One of the often-overlooked Star Alliance lounge options at Bankgok Suvarnabhumi Airport is the EVA Air Lounge. It’s located on the 3rd floor at the F concourse, close to gate F1, and certainly provides a nice alternative to the (rather tired) Thai Airways business class lounges, five of which are dotted around the international concourse.
Indeed we visited the EVA Air facility prior to a Singapore Airlines business class flight, which we reviewed here, to see if it stood up as a worthy alternative to both Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines new SilverKris lounge offerings in Bangkok.
EVA Air at Bangkok
Although EVA Air is best known as a Taiwanese carrier and Star Alliance member based in Taipei, they operate a total of 42 flights per week from Bangkok. 28 of those are to Taipei, plus a daily flight (7 per week) to London Heathrow, four flights to Vienna and three per week to Amsterdam, making it an important secondary hub for the carrier, certainly worthy of its own lounge.
The Bangkok facility is one of only two lounges EVA Air operates outside Taiwan, the other being in San Francisco.
(Edit: 27th December 19:00 – The EVA Air lounge in San Francisco actually closed a couple of months ago, on 1st October 2017, the same date as the Singapore Airlines SFO lounge closed. This is to make way for the new United Polaris lounge which is opening in 2018. Thanks to Sunny for the heads-up.)
Opening Times: 6.00am to 3.30am (Wed/Fri/Sun closing at 2.30am)
Multi-standard Power Sockets: No (Thai three-pin)
USB Charging Sockets: No
We arrived in the lounge around 1.30pm on a Saturday. There was an EVA Air departure one hour later to Taipei, followed by another EVA flight about three and a half hours later.
The first thing that strikes you when you enter this lounge is the unusual decor, more reminiscent of a nightclub than the usual grey and brown tones of most airline lounges these days.
The entrance lobby is softly lit and sports black ceilings and neon lighting, to us it seemed like a theme which would have been more widely popular in the early 2000s.
Once you progress into the lounge though, the colours tone down a little and it’s not so “in your face”. Either that, or you just quickly get used to it!
We were warmly welcomed inside having presented our Singapore Airlines business class boarding passes, and the lounge at first appeared moderately busy. However, with a little exploration it was clear that this lounge is divided into three distinct seating areas, and most people had chosen a seat in the first one, closest to the reception and food area.
The further into the lounge we ventured, the quieter it became, and there was plenty of choice with several different seating styles available. We chose a low table by the window, with aircraft views over the adjacent apron.
We tested the Wi-Fi connection in this lounge and found it to be fast, contrary to some earlier reviews, so perhaps there has been some investment here. It may also have been down to the relative quietness of the lounge at the time.
It was a bit early in the day for us to sample the wine offering, and we wanted to save ourselves for the manned bar at the new Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge we were reviewing after this one, so we settled for a beer from the self-pour Heineken tap.
Of course, a full bar selection was also available, including spirits, mixers, and the following wines, which don’t appear get very good Vivino ratings. The red fares slightly better than the white.
The two wines on offer were:
- Conde del Sur Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (2015). 2.3 stars on Vivino
- Conde del Sur Reserva Carmenère, Chile (2015). 3.3 stars on Vivino
We were impressed with the food selection in this lounge, a nice range of dishes including fruit and sandwiches, fresh salads, dim sum, soups and of course the local favourites pad thai and Thai green curry.
We tried the pad thai and the Thai green curry. Both were excellent, flavoursome dishes, and better than their counterparts in the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge turned out to be.
Exploring the lounge
Once we had sampled the food, we took some photos of the rest of the lounge, including the alternative seating options, the showers, massage chairs, and the business area.
As you can see in the photos above, the lounge has high bar-style seating along with some low table options in the first section you enter, close to the food and beverage area.
Along the side of the lounge, and spanning all three seating zones, low window seats are ideal for solo travellers or couples and have airport views.
As you venture further into the lounge, there is a second main seating area, flanked with vertical lighting and a central decorative feature.
Right at the back, in the third seating area, there are additional seating options, starting with low chairs ideal for solo travellers or couples and with power sockets available at each seat.
These are followed by a selection of high wingback chairs, lacking in the charging department as there are very few power sockets in this area, but nonetheless great for socialising in a group.
Most seating areas in this lounge have ample charging points, but some are a little lacking. If you do need to charge your device, be aware that those of us lumbered with the three-pin UK plugs used in Singapore and Hong Kong will need an adaptor, as will the Aussies, as these Thai three-pin 220v sockets will only accept the USA 2-pin and European round-prong style plugs.
We didn’t check with the reception desk but I’m sure they have adaptors available on request.
The lounge also notably lacks any USB charging sockets.
There are two massage chairs with privacy curtains and a ‘vacant / engaged’ sign to flip over on the outside if you need some private relaxation time.
One great advantage of this lounge over the SilverKris lounge is the availability of shower facilities. We didn’t use the shower during this visit but did take a look and found two private shower cubicles, both clean and spacious. This would be a great opportunity to freshen up during a long transit, or simply after a long day.
If you’re staying in the lounge for a while and travelling with a lot of hand luggage, or just over-indulged in the duty free shops, you’ll probably appreciate a place to store your luggage during your visit. The EVA Air lounge has a number of secure luggage lockers, simply ask for assistance at the reception.
A small business area with three computer terminals is available in this lounge, providing adequate work space in a quiet zone. Printing facilities are also available.
Those familiar with Bangkok Suvarnabhumi will know it’s a very large terminal, and you can easily be 20+ minutes walk from your gate if you wind up at the wrong end, so choosing the right lounge relative to your departure gate is important. The EVA Air lounge is located on the 3rd floor at the F concourse, close to gate F1.
If you do choose the EVA Air lounge prior to a Singapore Airlines flight, it’s about a 10 minute walk after security and immigration to reach the lounge, then about 10 minutes back again to gates D6 / D7, where most SIA flights typically depart from. This makes the SilverKris lounge, right outside gate D7, a more convenient option.
Regulars on the route will know that some SIA flights depart from gate E1, in this case the EVA Air lounge is actually slightly closer to the gate than the SilverKris lounge, so if you haven’t been before and your flight is leaving from E1, why not give it a try?
If your flight is with another Star Alliance carrier, your gate could easily be a long way from this lounge, so do also consider one of the Thai business lounges, which are relatively evenly spread throughout the terminal.
This lounge is available to passengers flying on an EVA Air flight or on a Star Alliance member operated flight:
- in First class or Business class; or
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Diamond or Gold status; or
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding Star Alliance Gold status; or
- holding paid membership to United Club or Air Canada Maple Leaf Club (Worldwide).
This lounge is also available to passengers flying on an EVA Air flight only:
- in Premium Economy or Economy class and holding EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Silver status.
EVA or Singapore?
For those tossing up between the new Singapore Airlines Bangkok SilverKris lounge (review here) and this lounge prior to their flight, we’d say:
- The food selection was similar in both lounges, but we found the quality and flavour of the dishes we tried to be better in the EVA Air Lounge.
- The EVA Air lounge may be a quieter alternative depending on the time of day, it’s bigger and has more seats than SilverKris, and doesn’t suffer from external concourse noise.
- The manned bar at the SilverKris lounge is a nice touch and overall the drinks offering and quality at SilverKris was better.
- The SilverKris lounge has a better location for most flight departures, especially for Singapore Airlines passengers.
- The EVA Air lounge has well equipped shower facilities, these are sadly missing from the SilverKris lounge. This may be important to you after a long day in the city, or during a long transit.
- The Wi-Fi speed was very good in both lounges, but slightly better in the SilverKris lounge, even though that lounge was busier when we tested it.
We enjoyed our stay at the EVA Air lounge and could easily while away a couple of hours here prior to our next Star Alliance flight from Bangkok. The decor is “different” and will not be to everyone’s taste, but we actually appreciated the change from the more standard “beige-scale” found in most airport lounges these days.
We particularly liked the food selection and quality, clean and spacious shower facilities, and multiple seating options. Of course it helped that the lounge was quiet when we visited.
As one of only two dedicated EVA Air lounges outside Taiwan (we haven’t tried their San Francisco one yet), it’s clear EVA really put a lot of effort into achieving a good product, and not just having an outstation lounge for the sake of it.
That’s quite commendable as in our experience there are so many awful ‘airline branded’ outstation lounges around the world, which seemingly only exist to have their badge on a door.
We also found our time at the EVA lounge very peaceful compared to the busier SilverKris lounge. It was certainly very quiet when we visited, but having looked at several other reviews of this lounge that is a common theme. Though we can’t speak from firsthand experience, it seems as though this lounge never gets really busy.
Bottom line – this is a great lounge offering for Star Alliance passengers at Suvarnabhumi. You may be wedded to the Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways lounges, and there is some give-and-take between the EVA lounge and those facilities, but if you haven’t tried it we would strongly suggest you do. It’ll quickly become clear which you prefer.
Just don’t leave without trying the pad thai.
Visited November 2017