Updated on August 10, 2015
EVA Air JFK-Taipei – Royal Laurel Class
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I booked two tickets on EVA Air from New York JFK to Hanoi, Vietnam (with a stop in Taipei) which was the first part of my 3-week honeymoon to Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and finally Maldives. This review is for the EVA Air JFK-Taipei leg.
The cost: the entire round trip in business/first cost only 120,000 United Miles plus a few hundred in taxes per person. UPDATE: As of June 2015, United raised award prices and this trip would cost 160,000. Take a look at the New United Award Chart as of June 2015 vs the old United Award Chart.
It took a lot of planning and I booked the flight almost a year in advance soon after they became available on United's website. My hotel reservation at the Conrad Maldives was booked a year before that (right before the huge Hilton devaluation) which made it a little more difficult to align the dates.
ROYAL LAUREL CLASS: This is EVA Air's business class product (it is also their highest class of service). I heard and read a lot of great things about this flight and was really excited (for the overall trip too of course!). This flight was excellent all around!
No “Sitting Together” in Royal Laurel Class
The seats were arranged in a herringbone pattern with 1 window seat and 2 center seats. I would normally prefer a window seat, however, since I was traveling with Mrs. RewardBoss, I considered the two center seats. After seeing a few photos, I realized the seating arrangements make it very difficult for the middle seats to “sit together” in any way. We decided on two window seats with her in the front (so no one would be tapping my should throughout the night… but I made sure to tap on her shoulder).
We were welcomed to this very spacious seat.
Plenty of room to stretch my feet and also two shelves on the bottom right for extra storage.
More storage space to hold some fancy Fiji water, the entertainment remote control, air, power, and a few other things:
Rising arm rest: I did't notice this until the end of the flight. If you press the button (the silver one in the center of the photo) the arm rest moves up or down. When I turned the seat into a bed (full lay flat), it would have been nice to pull up the arm rest — it would block light from the cabin. No complaints, however. I slept very well (and I usually have trouble sleeping on planes…while sitting anyway).
I guess I didn't need to bring my big noise canceling headphones. EVA Air provides these for you. I tried my headphones but they didn't work correctly since I didn't have the correct adapter to fit their plug.
The stewardess came around and delivered pajamas. They were extremely courteous and every time they came by they would kneel to eye level (that must get tiring). I've never received pajamas on a flight – these felt like they would be very comfortable. Yes, I put them on right before I went to sleep. I may have been the only person who wore them.
The amenity kit is a attractive mini suit case from Rimowa Luggage, manufacturer of luxury luggage. Included in the kit is lotion from Harnn Natural Home Spa plus the typical items like a tooth brush, eye mask, and a folding comb.
The regular eye mask like the one included don't work for me. I can't sleep if the cloth is touching my eyes with a tight elastic around my head. Instead, I use a better (and inexpensive) version called Mindfold. It is the same idea except it doesn't touch your eyes, is more comfortable, and gives you complete darkness. As a bonus, it makes you look a little strange.
I considered getting the ostrich pillow which looks even more strange, but I thought the price was too high for something that may not work. Has anyone tried either of these?
I read that EVA Air serves Dom Perignon on their flights — I was definitely going to have some. After flipping through the entire menu – no Dom. Disappointing. The stewardess didn't know what Dom Perignon was so I just got some scotch, neat.
The appetizer arrived: crab, white asparagus wrapping in endive, sweet pepper, and salsa. I passed the crab (shellfish is not my thing) to the Mrs and ate the rest. Nice appetizer.
Main course: Osso bucco, spätzle, and spinach. All excellent! Same goes for the fish that the Mrs ordered (and I finished at least half of).
Mid flight meal: I think this was a fishball soup. I was not fan.
So I ordered the American option: the burger and curly fries. I usually cringe at the thought of a burger on a flight, but hey, I know the food here is good quality. And it tasted good too. This was a perfect time to enjoy some entertainment…then back to sleep.
Breakfast: Before landing, we got to enjoy a traditional breakfast: omelet, congee, and quite a few things which I could not recognize. Ok maybe the omelet doesn't quite fit in with “traditional” here.
Up close: does anyone know what the left and right side of the dish is? The melon, peppers, and pickles are easy. The right side was sweet with the consistency of a thick cotton candy.
The entertainment options were impressive. The movie selection was much larger than I expected. I made the mistake of not checking the reviews before watching Hercules. It was bad. But, I had plenty of time to watch a better movie AND get plenty of sleep.
- Flight Review: EVA Air New York JFK-Taipei Royal Laurel Class Using United Miles and $24
- EVA Air Royal Laurel Class – so close to being the world’s best business class