabin pictures. Boarding started with families with young children and passengers requiring assistance, followed by Royal Laurel business class passengers, Star Alliance Gold, and Infinity MileageLands Diamond & Gold members (EVA Air’s frequent flyer program). I was the first Elite Class passenger to board, along with Star Alliance Silver and Infinity MileageLands Silver Card members. I boarded via door 1L so I could take a quick look at the front cabin of Royal Laurel Class.

EVA Air 6
Monday, June 12, 2017
Origin: Taipei (TPE) Gate: C1 Dep: 10:10
Destination: Los Angeles (LAX) Gate: Remote Stand Arr: 07:10

Duration: 12 hr
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 20A (Premium Economy Class)

Upon boarding, I checked out the Royal Laurel business class cabin, featuring reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Royal Laurel Business Class Cabin

I was also able to check out the economy class cabin, which was laid out in a spacious 3-3-3 configuration, with 33 inches of seat pitch, adjustable headrests, USB power, as well as a 9-inch television screen.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Economy Class

I’ll be covering these cabins fully in a separate cabin tour post, where I’ll be talking about the seat’s features in all cabins, as well as the best seats throughout all cabins of the EVA Air 777-300ER. Stay tuned for more!

EVA 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Cabin

EVA Air’s Elite Class Cabin features 64 recliner seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, with 38 inches of pitch and 19.5 inches of width spread across 8 rows. While the cabin colors are as bland as it can get, I prefer these colour tones to their dull signature green.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Cabin

My assigned seat was 20C, a front row bulkhead aisle seat on the left side of the aircraft. 20AC and 20HK are the very best seats in the entire Premium Economy section – stay tuned for the reason why. Therefore, these seats are normally blocked, and I had to call EVA for an agent to assign me a seat here.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Seats 20AC

I would say the seats had a decent 7-8 inches of recline, which was fine for a premium economy seat, though not as comfortable as some other premium economy seats in the industry (Cathay Pacific’s A350 comes to mind).

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Recline Button

The biggest difference between the bulkhead seats and the rest of the cabin is the legrest. EVA Air opted not to install leg rests on the Premium Economy seats because it wouldn’t fit well with just 38 inches of seat pitch.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Front Row Legrest Button

The existence of a leg rest on these seats is a world of difference – it may even justify an upgrade from economy class if one of these seats is available. With the seats in fully reclined position and the leg rest deployed and extended, they are very comfortable for lounging and napping, even if they don’t come anywhere close to a fully flat bed.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Front Row Recline

As shown in the below picture, rows 21 and 24 are missing windows, so those would be the prime window seats to avoid.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Cabin

The 64-seat cabin is pretty big for a premium economy cabin, so it doesn’t feel as private as on other airlines. On the positive side, at least there are two dedicated Elite Class toilets at the back, one on each side, so you’re only sharing a lavatory with 32 other passengers (which wasn’t a problem on my flight). Keep in mind that while these lavatories are curtained off from the Economy cabin, and have a “Elite Class Only” sign on the door, flight attendants do not patrol or limit Economy passengers from using these toilets.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Cabin

Another great thing about the bulkhead seats is the amount of legroom offered. Due to the substantial recline of these seats, an additional benefit is that no one reclines into your space, ensuring maximum comfort throughout the flights.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Bulkhead Seat

Due to the abundance of legroom, there’s even space for the bulkhead window seat passenger to access the aisle even when their neighbor is fully reclined, which is why 20AC and 20HK are, unquestionably, the best seats in the cabin.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Seat Recline & Legrest

While the space in other premium economy products isn’t nearly as generous, the width, legroom, and recline of these seats are still far superior to any economy class seat.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Non-Bulkhead Seat

Seats from the second row backward also feature an unpadded footrest. While they do give a little support to one’s feet, comfort levels come nowhere close to the leg-rest found in the first row. This style of footrest is also found on some Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways economy class seats.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Non-Bulkhead Seat

In addition, Premium Economy seats also feature a large 11″ screen, as well as a coat hook. The tray table is found in the armrest, and cannot be moved.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Non-Bulkhead Seat & Footrest

Since, as aforementioned, the best seats are in the first row, one might ask which seats are the worst. Aside from the missing window seats I talked about earlier, the last row of the Elite Class cabin should also be chosen with hesitation, due to the close proximity of lavatories.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Seats

While you won’t have to worry about disturbing others when reclining your seat when in the last row, the recline also isn’t as generous as in other rows due to the position of the bulkhead.

Note the adjustable headrests that keep your head position fixed when sleeping in the below picture – I found this to be yet another excellent feature of EVA’s premium economy class seat (also found on most other premium economy products, and most longhaul economy products, for that matter).

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Seat Recline & Headrest

Overall, I thought the improved seat width and pitch/recline, a bigger armrest, table and IFE screen, and better padding were enough to substantiate the marginal increase in price for premium economy. However, I’d try to snag a first-row bulkhead seat in order to enjoy a full legrest instead of a basic footrest.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Seats

Back at my seat 20C in the front row of Elite Class, waiting at my seat was a nice pillow and a thick, warm blanket, slippers, and an amenity kit (which unfortunately I can’t find the photo for). I also received a pair of Premium Economy headphones, which were moderately noise-canceling but weren’t the most comfortable to wear on a long flight.

WiFi was also available on this flight – as the case on all of EVA Air’s 777 and A330 fleet. It was moderately expensive, but it was a waste of money as it was painfully slow – while I could text, loading a webpage was impossible. It was time-based, but I couldn’t do anything but text my parents and my friends despite purchasing the 24-hour package. We also encountered many areas without coverage when flying over the Pacific Ocean.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Headphones & Wifi

Taking us almost halfway across the world today were powerful GE90 engines.

EVA Air Boeing 777 GE90 Engine Taipei Airport

When pushing back from our gate, I spotted another EVA 777 in their sexy new livery adjacent to us.

EVA Air Boeing 777 in New Livery Taipei Airport

As we taxied, there was an EVA Air A330 in the new livery in front of us, preparing to depart as BR 116 to Sapporo, Japan. This was the same flight I’d be flying on 6 months later.

EVA Air Airbus A330 in New Livery Taipei Airport

There was also an an Airbus A320 operated by Spring Air, a Chinese airline.

Spring Air Airbus A320 Taipei Airport

Finally I spotted a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER ready to depart back to Hong Kong. I’m sure those on this flight in business class were glad to have a reverse herringbone seat on a one-hour flight.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Taipei Airport

After waiting for a few aircraft to land and depart, it was our turn to use the runway. Farewell, Taiwan! I’ll see you in 5 weeks!

EVA Air 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Meal Service

Upon reaching our initial cruising altitude of 32000 feet, menus were passed out to Elite Class passengers. I really liked the cover design, though sadly in the meantime they’ve changed to a much simpler version.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Menu

We were offered lunch about an hour into the flight, as well as breakfast 1.5 hours before arrival. In between, there was only an inedible cold sandwich option – nothing else. This is where EVA seriously falls short of the five-star premium economy standard. Cathay Pacific offers cup noodles, rolled pizzas and burgers between meal services in premium economy, while their “four-star” rival, China Airlines, offers hot sandwiches and mini hamburgers. EVA Air’s options are severely limited should you feel peckish outside of meal services. That’s a letdown on a 14-hour flight.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Menu

The drink selection was fine for premium economy standards, though their beverages run out quickly and they are really stingy in serving portions.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Menu

The first meal service started with mixed nuts and a beverage service, where I selected Calpis Water.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Departure Snack

While waiting for the meal to arrive, I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the business class meal service, since I was sitting in the first row and the curtains were not well drawn.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Royal Laurel Class Meal Service

Upon receiving my meal, I was not impressed. The food was served in plastic containers, just like a meal in economy. Furthermore, the only difference on the tray between an economy and a premium economy meal is an upgraded starter and a bottle of salad dressing.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Meal Service Tray Delivery

I selected the stir-fried fish. While the presentation wasn’t too bad, the taste of the food was simply awful. The fish and the sauce was poorly breaded, bland and unappetizing, with the cauliflower being powdery and soft. I didn’t want to take more than a few bites before I was done. Seriously, when the best thing on a tray is a piece of cold, hard bread, you know this is a bad meal. A massive fail.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Meal Service

At least Haagen-Dazs ice cream was served after the trays were cleared, so I had some ice cream to clean my palette after the atrocious main course.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Dessert

Overall, I was happy with the service flow and presentation, even if there are a few issues that need to be addressed. I won’t judge EVA Air’s catering in general based on this flight alone, but yeah, the food was pretty bad, to say the least.

I’d like to take this time to address the service on this flight. The flight attendants serving the cabin were polite but brisk, and certainly lacked the usual attentiveness and warmth of EVA Air cabin crew. While they were generally professional, taking some time to slow down and provide personal service touches or greetings would have been appreciated.

After the meal, it took some time for the lights to be dimmed.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Cabin Post-Meal Service

After 30 minutes, the lights faded into a sea of blue, gently rocking us into sleep. I curled up under the blanket, reclined my seat, and put my legs on the legrest to relax. But perhaps since it was only around 1PM in Taipei, I had trouble falling asleep. I only managed to get a couple hours of sleep, leaving me very tired when arriving at LAX at 7 AM in the morning.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Mood Lighting

Approximately two hours before landing, the mood lighting changed to depict a “sunrise” scene, with the brightness increasing very gradually. It started from purple and blue and slowly changed to orange and red. This was an excellent part of the experience because it woke passengers up “naturally” instead of suddenly flashing on bright, ugly yellow lights like they do in the economy cabin.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Mood Lighting – Good Morning!

I’m sure the mood lighting would have woken people up in a good mood, helping them recover from jetlag. In my case, I was just incredibly tired due to a lack of sleep, and I was hungry since the refreshments menu was lackluster.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Mood Lighting – Good Morning!

The breakfast was just as disappointing as the first meal, and the quality was even worse. The porridge was lukewarm and gave me food poisoning that lasted quite a few days.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Breakfast

The real sunrise over the Pacific Ocean slightly lifted my mood. It’s not every day where you get to see a beautiful sunrise on a plane.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Premium Economy (Elite) Class Sunrise

I also enjoyed the beauty of the 777’s wings and the majestic GE90 engines under the Californian sun.

Descent into Los Angeles Airport

We cruised along the coastline of California, allowing for some great views…..

Descent into Los Angeles Airport

As we began our long descent into LAX, we got excellent views of downtown LA.

Descent into Los Angeles Airport

After a smooth touchdown onto the Northern Runway, we headed towards a remote stand, spotting another Queen of the Skies along the way (belonging to Qantas).

Qantas Boeing 747 Los Angeles Airport

To minimize airport fees, EVA opts to use remote stands for all their flights at LAX. They are such a pain, because on arrival you get crammed into a run-down bus, like animals at a zoo. When departing from LAX, you have to walk a million miles to the end of the terminal, yet to be crammed onto another bus. That’s another terrible aspect of flying EVA Air to/from LAX airport.

Bottom Line: EVA Air 777 Premium Economy

Overall, EVA Air offers a decent product across the Pacific. While I was obviously underwhelmed by some of the soft product elements on this flight, at least the seat was decent, since I was able to snag a bulkhead. There are definitely more well-rounded options out there, including Cathay Pacific, Singapore, etc..

That being said, I would still consider flying with them if their prices are great. Often I find their Premium Economy fares much cheaper than their competitors, and only marginally more expensive than Economy, which would justify an upgrade, especially if you’re able to snag a bulkhead row seat with a leg rest.

Have you flown with EVA Air’s Premium Economy product? How was your flight?


Hope you enjoyed my first full flight review. Got any questions about EVA’s Premium Economy product? Let me know in the comments section below and I would be happy to answer all questions! Stay tuned for more posts, including the cabin tour, by subscribing the site or tracking future posts here!

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11 thoughts on “Review: EVA Air 777 Premium Economy Taipei to Los Angeles

  1. Thanks for the great review. The bulkhead seats with the full footrest looked comfortable, though how is the comfort on the regular seats you mentioned? Is it worth upgrade?

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    1. @ Samuel –– The non-bulkhead seats in EVA Air’s Premium economy are a substantial step up from their economy product, with more legroom, wider seats, double armrests, and a decent recline! While quite a few steps behind in terms of comfort compared to the front row seats with a full legrest, they are still significantly more comfortable than in economy, particularly on longer flights. That being said, sometimes EVA has very attractive Premium Economy fares- it’s up to you whether you value comfort or cost more!

      Hope that helps- feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

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    1. @ Matt – The price difference between EVA Air’s regular economy and its Premium Economy class varies between routes, flights, and dates. On long-haul transpacific flights, the price difference is usually 500-700 USD, and on short haul flights that offer premium economy, it costs about 200-300 USD, however, this may vary and is dependent on your specific case. Most of the time, it is only marginally more expensive than economy so the extra comfort may justify the mild price difference. I hope this answers your question!

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      1. Flying from YVR-TPE-BKK in about a week in this class, aisle seat 24G. No one beside me yet, according to “ExpertFlyer” so may keep this seat, instead of trying to snag any of the seats that are blocked until 24 hrs. prior to departure. I did fly in this class with EVA several yrs. ago. Managed to get a ticket for $1550 CAD all in for this trip(return).

        Have flown China Airline’s Airbus350 couple of times as well. Much smaller cabin, and seats with a fixed seat back and forward-sliding seat, thus no interference with other passengers. Decent product.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Ethan, Where did you purchased your EVA tickets? Is EVA website the best place to buy Premium Economy tickets?

        Michelle

        Liked by 1 person

      3. @ Michelle – There are various ways to book a flight on EVA Air’s Premium Economy product. Besides booking directly from the airline’s official website, you may find slightly cheaper fares with your local travel agent or through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Kayak, Momondo, etc. While I find that booking directly with the airline is more simple and reliable, and it would be easier to make changes to your booking, it is ultimately up to your personal preferences.

        I hope the above information helps. Feel free to let me know should you have any follow-up questions! 🙂

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  2. Hello, just wondering if there was something that you said for them to give you the “ok” to snag those seats in the premium economy? I just called them and said that those seats were for bassinets only. I’m trying to book for two people…

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