This is a photo of the Elite class on the 773 that takes you from SFO to TPE:
It's mostly about the extra space, but the food is the same as economy. EVA/BR is a good airline but nothing posh - in my experience on a trip to Vietnam, those planes go out 100% full.
I liked the food, but did feel a little cramped in economy. I prefer to fly Asiana in economy - much roomier and considerably better service, but no PE.
I've flown BR a fair number of times to/from BKK and the US (SEA & SFO) in traditional Y, PE- or what they call Elite Class (or Evergreen Deluxe on any remaining B74M's) well as their Business or Premium Laurel cabins.
Their B777-300's are now the back-bone of their long-haul operation. While they do have some B747's left in service, they are becoming less frequent as they've either been sold off or converted to all-cargo configuration and retained by EVA and operate on their expanding cargo freighter schedule.
I've personally never found it to be a squeeze in Y, found them to be about at industry average for Economy leg room (pitch) as well as seat width (for seats w/o the AVOD built into the arm rest)
It does somewhat depend on the exact aircraft type you fly, but the odds are that you'll find a 17in width with a 33in pitch.. which is about where most carriers are at for long-haul international.. some are +/- 1in either way, but not a whole lot beyond that.
AVOD to me is more than adequate-- Not on par perhaps with SQ's or Cathay;'s CX Studio which really are the top of the range for IFE.. but again, there's more than enough there to keep most everyone engaged.
On the food side, that's a hard one, as food is sooooo hugely subjective.. What you think is good or great, may be wholly repulsive to the next.. so comparisons here are very hard.. I wills say that they do tend to have an Asian/Chinese "bend' to the menus-- but I'd expect that as I suspect when you fly from SFO and look around this will be reflected in the passenger demographics. Their western entrees have always been fine by me.. Nothing award winning.. nothing I couldn't or wouldn't eat... and I've never walked off hungry per se either..
On the service side I've long said they are a "hidden gem" in that their cabin service to me has always been excellent.. BR isn't a widely known name outside of the Asia region and more so outside of the North Asia region, but I think they run a very, very good airline all factors considered.
I agree that you should plan on the TPE-PNH sector being 100% full as BR tends to price themselves at the middle or budget end of the overall spectrum and runs a rather large number of regional fare specials.. so their load factor (how full they are) tends to be high..
When I arrive in TPE in the early morning off an overnight US departure, I see ALL their first-of-the-day regional connections-- SGN, BKK, PNH, DPS, etc.. all leaving with very high loads..
I will note that when it comes to short-haul (as TPE-PNH is) the overall hard product isn't quite great; they don't run the larger B777's on such routes.. You'll probably see one of their MD'90's or even an A330 series.. again, not bad, but not as "new" as their latest generation B777-300's.. but then again, short flight times too.
My only "minus" for EVA, and it's one EVA themselves doesn't control, is the airport.. Taipei.. While it's not bad... it's not an Incheon (Seoul), Changi (Singapore) or Hong Kong either, which are all considered to be somewhere in the best-of-class.. but in the end, you're really only going to be in TPE for a short transit stop-- so your interactions will be limited to some waiting around and transit security..
All said, I think you'll like what you get and be pleasantly surprised with the experience.
Thank you so much for this incrediable information....
Eva Airways, not Eva Airlines.
While I am in transit in Taipei can I get some food or shop or do they confine me to a chair. Thanks
There are places to eat, drink & shop in TPE.. You'll clear transit security first- then go one level up to departures...
TPE is divided into two terminals-- 1 and 2-- and unfortunately, neither China Airlines or EVA Air has dedicated use of any one.. Each is too big to have exclusive use and both carriers run a similar schedule in that from 05:30 to about 07:30 there's A LOT of arrivals from North America on both carriers-- SFO, SEA, LAX, ORD, JFK, YVR, etc..
Then from about 08:00 to about 10:00 there's a whole slew of first-of-the-morning regional connections..
So, in the AM it's controlled chaos with all these bodies passing thru.. The VAST majority will be like you-- transiting--
Once you deplane in TPE, there will be EVA Air staff-- immediately after you exit the aircraft (you'll recognize them for their (IMHO) oh-so unflattering green uniforms) and will be pointing the way to either transit processing (where most will go) and to Taiwan Entry/Immigration..
So just follow their directions.. If you did NOT get a proper boarding pass in SFO for your TPE-PNH sector, then you MUST stop at the EVA Transit desk and get one-- you cannot pass thru transit security without one.
Once you've passed thru security, you'll now be air-side and in the general departures area of either T1 or T2 based on where you TPE-SFO aircraft parked..
If your onward flight does leave from the other terminal there is an air-side train that will take you between the two.. No issues there..
In the general departures hall there's your usual suspects-- airport priced F&B, duty free cosmetics., etc.. Of note there IS a pay-shower area operated by EVA's hotel arm, it's next to the SQ lounge, as well as a Hello Kitty Shop (Hello Kitty and their parent company, Japan's Sanrio Holdings have some very creative cross marketing)
So you won't be stuck per se... But it's not a Singapore or Seoul... but given your layover is probably 3hrs or less-- it's more than adequate and ample.
Travel Safe,Edited: 4:04 pm, August 31, 2012
Thank you so so much for this comprehensive report..
"While I am in transit in Taipei can I get some food or shop or do they confine me to a chair. Thanks"
In my opinion TPE has some of the best airport food I've ever had. For about US$7. I had the most delicious Beef Noodles - really excellent, and very near the EVA gates. The Chinese do know how to cook, and I find the Taiwanese to be especially talented in the kitchen.
I've flown EVA to Cambodia. I flew on the B777 from Japan, which was comfortable, clean and very pleasant. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but they used the MD-90 from Taipei to Phnom Penh. This was like stepping back in time-- good if you're an aviation enthusiast with a penchant for unusual aircraft, but I much preferred the more modern Boeing! Not that the service wasn't its usual friendly Taiwanese style, but the lack of personal entertainment and the loud engines made it a long trip.
Still, I would recommend EVA Air.
The food is always good for me (I preorder Asian vegetarian) and I really like TPE Terminal 2. If you've ever been to SIN you might liken it to a smaller version of that airport. Nice, clean, good food and amenities.
Have a great trip and enjoy Cambodia.
I will be traveling from Singapore to San Francisco in Jan 2013, and i am torn between choosing between Eva Airlines , Economy Premium (the class between business and economy) or Singapore Airlines Economy
Anyone has tried the two and able to give their feedback ?
I am not so fussy with food, and besides the personal entertainment set, the seat comfort and cabin service is more key to me.
I heard eva airlines economy premium is not able to allow you to raise the armrest is that true ?
Thank you in advance for any advice you may give