It’s time for an airline showdown. A battle of the enterprise courses. A trans-Pacific tussle.
Singapore Airways is a titan within the airline world, often cleansing up awards for greatest enterprise and firstclass and incomes the highest spot within the 2018 SkyTrax rankings. Taiwan-based EVA doesn’t have the identical huge fame, nevertheless it’s beloved among the many frequent flyer set and in addition will get excessive marks – SkyTrax ranked it fifth on the earth this yr.
I flew enterprise class on each airways this summer time: EVA on the best way to Bali, and Singapore to get house. However how do two of the highest airways flying throughout the Pacific Ocean stack up? I’ll break it down by seven totally different classes. Let’s have a look.
You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a extra lovely aircraft than the enterprise class on Singapore Airways’ Boeing 777 or Airbus A350. It’s, in a phrase, beautiful.
The curvature of the seats, the gold finishes, the alternating purple and tan leather-based seats: All of it oozes class. Some enterprise class cabins are interchangeable, however this one is distinctly Singapore Airways.
One nice function of Singapore’s enterprise class cabins is that they don’t have baggage bins above the middle seating part. It helps make the cabin really feel extra ethereal and vibrant, and in addition makes the seats extra spacious. However it’s additionally fairly intimate, particularly for those who handle to snag a seat within the “mini-cabin” of a Boeing 777, residence to only three rows of seating.
EVA, in the meantime, is extra spartan. Its seat and cabin get the job carried out, nevertheless it’s extra perform than trend. Others might like it, however I discover the inexperienced and tan finishes to be a bit … plain. And this for an airline best-known for going all out with Hiya Kitty!
A few of EVA’s latest long-haul planes have upped the decor recreation a bit, with a pleasant mild inexperienced palette mixed with some wooden grains. And lots of of their planes are outfitted with a “starry night-sky” function once they flip the cabin lights down. However in my case, the cabin was primary – no less than in comparison with Singapore.
Winner: Singapore Airways
EVA Air makes use of an ordinary reverse herringbone seat on its long-haul flights. Organized in a 1-2-1 format to provide each passenger aisle entry, these are just like the seats you’ll discover on Cathay Pacific, American Airways, some Qatar Airways planes, and lots of extra. However very similar to the cabin, they’re a bit on the drab aspect.
However they’re well-liked for a purpose. The best way the seats are angled away from the aisle helps create a cocoon of privateness. At 26 inches extensive and 81 inches of legroom, there’s no scarcity of area. When it’s time to sleep, it’s so simple as utilizing the intuitive seat controls to recline right into a mattress. Your ft stretch out right into a cubby carved out beneath the seat in entrance of you, however there’s loads of area.
Singapore takes the area you get on EVA and cranks it up an additional notch. The seats are completely large, at 28 inches broad. It seems like you may squeeze two individuals in to observe a film or eat. That’s how giant they’re.
The leather-based is smooth and cozy. From the alternating colours to the pop-up trays to the gold detailing, the finishes are beautiful at every seat.
Seats on each EVA and Singapore offer you loads of storage choices for any gear or goodies you’ve received with you. Singapore goes a step farther and has a spot beneath every footrest for a big backpack – an ideal spot to maintain a private merchandise all through the flight.
The middle part of seating is one of the best spot for couples or companions on each EVA and Singapore. However I’d give the sting to Singapore – middle seats are barely nearer collectively than in EVA’s enterprise class, and there’s a movable divider.
Due to how seats are organized with EVA, carrying a dialog between the 2 middle seats requires a good bit of leaning. Plus the divider – although small – is motionless.
There are some quirks with Singapore’s seats. The best way they’re laid out signifies that it’s a must to angle your legs into the cubby in entrance of you. I by no means discovered this to be an issue, however these taller than me (5 ft 10 inches) may really feel in any other case. There are 4 seats on each Singapore aircraft the place this concern is muted – bulkhead seats, the place passengers get a bench-style footrest as an alternative of a foot cubby. However these seats are usually reserved for Singapore elite flyers, to allow them to be onerous to snag.
And when it’s time for mattress, it’s not so simple as reclining the seat. As an alternative, you need to fold the seat down from the again to disclose a totally made mattress – or higher but, enlist a flight attendant to do it. I discovered Singapore’s enterprise class mattress spacious and cozy, however there’s no denying it’s a tough sleeping floor. When you want a delicate mattress to sleep, it may be a deal-breaker.
Others will argue with me, however these oddities weren’t sufficient to persuade me that Singapore doesn’t have the most effective enterprise class seats on the market.
Winner: Singapore Airways, by a hair.
One factor’s for positive: You’re going to be well-fed flying enterprise class with both EVA or Singapore.
Each airways supply multi-course meal providers, with some unimaginable preparation, presentation, and style. They usually each permit passengers to pre-select meals.
Flying EVA Enterprise class? You’ll be able to log-in to your reservation and decide your meal 21 days earlier than you allow, with a broader set of alternatives than what you’ll see onboard.
On our flight from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Taipei (TPE), dinner began with an amuse bouche with some small – but scrumptious – bites. Earlier than lengthy, an appetizer course with a full lobster tail and quinoa salad was introduced.
For the primary course, I chosen the Stir Fried Lobster meat and egg fried rice. The lobster itself was succulent and properly executed – to not point out fairly large – however a tad bland. However the fried rice and vegetable medley on the aspect have been out of this world, full of a lot taste.
After which there was dessert: An unimaginable piece of blueberry cheesecake.
A pre-landing breakfast was almost nearly as good, as I ordered a bowl of basic Taiwanese rice porridge referred to as congee with a lot of tasty accompaniments. So good, actually, I forgot to take a photograph.
On Singapore, each single meal begins with a scrumptious plate of satay. I might eat their peanut sauce by the spoonful.
An antipasto platter with tomatoes, mozzarella, smoked duck breast, parma ham, and a zesty balsamic dressing helped get the meal service rolling. A scrumptious slice of garlic bread didn’t harm both.
When it comes time for the primary entree, Singapore gives what it calls “Ebook the Prepare dinner” service, permitting passengers to decide on meals prematurely. And your decisions are seemingly infinite in the event you’re flying out of their Singapore (SIN) hub. Almost six months earlier than our flight, I might log in and select from virtually 50 meals.
I wouldn’t name it fantastic eating, however I selected a bowl of prawn and hen Laksa, a Singaporean basic. And I stand by that selection. It was scrumptious.
My spouse, in the meantime, pre-ordered Singapore’s legendary lobster thermidor. She stated it tasted even higher than it seemed.
There are particular choices for those who’re on one among Singapore’s flights heading in or out of Tokyo-Narita (NRT). Singapore serves some unimaginable Japanese set meals referred to as hanakoireki on these flights. They’re elaborate, lovely, and scrumptious. First up was an assortment of chilly dishes, together with some frivolously seared salmon, buckwheat noodles, tofu, and a few marinated greens.
Subsequent up was the recent bento field, with a small filet of grilled salmon, some extra marinated tofu and greens, a number of pickles, and different sides. It got here with some tea and a aspect of miso soup. Each chew was nice.
Desserts on Singapore Airways are easy however, in my expertise, tasty. On one flight I had an unimaginable bowl of Hagen Dazs salted caramel ice cream. However my favourite was the sunshine and fluffy matcha chestnut cake that accompanied my hanakoireki meal.
The final meal of our Singapore flights was undoubtedly the worst of the bunch. A plate of braised ee fu noodles with seafood was mediocre at greatest. However at this level within the flight, I wasn’t that hungry anyhow.
So which airline does eating higher? It’s robust to select one. General, I’d say the standard of meals was only a shade higher on EVA. However the selection is so nice on Singapore, it’s a wash.
Thirsty passengers flying EVA Air enterprise class get one of the best of the perfect. On this Howdy Kitty-themed flight, flight attendants have been pouring one of the crucial costly champagnes within the sky: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose from 2006.
At $300 a bottle, it’s costlier than what all however the perfect airways on the planet are pouring even in top notch. And most significantly, it’s scrumptious. I had a glass or six.
And whereas the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Singapore serves its enterprise class passengers can also be nice, it could’t maintain a candle to EVA’s providing. And that is sensible. Singapore has to save lots of its absolute best for passengers flying first-class. EVA Air doesn’t have a first-class cabin, so its enterprise class has some costly thrives you’d usually anticipate in firstclass.
On EVA’s beverage menu, that goes past champagne. I additionally had a scrumptious glass of Hong Kong milk tea onboard EVA, and was tempted however finally handed on an iced espresso.
EVA serves an unimaginable single malt whiskey referred to as Kavalan, a Taiwanese model that lived as much as its accolades. Singapore had Chivas Regal Scotch and Johnnie Walker Black Label on board – each high quality drinks, however undoubtedly a step down from EVA is serving liquor-wise.
One other first-class style with EVA: Flight attendants hand out bottles of FIJI water all through the flight. I’m no bottled water snob, however there’s no denying it’s a pleasant contact.
Each airways additionally serve some particular cocktails on board, however I didn’t go there. Nor did I have to in an effort to decide the clear winner of this class.
I’ll simply say it: EVA blows Singapore out of the water relating to facilities.
Singapore doesn’t give its enterprise class passengers amenity kits. As an alternative, it shares the bathrooms filled with razors, ear plugs, lotion, combs, and extra. Aside from that, all you possibly can anticipate is an eye fixed masks, set of slippers, and socks ready at your seat.
EVA, in the meantime, knocks it out of the park in relation to facilities. It’s an space the place the airline’s business-first class hybrid mannequin shines by means of. EVA is legendary for its Rimowa-branded amenity kits – it’s one in every of few airways that also hand these out, and the one one to take action in enterprise class. However some current modifications have switched that up. Solely passengers departing TPE get a Rimowa package.
As an alternative, I obtained a set of two leather-based pouches from Danish luxurious model Georg Jensen. Inside was an eye fixed masks, pair of socks, toothbrush with toothpaste, ear plugs, a microfiber material for gadget screens, and a comb.
However that wasn’t all. There was additionally a set of facilities from the high-end skincare model 3Lab, together with small bottles of hand cream, lip balm, and a face lotion referred to as “M Cream Final Carry.” I’m no skincare professional, however a fast worth examine will inform you these are high-quality items – a 2 oz. jar of M Cream retails for $300.
After which there are pajamas. Oh, the pajamas. Few airways hand out pajamas in enterprise class, and these pajamas from Apujan are on par with many firstclass choices. They’re snug however mild, and classy. I nonetheless put on them at residence.
Singapore doesn’t give out pajamas to enterprise class passengers. That stated, this one’s not even a contest.
Singapore is known for its flight attendants. The flight attendants on my flight have been virtually all excellent on each segments of the journey.
They have been speedy with out being sloppy, attentive with out being overbearing. That’s a troublesome stability to strike, however Singapore does it with ease. A male purser working my aisle on the leg from NRT to LAX actually stood out. He was always smiling and cracking jokes all through the 11-hour journey.
There have been some occasions, nevertheless, the place the service from different flight attendants felt a bit pressured. Whereas some flight attendants have been engaged, others have been much more prescripted. At occasions, it felt like they have been studying off a to-do record and checking off every activity. At a number of factors all through the journey, the rubbish within the toilet was overflowing – simply barely – with hand towels.
Are these main complaints? Under no circumstances. The service on Singapore was excellent general. However each little element is important for airways competing for top-paying clients.
The service on EVA completely blew me away. Our flight was a redeye, which makes it much more troublesome for flight attendants to maintain tabs on passengers whereas not being overbearing. EVA struck that stability completely.
Iris, the flight attendant working my aisle, was spectacular. She was attentive and keen to assist, in fact, but in addition mild, humorous, and earnest. She appeared at my aspect inside minutes of standing up after the primary meal service to supply a mattress turndown service. Just some minutes after rousing from my slumber, she swung by to supply a snack and one other glass of champagne (not like I’m going to show that down).
Nevertheless it went past Iris’s exemplary service. Flight attendants kneeled whereas taking meal orders from passengers. All of them appeared to memorize each passengers’ identify – I used to be addressed by my first identify all through the flight, and never simply by Iris.
From begin to end, meal service after takeoff took simply over an hour. That’s an unimaginable tempo that helps passengers get as a lot sleep as potential, and it’s a testomony to EVA’s service.
Whereas EVA crushes Singapore with facilities, Singapore reigns supreme for in-flight leisure.
The 18-inch screens really feel completely large, with a crystal clear show in addition. A button on prime releases the display so it may be tilted downward if you wish to lounge and watch a film. It’s a sensible function that many airways overlook.
Nevertheless it’s the leisure choice that basically issues, and Singapore’s choice is very large. There have been a minimum of 300 films on board, with an awesome combine of latest releases, older classics, and a few standbys. Past that, there have been a minimum of 600 episodes of TV exhibits, together with some full seasons of main sitcoms like Trendy Household.
With all these choices onboard, it’s a breeze to remain entertained within the air for 15-plus hours.
EVA’s leisure, in the meantime, is a bit lackluster.
The display itself is 15 inches, which is definitely large enough. Together with a wired distant, the show is sort of clear. However subsequent to Singapore Airways, it feels a tad outdated.
And whereas I can truthfully say I used to be by no means bored through the 15-hour flight with EVA, its leisure choice is way extra restricted. I counted about 25 Hollywood releases, a mixture of new movies and some older, widespread titles. Naturally, there have been dozens of Taiwanese and Chinese language movies that cater to the airline’s house inhabitants. And sadly, there was simply an episode or two of a half-dozen or so American TV exhibits.
It comes right down to this: Flying Singapore Air, you’ll have to decide on what you need to watch most throughout your journey. With EVA, you may wrestle to seek out sufficient to observe.
On the plus aspect, each carriers supply WiFi on these long-haul flights. I didn’t join on both flight, so I can’t fee the efficiency or the price.
Let’s be clear: These are two completely excellent airways. Flying enterprise class in both Singapore Airways or EVA Air is a deal with.
However who’s the winner between these two wonderful airways? It actually relies upon. For those who worth leisure and appears above all else, Singapore is the clear winner. If drinks, meals, and repair are your prime priorities, EVA might be the most secure guess. You actually can’t go fallacious.
However I’ve mulled this over for a very long time. Whereas there’s no denying Singapore Airways is an impressive airline, I feel I’d select EVA Air. The sincerity within the service and the touches of first-class – from the drinks to the facilities – made it a very excellent flight. It had a sure X-factor that Singapore couldn’t fairly match.
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