Welcome to the middle leg of my return home to Toronto from Bangkok, Thailand. I was continuing on with EVA Air flying out of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) Terminal 2 at night with arrival at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the evening. My layover was just under two hours which gave me plenty of time to check out the EVA Air The Star Lounge.
On my first leg, I flew from Bangkok to Taipei in economy class, so I was excited to be headed back to business class. I visited the Oman Air Lounge in Bangkok thanks to my Priority Pass membership courtesy of my American Express Platinum Card. When I made this Aeroplan award redemption I had intentionally chosen an economy flight on that leg as it allowed me to depart in the evening to allow more time in Bangkok on my last day.
Keep reading my EVA Air Business Class Boeing 777-300ER Taipei to San Francisco review for the full experience.
Upon arriving in Taipei I made a beeline to the EVA Air lounges. The EVA Air lounges are located in the middle of the terminal on the upper level. On the upper level is also a food court as well as lounges for China Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Plaza Premium and several others.
From the front desk, The Star Lounge is to the left and The Infinity Lounge is to the right. I tried The Infinity last week and this time I went for The Star. The Star is for Star Alliance Gold members.
It’s not obvious at first when heading into the lounge, but The Star Lounge has a seemingly and an endless amount of seats available.
The lounge had a lot of people waiting for their evening and overnight flights but with so many seats available it was easy to find a private spot.
Upon check in at The Star Lounge, I made a reservation for the shower. The shower rooms here are either shower only or shower and toilet. All shower rooms also have sinks. I think the staff said The Infinity’s shower rooms all have toilets but I wasn’t really paying attention as I didn’t need one with a toilet. I forgot to check out the washroom at the lounge as I didn’t need to use it but the ones in The Infinity were very clean like you might see at a luxury hotel.
The showers use L’Occitane branded amenities. You’re given a 20 minute time limit for the room which is standard for airport lounge showers. Staff clean and refresh the rooms between uses. Amenities include toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shower cap, hair brush, lip balm and body lotion.
Now that I was refreshed it was time to check out the food at the lounge and eat. Not surprisingly, the amount of food and drinks available at The Star Lounge was very similar to The Infinity Lounge. I wouldn’t be able to say if one was better than the other. There was definitely a range to cover a variety of tastes.
Here are sautéed tofu, braised greens and stir-fried noodles. Other vegetarian dishes included mixed vegetables, black glutinous rice and sweet potatoes.
Chicken meatballs and penne pasta.
Braised potatoes and pumpkin and stir-fried cabbage with bacon.
Make your own noodle soup or dry noodles with fish balls, minced pork, fried shallots and other toppings. Other Asian dishes included steam custard buns, dim sum style steamed beef balls and longan with lotus seed sweet dessert soup.
Minestrone soup. Other dishes not pictured included pork sausages, a salad bar, bread and jams, cookies and desserts.
Movenpick ice cream with strawberry, caramelita, swiss chocolate and stracciatella flavours.
There were also water dispensers, teas and espresso machines for espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and coffee. An open bar was available with a small selection of wines and spirits. A large fridge housed beers, soft drinks, juices and bottled water.
When it was time for boarding I said goodbye to The Star Lounge and headed towards my gate. There was no line for my zone 1 priority boarding but once in the Royal Laurel business class cabin, I saw that I was one of the last business class passengers to board. I guess EVA Air starts boarding earlier than they say. It all went smoothly regardless.
I chose to sit on the port side, or left side, this time for the variety. I was hoping to see the Golden Gate Bridge during the descent into San Francisco but unfortunately that was not to be.
Waiting at my seat were a pillow, blanket, slippers and noise cancelling headphones.
The welcome drink on this flight was some sort of beetroot juice. I wanted to maximize my experience so I said yes to the flight attendant without really paying attention to the drink options. I was thinking I would be getting the lovely lemonade like from my EVA Air Royal Laurel Business Class Taipei to Bangkok flight but that didn’t. I didn’t enjoy the beetroot juice.
I set aside the chocolate for later and refreshed my face with the hot towel. I think the hot towels are one of my favourite things about flying business class. If this was ever an available paid amenity in economy class I would definitely go for it.
Shortly after the flight attendants came by to pass out the Salvatore Ferragamo branded amenity kits and Jason Wu designed 2020 pyjamas. Both the amenity kits and pyjamas are only available on EVA Air’s long haul flights. Of course, I changed into the pyjamas immediately. The third pouch on the right is the slippers which for Royal Laurel business class passengers are better quality than the slippers given out in premium economy class.
In the galley area is a “snack bar.” I wished that I grabbed some snacks when I took this photo because later on in the flight when I returned the snacks were gone and not refilled. This was different from my EVA Air Royal Laurel Business Class Toronto to Taipei flight where the flight attendants brought the snack box around to passengers.
First person view of the seat in lie flat mode with blanket and ready to sleep. As the flight attendant came by to confirm my dinner and breakfast meals, I let her know that I wanted to sleep first and eat later. Normally the first meal service would be 45 to 60 minutes after take-off which would’ve been about 12:30 am Taipei time. I ended up sleeping for about 7 hours which was half the flight duration. What a huge difference comfortable seats can have in being able to get good rest on a flight.
Now rested and wide awake it was time to eat! First off was the shrimp and crab meat in egg crepe parcel and goat cheese in mini tartlet.
Goose liver mousse (foie gras), smoked salmon and champagne jelly. This was a bit fancy for my tastes but it looked pretty.
Beetroot and celery soup. I made myself try this and enjoyed it as much as the earlier beetroot juice which is to say I didn’t enjoy it at all.
Garden salad with creamy French dressing.
I had already pre-selected my meals online which are available 21 days before departure with EVA Air and here I had chosen the pan fried duck breast with Grand Marnier sauce, orange zest, mixed vegetables and gratinated potatoes. The duck was cooked well done which made it a little tough but the orange Grand Marnier sauce went great with it. I think I would want to order this again but I also want to try other business class meals as well.
Here’s what the full meal setup looks like. I missed out on the assorted bread as that seemed to be only available during the original first mealtime. I went with the jasmine oolong tea again as I quite enjoyed it on my EVA Air Royal Laurel Business Class Toronto to Taipei flight. The hot towel service before and after the meals was again great to have.
Dessert was vanilla mousse cake and assorted fruit.
After eating, I had to use the bathroom. Business class washrooms have various amenities including high quality soap and body lotion. The size didn’t feel that much bigger than economy which is was a bit disappointing. That said, one of the washrooms was fully accessible so it was a bit bigger.
Now it was time to check out the Salvatore Ferragamo branded amenity kit. When departing from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, business class passengers receive the amenity hard kit. When flying into TPE, you’ll receive the soft kit. The hard kit doesn’t open a full 180 degrees but it has netting pockets that keep things in place.
Inside the hard kit we have a sleeping mask, microfiber cleaning cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, brush, earplugs and Salvatore Ferragamo Bianco di Carrara body lotion, lip balm and hand cream.
I have this hard kit on my bathroom counter to remember the great experience I had with EVA Air Royal Laurel Business Class.
A few hours later it was time for breakfast. I had pre-selected the Chinese style option. This included plain rice porridge (jook), scrambled eggs with shrimp and asparagus, braised tofu with shiitake mushrooms and Taiwanese traditional delicatessens which I think were tofu, picked cucumber, braised vegetables and pork floss. And another cup of jasmine oolong tea.
Shortly after the plane began its descent to San Francisco International Airport. It was the evening at this time as you can tell. I didn’t get the see the Golden Gate Bridge but, I did get to watch a beautiful sunset.
The total flight time was about 10 and a half hours. The third and final leg of my return home to Toronto would be with Air Canada Signature Class Business Class. I was looking forward to this as I knew Air Canada’s business class experience was different from EVA Air from the seats to meals to service. However, the flight would have several surprises waiting for me and was only made possible thanks to the best travel credit cards in Canada.