My friend Jason and I are having a heated conversation about EVA Air versus Cathay Pacific in Economy from Taipei to Hong Kong (of course, we’re setting the standards high with EVA Kitty). I lean towards Cathay Pacific sometimes, but I’m nowhere as fanboy-ish towards the airline as Jason is – I mean, take Lucky’s love for Lufthansa (alliteration not intended) and multiply that by ten, and you’ll get an impression of how Jason loves Cathay.
I love EVA too (the last flight I flew before I started reviewing flights was on EVA), so I’d share my general impressions of how the products compare (the only pictures I took of EVA had my sister in the middle of it so I can’t crop her out, so I’ll have to find pictures off the Internet, sorry).
Note: Only half the Taipei CX flights are on the A330, so please only take reference if you are taking the A330 (or the 777-300ER with a similar product).
Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class
I’m generally a fan of Cathay’s A330 economy class. While I’ve never been booked in a new CX seat, I’ve sat in one and tried it for a total of thirty seconds (much to the surprise of the person next to the empty seat), so I know how it feels like.
It’s plush and quite comfy, and is perfect for a 16-hour flight, much more an hour-long hop.
(I’m making a rough assumption that Premium Economy and Economy food are similar.)
Having lucked out on dinner/lunch food on flights to both Auckland and Singapore, I think the good “main meal” food is the norm and not a “fluke”, if you can call it that. So I have generally positive impressions on Cathay’s food.
(I’m also assuming that Premium Economy and Economy service are the same, which seems, but I’m not sure of, to be the case.)
I find Cathay’s service to be mostly nice but not overly so (I mean, you don’t get this flight every time), so my thoughts are generally positive. Nothing compared to EVA business, but superior to what I got in BR economy (or maybe the Kitties were freaking the attendants out)?
StudioCX is one of the top entertainment systems, though the “hard” amenities are lacking. I mean, they only provide a standard pillow…unacceptable! 😉
Without further ado, I’ll proceed over to EVA’s offerings.
EVA Air Hello Kitty A330 Economy Class
The seat is as well padded as Cathay’s, but I give it a slight edge due to the Hello Kitty headrest. A special edition aircraft really helps!
The food on BR is unmemorable. I mean, really unmemorable. I have no idea how it was like, I just remember it was edible but not more. (That automatically means that Hello Kitty’s face was not seared into the vegetables?)
Service was kind of indifferent. No way anything like my recent experiences on CX, sadly. The crew didn’t give a smile at all (no, not even Hello Kitty – she’s mouthless, remember?)
This is the best part of the Kitty experience. On each “slide” on the screen Hello Kitty’s face appears – and the christmassy (!?) boarding music matches with a Hello Kitty banner behind an EVA Air 747 (well, that’s the closest thing it can be referred to). But the most amazing thing has to be the Hello Kitty toilet paper, pillows and hand cream bottles. I mean, Hello Kitty smells your ass, sleeps with you and keeps your hand moist – all at the same time! 😛
Rounding this up:
Seat: EVA Air
Food: Cathay Pacific
Service: Cathay Pacific
Amenities: EVA Air
Note: The EVA Air winner in these results refers to the Kitty experience.
So, as it comes out, it’s a tie. Cathay Pacific has an awesome economy product for a sub-2 hour flight, but so does EVA. I guess I’ll take Hello Kitty anytime for the
fact that Hello Kitty and Hong Kong have the same initials “special route” (no point wasting the plane), but they’re both nice in their own ways.
Also note: CX 401, the flight Jason was on, was run by a 777-300ER today. I believe that the rankings are pretty similar, even the same if you ask me. So I guess it all depends on if you like Hello Kitty or not. 😉