Friday, July 4, 2014

LAX to Taipei on EVA Airways' brand new 777-300ER in Elite Class

I flew out of LAX to Taipei on EVA Airways for the first time. I was excited to try a new Asian airline especially because I was flying in Elite Class, which is EVA's premium economy class. We got to the airport and checked-in about 3 hours in advance of our flight, which was scheduled for a late afternoon departure. We made our way to the Star Alliance Lounge after passing through security. It was quite empty although I expected it to be full with all of the late afternoon departures to Europe. We had a long wait in the really nice lounge and had some food and drinks before making our way to the gate.

This is the swanky outdoor patio area of the lounge. I love it out there and I have never seen anyone else out there the two times I've been able to use the lounge. This is a shot of the water wall behind the couches.

The lounge has many different seating areas and there is an "outdoor" area that is still clearly indoors. It reminds me of lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. This area overlooks the shops and restaurants.

From the "outdoor" sitting area there is a very long bar that is also on the inside part of the lounge.

With about 45 minutes before departure we made our way to the gate where our 777-300ER was waiting. It looked really shiny and new and I actually had forgotten that EVA just took possession of 2 new 777s. This was one of them. I looked up the registration online and sure enough I saw that EVA had only had this plane for about 20 days.

When we got on board I realized that the Elite Class seats were new and didn't look like the older ones on the website. The old ones have green hues, but these are brown and feel really nice. We had bulkhead seats on the right side of the cabin. We had a ton of room for the very long 13+ hour flight.

There was lots of room to stretch out in this bulkhead row of Elite Class. The seating in this cabin is 2x4x2.

I had a nice view of this gigantic GE90 and gorgeous wing. Next to us were 2 other Star Alliance jumbos getting ready fly east to Europe.

The new Elite Class had huge 16:9 individual screens. Since we were in the bulkhead the screens were on the wall. In this picture, our remaining time of 13:22 is seen. We ended up leaving almost 1.5 hours late because our plane came in late.

This is a shot of dinner. I chose the fish and it was fairly good. I'm not sure how this meal compared to that in economy class, but it wasn't half bad.

There were lavatories at the back of the cabin that were exclusively for the Elite Class passengers and it had these really nice smelling toiletries in it.

Soon after takeoff, the flight attendants passed out these 15 minute free cards for the new inflight wifi. I think the price was something like 11.95 USD for 1 hour and 21.95 USD for 24 hours. I imagine that if one needed to do a lot of work and had a connecting flight then the 24 hour rate would be a reasonable choice. I only used 15 minutes to send out this picture to facebook.

About 2 hours before landing, they served breakfast, which was quite good especially since I was hungry enough to eat. It had been about 9-10 hours since we had eaten dinner and I actually slept a little bit in the comfortable new seats, which was nice because I rarely am able to sleep on planes. 

With the delay, we ended up landing around 11:00pm. Our connecting flight didn't leave until 9:30am the next morning, so I had made reservations at the Novotel airport hotel. We ended up only staying at the hotel for about 6-7 hours in total.

This giant stuffed panda was waiting for us in our executive floor room at the Novotel Taoyuan Airport hotel. 

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