A Rubbish Meal: EVA Air BR858 Hong Kong to Taoyuan

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EVA Air is an excellent airline in many ways but on their Hong Kong flights I find that they are a disappointment. We previously reviewed their Taipei to Hong Kong flight with its lacklustre food option. Cathay has reintroduced hot meals on some Taipei services (“The recent introduction of hot meals on selected Taipei flights was very well received and was an example of improving by listening” they say in On the Horizon, rather disingenuously as it was a reintroduction to reverse their previous cut). EVA, however, had if anything a less appropriate food option than before on my recent flight from Hong Kong to Taipei.

At the airport

The checkin counter did not have a queue and the checkin was fast. Many airlines highlight the departure gate and boarding ticket on the boarding pass. Eva now uses a pass printed with a highlight effect swoosh over those details, which I thought was quite smart if a bit inelegant.

The flight was scheduled to leave from gate 26.

Equipment

The flight was on an Airbus A330-300 (registration number B-16338). The seat was in the bulkhead row and was a bit cramped with limited recline. There were earbuds at the seat. There was inflight entertainment but I passed on it.

Flight

The economy class cabin had a lot of empty seats including the one next to me. We sat at the stance for a while due to air traffic delays. After pushing back and a smooth flight, we arrived into Taoyuan around twenty minutes behind schedule. The airport was busy but had a fairly short queue for passport control. Nonetheless, by the time I reached the airport train station before midnight it was already closed so I reverted to alternative late night transportation options to Taipei.

Service

The cabin crew was poised and professional. They did a food run with hot drinks but nothing else, but when I asked for a beer they were happy to oblige and even offered a selection including Japanese beers.

Food and Drink

People rave about what a food culture Taiwan is and I have had great food on EVA on a variety of flights before. On this Hong Kong to Taiwan flight, however, the food offering was rubbish.

Their food selection on this “short” flight is presumably based on its duration. It seems like a short flight. But in fact it was late as it often is. Plus, though the flight time may be only an hour and a half, the door to door time from Hong Kong to Taipei is considerably longer. With an evening departure on a Friday evening, I would have hoped that this flight had a proper dinner for passengers.

Instead, the single option was a small assortment of packaged snacks rather than a hot or even cold meal.

The main part was presented in an attractively designed box but was essentially two cakes which with long shelf lives were likely neither very fresh nor healthy.

Conclusion

EVA’s meal on this flight really spoiled the experience for me. It’s not up to snuff for an evening flight on a full service carrier. This has made me reconsider EVA on this route in future despite their other strengths.

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