What?! EVA releases gorgeous new biz cabin, but chooses inferior seats

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EVA offers a first class experience in a business class seat. They give you pjs, Krug or the like, and offer impeccable service. The seat currently offered on their 777s is a reverse herringbone design not unlike you’d find on AA, Cathay, China Airlines, Air France, etc. It’s head out, feet in, lie flat with aisle access for the win. I find them private, roomy, and hand’s down my most preferred design. I’m not alone – they’re universally favored amongst enthusiasts. Here’s what it looks like.

Today…EVA has released a video featuring their new dreamliner business class.

No doubt, the cabin is drop dead gorgeous. The colors, lighting, controls, IFE, everything is eye catching and uber attractive. I love it from an aesthetic perspective. However…they chose to install Thompson Advantage XL seats. Comfort is subjective, but from this blogger’s vantage point, they are certainly inferior to the current seat and setup.

Here’s a look at what Vantage seats look like on Qantas.

While the dimensions of width, length, and footwell may vary somewhat from design to design, the privacy that reverse herringbone represents is practically universal for every passenger on a plane. It is not with these seats. You can see below, the seat on the far left is a window seat with exposure to the aisle, whereas the seat on the far right  is a window seat whose armrest buffers the aisle from the passenger. The same effect is repeated with the middle seats.

To compare: look at EVA’s current reverse herringbone

The cabin photo shows how universal the seat design is, and on the left you have an overhead perspective of the seat that should give you a better idea of how the seat angle provides privacy, work space, storage, etc. Every passenger knows they will enjoy these attributes regardless of the seat assigned.

Overall sentiment

EVA is an outstanding airline that offers truly world class service. While I’m excited to review the new dreamliners from a blogger perspective, the pivot to the Thompson Vantage XL seat is a big miss in my book. I’m not sure what their long term plans are with their current fleet of 777s, but if they’re phased out and the fleet is repped by Vantage XLs, it not only drops down the list of best business classes, but will offer the 2nd best business class to Taipei ( China Airlines offers a GORGEOUS Super Diamond biz).  With all that being said…I do want to try it out 😉


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  • Evan September 21, 2018

    I really dont understand the blogger obsession with “privacy” in seats… what are you doing that youre afraid people will see 😉

    I’m 6’3” and the reverse herinbone seats are nice enough but often feel tight in bed mode. Give me legroom/flexibility any day.

  • N September 21, 2018

    I for one have never understood the excitement about reverse herringbone seats. I think they’re awkward and provide a rather uncomfortable overall experience, in spite of the privacy they afford. While I haven’t flown inVantage XL seats, I’ve preferred similar styled seats and look forward to this change. So I’m not sure there really is a “universally favored” seat.

  • Alvin September 20, 2018

    I mostly disagree with Rupert – reverse herringbone seats are more or less favoured by the entire industry – but agree that the Vantage XL seat in this case is indeed superior: the EVA Air 777 version didn’t have much storage space as storage compartments weren’t maximised, unlike the Super Diamond version by China Airlines. Sure I would’ve hoped for the Super Diamond to be installed instead, and I’d much rather be in a reverse herringbone than an aisle-side Vantage XL seat – but I might actually favour one of the windowside seats in this configuration instead due to the extra storage space. Just my two cents.

  • Rupert September 20, 2018

    Couldn’t disagree more, I don’t think there is a “universally favored” seat!
    I’d take Thomson Advantage XL over reverse herringbone any day:
    – you face forward instead of sideways
    – you can watch TV from the moment you sit down instead of having to wait till you can fold out your screen
    – you can choose between privacy and seats better for couples, depending on who is traveling
    – the food space is more square and wider, instead of a narrow triangle – which is better for side-sleepers
    So, we all have different priorities and come to different conclusions depending on that. Thankfully different airlines offer different products for different people…

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