On our daughter’s first trip to visit her grandparents in Europe, we flew with Taiwan’s EVA Air. With the service and various policies related to travel with infants varying considerably between different airlines, I decided to put together this guide summarizing what it’s like to travel with a baby on EVA Air.
Before jumping into the details, all I can say is that I am glad we chose EVA Air as the journey was – to the extent it can be when traveling long-haul with a nine-month-old baby – seamless and comfortable.
2 Ways You Can Travel with a Baby on EVA Air and the Infant Fare
Like other airlines, EVA Air considers infants to be children over 7 days and under 2 years old. The airline does transport children under 7 days old and those between 2 and 12 years old require a child fare ticket. Children above 12 years old need a regular ticket.
With that, there are two ways you can travel with your (under 2 years old) baby on EVA Air:
- Infant on lap: In this case, your baby’s fare will be 10% of the adult fare plus any applicable taxes and fees. Because infants are exempt from some paying some taxes and fees, the total cost of your baby’s ticket will generally be less than 10% of your ticket’s total cost.
- Infant in seat: Because a seat will be reserved for your baby in this case, the ticket will be more expensive; 75% of the adult fare plus any applicable taxes and fees to be precise. To book an infant in seat ticket, you will have to call EVA Air’s ticketing office.
When traveling with an infant on lap, you will be able to book a bassinet for your baby on a first come, first served basis. One important thing to keep in mind here is that at least one adult needs to be traveling for every infant on lap. As such, if you are traveling along with two infants, one will require a seat and need to be secured in a car seat or other such approved device.
Call EVA Air As Soon As You Make Your Booking
The first thing I recommend doing as soon as you are finished booking your flights is calling your local (or nearest) EVA Air ticketing office reserve to reserve bassinets and baby meals for all your sectors. In fact, you might want to call the office in advance to make sure a bassinet is still available on the flight you want to take.
In my case, I called EVA Air’s Tokyo office and the request was taken care of within a couple of minutes. I was also asked if I wanted to get diapers onboard too. When I said sure, I was then given the choice of three sizes.
Baby Bassinets on EVA Air
EVA Air offers bassinet across its fleet – both on all its widebody aircraft, as well as on the sole narrowbody type in its fleet – Airbus A321.
Bassinet Reservations Are Free
Aircraft bassinets are attached to bulkhead walls at the front of cabins. What this means is that in economy class they are typically in rows that offer extra legroom.
With many airlines nowadays charging for such seats, ensuring you get a bassinet on your flight can mean having to spend tens if not hundreds of dollars on seat assignments. But hey, at least the airlines say they do not charge for the bassinets but for the extra legroom seats…
Luckily, EVA Air still maintains what I think is basic decency and does not charge extra for booking bassinets. Or, to put it in the words of airlines that do, for booking “extra legroom seats.”
Bassinet Size Depends on the Aircraft Type You Will Fly On
Just because your child is under 2 years old doesn’t mean that he or she can use a bassinet. That’s because the bassinets have weight and height restrictions. In case your baby does not fit in a bassinet, I strongly recommend booking an extra seat for any flight longer than two or three hours.
The good news is that EVA Air’s bassinets are larger than those offered by some other major airlines that I considered for the trip. The exact size and weight limit depend on the aircraft type you will be flying on (we flew on the 787-9, 787-10, and A330-300). You can check the aircraft type on your ticket and you will also be asked about your baby’s age and weight when reserving the bassinet.
Another good news is that EVA Air offers bassinets on all of the aircraft it operates, in both economy class and business class. Below is a table with each of the aircraft types and the corresponding bassinet dimensions and weight limits:
|70.8 x 29.8 cm
|Premium Economy / Economy
|77.8 x 34.9 cm
|70.8 x 29.8 cm
|70.8 x 29.8 cm
|Economy Class Seats 20DEFG
|76.8 x 28.3 cm
|All Classes excl. Seats 20DEFG
|77.8 x 34.9 cm
|77.8 x 34.9 cm
|70.8 x 29.8 cm
|70.8 x 29.8 cm
EVA Air’s Infant Baggage Allowance and Stroller Usage
Infants on lap traveling with EVA Air can essentially travel with three pieces of luggage free of charge:
- A piece of checked luggage
- A stroller, carrying basket, pushchair, car seat, or CARES harness
- A bag with infant necessities including diapers, bottles, milk, food, etc.
The main checked luggage of an infant has the same weight restriction as that of the accompanying adult.
For example, if your ticket allows two pieces of luggage weighing up to 23 kg each, then your baby will be able to check in one piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kg free of charge.
In general, you will need to check your stroller in. That said, if there is enough space available onboard and if your baby’s stroller can be collapsed to carry-on size, you will be able to take it onboard with you.
Even if you have to check your stroller in, though, EVA Air will allow you to use it all the way to the departure gate and, with the exception of some airports like Vienna, will hand it back to you at your arrival gate. In either case, you will want to tell your preferences to the check-in agent who will provide a baggage tag for the stroller.
For example, since we only had 90 minutes to make our transfer on our way back from Vienna to Tokyo, I asked for the stroller not to be provided to us at our arrival gate in Taipei to maximize the time we had for the transfer (i.e. to avoid having to wait for our stroller to be brought to the gate).
Carry-On Infant Necessities Bag
While infants are not entitled to the full carry-on baggage allowance that adult passengers are on EVA Air, you can still bring a bag with infant necessities onboard on top of your regular carry-on baggage allowance.
This bag is limited to a maximum weight of 5 kg and can include items like diapers, bottles, food, milk, toys, etc.
EVA Air Allows Families with Children Board First
When traveling with an infant (or small children in general), EVA Air will let you board as part of group 1. With that, you will be able to be among the first to get onboard – i.e. you will be able to board before business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members.
This will give you plenty of time to get settled in and to store your belongings in the overhead compartment. If you are in an economy class row that allows the use of bassinets, you will not be able to store any luggage on the floor since there is no seat in front of you. That said, you can still place some small essentials in the seat pocket.
Between the time you get onboard and the rest of the passengers boarding, you will also most likely be approached by one of the flight attendants who will confirm that you want to use a bassinet and that you booked a baby meal/diapers.
You Can Wear a Baby Carrier on EVA Air
While some airlines provide seatbelt extensions to secure an infant with (it attaches to your seatbelt), others – like EVA Air – do not. Similarly, some airlines allow parents to put their baby in a carrier during the flight while others do not. As I wrote in my article about domestic travel around Japan with a baby, I try to avoid airlines that do not allow the use of baby carriers.
Fortunately, EVA Air allows the use of baby carriers so, if you have one, I highly recommend bringing it on board. You will find it will come very handy both during take-off and landing and during the cruise if your baby has trouble falling asleep in the bassinet, for example.
EVA Air Baby Food, Diapers, and Toys
Assuming you book it in advance, you will be provided with baby food and diapers onboard your EVA Air flights. Your child will also get something to play with.
You will still want to bring all of those items with you, though, so that you can keep your baby as comfortable as possible by having what he or she is used to rather than having something new.
On all of our flights, the baby meal consisted of boxes with three jars of both sweet and sour HiPP baby food. On each long-haul flight, we got two boxes – i.e. six jars. On the shorter segments between Japan and Taipei, we got a box per flight.
Since the baby food only came with a large spoon, you will want to bring your own spoon to feed your baby with. In fact, you will most likely want to bring your own baby food that your baby is used to with you too.
In our case, the provided food was too sweet and not solid enough compared to what we fed our daughter at that time. Because of that, we fed her packaged baby food we brought with us from Japan. (…and my sister ate the sweet baby food we got onboard later on…)
On all four segments, at some point during the flight, we were handed a toy for our daughter. On the first three flights, it was a foldable piece of cardboard with people that could be dressed using stickers. On the last flight, it was a small picture book about animals flying to Madagascar (inspired by the movie?) on EVA Air.
Neither of those was too suitable for the age of our daughter but we still definitely appreciated getting something our daughter could hold, look at, and (somewhat) play with. As an aviation enthusiast, I also love the book that she got and am keeping it in a safe place until she can read it and understand the story!
The main point here, I guess is, that while EVA Air will provide some sort of entertainment for your baby, make sure to bring enough of the baby’s own toys and books.
Baby Facilities in EVA Air’s Taipei Taoyuan Airport Lounges
Lastly, this only applies if you have access to Star Alliance lounges either through being a Star Alliance Gold member or traveling in business class but I still thought it’s worth mentioning.
EVA Air’s The Star Lounge had a nice nursing room with a sofa chair for feeding your baby, a diaper changing table, a sink, and even free diapers and wipes. While I haven’t visited the airline’s other lounges at Taipei Taoyuan Airport, based on a look around the internet, it appears that they have similar facilities too.
With one set of my daughter’s grandparents – i.e. my parents – living halfway across the world in Europe, long-haul travel with a baby is a must for us. While it’s not easy, EVA Air made the whole process about as stress-free as possible.
If you are about to fly with the airline with your baby then do not worry, you are in good hands. If you are considering booking EVA Air for your next trip with your baby, likewise, do not worry and go ahead.