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China Airlines vs Eva Air

China Airlines vs Eva Air

In just over two months, I’ll be embarking on my honeymoon. While my fiance and I planned our trip, we came across tons of different airlines, so I know firsthand how tricky it is to pick the right one for your flight. 

In light of that, I’m going to try and make your decision a little easier by looking at two prominent airlines operating in East Asia and internationally. Both are Taiwanese-based companies that, on the surface, seem quite similar. But, with a little investigation, I’ve found some key differences.

There’s lots to cover. So, let’s dig in…

Bottom Line Upfront

Both providers fly to a range of destinations and offer a decent array of in-flight services. However, for economy flyers, I recommend China Airlines. In contrast, I think Eva Air is the better value for money if you’re looking for premium or business class.

The Main Differences Between China Airlines vs Eva Air

  • China Airlines flies to 130 domestic locations and 24 international destinations, whereas Eva Air only flies to four domestic locations and 49 international destinations. 
  • China Airlines’ prices are generally lower than Eva Air’s – the same Economy flight from LA to Taipei is $987 for China Airlines, whereas it’s $1040 for Eva Air. 
  • Eva Air offers amenities like bottled water, overnight kits, and noise-canceling headphones, whereas China Airlines doesn’t provide these specific amenities (Or at least, they don’t explicitly say they do). 
  • Eva Air has a 5-star rating for its in-flight services and customer care, whereas China Airlines’ rating is 4-stars. 
  • Although covering more locations, Eva Airline’s helpline only operates on weekdays, whereas China Airlines’ helpline operates seven days a week.

The Main Similarities Between China Airlines vs Eva Air

  • Both airlines have their own loyalty programs 
  • Both offer a range of cabin classes to choose from
  • They both operate from Taiwan and provide both international and domestic flights 
  • They’re both members of a global flight alliance 
  • Both have taken measures to address their carbon emissions and promote sustainable flying

About China Airlines

As I’ve already mentioned, China Airlines is a Taiwan-based air transport company. Their focus is mainly in Asia, but they also fly to destinations across Europe, North America, and Oceania. In total, they service over 100 destinations.

They’re members of the Star Team alliance, a major airline alliance with a network of more than 1150 destinations. Airline alliances like Star Team are large-scale partnerships between airlines that allow individual airlines to pool and expand their resources. This is done to increase the number of destinations they can cover.

According to Skytrax, China Airlines is a 4-star airline. This rating considers in-flight customer care, in-flight services, comfort, and the cleanliness of the aircraft. 

Eva Air

Eva Air is another Taiwan-based air transport company. They specialize in private and international flights to over 40 destinations across Asia, Europe, and North America. 

They’re also a member of the world’s largest airline alliance – Star Alliance. This gives them access to many code-share routes outside their primary jurisdiction (more about code sharing below). 

It’s also worth noting that Eva Air has a 5-star rating by Skytrax, which I think is incredibly impressive! This marks excellence for their in-flight services, staff, comfort, and aircraft hygiene.

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: Flight Network 

A flight network refers to the areas and destinations that the airline covers. For example, China Airlines and Eva Air cover domestic and international locations around Europe, the US, and Asia. Here, I’ll cover the main destinations each airline flies to and where they don’t. 

China Airlines 

China Airlines’ flight network includes routes spanning Asia and further afield. Their East Asia network primarily offers flights around:

  • Indonesia 
  • Japan
  • China
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand 
  • Singapore 
  • Korea
  • Vietnam 
  • Malaysia 
  • Philippines 
  • Hong-Kong 

With additional stops in Delhi (India), Guam (Micronesia), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia). 

They own many of these routes but also share many with other airlines. Route sharing (also known as code-sharing) is common airline practice. In short, it allows another airline to carry China Airline’s ID on another airline provider’s craft. Put simply, this means that flights are marketed by China Airlines but operated by another airline. China Airlines has partnerships with many European, Chinese, and international providers. However, they don’t cover Africa, Russia, the Middle East, or Scandinavia. 

Eva Air

Eva Air’s flight network consists of both Asian and international routes. However, most of their destinations are located in East Asia, primarily:

  • Taiwan
  • Thailand 
  • Japan
  • Vietnam 
  • Indonesia
  • Korea
  • The Philippines 
  • China
  • Hong-Kong 
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia 

They also have one destination in Cambodia, but not India or Polynesia. 

As for international flights, they cover destinations in:

  • The UK 
  • West Europe 
  • North America 
  • Australia 
  • New Zealand 
  • Canada 

Though they use code sharing for many of their international and East Asia destinations, they don’t cover Scandinavia, Africa, the Middle East, or Russia. 

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: Pricing

Both airlines’ pricing structures are organized into classes and whether you’re booking a domestic or international flight. 

Here I’ll use a flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE) as an example of an international flight. In contrast, I’ll use a flight between Beijing and Shanghai as an example of a domestic trip. I’ll then compare the cost of such tickets with China Airlines and Eva Air based on flights leaving the same day.

China Airlines

The average cost of a (one-way) non-stop international flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE) will cost:

  • Economy Class – $987
  • Premium Economy – $1749
  • Business – $5137

The average price of a domestic one-stop flight between Beijing and Shanghai will cost:

  • Economy Class – $514
  • Premium Economy – No flight available 
  • Business – $1100

Eva Air

The average cost of a (one-way) non-stop international flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE) will cost:

  • Economy Class – $1040
  • Premium Economy – $1791
  • Business – $5122

The average price of a domestic one-stop flight between Beijing and Shanghai will cost:

  • Economy Class – $690
  • Premium Economy – $793
  • Business – $1111

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: Pricing in Summary

In short, China Airlines edges ahead here, especially with a difference of $176 between the cost of Economy tickets for domestic flights. But when we turn our attention to international flights, this difference is less pronounced with just $53 between the Economy tickets. 

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: Frequent Flier Programs

Most airlines offer some kind of rewards scheme for loyal customers to entice consumers into flying more often with them. These are usually points-based systems that hinge on how many miles you fly. So, with that said, let’s discuss how China Airlines and Eva Air compare when it comes to their frequent flier programs. 

China Air

China Airlines offers their ‘Dynasty program’ for frequent flyers. You earn ‘miles’ when you fly with China Airlines or one of its SkyTeam partners, such as KLM, Vietnam Airlines, Korean Air, and many more. You’re also rewarded miles when using one of their partner hotels, car rental companies, or credit cards. 

These miles unlock benefits such as:

  • Airline tickets and upgrades
  • Access to the VIP lounge 
  • An increased baggage allowance 
  • Birthday discounts
  • Discounts and/or free gifts from their in-flight product catalog 

They have a tiered system, starting at Dynasty and ranging to Paragon:

  • Dynasty 
  • Gold
  • Emerald
  • Paragon 

You move up to the next tier when you reach a certain threshold of points, and each level offers more benefits and rewards.

This scheme is free to join. Your membership is automatically renewed every two years, provided you accrue a certain number of miles within this time. You can also pay for extra miles or to level up.

Eva Air

Eva Air offers its ‘Infinity Mileage Lands’ program for frequent flyers. This program clocks mileage from any flight you take with a Star Alliance member, such as Air China, Lufthansa, United Airlines, and many more.

You can redeem mileage points for:

  • Airline tickets and upgrades
  • Hotels
  • Car rentals
  • Shopping discounts
  • Increased baggage allowance 

Again this is a tiered system. You start with a green card and gradually work your way up through the tiers to platinum. To level up, you have to accrue a specific number of air miles, and with each tier you reach, the more benefits you unlock.

The tiers are as follows:

  • Green
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Diamond

When you eventually reach Diamond status, you can:

  • Upgrade your tickets
  • Benefit from free seat selection
  • Guaranteed booking (up to 48 hours before the flight)

…amongst other rewards.

The program is free to join. However, you can also purchase more mileage or tier valid for up to two years.

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: Food, Beverages, and In-flight Services

In this section, I’ll look at the overall flight experience, including seating, amenities, and the services you can expect from China Airlines and Eva Air. In addition, I’ll include the different ticket classes available and the type of catering offered. It’s important to note that food prices vary between destination and aircraft and are subject to availability.

China Airlines

China Airlines has three cabin classes:

  1. Economy
  2. Premium Economy
  3. Business Class

Let’s take a look at each in turn:

Economy 

A standard economy ticket comes with adjustable headrests, a built-in entertainment system, and a USB jack for charging your devices. Where food is concerned, there’s in-flight Taiwanese catering included for long-haul flights (though this is subject to the aircraft).

Premium Economy 

Premium Economy gives you extra space, your own armrest, and personal storage. You can also access your entertainment system, including music, video, and games.

The food in premium Economy is the same as in Economy Class.

Business Class

Business Class offers luxurious personal space, with luxury seating and your own lamp and desk. The seats can be adjusted into a bed, and you’ll also have the option of wireless charging. 

For your meal, you can order from China Airline’s e-menu 24 hours before departure. In addition, they offer a range of special meals for different dietary preferences, such as low-salt, low-fat and low-calorie meals. This catering service is included with the ticket cost for most long-haul flights. However, this may vary depending on the aircraft. For short-haul flights, you can purchase food using the e-menu.

Airplane Inside

Eva Air 

Eva Air offers four cabin classes with various privileges and prices to match:

  1. Economy
  2. Premium Economy
  3. Business
  4. Royal Laurel Class

Again I’ll look at each in turn:

Economy

This is your standard airline seat. It has a built-in entertainment system that offers a range of in-flight videos, music, and gaming.

Depending on the length and course of your flight, you’ll receive free in-flight traditional Chinese meals. Or, you can also purchase specific food items from their menu of food and beverages.

Premium Economy 

This cabin offers luxury seating and extra space. In addition, you’ll have access to your own in-flight entertainment system, usually with a more extensive range of music, videos, and games compared to Economy. That’s in addition to complimentary noise-canceling headphones, laptop charging outlets, and duty-free online shopping.  

Premium Economy provides an overnight kit for long-haul passengers, including a pillow, eye mask, and basic toiletries. 

You’ll also have access to the gourmet menu that offers seasonal dishes with a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. These are usually free for long-haul flights and charged for short-haul.

Business 

With Business class, you not only receive luxury seating and extra spacing but your own desk equipped with a lamp, power outlets, headphones, and adjustable lighting. 

From there, you get access to a personal 15″ touchscreen screen with a library of videos, games, and music. You’ll also get a luxury travel kit, including a quilt, pillow, toiletries, and skin products. 

For food on long-haul flights, they serve an all-inclusive three-course meal from a menu of foods from all around the world, served on china dishware. However, I couldn’t see whether this service is available for short-haul flights.

Royal Laurel Class

This guarantees you a private space with a convertible seat bed. You’ll also get generous storage space and hangers for your clothes. In addition, you’ll enjoy a built-in 18″ entertainment system, noise-canceling headphones, and your own power outlets.

They have a wide range of in-flight dining options, with award-winning wine collections and classic cuisine from around the world. Plus, complimentary Fiji water and sleepwear. You’ll also receive an exclusive amenities kit with high-brand toiletries, beauty products, an eye mask, and ear plugs. 

These amenities are included in the ticket price, but they don’t specify whether they’re just for long-haul flights or offered on short-haul flights too.

See also: How to Finance your Travel Lifestyle – Top Tips to Live the Dream!

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: Customer Service 

If you need to make a last-minute change to your booking or cancel your flight, airline customer service will either become your best friend or worst nightmare. So here, I’ll look at where you can find help and if there are any time or location restrictions to such assistance:

China Airlines

China Airlines offers an online self-check-in platform where you can manage your reservations, check your flight’s status, and review details about your booking. From here, you can also find the answers to many frequently asked questions about baggage allowances, check-in, and other common questions.

You can contact China Airlines via their chatbot on their website or telephone if you can’t find what you need online. Their hotline operates Monday to Friday, from 9 am until 5:30 pm. Depending on location, they’re also contactable from 7 am to 3:30 pm on weekends. 

However, China Airlines doesn’t have a European or Oceanic contact center or phone number. Therefore, these customers will likely have to contact China Airlines using their online chatbot.

Eva Air

Eva Air has an online help center where you can find the answers to frequently asked questions. There’s also a self-service platform where you can manage your booking, check-in, order your meals, and track their frequent flyers program. 

But suppose you encounter a problem that can’t be solved online. In that case, there’s a hotline where you can talk with Eva Air’s reservation team. This operates from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. 

Eva Air used to accept walk-in passengers, but since the pandemic, Eva Air no longer offers this service.

Airplane Inside

China Airlines Pros:

Now that I’ve covered the meat and potatoes of this comparison review let’s condense everything we’ve learned into a quick pro-cons list, starting with China Airlines’ perks. 

  • There’s a wide range of destination options available to choose from
  • China Airlines boasts a respectable 4-star rating for its in-flight services, catering, amenities, hygiene, and comfort.
  • It offers a cheaper service than Eva Air for domestic and international flights.
  • I like that China Airlines offers some of its customers weekday and weekend customer service.
  • I think its frequent fliers program is excellent – offering ticket upgrades and VIP lounge access, among other rewards.
  • Generous baggage allowances (See FAQs below)

China Airlines Cons:

  • The meal options for economy fliers are somewhat limited.
  • I don’t like that isn’t telephone support for European and Oceanic customers.

Eva Air Pros:

  • I think it’s impressive that Eva Air scores a perfect 5-star rating for its in-flight services, catering, amenities, hygiene, and comfort.
  • I like that Eva Air provides customer service lines across multiple countries.
  • I love that there’s an excellent range of food and beverage options.
  • Eva Air’s frequent fliers program is pretty good, offering shopping discounts, free upgrades, and extra baggage allowances. 

Eva Air Cons:

  • Eva Air’s prices sit on the more expensive side of the spectrum. 
  • I don’t like that their customer service hotline doesn’t operate on weekends.
  • Fewer destinations are available than China Airlines.

Who Does What Best and FAQs

China Airlines seems to provide a slightly more budget-friendly service. However, while they offer various amenities and a decent loyalty program, I’m left wondering whether their flights are good value for money? Yes, Eva Airlines is more expensive, but on the face of it, they also have better in-flight services. So, to make my final decision, I decided to look into a few more areas – mainly baggage, the ease of changing a booking, and each airline’s sustainability policies. We’ll discuss these aspects in the FAQs below.

Question: How much luggage can I bring?

China Airlines
With Economy Class – You get a 30kg free baggage allowance for up to two pieces (maximum of 46 kg total) of checked baggage and another 7kg for one carry-on. With carry-on luggage, China Airlines specifies the following dimensions:

Maximum height: 9 inches (23 cm)
Maximum width: 14 inches (36 cm)
Maximum length: 22 inches (56 cm)

With Premium Economy Class, you get two pieces of checked baggage up to 35kg each (a maximum of 52 kg total). The same allowance and dimensions as Economy apply to carry-on luggage. 

As for Business Class- you receive a 40kg allowance for two pieces of checked baggage (maximum of 64 kg total). The same allowances and dimensions for carry-on luggage apply as above, but you can split this across two items.

If you have a short-haul flight, these allowances may differ. So, always check online before flying.

Eva Air

For Economy tickets, you have a checked baggage allowance of 23kg for two pieces of luggage (Up to 46kg in total). The same applies to the premium economy. Both are allowed one piece of carry-on baggage up to 7kg with the following dimensions:

Maximum height: 9 inches (23 cm)
Maximum width: 14 inches (36 cm)
Maximum length: 22 inches (56 cm)

With business and laurel class tickets, checked allowance gives you two pieces of luggage, with a maximum weight of 32kg each. These tickets also receive 2 pieces of carry-on luggage with the same restrictions as above, 7kg per item. It’s worth noting, however, that Eva Air has recently changed its allowance policies depending on the date you purchased your ticket. You should check your ticket date and the corresponding allowance regulations for more information.

Question: Are these airlines sustainable?

Answer:
China Airlines
China Airlines currently operates two sustainable initiatives: Action for the earth and Carbon offsetting. With the former, they’ve implemented travel policies that prevent the illegal trafficking of endangered animals, such as shark fins. 
With the latter, they’ve included sustainable development goals into their corporate policies. One part of this scheme allows customers to join their eco-travel program that champions carbon offsetting. It lets passengers see their flight’s emissions and purchase carbon credits to offset that amount.

Eva Air
Similarly, Eva Air operates its own carbon offsetting program called Green Travel. They provide a calculator that allows passengers to determine how much carbon is emitted during their journey. You can then purchase an equal number of credits to offset your flight. 
On top of that, Eva Air is also a member of the Climate Care Project by Climate Impact Partners. This service advises businesses on reaching their corporate and operational sustainability goals.

Question: How easy is it to get a refund?

Answer:
China Airlines

You can get a full refund from China Airlines under the following provisions:
– Your flight is at least a week away.
– You request a refund within 48 hours of booking.
You must meet both conditions.
Eva Air
You can fully refund a ticket with Eva Air under a few conditions:
– Your flight is at least a week away.
– You canceled the ticket within 24 hours of purchase.
– You submitted the refund request within 24 hours of purchasing.
If you meet all of these conditions, you can get a full refund, but you may have to pay a surcharge for this refund.

China Airlines vs. Eva Air: My Final Verdict

Now that I’ve covered the ins and outs of China Airlines and Eva Air, the big question remains: Who wins? 

It’s clear that Eva Air offers more in-flight services, food, and amenities. They also appear to provide more value for money regarding the different classes. For instance, with China Airlines, despite the price increase, there seems to be little difference between their Economy and Premium Economy classes. So, what exactly are you paying all that extra for? At least, with Eva Air, you get a clearer distinction between the different classes and the benefits offered. 

That said, China Airlines covers more weight allowance per item. Still, for carry-ons, there’s very little difference. 

But, the more pressing issue for flyers is likely the difference in pricing. In most cases, Eva Airline flights can cost up to $10 to $100 more than China Airlines flights.

So, who takes the cake?

For the most economically viable flight, China Airlines just about pushes past Eva Air. Even though China Airlines doesn’t have the same level of in-flight services, it still provides better baggage allowance, decent food, and in-flight entertainment. Plus, it can come in up to $100 cheaper.  

Whereas, if you’re looking for anything above Economy, Eva Air provides better value for money. The class difference is more distinguished, making the price hike between cabins more justifiable than China Airlines.

That’s everything! Over to you – which do you think is the superior airline? Tell us your thoughts in the comments box below. Speak soon!

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