EVA Air Business Class Has a New Soft Product That Really Is Like First Class

Qatar Airways has the undisputed best business class product in the world these days. I don’t think that’s especially controversial. Certainly their new QSuites are the best seats — business class with doors, and the ability to ‘combine’ two or four seats for a family traveling together. Add on terrific food and service and it’s a winning combination.

The battle for second best though has a number of contenders. I think Singapore Airlines has great food, but the angle you have to sleep in (unless you have a bulkhead seat) annoys. Delta’s new product has suites with doors, but the seat isn’t nearly as thoughtfully designed as Qatar’s and the soft product doesn’t match the best Asian carriers.

My own take on world’s second best business class is Star Alliance member EVA Air based in Taipei. They should be on everyone’s radar because they also frequently have very good award availability from their US gateways and offer good connectivity into Asia.

Already they offer great seats — reverse herringbone that’s similar to what Cathay Pacific has — but they take things a step beyond with pajamas, pre-order meals, great champagne, and quality amenity kits. And their service is top notch.

EVA is especially known for their Hello Kitty jets which are just fun — and get the details down to inflight meals and even the toilet paper in the lavatories.

This week the airline announced new inflight business class amenities from Jason Wu, Rimowa, and Ferragamo. Let me emphasize this is business class, not first class (EVA doesn’t offer a first class cabin).

New Jason Wu Pajamas

EVA offers pajamas in long haul business class and their ‘2019 sleepwear’ is from designer Jason Wu, whom EVA promotes as “[r]ecognized for designing Michelle Obama’s dresses for both of her husband’s U.S. presidential inaugurations.”


Credit: EVA Air

Rimowa and Ferragamo Amenity Kits

Overnight business class long haul flights receive new amenity kits. Taipei departures receive Rimowa ‘Carmona Red’ kits with “a color-coordinated eye mask, cozy socks, a hairbrush, a microfiber cloth for cleaning glasses and screens on personal devices, earplugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste and skincare essentials from CLARINS.”


Credit: EVA Air

Flights to Taipei receive Ferragamo kits “[i]nspired by ancient Taiwanese majolica tiles, the case is a harmonious blend of contemporary fashion and Taiwanese culture stocked with Salvatore Ferragamo lotion, hand cream and lip balm elegantly scented with the brand’s new Bianco di Carrara fragrance”


Credit: EVA Air

New Coffee and Tea Service

They now have chocolate from French boutique chocolatier Eclat de Valrhona accompanying a new coffee and tea service.

The rich, dark artisanal chocolates, made from beans grown on the globally acclaimed chocolatier’s own carefully cultivated plantations, are 61% premium cocoa.

If you’re a tea fan you likely are familiar with TWG, something you might normally find in first class. EVA is offering TWG Crème Caramel Tea

Starting with delicate red tea leaves from South Africa, TWG added seductively sweet French spices to create a satisfying drink that passengers can sip and enjoy as a dessert.


Credit: EVA Air

New Inflight Meals

Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York flights have Tan-style cuisine from Master Chef Huang Ching-biao of “braised abalone in oyster sauce served with stir-fried rice with caramel olive while dessert is an elegant concoction of Tan’s mashed taro and sweet potato in water chestnut sauce.”

using ancient recipes in the aristocratic cuisine’s cooking style made popular in royal courts and enjoyed over the centuries by prime ministers and world leaders. Prepared with slow, painstaking, traditional cooking techniques and nothing but the best ingredients, the inflight dining experience begins with a pork shoulder slice wrapped with cucumber and Thai-style shrimp followed by golden chicken soup with seafood in a rich, golden broth.


Credit: EVA Air

You can also pre-order your meal selection on EVA Air, by the way. That’s not choosing what they’re going to have on board anyway like American or Delta would offer but choosing from a selection of meals they’ll then ensure are on board for you.

Redeeming for EVA Air Awards

I find award availability to be generally good, especially booked early, though EVA also does add business class award space to lightly booked flights as travel dates approach.

They fly out of Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Chicago.

And they’re a great option for connecting beyond Taipei to Southeast Asia — Bangkok, Bali, Cebu, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Phnom Penh, Singapore, and Chiang Mai.

They’re one of my favorite uses of United miles (no fuel surcharges) but you can also use ANA or Aeroplan miles (Amex transfer partners) and their own Infinity MileageLands program is even a direct transfer partner of Citibank.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. EVA was my first “true” (non-domestic flight) front-of-the-plane experience and I remember it very fondly. I’m flying them again, Taipei to JFK, in March. Will these changes be in effect by then?

  2. Qatar is undisputed as best J? Nope! Speak for yourself. Personally I would much favor EVA over Qatar even before these improvements. I travel solo, and don’t want to be seated next to a group of 4 in J getting drunk and talking loudly to each other all flight. I also prefer the service style of Asian FAs, and the muted style of Asian carrier cabins, not the gaudiness of the ME3 cabins. Finally, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame champagne puts EVA way over the top for me. Please try better to separate facts from your opinion.

  3. To be honest, I like the Business JAL Sky Suites the best for business. The space and lie flat seats are almost first class, although the amenities, food, and service are more business class level.

    I have not flown EVA J for a while, but when I did it was good. Did like the Rimowa kit. Still have it.

  4. @Stefan Krasowski , personally I wouldn’t go for the lamb chops as I had it on my JFK-TPE last year and it was overly cook making it chewy. Just my opinion though.

  5. @Tigris23 – thanks for the tip, looks like we’ve missed the cutoff to switch, though with an 00:20 departure out of SEA, if they serve right away she says she won’t be feeling it either way. I tried to sell her on the lobster, she has cooled on the ginger onion sauce style of preparation lately in restaurants.

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