Monday, 12 December 2016

Flying EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER B-16708

Welcome to my 2016 trip report on EVA Air! 


*Aircraft photos are credited to the respective photographers from Airliners.net

For my part 2, click here


For EVA Air's Hello Kitty B-16722 Economy Class experience: Click here
For EVA Air's Hello Kitty B-16722 Elite Class Experience: Click here

Introduction

I have been wanting to come back to Taipei for some time and I received an invitation so I decided to drop by a few days over there before heading over to Ho Chi Minh City. Looking at the air fare, I could have chosen China Airline which offer a lower fare and a chance to fly on the A340 but flying on EVA Air - a personal favourite of mine, was the deciding factor. For the Taipei to Ho Chi Minh City sector, it was an easy decision to fly with Vanilla Air despite the unattractive flight timing, the ticket was cheap and its a Japanese airline, my schedule was flexible so no issue with that. 

So for this trip, it looks like that: 


Total Miles: 6,732 

SGN - Ho Chi Minh City 
TPE - Taipei Taoyuan 



Website 

The airline's website has changed since the last time I booked with this airline, I find it to be easy to use though not the most user-friendly websites out there. Still it's ok and I got my booking done quickly. 



I chose the earlier flight to Taipei and the later flight back to Singapore. Flight timing for Singapore to Taipei and vice versa are not ideal. Personally I would have like to depart Taipei in the afternoon. As far as I know, the flight timings are to match most of the connecting flights to U.S. 



It's nice to earn some miles even though the air fare is low. 



For the first flight, I chose seat 56K - a window seat. 


Web check-in for EVA Air flights is 3-24 hours before departure flight. I did just that, and checked whether I could get a better seat, but there wasn't any seat left when I checked. So once that was done, it was count down to my trip. 

On the day of departure 

Checking what aircraft was flying me to Taipei, it was a relief to see a new registration type for me - B-16708. Previously I flew on B-16709, B-16710 and B-16722. Always nice to add a new one to my list. 

Thanks to flightradar24, we are able to keep track of our inbound flights. 





I left my house at 9 and headed for the airport at terminal 3. Once there, I looked for the early check-in counter for EVA Air and an airport staff didn't know that the airline had one, she had to go back to the information counter to check. I found the information I needed thanks to the Changi Airport website and proceeded to the vacant check-in counter where I got my boarding pass within a few minutes. 

Checking the signboard for my flight


Terminal 3 


Early check-in counter for EVA Air is located at row 10. You can check in 12 hours before departure



Got my boarding pass. The airline has changed its boarding pass once again. 


Looking forward to flying on my favourite airline! 


At the airside, walking towards the gate 



Checking the flight information screen, I was to board my aircraft at gate B10. 



Gate B10 - large enough to accommodate 300 over passengers 


Flight route: SIN-TPE

Miles: 1,996


 My ride: B-16708 arriving in wet condition 


Other photos of B-16708 



Departure was delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft and because the Boeing 777-300ER is such a big aircraft, the ground crew needed more time to prepare this aircraft for the return flight to Taipei. I have to give the ground staff credit for it! 


Date of departure: 14th November 2016
Airline: EVA Air 
Route: SIN-TPE
Flight: BR226
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration: B-16708
Delivered on 22nd August 2007
Configuration: C38 W64 Y211 
Engines: 2 X GE 90-115B
Line number: 658
Gate: B10
Seat: 55A 
Boarding: 1314
Schedule departure: 1310
Push back: 1409
Take off: 1432
Schedule arrival: 1745
Actual arrival: 1845 
Duration: 4 hours 30 mins 
Departure runway: 20C
Arrival runway: 05L 


Royal Laurel Class (Business Class)

I didn't take many photos of the business class, you can refer to my previous trip report for more photos over here.


1-2-1 configuration. This cabin is quite popular among the big airlines.



Elite Class (Premium Economy Class)

You can check out my experience with this cabin over here.


Windowless seat (Row 24) 


The better legroom space and its 2-4-2 configuration in the Elite Class section making it an upgrade over the Economy Class.



Economy Class 

3-3-3 seating configuration 

Unfortunately the airline has introduced 3-4-3 configuration in the Economy Class on the newer batch of Boeing 777-300ER. However, I don't think the airline will make changes to the ones in this configuration. Hopefully these aircraft (B-16701 to B-16729) (238 seats) remains as it is. For B-16730 onwards, they feature the 3-4-3 cabin configuration for the Y class (258 seats) 



This is my seat, personally I like it. 


Legroom space is adequate for me. I should be able handle long haul flights though I would select the aisle seat. 



The cabin crew are professional and friendly! My in-flight experience with this airline is getting better. 



Many passengers were enjoying the In-Flight Entertainment System. 



The In-flight Entertainment System started after safety video and lasted all the way to the end of the flight. 



What's inside the seat pocket? Lots of stuff can be found at the seat pocket but not to worry, you can place items such as Ipad in it, but do watch out for your belongings. 


Instruction to use the aircraft's Wifi 


Safety card (Back)


Safety Card (Front)


In-flight Magazine 


Duty-Free Magazine 


Home Delivery Duty Free Magazine 


Disposal Bag


More photos of the seat 

Legroom space is adequate for a 6 foot 4 person like myself. Look at the amount of stuff in the seat pocket!


Pillow is provided for every passengers 


The foldable tray - if only there is a drink holder then won't need to open it up


These can be found in the lavatory - clean and tidy 



WiFi Connection 



Joining the Star Alliance is definitely a good move 



The charges of the WiFi - used it before the speed is normal 






When I fly long haul with this airline, will give this another go. 



In-Flight Entertainment System 

Touchscreen system - no remote control 

It's user-friendly and comes with 4 different languages. One shouldn't have much difficulty using it. 








My In-flight Experience 

Boarding the aircraft was done in an organised manner. We boarded according to zone. From Zone 1 to 5 (Business - Elite Class and Economy Class the last) Announcement was made in Mandarin and English and everything went smoothly. Once on board, the cabin crew welcomed us and after looking at my ticket, one of them directed me to my seat. A good start to the flight!

The Captain came on the speaker in English than in Mandarin, apologising to us for the delay and kept us well updated about our flight and the weather in Taipei just before we started our descend. 

Only thing I have to complain is the meal service took quite long to start. Not sure why but it felt like almost 2 hours before our meal was served. There were bits of bumps on the route to Taipei but nothing bad. I spent the time watching a couple of movies and time just went past so quickly and before I knew it, my aircraft was on approach to Taipei airport. It was cloudy and we got into a bit of bumps flying through the clouds and once we were cleared of it, we landed smoothly at Taipei Taoyuan Airport. For the aircraft, it will rest for a short while before heading to another destination, for the crew, they get to rest and prepare themselves for the next assigned flight. 

In-Flight Meal 

Not many airlines have menu for Economy Class 


Selection of beverages and meal for both SIN-TPE and TPE-SIN sectors


I had a choice of Chicken or Fish, I chose the Chicken option


It was quite delicious. No problem finishing everything, as I was extremely hungry at that time.



Mixed Vegetable Salad


Orange Almond Pudding


Window-shot photos 

It was raining at that time - not an ideal weather to fly 



Rolling down the runway 


Nice to hear the beautiful General Engine 90 sound while it was at an almost full throttle 




Almost clear of bad weather 


Flying smoothly across South China Sea towards Taiwan 


Nice to fly in good weather, you get to enjoy sunset if the timing is right


Arrived at Taipei Taoyuan Airport an hour late 


So happy to be back! 


My rating:

Website including mobile app: 7/10
On ground service: 7/10
Changi Airport Experience: 9/10
In-flight service: 7/10
IFE system including WiFi: 8/10
In-flight meal: 8/10
Cabin interior: 9/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Punctuality: 3/10
Overall rating: 68/100

Conclusion 

Overall, my experience was a good one, I can see some improvement in this airline. Not being bias here but the airline does deserve the 5 star rating from Skytrax. Although this airline is one of my favourite, I won't be afraid to be critical when needed. The delay of the flight was a bit disappointing as I wanted to reach Taipei as early as possible but in-flight service and flight experience was certainly a pleasant one and an improvement over my previous flight experience especially comparing to the aircraft with the older Economy Class products. 

What are the improvement: Better in-flight experience (service, good quality of meal, good selection of beverages, improved In-Flight Entertainment System, better seats than the old Economy Class product) 

I will give an overview of my 2016 flight experience with this airline in the return leg trip report, coming up soon. 

Thanks for reading!

For my part 2, click here

Cheers,
Charles 

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