Selecting Seats and Ordering Meals in Advance with EVA and Singapore Airlines

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We have our “biggest” trip of the year coming up very soon where my husband and I are flying literally around the world to celebrate his 40th birthday.  We are only stopping in a few cities, but we are technically flying around the world via Europe to The Maldives, and then back home via Asia.  This award was booked all in business class on Star Alliance partners including United, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and EVA Air for 120,000 United miles (before the February devaluation) + $90 in taxes/fees each.   It’s a heck of a deal for what we are getting and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a big birthday than with a big trip.

I’ll post lots more on this trip after it happens, but today I worked on getting our seat assignments sand pre-ordering some meals.  Since I booked via United, the only seat assignments we were able to make at the time of booking were the United operated segments.  United was able to give me my Turkish Airlines confirmation number, but to get the confirmation numbers for Singapore Airlines and EVA Airlines I had to call those airlines directly and provide my name, flight number, and the date I was traveling.

Book the Cook With Singapore Airlines:

Singapore has a pretty popular “Book the Cook” program for their business and first class passengers where you can book some “off the in-flight menu” items in advance.  One popular menu item that folks seem to rave about is the Lobster Thermidor.  You don’t have to order your meal in advance, but you have more than the three or four standard selections on-board if you do choose to order in advance so it can be worth the extra time.  You can do this over the phone, or perhaps more preferably, online.  You do have to have your Singapore Airlines confirmation number to select your meal online, hence the call I had to make to Singapore Airlines to get it since United couldn’t provide it to me.

My Singapore business class flight from Male – Singapore doesn’t have the “Book the Cook” option, but we were able to get our seat assignments, and I ordered an “Oriental Vegetarian” meal, because why the heck not.  I often have good luck with vegetarian special meals that are ordered ahead of time for flights.  Given our weird middle of the night flight times, I doubt we will really care about eating anyway on this flight regardless of what was served.

For what it’s worth, they also have some “Yummy” kids meals that you can also pick from online.  This is waaaay better than with US airlines where you can request a child’s meal for some flights, but you don’t get any input or information about what it might consist of ahead of time.

EVA Air Pre-Order Meals:

EVA Air also allows their premium cabin passengers the opportunity to select their main course entree online from 24 hours – 21 days in advance of the flight.   We have several meals in the sky with EVA, so we got to pick from the following selections online.  The selections with the * are the ones that can only be ordered in advance.

EVA Meal OrderDinner:

Pan Fried Prime Beef Fillet Steak with Rosemary Mustard Brown Sauce,Vegetables,Gratin Red Skin Potato
Steamed Cod Fillet with Nori Paste Sauce,Vegetables and Egg Noodles
Stuffed Chicken Wing with Bamboo Shoot, Shiitake Mushroom and Ham in Superior Soya Sauce, Vegetables and Steamed Rice with Pearl Barley
*Rack of Lamb Cutlet Coated with Lime Herb Crust with Rosemary Sauce serve with Parmentier Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
*Pan Fried Duck Breast with Dark Cherry Red Wine Sauce and Asparagus Rolled with Bacon,Roasted Potato
*Pan Seared Salmon Fillet and Cold Smoked Tuna Coated with Spinach and Sesame Delight Salad
*Braised Bean Curd,Burduck,Buttum Mushroom with Monascus Purpareus Sauce in Baby Pumpkin,Five Grain Rice
*Sauteed Scallop and Prawn with Herb Cream Sauce serve with Charcoal Noodles Tossed with Olive Oil and Buttered Vegetable


Taiwanese Plain Congee Served with Cold Delicatessen, Scrambled Egg with Scallion and Carrot, Shimeiji Mushroom with Green Beans and Water Bamboo Shoot
Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Udon Noodles Served with Traditional Delicatessens
Asparagus and Red Capsicum Egg Frittata Served with Pan Fried Chicken Sausage

As you can see for dinner your choices on board will be chicken, beef, or fish, but if you order in advance you get to throw in options like lamb, duck, salmon, scallops, and more.  This also gives you the chance to google some menu items you may not be as familiar with. 

Always Check Your Partner Flight Reservations Carefully:

Whether you care about making your menu selection in advance or not, it is still a very very good idea to check your reservations with partner airlines carefully and directly before departure.  It is quite likely in some situations that you won’t have specific seats assigned until you contact them directly, and knowing that the ticket is issued correctly is a nice feeling as well….because it isn’t always done perfectly and you want to be aware of any of those issues well before you go to check-in at the airport and can’t because the reservation was never actually ticketed.

Do you take the time to order meals ahead of time or double check seat assignments, especially with awards involving multiple partners?

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  1. Thanks for the info, I have marked my calendar in advance of our EVA business class ( hello kitty?) trip for oct. ( the lamb sounds yummy)

    I do note the seat assignments on the EVA site are correct, but on UA sight some are missing.

  2. I flew with my family on EVA YYZ-TPE last month in business, and it was amazing. I normally have a rule about not eating steak on an airplane, but I think you can safely throw that out the window with EVA. I ordered a lobster dish in advance and it was perfect, but I’m confident the lamb or beef would have been awesome as well.

  3. I preordered my meal on EVA Air but when I saw Din Tai Fung was being served, I asked for that instead and they gladly replaced it (I have a feeling one of the flight attendants or pilots ate my preordered meal.)

  4. Last week I was handed a promo brochure on Asiana indicating they are finally implementing this process as well.

  5. I have a US Airways award ticket with segments on EVA and Thai coming up. US gave me one record locator but said they weren’t sure if it worked for Thai or EVA. It ended working for both, and I can access seats for both partners from Thai’s website. Odd.

  6. Always re-check seat assignments especially on flight changes. Getting stuck with what seats are available is not the most enjoyable start, middle and/or end of a trip —

  7. It’s a great idea to check up on your seat assignments in advance. I have booked lots of flights for my wife and I on foreign airlines with AA & United miles (none of which had seat selection available on their websites) only to find that they didn’t seat us next to each other. You’d think that booking Business Class seats 10 months in advance might automatically get you a pair of seats next to each other but it doesn’t. Avianca, British Airways, & Turkish have all split us up in the past.

  8. I ordered my BTC meal for Singapore FC online for LHR-SIN and the lobater thermidor was delicious!! Highly recommend!

  9. @ Marie
    I had a US Airways award ticket with EVA, Thai and others (8 segment around the world) and when I logged on to EVA 21 days out from departure to choose my meals my reservation -that I had called months before to confirm, also asking for their record locator and choosing my seat- just changed to being ‘waitlisted’ for no reason at all and neither a US Airways supervisor nor EVA supervisor could get it back for me so I had to completely redo the last half of my award and pay all the fees to change it. It sucked. The weird thing was the US Airways super could see it on their side and it was perfectly fine and reserved. The EVA super saw it as waitlisted. Had I just showed up I would have been stranded at TPE.

    So, a little warning. Check and check often on their site. Take screen grabs with dates clearly shown. You can never be too careful.

  10. suggest skipping the kids options and just getting your kid to go with one of the adult BTC options. Some are fairly kid friendly and all are far better than the kid options

  11. Have you called into Turkish for seat assignments? You can do so 100 days in advance. And I’m assuming you’re flying IST-MLE? They’ve been operating that with the A333 instead of the A332 this last month. Fully flat seats instead of angled.

  12. I second on the Lobster thermidor. I have tried it once and so has the Mrs. We both loved it. However, my best meal so far on Singapore Airlines has been their cod fillet on noodles with some kind of chilli sauce. It was absolutely delicious. This was on the regular business class menu on ICN – SFO SQ 16 flight.

  13. I had a horrible experience checking my seats with EVA. I had a flight from BOS-BKK with EVA, Thai Airways, and United. I had used United Miles for 5 family members since it was a big family trip. Long story short, I had booked the tickets well in advance. I was given a confirmation number for all passengers. A couple of weeks before departure, I called to EVA, United, and Thai Airways to confirm seating for all passengers. EVA had bumped my mother to the stand by list. The reason for that was because there was a change in departure time and she did not confirm. For those of you that have traveled, departure times are always changing by +/-5-10 minutes. EVA said we had to confirm EACH time there was a schedule change. However, the rest of us were fine even though we did not confirm each time. So, that was weird. After many calls to United, they had to purchase a seat for my mother on EVA. It was so horrible, all the hours wasted on the phone.

    Moral of the story: PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR SEATING. I would go as far as to call and confirm once a week for four weeks leading up to departure.

  14. @Jeff

    SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME! EVA will confirm your seats one week then put you on the waitlist the next. It’s such a hassle to get it back. It takes the right representative to coordinate with EVA.

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