Airline Review: Eva Air

An interior photo of an Eva Air airplaneEva Air is the national carrier of Taiwan. They fly throughout Asia and to the west coast of North America. I had the pleasure of flying Eva Air a few times while I was living in Taiwan, and I highly recommend them!

One of the things I like most about flying Asian airlines is the level of service they offer. Their western counterparts keep slashing services and raising fees, while the Asian carriers keep making your experience more enjoyable. Even the budget airlines like Air Asia offer better service than carriers like US Airways, Air Canada, Ryanair, or American Airlines. On my six-hour flight from London to Boston with American, I had a crappy meal, a surly attendant, and no personal viewing screen. On my three-hour flight to Taipei from Bangkok, I got a delicious meal, a free beer, two ultra-friendly attendants, and my own viewing screen. It’s not hard to decide which airline I like better.

Because of service like that, I try to fly non-western carriers whenever I can. I’m a member of the Oneworld alliance, because my American Airlines frequent flier miles work with Eva Air, Cathay, and Japan Airlines. These are my favorite airlines to fly. Eva Air was simply exceptional. For starters, the seats, even in coach, were big and very comfortable. I had more room than I knew what to do with. While I’m not a big guy and usually have plenty of room, I found I had slightly more than normal in these seats.

The food on the flight was delicious. You get a choice between two meals. I took the chicken and rice, topped off with a nice Taiwanese beer. Overall, it was one of the most delicious airline meals I’ve ever had. I usually don’t finish them, because by about halfway through, I get ill from the taste (I’m looking at you, Air Canada!), but I devoured all of this.
The seating section on an Eva Air flightThe meal served on an Eva Air flight
Moreover, you get a wide range of selections on their entertainment system. There were about five movies, a few games, a handful of Taiwanese, Australian, and American TV shows, and plenty of movie channels. The staff was friendly, and they smiled. That may not seem like a big deal, but I can’t remember the last time I actually saw an attendant smile. The Eva Air crew really seemed to care about my comfort.

I really enjoyed flying Eva. It’s an airline that I would fly again and recommend to anyone. If you’re in the Oneworld network, Eva is a code-share partner with most of the alliance members. Additionally, Eva Air is usually a cheaper option to fly, though you often have to connect via Taipei. Consider flying them the next time you fly in Asia.

  1. Thank you for the review which I totally agree with. I’ve flown Eva Air long-haul to Taiwan and have to admit it was initially due to the low price. However, the level of service and the food was superb and I hope to get to fly with them again in future.

  2. Never flown Eva, but you’re right – the Asian airlines have great service and perks like free food and drinks. The seats are usually wider too. It amazes me that the US airlines can’t figure out while they’re all losing business. Ryanair is also on it’s way to bankruptcy at this rate of charging for basically everything without much in return.

  3. I totally agree with your comment about asian airlines offering much better service than any of our domestic carriers. I recently flew JAL from tokyo-hawaii and we got cute little bags with slippers to wear around the cabin (in bright cheerful colors) even in economy class, and the food was great. I flew ANA between China and Japan and had a GREAT meal as well, and I’ve had good experiences on Thai Airways as well.

  4. Andrew

    That is one helluva airline review. You should do more of these. I always love to hear and read about airlines that I have yet to flown. I love to see pictures of what they look like inside and more importantly what the food looks like. Good stuff!

  5. Nikolae

    I have visited Taiwan several times with EVA. However, I am pretty disappointed regarding EVA’s ticket price. I have recently found EVA often reduce their ticket price after one promotion finishes and another promotion starts. Therefore, if you book your flight tickets earlier with EVA, you lost out for sure. Because those people who book after you will pay lower price than you do. EVA pricing policy is unfair to customers. In the future, I am seeking to fly with other airlines. Also, EVA website is still in the Stone Age, no contact email and who is responsible.

    • alexander jack

      I just cancelled my filght from edmonton to bangkok because of a dispute about a seat,and what a pleasant surprise to learn that from a 1,370.00 ticket i have to pay a $ 450.00 penalty.So becarefull with eva air ,i learned a expensive lesson.

  6. I haven’t flown EVA but I have flown China Airlines, which is EVA’s sister airline (the Taiwanese airline) and fly a lot of the same routes. I was very much impressed with the service which, like you suggest, is so far above any US domestic carrier it’s a wonder we do any business at all.

    China Airlines gets a bit of a bad rap for safety due to a couple incidents over the last decade, but I found the experience to be quite relaxing, and the chicken satay they served for dinner was nothing short of memorable. They allow stopovers in Taipei as well. I encourage everyone to check out Taiwan. It’s a wonderful country!

  7. James

    If you’re ever flying within Canada (or from Canada to some points in the US) again Matt, consider WestJet … the flight attendants are friendly and funny, leather seats, seatback TV with 22+ channels … I have had great experiences every time I’ve flown with them (although the sample size is limited, people here in Canada swear by them over Scare Canada!)

  8. alexander jack

    Got screwed for a $ 450.00 cancellation penalty.Watch your money when dealing with eva air


    I arrived in Bangkok airport on April 17 th 2010.
    I go to the chek inn counter the lady from Evaair told me all the flights to Amsterdam are cancel. I ask for a hotel voucher for me and my son but she told me, it is not our fault
    it is the weather condition and denied to give me any assistance she just told me give me
    your phone number we wil contact you, when there is a flight, and you can look on Evaair
    website to get the information.
    April 19 th i phone Evaair they not give any information on the phone and told me look on evaair website for information. I look into the website the only information i can find is
    due to volcanic eruption all flights to Amsterdam -London are cancel.
    April 20-21 I phone again Evaair no answer?
    April 21 in the afternoon someone from Evaair phone me to ask me is I want to fly on
    April 22 my answer was yes.
    April 22 I fly Evaair to Amsterdam the flight was good and service to
    But i was thinking that a company like Evaair would give a good service, instead they let us down. I would understand that from a low cost airline company. i had to pay myself the 6 extra nights hotel room + 6 days meals. Thank you Evaair.

  10. David

    I love EVA Air. I’ve flown EVA more than 50 times across the Pacific. I’ve never had a bad experience. Top-notch flight attendents, good entertainment, good food, comfortable seats. I also fly most other airlines: JAL (terrible), ANA (better than JAL), Cathy, Sinapore, etc, etc. None compare overall to EVA in my opinion. The only problem is that the EVA flights are often full…

  11. Linda

    In spring 2008 I booked round trip flights with EVA Air from NGO to TPE. A week before my departure date I was notified by the travel agency that my return flight had been cancelled (with no explanation) and EVA was offering to put me on an earlier flight (which meant that from touch down to take off I would have been in TPE for less than 48 hours) or a later one (which meant I would have had to take an extra day off work). Luckily that I was able to get the extra day off so things weren’t too bad.

    Last month I booked (and paid the deposit for) round trip flights with EVA from NGO to SFO for this Dec/Jan. I was notified today that EVA cancelled my return flight (again) and put me on a flight to KIX! Since when did it become acceptable to put passengers on flights to destinations other than the ones they booked? Flying into KIX will cost extra time and money to get to Nagoya; EVA did not offer to cover the extra transportation costs.

    As a child I really enjoyed flying with EVA Airways and I would have definitely recommended them to all my friends; however I don’t think I can recommend them anymore. In 2008 the in-flight service was still excellent, but I’m very disappointed with how the flight cancellations are being handled.

  12. Michael

    “”alexander jack says:
    March 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    Got screwed for a $ 450.00 cancellation penalty.Watch your money when dealing with eva air”

    umm, thats’ just why you should always read through the “terms and conditions” when booking anything, anywhere. Those cancellation fees are clearly provided when booking tix online with EVA, don’t blame the airline for your own laziness and NEVER click that you’ve read through the fine print when you haven’t and you won’t be caught with your drawers down next time. And good travel insurance will cover that non-refundable cancellation fee so it does not come out of your pocket. It can really pay to be informed and prepared.

    EVA is the only airline we use for that long haul to Asia and have been very satisfied overall with the level of service and value for money, been using them for years. We got caught up in the Yellow Shirt seizure of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Dec ’08 and EVA staff were very helpful in getting us home as soon as they were able.

  13. kath

    We have booked premium laurel with eva to bkk from lhr. Two questions please what is the choice of food like? What choices of drinks do they serve?
    Thanks very much.

  14. Kevin Mai

    Eva Air
    Deluxe/premier class is a good option

    Customer service contacts are not courteous.

    For ticket extension charges they request you to go to their office to pay by credit card or to send a cashiers check. I contacted both the origin and destination office and these were the only 2 options.

    Deluxe/premier class does not allow access to Eva’s airport lounge.

    I went on 2 trips with Eva and the food was not hot. I had to ask them to reheat.

    I would recommend China Airlines as an alternative.

  15. I “always” fly EVA AIR and I have been saving air miles for a suitable occasion and now that that occasion has arisen, I wish to upgrade from economy to premium economy, but here’s the rub: to do so will cost me £75.

    On questioning this it all comes down to the UK fuel taxes. So my having saved for ages is now going to cost me even more.

    Now I do not understand this at all. I have paid for the fuel via my original ticket and what is happening in reality is that EVA is saying to me: “you’ve been a great customer, have a better seat – on us”. So why am I expected to pay £75.

    The other thing that gets my goat is that in order to get the air miles in the first place, you have to buy the more expensive tickets. So not only have I purchased tickets that were more expensive than I needed, I’m now having to fork out even more money to get one minor upgrade.

    If I were flying into the UK, the upgrade would be free, if I fly out of the UK, the fee is mandatory and I just don’t get it.

    If I turned up and was told they were fully booked and they’d upgrade me, they wouldn’t charge me for basically swapping my seat, so why, when they are doing exactly that, am I suddenly being charged £75 or, and extra 10% of my ticket.

    So, if flying out of the UK, don’t bother saving your air miles because you will pay through the nose to get a meagre upgrade + it takes AGES to save up enough for a one way upgrade.

    • I. Asuf

      We booked roundtrip LA/Manila on EVA with open return. Once in Manila, checked EVA web site daily and there were always plenty of seats on return flights. Our tickets were unrestricted except had to be Fr-Sat-Sun. Called in to set return flight about a week ahead of the flight date. We were shocked when EVA claimed there were no seats on any flight for at least a month even though plenty of open seats showed on their web site. They stuck to it, and it finally cost us over $1000 more to get home on another airline. Then they did not even refund our full return fares less $100 each as stated in their contract. Wrote letters to head exec in LA ticket office and to the President of EVA in Taiwan. Its now been over three months and they have totally ignored our letters.

  16. Arno Hoogendoorn

    I bought two tickets online for my folks’ 50 year wedding anniversary from AMS – BKK with EVA Air. I typed their sir names correctly but used their informal first names instead of official firstnames. (big deal right ?) Well they made a big deal out of it. 125 Euro per person additional charge for a 10min. administrative adjustment. SHAME ON YOU EVA AIR !
    Can’t congress, The European Commission etc. get this type of legal rip off practice out of the way ???

    Best regards,

    Arno Hoogendoorn