Review – EVA Royal Laurel Business Class – Taipei to Vancouver – 777-300ER

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EVA is consistently ranked among the top airlines in the world, so for the return journey during a recent trip, I decided to give them a try to see just how good they are.

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EVA Air 777 aerial view at LAX

Using 75,000 Aeroplan miles, I booked a one-way business class ticket from Bangkok (BKK), transiting through Taipei (TPE) and onward to Vancouver (YVR). The tax amounted to 29.20 CAD.

I had about four hours of transit time in Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, so after arriving on my inbound flight from Bangkok, I headed to one of EVA’s flagship lounges, The Infinity.

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Terminal 2 @ Taoyuan International Airport

The Infinity Lounge

The Infinity was located on the fourth floor of Terminal 2, along with all the other EVA lounges. The lounge actually shares the same reception with The Star, another EVA Lounge. Access to the lounge is granted to any Royal Laurel, Premium Laurel and Star Alliance First/Business Class passengers.

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EVA Air Lounge entrance to The Star / The Infinity
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EVA Air Lounge reception desk

Upon entering the lounge, you’ll find a business center and lockers for your luggage on the right, while an array of armchairs and tables are situated on the left. I also noticed the abundance of colourful mood lighting on the walls and ceiling. It was very similar to the design used in the EVA lounge at BKK. A variety of different seating options including lounge chairs, dining tables, and sofas were spread throughout the lounge.

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The Infinity – business center
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The Infinity – seating area
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The Infinity – seating area
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The Infinity – mood lighting

The lounge was pretty busy when I went during this time, as there are a lot of international departures leaving in the late hours at Taipei.

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The Infinity – departure board

The food spread was pretty extensive, with a good mix of hot and cold dishes. Notable Asian food options include dim-sum, a traditional-looking pot of sweet potato as well as the beef noodle soup. Interestingly, you’ll also find a hot dog machine.

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The Infinity – buffet spread

I held back on eating too much in the lounge, as I wanted to preserve my appetite for my meal on board, so I just had a satisfying bowl of beef noodle soup.

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The Infinity – beef noodle soup

After a quick meal, I decided to freshen up for my flight by taking a shower. There are four separate shower rooms, each with their own unique name. I was assigned to “Smile Zone.” =) The shower room itself looked pretty basic and didn’t necessarily feel very luxurious, but made up for it with the amenities provided.

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The Infinity – shower room occupancy
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The Infinity – shower room
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The Infinity – shower room amenities

EVA “Royal Laurel” Class

After enjoying the lounge for a few hours, I headed to the gate in anticipation for boarding. From the gate area, I saw the aircraft operating our flight, which was an old livery EVA 777-300ER.

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EVA Air 777-300ER
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Boarding gate

EVA’s Royal Laurel class feature reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 seating configuration. I was in seat 6K, which is the last row on the right, in the forward business class cabin.

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EVA Royal Laurel business class cabin
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EVA Royal Laurel business class cabin

Waiting at my seat was an amenity kit, noise-cancelling headphones, a pillow, and on the ottoman was a thick blanket. There are a lot of storage compartments; two by the ottoman, and one above the side table. I personally love an abundance of storage space, as I tend to carry around a lot of gear when I travel.

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Seat 6K
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Blanket

On the side of the armrest were the seat controls which were intuitive to use. Above the side table was a docked IFE controller, international power outlet, USB port, LED reading lamp, and some very old looking device connectors which I’m not sure what they were for.

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Seat features
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Noise-cancelling headphones

The tray table is one of those ones that you swivel out from beneath the side table, which you fold out for more surface area. It was a decent size and you can easily swing it out of the way to get out of the seat.

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Tray table

Once I settled in, the crew came around and handed out a piece of Godiva chocolate, a cold towel, and a pre-departure beverage. I just opted for water because I had a bit of a sore throat at the time unfortunately.

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Pre-departure services

I was also given a beautiful set of Apujan pajamas for me to keep. I changed into this pretty soon after takeoff. I loved the design of the bottoms!

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Apujan pajamas
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Me rockin’ the Apujan pajamas

There was a bit of a line up as we were waiting for departure, as the late evening is a sort of rush hour at Taipei, but it didn’t take long until we were climbing through the clouds, bound for Vancouver.

As it was a red-eye flight, meal service started promptly after departure. However, even on red-eye flights, EVA still serves a full course meal, which is awesome. Another nice perk about EVA is that you can pre-select some special meals starting three weeks before departure, which are not available onboard. This effectively gives you about 10 different choices for the main course, which is absolutely incredible. I, of course, took advantage of this offer.

The crew came around to set up our tray tables for meal service, using a beautifully patterned table cloth. The meal started off with two bite-sized appetizers, which EVA calls “Preludes.” This consisted of smoked salmon with sesame on a zucchini slice, and saffron flavoured mashed potato with caviar in a mini tartlet.

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Royal Laurel Dining – Preludes

Another appetizer followed, which was a pan-seared prawn and grilled asparagus, as well as a multi-layered crepe with truffle mushroom, goose liver mousse and colourful vegetable filling. This was served with a portion of bread with olive vinaigrette and butter. I also found the salt and pepper shakers really cute.

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Royal Laurel Dining – Appetizer & Bread

The pre-selected main that I had ordered was a seafood truffle risotto, which tasted fantastic.

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Royal Laurel Dining – Seafood Truffle Risotto

To wrap up the meal, I had a cup of hot tea, and I ordered a fruit plate and a cherry cheese cake.

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Royal Laurel Dining – Hot tea
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Royal Laurel Dining – Cherry Cheese Cake & Fruit Plate

After the meal, I asked for the turndown service in preparation for bed. This involves adding a mattress padding that goes on top of the seat, making it extra plush. It certainly felt very comfortable and lulled me to sleep pretty quickly.

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Seat with extra padding
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Seat with extra padding

After waking up from my nap, I ordered a matcha milk tea, and started to check out some of the other amenities.

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Matcha milk tea

EVA is one of the few airlines that offer a Rimowa amenity kit in business class. At the time of my flight, the ones provided were a cool, metallic blue colour. It resembles a miniature version of a Rimowa luggage. I’ll definitely be using this on my future travels! The contents of the kit include a toothbrush set, a comb, socks, lotion, lip balm, ear plugs and a microfiber cloth.

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Rimowa amenity kit
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Rimowa amenity kit contents

As I love to collect airline memorabilia, I asked the crew for some post-cards and a pen. To my delight, they not only came back with that but also a deck of cards and some EVA literature pads. I really respect airlines who are willing to offer these goodies to their fans and aviation enthusiasts.

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EVA post cards & note pad
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EVA pen & deck of cards

Halfway through the flight, I browsed through the IFE, called Star Gallery, to see what was available. I was a bit underwhelmed by the selection, at least in terms of the Western movies. Compared to Cathay or Emirates, the available movies were a bit limited. Nevertheless, I just left Jurassic World playing in the background, even though I had watched it already.

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Air show
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“Star Gallery” IFE
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One of my favourite things to do mid-flight when everyone is asleep is to raid the galley for some mid-flight snacks. EVA does not disappoint with their snacks, and I wish I grabbed a couple more packs to go. My favourite was the one on the left.

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Mid-flight snacks from the galley

As we drew closer to North America, the cabin slowly started to wake up as the arrival meal was being prepared. The mood lighting changed from a starry night sky into a fiery sunset glow, which really set the mood right.

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Starry night sky mood lighting
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Fiery sunset orange cabin mood lighting

I first ordered a stir-fried rice noodle with shredded pork and veggies, followed by a shrimp bomb noodle soup. It was a very comforting meal, which wasn’t too heavy.

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Stir-fried rice noodle
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Shrimp bomb noodle soup

Our evening arrival into YVR was perhaps one of the most stunning night views I’ve ever seen from a plane. Check out the YouTube video for some of the footage, but if not, here are some screen caps I took from the video.

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Vancouver approach at dusk
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Vancouver approach at dusk
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Arrival at the gate
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Saying goodbye…for now!

In Summary

After this flight on EVA, I can confidently say it is one of my new favourite airlines to fly. EVA gets so many things right, from the comfort of the seat, to the hospitality of the crew, to the amazing quality of the food. It makes it a very competitive product all around. I loved the fact you get pajamas in business class, and I’ll definitely be bringing the Rimowa kit on my future travels. The only thing I wasn’t too impressed with was the IFE selection, but other than that, it’s easy to see why EVA is ranked in the top 5 airlines in the world for 2018.

For a more cinematic experience, be sure to check out our YouTube trip report for this flight.

Have you flown on EVA? Do you agree it’s one of the best business class products available? Let me know in the comments! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for instant updates when we release a new post! Also head over to our YouTube channel for our video trip reports. Thanks for reading!


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