Taiwan is an amazingly child friendly place so, come June holiday, we went again. This time, we took EVA Air because it is significantly cheaper than Singapore airlines tickets for the same period (about 30% cheaper) for the dates we were thinking of.
EVA seriously needs to update its corporate colours and logo because it is really not confidence inspiring. Just looking at the logo I had the impression that it is a very backward operation. However, a bit of online research showed that it is highly rated and has a very good safety record. On the back of research through Mr Google, off we went on EVA Air.
The booking of air tickets through its website was easy enough but the system showed that we were unable to select seats because we were travelling with an infant. However, we realised that the bassinet seats (there were only 2) were all booked up. We were informed that the other passengers called in to reserve those seats. So if you are travelling with infant, do call their reservation centre to book your seats. When we asked the air stewardess about the bassinet seats, they tried very hard to be helpful, calling their ground staff, even asking the passengers at the bassinet seats how they got the seats, all on their own accord without us making further requests. They also agreed to help us call their ground staff to reserve bassinet seats for us on the return flight. Throughout all these they kept asking us for information and apologising, they must have come to talk to us more than 10 times throughout the flight on this matter, which is fine for us since the flight is so boring anyway but some may get irritated. The bit that did irritate us a bit though was that they failed to deliver in the end. We did not have a bassinet seat on our return flight.
Apart from the failure to secure us a bassinet seat though, the service is amazing. The air Stewardess came promptly once the call button is pressed and always carried a genuine smile. The food is as good (or bad) as any other airline’s. Children were offered a choice of simple activity kits which my older child appreciated.
In flight entertainment (whether movie choices or magazine choices) is where it loses out significantly to my usual carrier of choice, SQ. Choices were far more limited and movies are listed under its new release section were movies already moved to favourites in SQ flights (I took an SQ flight immediately after returning from Taiwan so could make a direct comparison).
All in all, EVA is a good cost effective option for travelling to Taiwan. Positive points were warm service and good safety record; negative points are lack of bassinet seats on flight and limited in flight entertainment choices. If you don’t speak Mandarin, it may also be less convenient although I did overhear some stewardesses converse with passengers in Engligh and they were proficient.
I still am a supporter of my national carrier, SQ, but sometimes when bookings are done too late, their prices can be a bit ridiculous and that’s when maybe EVA can be a good option.
Where are you travelling to this December holiday? Here’s to a great holiday season for everyone!