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Old 24th January 2011, 10:12 AM
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Angry EVA Air Problems

Note: this is probably just a one-off, but I thought I'd record for posterity a slightly sour experience I had with EVA Air at London Heathrow.

------------------

Just a warning shout out to anyone taking Eva Air to Thailand (possibly only relevant to those checking in online, but of interest to all) - I was given a light grilling when entering the gate by the particularly unfriendly staff member. I had checked in online, clutching a feeble A4 paper printout of my boarding card, and was fairly unpleasantly asked why I had not "gone downstairs". I politely pointed out that I had no need to check in downstairs as I had checked in online, printed my own boarding pass and had proceeded straight through to security just as it had instructed me to do on the website (and even the printed boarding pass, IIRC). "We don't use these" huffed the EVA lady as she ripped my dog-eared piece of paper in two and printed a "proper" one for me.

I then got the third degree.

"Do you have any hand luggage?" Amazed, I slowly turned and patted my 40l carry-on backpack that had been slung over my shoulders. "Just this". I guess she saw I didn't have a checked bag by the lack of baggage tag or something, and that made me a suspicious character that was worthy of cross-examination.

"You're returning 8th March? Do you have a visa?" she asked pointedly.

"Nnnnnnoooo", I replied slowly, my patience and politeness both straining. Prempting a condescending rant on her part, I pressed on. "I have a flight out to Bali on 17 February. I do realise that an onward flight within thirty days is a requirement for entry".

Of course, we all know that particular requirement is rarely (i.e. never) enforced on the Thai side - but this lady was doing it by the book.

"This is why it's good to go downstairs", she stabbed at me. "Yeah, so I don't have to deal with mardy old cows like you", was the answer I gave in my head. Outwardly, I forced a meek smile.

"Which airline?"
"Air Asia".
"Can I see it please".

Luckily I had, as an afterthought, printed out my Air Asia itinerary. She looked it up and down and then returned it with a tight "thank you" that must've been a struggle for her to muster, and waved me on.

So I don't know how widespread this is - I may have just been unlucky and picked the wrong part of her menstrual cycle to check in - but at least one EVA staff member at Heathrow has an arse/elbow quandry - so come prepared!
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Old 25th January 2011, 03:05 AM
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Well, what a great start (not) to your eagerly awaited holiday. You did what I always do, that is, check in online, and go to the "online checkin" counter when I hit the airport. There is usually no one waiting, the bags go straight on the weighing apparatus, I flash them the boarding passes and passports, they bang a few computer keys and I'm straight through immigration into the business class lounge for several coldies.

I have never flown EVA and after your "transgression" I don't think I will go out of my way to source them out.

Be careful in Bali Steve. There has been an outbreak of rabies (dogs) as well as a virulent outbreak of legionnaires disease, particularly around the Kuta area. Several Aussie holidaymakers have returned with the symptoms (of Legionnaires) and as a consequence they have been isolated.

Have a great holiday and we will all look forward to your report upon your return.
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Old 25th January 2011, 05:08 AM
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Thumbs up

I think I maybe found a loophole in their system - I checked in online, but had no bags to check, so went straight on through (as it said on the website). Perhaps when they check bags is when EVA swap a paper boarding pass for a "real" one. I fail to see how it's my fault and I certainly didn't deserve The Inquisition! I doubt I'll be flying EVA again - I only chose it because of price (a direct flight with them was only a little bit more expensive than a two-leg journey with the Arabian carriers via the Middle East with a long layover). Their entertainment on the flight was dire... nice plane (big touchscreens), but slow systems, poorly designed, and disastrous selection of films. Ho hum!

Thanks for the heads up about Bali. I should hopefully still be covered for my rabies jab - can't remember the date it "expires" - but a bout of Legionnaires doesn't sound too wonderful...

cheerio!
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