Some EVA Air updates now that they’re officially in Star Alliance

Yesterday I posted about how EVA Air was set to join the Star Alliance today (June 18), and how their flights were already bookable online with AviancaTaca Lifemiles.

I figured I’d post another update now that they’re officially in Star Alliance. First of all, EVA Air awards now seem bookable with all Star Alliance airlines. Aeroplan and ANA show award space online, United can see space over the phone and will hopefully add the capability to book online soon (though they’ve been partners with EVA Air for years), and US Airways can also see the space over the phone, as they don’t show award space for partner airlines online.

As I mentioned above, Aeroplan shows EVA Air award space online, and it’s plentiful.

EVA Air award space

EVA Air award space

The most exciting news, though, is that Aeroplan doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for travel on EVA Air, at least not yet. Meanwhile the only other transpacific airline for which they don’t impose fuel surcharges is United, so this is huge news. I expect this to change eventually, but for the time being this is a great way to redeem Aeroplan (and by connection American Express Membership Rewards points) for travel to Asia. Can’t beat the combination of plenty of award space, no fuel surcharges, and a phenomenal business class hard product.

No fuel surcharges!

Meanwhile the best place to search EVA Air award space is probably on the ANA website, which lets you search specific routes for a week at a time. For example, take a look at the number of flights between Los Angeles and Taipei that have business class award space.

Lots of business class award space!

I didn’t realize this till yesterday but I suspect it’ll make lots of you happy — EVA Air serves (I believe 2oo3) Dom Perignon in business class! The only other airline that serves Dom in business class is Jet Airways, and I’m not even sure they do that anymore given their financial situation.

Meanwhile I’m most excited about redeeming my US Airways miles for travel on the Hello Kitty flights. I’m eying the one between Taipei and Tokyo, since I’d like to maximize my premium cabin, aspirational award experience. They have everything from Hello Kitty check-in kiosks, to Hello Kitty gates, to Hello Kitty safety videos, to Hello Kitty uniforms, to Hello Kitty meals, to Hello Kitty seat covers. Seriously, what could be awesomer?! If it’s half as memorable as their Hello Kitty webpage, something tells me it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience (in more than one way).

Filed Under: Advice, Awards
  1. When you choose your Hello Kitty flight, remember to go for EVA’s A330-300 instead of the -200s (they fly A332 to NRT and A333 to HND)! The seats on the A332s are extremely dated in comparison to their rather new A333 fleet. 🙂

  2. @ Todd — While it’s no doubt a convenient service, I do wish it were operated by the 777-300ER and not the 747, which features an ancient business class product.

  3. Thanks for bringing that up, Ben. Now that you mention it, that’s all I’ve seen of their fleet at YVR. Looks like I’ll have to detour down to LAX first.

    After reading about your Bali trip, the first route I checked on EVA was YVR DPS 🙂

  4. I’m waiting for united to show Eva online. I called and they don’t see the same availability as aeroplan and Ana.

  5. @ Pete — While EVA has some 777s with the old product, the aircraft serving LAX all have the new product. I think SeatGuru is wrong since EVA doesn’t release their seating charts more than a few months out.

  6. I tried booking this morning and they could see the space but couldn’t book the flights. Same with ANA it says flights are restricted. Do they have black out dates?

  7. @ UnitedEF — I’ve noticed that as well for some flights. Still trying to figure out why that is, and will post here once I figure it out.

  8. Lucky,

    So if I’m trying to guess the aircraft likely to be used on certain routes (not just EVA, but other *A airlines too) 6-7 months in advance, am I best off by looking at the aircraft currently being used on the same route, rather than relying on SeatGuru’s estimation?

  9. @ Pete — Well most airlines publish their seatmaps when the schedule opens, so then it always makes sense to just look at the seatmap, as they do change aircraft type over time.

    For cases like EVA, it makes sense to also look at the airline’s website. For example, check out this page:

    It states:
    “*Royal Laurel Class service is now available on all flights between Taipei – New York, Taipei – Los Angeles. EVA Air will extend the service to San Francisco, Toronto, Paris, Amsterdam and London flights during 2013.”

  10. The Hello Kitty thing is very strange…I’m shocked that the Japanese didn’t do this first.

  11. @lucky and @Pete: Unfortunately, even after the website facelift a few months ago they seem to take forever to update their site. Royal Laurel is available on everything (that is, SF, NY, LA Toronto, Amsterdam, and Paris) except London. London should get it at the end of July.

  12. @ Steven L. — Wow, you’re right. Seems rather odd that out of all those routes it’s London that doesn’t get the new product.

  13. FYI – there are several sets of blackout dates, for which *A partners can see space but can’t book. I actually got the United Alliance desk agent to call EVA and get them to release the space to her, but apparently they were not supposed to do so.

    If you look on the website, it shows specific blackout dates (can’t find link right now)

  14. @Jack Yeah I figured it was black out dates and sure enough it was. Oh well I guess I will have to wait until CX opens up F and book the ticket home that way.

  15. Black out dates! That’s probably why I had all those problems booking a reward via UA last year.

  16. I try to book Eva Royal laurel on route TPE-BKK by calling united award. The award space for my travel date on both aeroplane and eva website is available but when I call united they said the award space is not available for my travel date. That’s weird. So I decided to hang up and call again but answer is still the same. Now star alliance award space is still available maybe I should wait for united to post Eva award space.

  17. @ sam — As mentioned above there do seem to be some tricky blackout dates. Did you take a look at the PDF in comment 21 to see whether your dates fall over the blackout dates?

  18. @lucky

    you are right my travel date is on the first date of black out date period. Do you think if the *award space published on united is it going to be bookable.

    Thank you very much Ben.

  19. @ sam — If I had to guess I’d say no. I think it won’t confirm even if it shows available online for the same reason it’s not bookable by phone.

  20. Jet dont serve Dom Perignon in Business class anymore they stopped that in 2011 and serve some vile stuff in J cabin. Dom is only served in First Cabin these days.

  21. I wondered if there’s more restrictions to blackout dates. There are two direct EVA flights each day from NRT to TPE, BR195 and BR 2197. I was trying to get one-way Hello Kitty flight (BR 2197) from NRT to TPE for travel on 12/25/2013 using my MP miles last month. After confirming there were seats on both flight via EVA’s website following Lucky’s instructions, I called the Alliance Desk. I was told by the United Alliance Desk that BR 2197 cannot be redeemed using MP miles while BR 195 would allow me to use my MP miles. So I did settle with the none Hello Kitty flight….my daughters would have been so psyched…oh we’ll.

  22. Ok, I just checked the blackout dates, it seem like I got lucky! Just like Jack, my travel date is within the blackout date.

  23. I aspire to many aviation experiences.

    The Hello Kitty flight is not exactly one of them. ha ha.

  24. Oops ! I made a mistake my travelling date wasn’t on the black-out period but it was on peak period. However both star alliance award ( Aeroplan and Lifemiles ) and Eva air website still have availability. Somehow on united system they don’t have space. I guess I have to wait for united to publish the award availability. : )

  25. @ danny — While you can hold space, apparently you can’t actually book EVA awards with US Airways miles till June 25.

  26. I just tried booking a complex trip using Eva and SQ. My taxes per USDM is $349 from India to North America and back. Is that possible? Travel date is in August.

  27. Hi! I just came across your blog and I’m more interested about the service of champagne (Dom) more than anything now. Are they generous with their serving of champagne throughout the flight or is it very limited since it’s Dom? I’m thinking of flying EVA Air in Feb. 2014. I’m already sold on their seats, I can forgive the food options since they now have an excellent champagne. So, how did you find their service with drinks? 🙂

  28. @ John — While they didn’t serve Dom pre-departure, I found they were extremely generous with serving it inflight, so there wasn’t a limited window or anything.

  29. OK, that sounds great!!! Anyway, I flew EVA once before when they still had the premium laurel service and I liked it, but now that they’ve upgraded their business cabin, I’ll try them again. Especially, since they offer Dom now! 🙂 A nice seat and bed and great champagne, I won’t complain. 🙂 Thanks so much for your reply.

  30. Just want to say that somehow today I managed to book a JFK-TPE economy flight for 12/18 through United Awards on a saver flight, even though Eva technically has the Christmas season blacked out! There seems to just be one or two seats though, because after I booked it I can’t find it again on the search… Any idea how that happened!!??

  31. @ mikey — Yeah, the blackout dates don’t seem to apply for bookings made through partner airlines.

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