EVA Air A321 regional business class Seoul to Taipei

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01. Introduction: To Taipei with Star Alliance and SkyTeam business class awards
02. United Airlines 737-900/ER first class San Diego to Los Angeles
03. Asiana A380-800 business class Los Angeles to Seoul
04. Incheon Transit Hotel
05. Eva Air A321 regional business class Seoul to Taipei
06. Grand Hyatt Taipei
07. The quiet serenity of Taipei during Chinese New Year
08. China Airlines Dynasty Lounge, TPE, Terminal 1
09. China Airlines 777-300/ER business class Taipei to Seoul
10. KAL Prestige Class Lounge, ICN
11. Korean Air A380-800 Prestige Class (business class) Seoul to Los Angeles
12. Delta Connection CRJ-700 first class Los Angeles to San Diego

I was such a happy and relaxed guy as I was walking down to the gate this morning. I had just experienced another awesome flight on Asiana Airlines from LAX to ICN the day prior, my night at the ICN Transit hotel went off without a hitch, and I was very much looking forward to my first ever flight on EVA Air. I love trying new airlines – especially Asian airlines since the service is usually so good that I’m almost convinced that I’m some sort of celebrity rock star or something. I don’t quite get that same feeling when flying in the States for some reason…

Before getting to the pics, here’s a quick video I put together showing my experience on this flight:

And now on with the trip report…

BR149
Seoul, South Korea (ICN) – Taipei, Taiwan (TPE)
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Aircraft: A321-211
Registration: B-16219
Duration: 2 hours 33 minutes
Seat: 2A (regional business class)

EVA Air A321 side view

EVA Air A321 (B-16219) side view illustration by norebbo.com

eva air a321 seat map

Seat map of this EVA Air A321 (courtesy of seatguru.com) showing my seat for this flight.

ICN to TPE air route map

Our route from ICN to TPE this morning.

Incheon airport interior

Time: 5am. Seeing ICN so empty like this was a very creepy feeling, since every other time I’ve been here it has been ridiculously busy!

ICN airport escalators

This flight was scheduled to depart out of the satellite terminal this morning, so it was necessary to head downstairs to catch the inter-terminal train.

ICN inter-terminal train

Waiting for the train…

ICN flight information board

While I was waiting, I noticed that my flight to Taipei was one of the first scheduled departures of the morning. Yeah, it’s early!

eva air A321 B-16219 ICN

Nice view of my ride to TPE this morning (B-16219), as seen from the lounge level.

ICN gate 119 and 120

But this is a lower-level gate, meaning that I’ve got to go down one level.

ICN gate 119 and 120

Not so fancy down here in the basement!

EVA Air A321 B-16219

There she is: B-16219. This is the EVA Air A321 that is going to take me to Taipei this morning.

SANspotter airport selfie

I love flying on new-to-me airlines. I wish I could fly on them all!

gate 119 ICN airport

Thankfully it’s showing an on-time departure this morning here at gate 119.

So there I was, hanging out at the gate with about 30 minutes to go until the flight started boarding when I realized something very important: I didn’t have a boarding pass. Yikes! I had been so busy that morning trying to get all the pics and video I needed for this trip report that I had completely forgot to get a boarding pass. That’s an embarrassing mistake I’m not comfortable admitting to anyone, but hey – it happens to the best of us.

I approached the friendly gate agents who were just getting things set up for the morning, and they told me that I needed to go upstairs to the transfer desk. Sounds easy enough, right? That’s what I thought too until I walked up to the nearest one to see that it wasn’t scheduled to open for another 45 minutes. Uh oh. These are the kinds of mistakes that grind good trips straight to a halt, and my heart sank as I realized that I might have screwed this one up pretty bad. Thankfully, a friendly Asiana agent was walking by and saw me standing there looking alone and confused (any probably a bit sad). I explained my conundrum to her and, thankfully, she wasted no time getting behind that desk and printing a boarding pass for me. I was thankful beyond words for her help, and made a mental note to not be so stupid next time as I was walking back to the gate.

EVA air boarding pass

I wouldn’t have been able to get very far without this boarding pass. Thanks again to the friendly Asiana agent who printed this out for me at the last moment!

I found it to be a bit odd that there wasn’t a call for business class passengers before general boarding started – they simply made an announcement that it was time to board and everyone in the gate area got up and stood in line. To be honest though I couldn’t quite understand all of what the announcement was since only a portion of it was in English, so there’s a chance that I missed the call completely. No worries though – I’m not the kind of premium flyer who thinks he has to be the first one on the plane.

EVA Air boarding pass

I still can’t believe I forgot to get a boarding pass. I’m ready to go now!

ICN airport jet bridge

Through the gate door and down the jet bridge…

glass jet bridge ICN

I really like glass jet bridges. Why don’t we see more of these in the US?

EVA air a321 boarding door

About to step onboard my first ever EVA Air flight. Woo hoo!

Once onboard, the first thing that struck me was how much it smelled like my old high school locker room. It stank. You know that feeling you get when you smell something bad and start worrying that it might be you and you didn’t even realize it until just that moment? I was wearing the same clothes I had on when I left San Diego two days ago, so yeah…I was giving myself a quick sniff as I walked to my seat just to be sure it wasn’t me. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

eva air regional business class

EVA Air A321 business class seat 2A.

EVA Air A321 business class cabin

EVA Air A321 business class cabin.

I hadn’t even sat down yet and I was already getting that rock star treatment from the flight attendants. One of them personally introduced me to EVA Air business class, and took the time to show me the features of the seat. She then returned with a hot towel, followed by a breakfast menu. This is how I like to start a flight!

EVA Air A321 business class seat pitch

EVA Air A321 business class leg room.

EVA Air hello kitty

Hello Kitty makes an appearance. I will fly on EVA Air’s Hello Kitty plane someday…I promise you that.

I was feeling a bit rushed as I was getting situated, trying to get all my stuff in order before the other business class passengers came on board. But they never came. The sound of hearing that boarding door close with nobody else but me in that business class cabin was making me feel like quite a celebrity rock star again.

eva air regional business class menu

Let’s have a look at the breakfast menu! This is the front cover.

EVA Air regional business class breakfast menu

EVA Air regional business class breakfast menu showing both western and Korean meal options.

EVA Air regional business class breakfast menu

Did you know that you can pre-order your meal selection online? Good to know for next time!

EVA Air regional business class wine and beverage menu

EVA Air regional business class wine and beverage menu. It’s a bit too early for this one…

I never did check the status of the main cabin, but I presume that it was fairly empty back there as well. The gate area inside the terminal wasn’t that busy, and there didn’t seem to be that many people walking back to economy during boarding. It must have been because of Chinese New Year – which I did think was a bit strange, because back home in the US, holidays are usually the busiest times to fly. Seems to be the opposite here in Asia.

It was a dark and foggy morning as we pushed off the gate and taxied out to the departure runway (sounds the the beginning of a good novel, doesn’t it?). I was really hoping for sunrise departure pics, but I had a pretty good feeling that wasn’t happening this morning due to how dark it was out there still. Oh well – it was actually nice to put the camera down and just watch with my own eyes for once.

EVA Air A321 business class cabin

EVA Air A321 business class cabin bathed in beautiful blue mood lighting as we push off the gate.

eva air a321 departure ICN

Conditions weren’t all that great for photography as we taxied to the runway.

eva air a321 departure ICN

Absolutely nothing to see out there as we climbed into the clouds.

EVA Air A321 business class cabin

EVA Air A321 business class cabin. Kind of eerie with the blue mood lighting and grey clouds.

The sun did make an appearance once above the clouds though. And a glorious appearance at that – flying during the transition from night to day is always an amazing experience.

eva air a321 departure ICN

Breaking through the cloud layer and getting my first glimpse of the sunrise!

eva air a321 departure ICN

It took a little while to get above the clouds this morning – there were some pockets of really thick stuff.

eva air a321 departure ICN

Such a beautiful morning out there.

eva air a321 departure ICN

Views like this is what makes me love flying so much. It was dull and dreary on the ground, but it’s starting to look pretty good up here.

The phenomenal and very personal service I experienced on the ground while at the gate continued right where it left off as we were climbing towards cruising altitude. Another hot towel came before the meal service, and it should be noted that I was greeted by name at every interaction – even for simple exchanges. This is something I quite like, which definitely has a lot to do with that “feeling like a rock star” thing.

eva air regional business class meal

My tray table is set, I’ve got my orange juice, my phone is ready to take pics, and I’m ready to eat.

SANspotter selfie

I don’t look too impatient, do I?

Breakfast was pretty good. Not the best meal I’ve had on an airplane, but decent and satisfying.

Eva Air regional business class breakfast

Breakfast was served on a tray, but in several stages. This is the first course with fresh fruit.

Eva Air regional business class breakfast

This is the second course, featuring an omelet with roasted potatoes and bacon. Yeah, I went with the western option again since I wasn’t sure when my next meal was going to be today (so something hearty would be best).

flying to taipei

Photography was difficult since the sun was right in my eyes – but it was looking really nice out there after breakfast!

After the meal service I took advantage of being the only one in the cabin this morning and managed to get a lot of pics and video footage for this trip report. The flight attendants were a bit scarce during this time as well, so I was truly alone up there and free to do my thing. I’ve never quite understood the allure of flying on a private jet before this flight, but I started to get it as we made our way closer to Taipei.

EVA Air A321 business class seats

Ahh, this is the life. All alone in the business class cabin with not a distraction in sight…

EVA Air A321 business class cabin

It’s not usually this easy to get nice pics of aircraft interiors, so I was really taking advantage of the opportunity this morning.

EVA Air A321 business class seats

It was such a perfect morning for flying.

flying to Taiwan

Making our way to TPE. I was secretly hoping the captain could slow it down a bit because I was very much enjoying the solitude back here!

EVA air a321 safety card

Oops! I forgot to get pics of the safety card while still on the ground in Seoul. Here is the front side.

EVA air a321 safety card

EVA Air A321 safety card reverse side.

flying to taiwan

Still looks pretty nice out there, but I was bummed that the glare from the sun was preventing me from getting any decent window pics.

EVA Air A321 business class lavatory

EVA Air A321 business class lavatory.

EVA Air A321 business class lavatory

The business class lavatory wasn’t anything special or unique, but there were an assortment of designer soaps and lotions available.

flying to taiwan

Just a short while longer. This flight went by in a flash!

descending into TPE

I was wishing this flight could continue for another 3 hours, but it wasn’t meant to be. Beginning the descent now…

Shortly after we began the decent, the lead flight attendant came by to thank me for flying with EVA Air today, and offered me some Chinese New Year souvenirs and a handful of individually wrapped candies. It was by this time that I was feeling that I really didn’t want this flight to end – I was being well taken care of, and I’m not going to lie when I say that it felt pretty good to be spoiled rotten like that.

eva air business class candy

A handful of sweet treats from the flight attendant.

eva air connecting flight information

Also interesting was the fact that connecting flight information was displayed on the seat back video screens. That’s pretty useful, and I wish more airlines would do the same.

The approach into Taipei was nothing short of stunning, and pretty much exactly how I thought it was going to be. We flew over some water, dodged a few mountains, and then skimmed the rooftops of huge factories in thick haze before landing at TPE.

flying over Taiwan

My first view of the coast of Taiwan.

TPE descent

The magic happened after we dropped below the first cloud layer. How beautiful is this?

TPE descent

This is quite the welcome to Taiwan, IMHO.

flying into Taipei

If you look closely you can see the top of the Taipei 101 tower off in the distance!

flying into taipei

So beautiful.

flying into taipei

Say goodbye to the sun for a while – we are about to drop into the infamous Taipei haze.

flying into taipei TPE

This is exactly what I had in mind when I imagined what flying into TPE would be like.

arriving at TPE airport

Touchdown. Welcome to Taiwan!

TPE airport terminal

Pretty nice view of the terminal here with all those beautiful China Airlines 747-400’s.

China Airlines 747-400

Nice close up view of a China Airlines 747-400 as we taxi to our gate.

Taipei airport US passport

Inside the terminal, and one more country added to my passport. It took two full days and three different flights to get here, so I was very happy to have arrived. Now it’s time to do some exploring!

So yeah. That was my first ever flight on EVA Air, and I was pretty much blown away by the top-notch cabin crew. Of course I realize that I probably received better service because I was the only passenger, but still – it makes me want to try long haul business class on EVA, and that’s all that really matters right? This flight gave me a quick taste of what EVA Air is all about, and I think I want more…

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    1. FRANKLIN May 20, 2017
      • SANspotter May 20, 2017

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