an airplane with seats and windows

Introduction: 5 Stars ForEVA

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Trip Report: 5 Stars ForEVA

Yeah, I get it, punny title, har har, jokes, it’s lame. Moving on…

Over the past years I’ve had the opportunity to fly Singapore Airlines partners countless times. I’ve flown the airline, I’ve flown a bunch of Star Alliance carriers to/from Europe, and I’ve also flown Virgin Atlantic, a Singapore Airlines partner, countless times. Over the years I managed to rack up 60,000 KrisFlyer miles, which is pretty impressive, considering I haven’t transferred any points over, I didn’t have an account until 2016, I don’t have a Singapore Airlines credit card (or any credit card), etc..

I realised there’d be a period of time where I’d be on the ground, but relatively freer. I figured I’d do a power trip using my miles, so I started looking at options. Ultimately I decided to head over to Taipei so I could test out EVA’s 787 product, which I was intrigued in.

an airplane with seats and windows
EVA Air Boeing 787 Business Class

Disclaimer: My redemption value was TERRIBLE

Singapore Airlines has a few “sweet spot redemptions”, a notable one being from Asia to Perth for 65k KrisFlyer miles roundtrip. That’s around 15 cumulative hours in a Singapore Airlines premium cabin on a ticket that would otherwise run around HK$20,000. I didn’t have enough miles for that, and didn’t feel like buying the extra 5,000 miles for several thousand Hong Kong dollars, which is more than what they’re worth.

A less valuable but still potentially useful redemption would be straight to Singapore, which would’ve cost me 55k KrisFlyer miles roundtrip. I figured a Singapore Airlines 777 business class review would be less useful than an EVA 787 business class review (as Singapore Airlines 777 reviews are more common), so I picked an EVA Air itinerary from Hong Kong to Taipei where award space was wide open. However, the redemption cost me 40,000 KrisFlyer miles and HK$750 in taxes.

While I can’t say I hugely regret booking the EVA itinerary, using KrisFlyer miles for partner award travel on such a short flight isn’t something I’d recommend by any stretch of the imagination.

My trip actually cost me, personally, a lot more than 40,000 KrisFlyer miles + HK$750. First of all, I left a GoPro accessory on the plane, which cost a few hundred dollars (I could email EVA to get it back, though I personally don’t find that worth the time). More frustratingly, though (or tragically, as Ethan would say it – hi Ethan!), I managed to short-circuit my phone in Taipei, so I have to get the battery replaced now. That’ll probably cost me a lot more.

Booking the flights

Now that y’all know how I paid for the flights, I had to choose the flights I personally wanted to review. Firstly, I wanted to make sure I got an EVA 787 review out of it. There were two EVA 787s departing Taipei, both in the afternoon, so I looked at the outbound flights to determine which flight would suit me better.

a seat in a plane
EVA Air Boeing 787 Business Class

Most of the outbound flights were operated by A321s, with the exception of an afternoon flight operated by a 777. While I wanted to review the 777, I chose not to take it, as it’d leave me with less than an hour in Taipei before the evening (later) 787 flight home.

I managed to find an afternoon flight that was operated by an A330, and would leave me with ample time in Taipei. Ultimately I hadn’t heard great things about EVA’s A330-200, though I figured it was more interesting to review compared to the A321. While this flight landed an hour before the earlier 787 flight departed, I decided it was safer to wait and take the later 787 flight.

an airplane with seats and seats on the side
EVA Air Airbus A330 Business Class

My final itinerary was as follows:

EVA Air 868 Hong Kong to Taipei dep. 13:35 arr. 15:20 [Business Class]
EVA Air 857 Taipei to Hong Kong dep. 18:10 arr. 20:05 [Business Class]

a map of a land with a red line

What about the lounges?

Due to my phone fiasco, I’ll only be providing brief reviews of the EVA Air The  Infinity lounge and the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge at Taipei Airport. Neither lounge impressed – they were both shockingly bad, actually – but I feel like they’re worth a quick picture review.

a room with many tables and chairs
EVA Air The Infinity Lounge Taipei Airport

a group of brown leather chairs in a room
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Taipei Airport

As far as lounges in Hong Kong go, I’ve revisited the United Club and Thai Airways lounges over the past 2-3 years, but I haven’t reviewed Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris lounge since the beginning of 2015. So I’ll be revisiting that lounge in this trip report series as well.

a room with tables and chairs
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong Airport

Bottom Line

This trip reminded me that premium travel isn’t all just about glitz and glamour. When telling people about your travels, you’re going to run into problems whether you’re in first class or in economy. Your phone will short-circuit, your footage will go bad…and in the greater scheme of things and considering less first-world problems, you might lose your luggage, etc.. Nothing is perfect, but it’s how you improvise and problem solve that allows travel to define you as a person.

This will be a fun one to report. Stay tuned!

Read more from this trip:

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