DALLAS — Airways gets onboard EVA Air (BR) today in its signature Royal Laurel Class to take us on one of its fifth freedom routes from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), a service that runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, the route commences in Taipei-Taoyuan TPE.
BKK has remained a crucial secondary hub for EVA Air, with direct connections to three European gateways (AMS, VIE, LHR) and, of course, Taipei Taoyuan (TPE). Let’s take a peek at what this twelve-hour flight has to offer onboard the EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER.
- BR-75 | Departure: Bangkok (BKK) 12:30 LT | Arrival: Amsterdam (AMS) 19:35 LT
- Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER | Registration: B-17608 | Seating Configuration: Royal Laurel Class: 38 / Premium Economy Class: 64 / Economy Class: 221
The EVA Lounge at BKK
Greetings from Suvarnabhumi, with tourism back in full swing in the country and the airport bustling, I made my way to the EVA Lounge located just by the usual gates most EVA Air flights dock at, a great convenience.
Neat with a shine to it, the lounge features a great overview apron that allows natural lighting. By its size, it seems well-designed to handle just enough, based on the airlines’ departure waves from Bangkok—one around noon (Europe bound) and the latter on the return of the European flights around early evening.
A selection of cold and hot snacks with a lot of local flavor-inspired dishes makes it to the buffet. Warm, full meals are available as well, along with a well-equipped self-service bar.
Boarding, and Exploring the Seat
Onto gate F6, the very last of the concourse extension, the waiting area was quite packed, and our EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER in the newer livery was being prepared.
The cabin attendant did bring me to my seat, and that was already a good start. As I did settle myself, the first and foremost was simply the space around —there was ample room everywhere, be it for a stretch or to store something.
An amenity kit, nightwear by JASON WU, and a headset were equipped on the seat.
As you acquaint yourself further with the seat and then the cabin surroundings of this older generation interior that features a well-lit painting on the forward wall of the cabin, it does give you an ‘old but gold’ vibe—a feeling of nostalgia.
Champagne was a pre-departure drink, and I was also handed the menu, although I had pre-ordered.
An on-time departure out of Suvarnaboomi’s Runway 19R and a sharp right turn positioned us to a great view of Bangkok city.
The EVA Air Service
Soon enough, the crew came out to lay the white tablecloth for lunch and did so with such ease and elegance. Today’s lunch was a complete six-course meal.
In sequence for the appetizer, we moved from smoked Halibut to Lobster medallions with caviar, pumpkin soup, and a garden vegetable salad. Finally, for the main, I pre-selected a fried snapper fish with garlic honey chili sauce Thai style. The fish was moist, and the rice had a pandan flavor.
And for dessert, a lovely lemon mouse cake. Well-balanced in proportion and excellent in flavor, the palate swayed from traditional Thai to international.
The nightwear was extremely comfortable and came with a hoodie as well. The crew then turned my seat into a lie-flat, all padded and cozy with a blanket. The lights were soon dimmed to a mellow blue, and finally, it was all dark.
The ‘sky interior’ with stars is always a good feeling; not many 15-plus-year-old aircraft are out here with this today. Not to forget the lavatory, which is once again very spacious and fully stocked.
As part of the leisure delight menu (meal options available all through the flight), I was extremely interested in trying out the fried chicken in pandan leaf, and so I called for it with some coffee.
Now, if I were to say this wasn’t one of the most flavorful meals or snacks I’ve had on a flight, it’d be a lie. Moist, succulent, and cooked to fall apart in your mouth. The flavor kick from the pandan leaves was on point to perfect the dish.
The IFE is of the much older generation (the thick gray box kind of screen) and needs to be stowed for takeoff and landing. The selection, however, remains fresh with several recent releases. A self-service bar was set up in the galley and consisted of a selection of wine, juices, water, and a variety of snacks.
The Royal Laurel cabin was about half full today, being catered to by a team of approximately three crew members.
Toward the last hour or so, lights were brought back, and the EVA Air crew strolled down the cabin in their signature style of setting up your table in white linen for a pre-landing meal service. I couldn’t help but ask the crew to add the fried chicken in pandan to my meal.
Besides, the standard offering was a salad with prosciutto, penne with chicken and vegetables, and, to conclude, a fruit platter with a selection of tea before touching down at Amsterdam Schiphol.
The experience and expertise seen from the crew through the service conducted come through very strongly, much like a well-pioneered art. I’d have to emphasize the ‘space’ available nearly anywhere I found myself—the seat, galley, and lavatory. At least this holds true for their 777-300ER.
Now, coming to Wi-Fi, EVA Air does have Wi-Fi available for all cabins, however, it remains a paid service even in Royal Laurel, which did come across as surprising as of today. Catering was an absolute feast, something sure to get you to fly with EVA Air again. Today’s 777-300ER is almost sixteen years featuring an older cabin, but the level to which the cabin has been maintained is nothing short of great — there’s a mixture of class and simplicity and absolutely no wear and tear whatsoever.
As the Boeing 777-300ER will eventually make its way out of the fleet from 2024 onwards, the modern Boeing 787 series will take strong hold of the EVA Air fleet.
Featured Image: B-16738 EVA Airways Boeing 777-300ER – MXP LIMC. Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways