Following a delightful flight from Brisbane to Taipei aboard EVA Air’s refined 787 business class, my next flight to Sapporo was on the airline’s Airbus A330 business class product.
Having flown this particular aircraft many years ago, I went into this flight with modest expectations. However, much to my surprise and delight, EVA Air has since introduced all-new regional business class seats on their A330s.
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EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Booking
I reserved this business class flight as part of a larger booking. For a total of 65,000 Aeroplan points, I secured an itinerary from Melbourne to Brisbane in Virgin Australia business class, then onward to Taipei and ending in Sapporo in EVA Air business class.
Availability for award bookings on EVA Air is typically quite limited when planning in advance. However, opportunities to secure seats tend to show up in the final days leading up to the departure date, and it was exactly during this last-minute window that I had completed this booking.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Ground Experience
With just over four hours of connecting time, I made my way to The Infinity Lounge by EVA Air. My last visit to this lounge was way back in November 2019, and it was nice to revisit a lounge that I used to frequent quite often.
This time, my visit consisted of a leisurely breakfast and catching up on some work. Given that it was fairly early in the morning, I refrained from helping myself to the lounge’s Mövenpick ice cream.
After an entirely pleasant visit, I made my way to the gate to catch my flight to Sapporo.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Cabin
Officially dubbed Premium Laurel Class, this business class cabin features five rows of seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The new seats are equipped with hard-shell designs, and deploy into an almost fully flat bed.
During my previous encounter with EVA Air’s A330 business class in December 2017, the seats were in an angled-flat configuration. Thus, I was quite surprised to discover a revamped 2-2-2 lie-flat seating arrangement upon boarding.
This particular cabin offers a stylish colour scheme, and is also employed by other airlines such as Air China, Copa Airlines, and Air Tahiti Nui. While it may not be considered industry-leading due to its limited privacy and narrow footwells, it’s certainly sufficient for a regional flight.
The middle seats have a more pronounced inward angle towards each other when compared to the pairs of seats by the windows. For couples travelling together, the centre seats might be the most suitable, as it’s easier to converse.
Solo travellers will ideally want to look for window seats, particularly the ones closer to the window. On the other hand, aisle seats offer easier access to the galley or restrooms, making it convenient for getting up without disturbing others.
However, a partition positioned between the seats offers a sense of seclusion, largely concealing the adjacent person from your view.
Given that I made a relatively last-minute booking for this flight, there were only aisle seats available. As a result, I found myself seated in the aisle seat on the left-hand side of the last row.
Although I typically prefer a window seat, this choice allowed me to exit my seat without needing to step over someone – but my neighbour still needed to step over me.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Seat
Upon taking my seat, I was greeted by a 15-inch entertainment screen directly across from me.
A relatively narrow footwell is situated beneath the screen, which is definitely very snug.
Storage options are rather limited, with a small storage nook near your shoulders to keep your essentials easily within reach.
Conveniently placed at thigh level, an array of seat controls is located on the left-hand armrest. Here, you can adjust the headrest, seat angle, and footrest.
Additionally, there are three preset options, including lie-flat mode and take-off.
To the right of the screen, there’s a coat hook, while on the left, you’ll find a USB-A port, a headphone jack, and an entertainment controller, which can be detached for handheld use.
Between the seats, there’s a central surface space, which is shared by you and your seatmate.
From the surface space, the tray table can be effortlessly deployed straight out over your lap.
Beneath it, a vertical surface hosts two power ports to cater to your charging needs.
A reading lamp, which is adjustable with a simple clockwise or counterclockwise turn, is located near your left shoulder.
Overall, I found the seat to offer a commendable level of comfort, in line with most of the standard business class products out there. I liked how the seat’s clean design was complemented by tasteful wooden accents, making for an attractive and contemporary look.
On the downside, the footwell space is rather confined, and the storage options are limited. I was happy enough with this seat for this flight of about four hours’ duration, but I wouldn’t be thrilled with it for a long-haul.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Amenities
As we boarded the flight, the cabin crew came around to offer a choice of pre-departure beverages. I opted for a cool glass of orange juice this time around, which was served alongside a cold towel.
Before the flight, the seat was adorned with slippers, a pillow, a day blanket, and a set of noise-cancelling headphones.
A crew member then distributed the food and beverage menus, which were essentially colourful paper menus that weren’t exactly pleasing to the eye.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Meal Service
Soon after we reached cruising altitude, meal service began. The onboard menu offered an impressive selection, encompassing Japanese, Western, and Chinese-style dishes.
The food menu for my flight read as follows:
And the beverage menu read as follows:
Prior to the flight, I had already pre-ordered the steamed fish with chili sauce from EVA Air’s pre-flight meal selection. T
he Western appetizer that I was presented with was foie gras mousse slices and a cajun-spiced prawn with tomato jelly, which was served alongside garlic bread.
My steamed fish proved to be a great choice as a main course, in terms of both taste and presentation.
However, I ended up feeling a little regretful about my pre-flight meal selection, as the Japanese menu from the in-flight selection on this Japan-bound route seemed to mirror the elaborate multi-course offerings of ANA and Japan Airlines.
Indeed, I consider that to be a lesson learned for next time: when flying EVA Air to and from Japan again in the future, I’ll be sure to check out their Japanese menu and see how it compares to the familiar Japanese airlines.
To conclude the meal on a sweet note, I relished the Häagen-Dazs ice cream and a cup of black tea, which was a delectable finale to the meal.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Bed
Once the meal service concluded, I visited the restroom to freshen up. Although it was small and wasn’t equipped with anything particularly unique, the restroom was kept clean and came with the standard amenities.
Upon returning to my seat, I tried out the lie-flat mode, and it became very apparent that the footwell was notably tight.
Nevertheless, since I didn’t need to sleep on this morning flight, I simply reclined my seat and watched some in-flight entertainment.
Before landing, I indulged in another cup of matcha milk tea, marking my third cup for the day following the two I had on my previous flight from Brisbane to Taipei.
EVA Air A330 Business Class Taipei to Sapporo – Entertainment
The 15-inch entertainment screen on EVA Air A330 business class offers a crisp resolution and is highly responsive.
The in-flight selection of movies and TV shows was commendable, including plenty of new releases. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say it’s the most extensive range of titles compared to other airlines out there.
For most of the rest of the flight, I started watching the first season of The White Lotus, which I eagerly continued watching in the following weeks.
EVA Air extends Wi-Fi services on specific flights, having joined forces with Boingo to provide onboard connectivity. Thanks to my HSBC World Elite Mastercard, I enjoyed complimentary access to the onboard Wi-Fi.
Without an eligible credit card, the pricing structure for Wi-Fi is determined by data usage, with rates beginning at $4.95 USD ($6.70 CAD), and reaching $39.95 USD ($54.15 CAD) for unlimited usage.
Overall, EVA Air’s revamped A330 business class exceeded my expectations, and stands as a robust regional offering for intra-Asia flights.
I was pleasantly surprised by the airline’s new lie-flat seats on this product. While these seats do have some limitations in terms of storage and footwell space, they represent a significant improvement from the previous angled-flat configuration.
Lastly, the soft product onboard EVA Air remained consistently stellar: the attentive and personalized service stood out, as did an excellent food and beverage menu.
My only regret from this flight was not being able to try out EVA Air’s interpretation of a Japanese onboard menu, which I fully intend on doing at the next available opportunity.