Review: EVA Air Royal Laurel Class San Francisco to Taipei

Surreal.

I know there are people out there who fly in lie-flat business on a regular basis, but for me, it was an experience that already seems like a dream. Especially because I got to fly with my entire family! It was even better because we all really savored every nuance of the flight. As each little surprise unfolded, we would all smile at each other with unfettered glee. It was really an amazing experience to share with each other, and I know we will all remember it forever.

We started our journey in the Evergreen Lounge in San Francisco. Honestly it was a little janky, but  we totally didn’t care. We had comfortable seats, snacks, and drinks. Perfect.

eva air lounge

We boarded at 12:40 am, but because of our jet lag training, none of us were tired. It was great.

We had an entire row of the plane – from window to window. If we had it to do over again, we would do two seats in front, two in back.

eva air seatsThe reason we would do it differently is because it was a little challenging to communicate with each other during the almost twelve-hour flight due to the herringbone design of the seats. Josh and I were each by a window, with the kids in the middle seats, so in order to talk to him, I had to get up and walk around the entire bank of seats to the opposite side. Not the most convenient situation, but since our kids are old enough to mostly fend for themselves, it was fine.

Before we took off, we each got a Rimowa amenity kit…

rimowa amenity kita pair of slippers, and a pair of cozy pajamas…IMG_3393

Josh and my son Bear immediately changed into their jammies, while my daughter Bird and I decided to save ours for another bedtime.

Meal service began at 2:30 am.

The hors d’oeuvre was salmon and Alaska king crab salad. This was really delicious, especially since I paired it with a glass of Dom Perignon.

eva air meal

I had pre-ordered the lobster thermidor. This was fine – but not that exciting.

lobster thermidor

Dessert was a mini cheesecake and fruit…accompanied by another glass of Dom!

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After the meal was over, we moved our seats into the lie-flat position and settled in for the night. I was surprised at how comfortable the “bed” was, and thanks to an entire Ambien, I quickly fell fast asleep.

I loved the “starry night” ceiling. 🙂

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Josh has no problem sleeping anywhere, so he was able to fall asleep easily as well.

Unfortunately, my kids didn’t fare so well. Bird didn’t sleep at all – not even for a minute, while Bear only slept off and on. For him, I think the lure of the dozens of movies on demand was just too great. At one point, I woke up and saw him watching some kind of survival show. There wasn’t much I could do about it, so I just tried to let it go and went back to sleep myself. We are on vacation, after all.

I slept for about six hours. The bed was a little too narrow for me to be perfectly comfortable all night long, but it was still really amazing to be able to sleep at all.

Breakfast was not my favorite meal.

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I ordered the “Berry filled crepe with vanilla sauce and fresh berry.” It was okay.

IMG_3126By the time breakfast was over, the rest of the flight seemed to…well, fly by. Almost before I was ready for it to be over, it was.

And then we were in Taipei, and on to the next phase of our adventure…which is still really just beginning.

I know this is all new for me, but I’m so curious about all of you. If you’ve flown a few times in business class, does it ever get old? Or is each time equally gratifying? And if you’ve never flown in business class before, do you think it would be worth the points for you (it totally was for me)!

Comments

  1. Nice review. It’s always refreshing to see a new perspective on a business class product I haven’t flown…the details are all there to see. Thank you. Yes – the 4 in a row bit is tricky – works on narrowbodies but not widebodies. Although the flight leaves very late – it does look like they gave you a full dinner meal service and full breakfast. The PJs are a nice touch – spoiler alert – don’t get used to them – it’s VERY rare in business class.

    I’ve taken my kids over the years in business class lots of places – Rome, London, Hawaii, Paris, Tokyo, etc. Be warned – when they grow into teenagers – and they want to visit a friend on the opposite coast – the idea of coach is shall we say ‘challenging’ for them.

    Business class doesn’t get old – even for a 2mm+ flyer…however making your way in front of the business class curtain on a 3 class plane – that is a special bonus.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip – blogging can wait until after vacation 😉

    • Points Pixie says:

      Mike – Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed my review. I tried to include all the details that *I* would want to read about. The PJ’s were definitely a special bonus, and one that I was not expecting. 🙂 They will make a great souvenir.

  2. Shannon says:

    I’ve been flying BA’s business class across the pond for the past year and a half, and so far, it hasn’t gotten old. I honestly don’t know how I’ll fly coach for long haul ever again. I’m quite grateful for all the space, even though I’m fairly small. As Mike said above, the PJ’s are not normal on a business class flight, so enjoy while it lasts, and have an amazing trip with your family.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Shannon – I agree…for my family and me, it was absolutely worth the extra points to fly in business class. Our vacation began on the flight!

  3. BOShappyflyer says:

    Thanks for the review. I will be flying a similar route with family in a couple of months, and it will be my first time trying Eva. I don’t think the PJ is a normal part of business class, but that’s nice you got it! I still love the one I get from BA F.

    I don’t fly premium cabins all the time, but I have flown enough in the last couple of years to be really able to compare. Just as above commenters stated, it really doesn’t ever get old. I still get excited about it. 🙂

    Hope I will get to read your review on Taiwan.

    • Points Pixie says:

      BOShappyflyer – I hope you have a similarly wonderful flight! We were only in the airport in Taiwan (en route to Japan), so I don’t have a review about it. I did write about our fabulous EVA Air flight from Taipei to Narita, though (we got the Hello Kitty jet)!

  4. I would love to know how many points it took to get the four of you to Tapei in business class. Perhaps you robbed FCQ at gunpoint? 😀

    Perhaps when the trip is all over you could do a post on how you put this whole trip together and how many points it took from all your accounts.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Anne – Yes! I’ve been meaning to write that post for months. The short answer is that it cost 90,000 US Airways miles per person for all three flights (San Francisco – Japan, Japan – Paris, Paris – San Francisco), and that we got the miles during one of their “share miles” promos with a 100% bonus.

      Robbing FCQ for points is a genius idea. 😉

  5. Thanks for this honest review. I will be taking the same flight next month, and it’s also my first time in lie-flat business. I’m equally as excited. Too many bloggers that do this full time get jaded and forget how the other 99% live.

  6. Int’l Business class never gets old. It’s awesome every time!! The jammies are a nice touch, have never received before. I rarely use much in the amenity kits & keep them for my guests.

    I would have chosen the berry crepes too – though they look like the berries got mixed in the batter, which is a little…. different. hmph. Glad you got lots of dom!! 😀

    I love the salt and pepper shakers! And the starry ceilings (have never seen before on a plane!)

    Glad you guys are enjoying the trip thus far. It’s been fun to read about your preparations and really exciting to read about how it all unfolds! Thanks for bringing us along!!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Rebecca – I’m so glad you are following along. It’s fun to share this trip with you guys!

  7. So you savoured every nuance, but lounge was janky and food was just OK. But you’ll remembered it for the rest of your life? Either your life sucks or it’s over the top hyperbolic nonsense. I sure hope it’s the latter….

  8. Alison Heafey says:

    It doesn’t get old; but you will never want to fly long haul in coach ever again! I always thought you were supposed to return the pj’s at the end of the flight though; am I wrong? Loving following your trip! Can’t wait for the blog about the Hello Kitty plane and Harajuku girls!! XO

  9. Points Pixie says:

    Alison – Yes, the Harajuku girls!

    The PJ’s are yours to keep 😉

  10. It doesn’t get old, but once you start to compare, you realize it’s apples and oranges. I was recently able to hit three business classes in a two week period. Etihad, Delta, and KLM. Unsurprisingly, Etihad was the best, with Delta (at least the inbound portion) a very close second. I much prefer the meal service on Delta (as well as the food). KLM was a very distant third. The seats were not nearly on the level and the crew was stingy with the alcohol (even the free ceramic house was not enough to tip the balance)!

    Enjoy yourself – flying business is a true treat.

  11. Dan Scullin. says:

    Loved your posts. Have read the ones regarding Eva Air and Air China.

    I have been living and working in China for the last few years. I made the “fatal” mistake (for my bank account) of booking business on a long haul flight back in 2012…I haven’t stopped since then!! Crikey…I just couldn’t sit up the back anymore unless I absolutely had to.

    And no, it never gets old…it is one of my greatest pleasures in life! A little disappointing at times..but if you research the type of aircraft (grab an A380 if you can) and also figure out if you are after service or sleep..it all works out very nicely in the end!

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