Star Alliance’s EVA Air is an Underappreciated Mileage Transfer Partner

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Taipei-based Star Alliance airline EVA Air is a mileage transfer partner of both Citibank and Capital One, and they don’t get nearly the attention they deserve from frequent flyers. Points take 24-48 hours (though I’ve seen some references to 72 hours for Citi transfers).

There’s nothing cooler in aviation, in my humble opinion, than Star Alliance member EVA Air’s Hello Kitty jets where all the details of the flight are Hello Kitty-themed… right down to the toilet paper.


EVA Air Shining Star Boeing 777-300ER

And there are very few business class products in the world that exceed’s Taipei-based EVA Air’s Royal Laurel Class. I consider it a top 5 business class experience.


EVA Air Royal Laurel Class

Flying business class between the US and Asia on EVA Air costs a reasonable 75,000 or 80,000 miles each way depending on the US gateway used. One real hidden gem is that they charge just 25,000 miles each way for business class intra-Asia awards.

They also offer Star Alliance round-the-the world awards

  • Economy: 180,000 EVA Air miles
  • Business: 325,000 EVA Air miles
  • First: 480,000 EVA Air miles

A maximum of 10 segments and 7 stopovers are permitted. Travel must be in a single direction, and take a minimum of 10 days.

And a real treat for Gold elite members or higher is the option to use miles for time in a flight simulator.

Travel is Free spent the time to construct full award charts for EVA Air and digging into his data reveals a couple of additional good redemption options as well.

  • US-Europe Star Alliance awards in business class is 65,000 miles each way, 85,000 miles in first class
  • US-Mideast Star Alliance awards in business class is 67,000 miles each way

Drew also points out key EVA award routing rules:

  • Two stopovers permitted on a roundtrip award – one in each direction – although stopovers must be in countries other than the one where you start your trip and the country of your destination. (No stopovers on a one way award.)

  • Maximum of 6 segments per roundtrip award (3 segments per one way award).

  • Open jaw permitted on a roundtrip award, must be in the same region as either the origin or destination.

I’d add that changes to date and flight up to three days in advance of travel are free while additional changes and also cancel/mileage redeposit cost $50. Swiss first class and Singapore Suites redemptions are not permitted.

At the risk of burying the lede I’ve found greater award availability on EVA Air booking via the airline’s own Infinity MileageLands program than through Star Alliance programs. And while many people skip over the program because they add fuel surcharges to partner award tickets you don’t need to get excised about fuel surcharges for awards on EVA’s own flights.

In any case, EVA Air’s paid fares barely carry fuel surcharges, currently $43 Los Angeles – Taipei and $56 Los Angeles – Taipei – Bangkok.

Their North American gateways are Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver. And flying EVA is perfectly for continuing on to Bangkok, Bali, Cebu, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Phnom Penh, Singapore and Chiang Mai — as well as destinations in Mainland China, Japan, and South Korean — and they even serve Brisbane in Australia.

Good availability in business class to Asia from 75,000 miles one way without significant add-on fees is worth paying attention to.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Have you seen a tool to where you input the city pairs and an output will provide the required miles across all FF programs and options for booking the award?

  2. It doesnt show if it is under waiting-list or award available until very last confirmation page. Kinda gambling

  3. @Gary, thanks for the write up on EVA air. They do have a very nice J class and it’s true, there aren’t much blogs about their awards program. You mentioned awards availability in their own program is more than through partners. In your experience or search observations, generally how many J seats do you see that’s available for points booking? Can you search their website w/o points in it as w/other airlines too?

  4. @Matt That is exactly what “juicymiles.com” does. The service is $30/month. I’ve been pretty happy with it, and have used it to find several awards at good redemption ates. But the site needs improvement. My two biggest issues are: You can’t search American Airlines (except for saver awards), and you can’t enter “SFO” and get all of the bay area ariports (SFO, SJC, OAK) in one search. Since each search takes about a minute, that gets tedious, fast.

  5. @Matt – I go old school. Wikipedia is usually up to date so I use Wiki to search the destination airport. I see what airlines fly there and where they fly from then piece out my route. I wanted to go to Christchurch with only 1 stop out of NY. I was able to construct JFK > Guangzhou > Christchurch when I saw CAN > CHC was an option. When I looked at the Wiki page for CHC airport https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch_International_Airport#Passenger I asked myself how could I get from NYC to this location with only 1 stop so I looked up all the arrivals to CHC and found CAN was the only one (at the time) direct from JFK. From there you can do a quick google search to figure out how to use different programs to fly China Southern. Paying $30/month seems excessive.

  6. When you do mile transfer to EVA, do they count as self-earned miles or purchased miles?

  7. awardhacker gives you theoretical results. Juicymiles finds an actual bookable award on a certain date and tells you the $urcharges and mileage cost.

  8. How do you actually check if an award is actually on their site? Every time I enter my routing and dates, it brings up ALL of the possible flight options, but I have a hard time believing that every single one of those flights has award space.

  9. I AM FLYING ON EVA AIR TO VIETNAM. I HAVE A UNITED AIR EXPLORER FREQUENT FLYER CARD, HOW DO I GO ABOUT GETTING THE MILEAGE FROM MY EVA AIR TRIP ADDED ON TO MY UNITED FREQUENT FLYER ACCT?

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