EVA Air's Elite Class

As a travel writer, I fly frequently—sometimes crammed into economy class, sometimes blessed with a first-class booking. Recently I flew a long-haul 14-hour flight from LAX to Taipei on EVA Air in its Elite Class, a fourth class of cabin service that falls between economy and business. By the end of the trip, I was saying to my traveling companion, "I've flown six-hour trips between L.A. and New York that seemed longer than this one."  EVA's new B777-300ER

Enhanced seats in the upgraded Elite Class cabin contributed to this illusion of time passing swiftly. Seats are fully adjustable, with the same pitch, width, leg- and foot rests as in Evergreen Deluxe, as well as ergonomic cushions and moveable headrests.

Elite Class travelers on EVA's new B777-300ERs have access to personal interactive Star Gallery Audio/Video On Demand (AVOD) entertainment systems with 8.4-inch touch screens. These provide movies, music, video games, shopping and a digital Short Message Service. Messages to cell phones or e-mail addresses cost $1.50.

EVA offers both Western and Chinese menu choices served on bone china dinnerware. Instead of plastic forks and knives, passengers use stainless cutlery. They'll also receive overnight kits with toothpaste, tooth brushes and moisturizer.

At a cost of approximately 25 percent more than the price of economy class, your clients will probably find EVA's Elite Class to be an affordable premium-economy travel option. As an added bonus, Evergreen Club frequent flyer program members who fly Elite earn an extra 25 percent mileage credit.

EVA is currently operating B777s on flights between Taipei, Bangkok and London, and on the Los Angeles/Taipei route. By August 2007, it will be flying all 17 of its weekly LAX trips with the new aircraft. The airline will also soon deploy brand-new B777s to Seattle, San Francisco and Newark.