EVA Airways joins Star Alliance tomorrow (and is already bookable with Lifemiles)

Back in April, EVA Airways announced that they’d be joining the Star Alliance as of June 18, 2013, which is tomorrow. This is pretty exciting news, not only because it strengthens Star Alliance’s Asian network even further (as if they needed that), but because they have one of the best transpacific business class hard products out there, similar to the one offered by American and Cathay Pacific.

Anyway, EVA Airways actually already has a reciprocal agreement with United, so for a long while now you could redeem United miles for travel on EVA Airways. The downside was that the awards weren’t bookable online, and you could only search award space via EVA’s horrible website, a process I outlined here.

Anyway, if you have AviancaTaca Lifemiles, it appears as if you can already book EVA awards with them. When you go to do an award search, EVA should already show up in the drop down menu.

Just do a search as you usually would, and you’ll be impressed by how good EVA award space is. It’s readily available, and I expect it will begin to decrease quickly as these awards start becoming bookable with more Star Alliance carriers, and especially as they become bookable online. But many flights have at least two business class award seats, even on their premium routes.

As a reminder, the new product is only available on the 777-300s, and not on the 747s or A330s, so choose accordingly. Also, when you book the 777, you’ll want to be sure it has the following seatmap:

Anyway, I’m most excited to redeem US Airways miles on EVA. Taiwan is considered “North Asia,” so business class roundtrip between the US and North Asia is just 90,000 miles. You can also route via Europe, and keep in mind EVA flies to Paris and London on the new product (via Bangkok, oddly), and also flies the new product to Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. While they also fly to my home airport of Seattle, sadly it’s on the 747, so you won’t be finding me on that route anytime soon.

Speaking only for myself, I’m actually most excited to fly EVA on their Hello Kitty jets. I just can’t decide whether I want to fly Speed Puff, Happy Music Time, or Loves Apples. One thing’s for sure — I’ll be checking in at the Hello Kitty Kiosk.

(Tip of the hat to Canadian Kilometers)

Filed Under: Advice, Awards
  1. The via-BKK oddity is because Taiwanese carriers have limited (if any?) access to mainland Chinese airspace, so the nonstop route is too far out of the way to actually be able to fly it nonstop.

  2. I actually booked TPE-BKK for early Nov which is on the 777-300ER. I suppose it continues on to Europe. So that’s kind of fun that I should get to try out the new C, right? Or are the multiple configs? I booked several months ago but noted that seat assignment wasn’t possible at the time. Guess I should check again.

  3. so they don’t have first class??? šŸ™
    how is the service, food, and amenities in their biz?
    thank you.

  4. @ RakSiam — You’ll want to check the seatmap, as they have some non-reconfigured 777s flying the route. Be sure the layout in business class is 1-2-1 and not 2-2-2.

  5. @ Lantean — Correct, no first class. Haven’t flown them so not sure about service and food, though have heard it’s quite good. Plan to try them myself soon.

  6. @lantean : taiwanese carriers (CI and BR) aren’t winning accolades for over-the-top service, but from my limited experience in Y, it’s warm and friendly

    a bad day on BR beats a good day on UA

  7. Thanks. I just checked under the “manage my booking” part of their website and the link to the aircraft type shows the new config. Seat selection is only allowed 100 days out or less. So I have to wait until the end of July to find out for sure.

  8. fly through BKK for a few reasons:
    1. BR and CI could not fly over China before 2000, only way to Europe was through BKK or some other SE Asia cities.
    2. no enough passengers between Taiwan and Europe and used to have 4 European carriers (AF/BA via HKG, KL/SR via BKK)plus CX/TG/SQ/MH in competition. While BKK Thailand is popular tourist and business designation for both Taiwanese and European, it is a much logical choice for both BR and CI.
    3. cost for fly over fee (China, Russia) are much higher than fly through Thailand.

  9. As for service: service are not designed for Westerners, similar BR is similar to ANA/NH and CI is more close to JAL/JA.

  10. @Lantean: good day on BR beats a bad day on CX, though note that on average English isn’t quite as good (luckily not an issue for me). They’re rolling out a new business class product (“Royal Laurel”); it’s available from ex-JFK, LAX, SFO, and YYZ so far. Haven’t tried it yet.

  11. @ dc — In theory tomorrow I’d say. They’re usually pretty fast about loading it, though it may be a day or two longer.

  12. I believe the TPE-CDG route is the only BR European route that does not stop in BKK on the way. (i.e., it is nonstop).

  13. hi . Me and my wife stayed at a marriot last nite and we had to check out 2 am bec the room was infested with bed bugs and my wife had an aIergic reaction. I was hoping you can guide me how to go about it with the hotel reg comp. Thanks for all your expert advice

  14. @ servme — Have you brought it up directly with the hotel? At the very least the stay should be comped, in my opinion, so I’d see how far you can get directly with them.

  15. Lucky,

    Every time I read about StarAlliance and online partner bookings, it just drives me crazy how far AA/OneWorld lags. Is there a story behind AA’s inability to integrate partner awards into their systems?

    I won’t even get started on how sad their Asia offerings are…

  16. @ Robert — For what it’s worth, American is improving. Most partners are now bookable online, and the remaining should be added in the near future. Keep in mind how bad United’s website was for booking Star Alliance awards pre-merger.

  17. Another way to get Eva Air prior to them joining Star Alliance was to use your booking service.

    I am flying them fan Francisco to taipei in November an back to San Francisco in January. We also added alight to Komatsu Japan and back to Tawain.

    Really looking forward to,flying Eba AIr!

  18. Thanks for the info!

    Do you know how many miles to redeem lax-cdg via Asia using United miles?

    Would stopovers be allowed!

  19. I was at TPE a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to stumble upon the Hello Kitty boarding area/gate. I’ve known about the Hello Kitty jets for a long time but didn’t know there was a special gate also.

  20. @ Beachfan — Well United will let you route from the US to Asia via Europe for 120,000 miles in business class, so you could have a stopover in Europe on that if you’d like.

  21. Hi lucky, my parents both have EVA evergreen club points around 19K each, with this new partnership between EVA and UA, is there a thing i could do to transfer the miles from EVA to UA or something else ?

  22. @ Ed — As Michael said you can’t transfer miles between programs, but at least now they can accrue Evergreen Club miles from from flying Star Alliance carriers.

  23. EVA Air always fly Taipei to London via BBK due to commercial issue. The demand between Taipei to London is too thin to support a regular scheduler. They make good profit between London – BBK for all the british tourist. Their business class product should be one of the cheapest business class between London to BBK; hence, always pretty full.

    Hope they do release some good seats with Star Alliance. EVA Air used to be so limited on reward seat that you need to book at least 6 months+ in order to guarantee a seat.

  24. EVA service is generally good but not super good English.

    Also some of the food is pretty Taiwan based, not everyone’s cup of tea. As their business class is full pretty often, I do come across the cases that they can only offer traditional Taiwanese style breakfast to the British guy sitting next to me. He was almost sick over the breakfast and had to recover with 4 shots of Scotch.

  25. When I played the video, my bf thought I was watching soft-core porn based on the music. šŸ˜‰ And the lie-flat almost is!

  26. My 2 year old’s named Eva and she loves Hello Kitty. This is perfect…if we lived in Asia!

  27. Any possible way to book EVA’s Royal Laurel round trip from America to Asia (ex. LAX to TPE)without going through Europe for 120,000 miles?

    I checked EVA’s site and it shows 150,000 miles to go direct.

    Would love to use less miles and travel less time to get to my destination.


  28. @ Leo — Which program’s miles are you trying to use. US Airways would charge 90,000 miles in business class for such an award, while United would charge 120,000 miles. You can ignore the prices listed on EVA’s website, as those are the prices if redeeming their miles, and not partner miles.

  29. Lucky,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have roughly 135,000 UR Points so I guess convert them to UA would save me some points?

  30. @ Leo — Indeed, if you transfer to United you could book such an award for 120,000 miles in business class with no fuel surcharges.

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