EVA Air to join Star Alliance on June 18, 2013

Over a year ago EVA Air announced their intentions to join the Star Alliance, though up until now no join date has been set. Just yesterday EVA Air officially announced they’ll be joining the Star Alliance as of June 18, 2013, a little less than two months from today.

This is exciting news for frequent flyers. EVA has a phenomenal fully flat business class product on much of their longhaul fleet that’s similar to the one offered by Cathay Pacific and American, so this opens up great transpacific options on both revenue and award tickets.

It’s worth keeping in mind that United has had a reciprocal agreement with EVA for years, so if you’re most interested in redeeming United miles not all that much will change.

But beyond transpacific travel this also opens up a ton of intra-Asia routes that aren’t currently served by other Star Alliance carriers.

Though I’d argue Hello Kitty fans should be most excited, as you’ll now be able to turn your US Airways miles into Hello Kitty memories that will last a lifetime:

(Tip of the hat to Dave)

Comments

  1. This is great news for me and family. EVA is ideal out of Seatac to Hong Kong via Taipei. I prefer arriving in HK in the morning.

  2. @Lucky–I have 5k miles with EVA which will expire this May. Is there anyway to extend it? I have a lot of miles with United. Is it worth trying to keep those 5k miles?

  3. Does this mean they’ll start letting United Club members into their lounge? I’m flying on them to Manila via Taipei in October in the cheapest seat they sell. A shower and a nap might be nice at Taoyuan if its gettable.

  4. I was able to book someone LAX-TPE business class in November. I think it is blocked off now. There was only one seat for most dates back then. Award availability might be tough..

  5. Maybe this post should be titled “EVA Coach Class Joins Star Alliance” since Star Alliance awards only seem to apply to coach travel at this point.

  6. @ Josh — They haven’t published their Star Alliance lounge access policies yet, though I would guess you’ll be able to access their club if you’re a United Club member and flying with them.

  7. @ downhillcrasher — Hah, if you’re a Star Gold with a foreign carrier perhaps soon. Otherwise never. 😀

  8. @ jrey — Frankly I would just let them expire. It’s not like you’ll be able to transfer them to another program, so I’d just let them expire and work on building your balance with United.

  9. Um, I think you need to clarify that the current business product isn’t that great (recliner)and that currently they only have their updated Royal Laurel available to JFK, LAX and SFO (YYZ soon too), but that they are continuing to remodel their planes so by next year more secondary markets will have the revamped seats.http://www.evaair.com/en-us/news-releases/2013/evaair-news-eva-introduces-royal-laurel-class-business-cabin-available-on-san-francisco-flights.html

  10. One of the first airlines to introduce Premium Economy (early 90s) and a very good safety record

  11. I expect *A lounge access at SFO to last… roughly as long as it takes for EVA to figure out that their lounge is suddenly being overrun by hordes of United *Gs on domestic itineraries and change the rules.

    I’ve been to that lounge a couple of times thanks to its contact with NZ, and it’s not a big lounge at all. It can’t cope with the three thousand or so United *Gs who are flying out of SFO and wouldn’t mind a free sandwich.

    More likely, I’d expect EVA will close its lounge at SFO entirely, thus avoiding the whole problem.

  12. Currently it’s a pain in the ass to book EVA via UA miles. UA sees phantom availability and processes your request telling you plenty of seats are available every day. Once they do you see a reservation in your UA account but in under an hour it goes away. When you call UA they shrug their shoulders saying sorry EVA could not confirm space.

  13. Hi Lucky, I used your method in finding availability on EVA Airways and found availability. However, when calling the Global Alliance Desk, the agent could not get any seats confirmed for award redemption when making a request to EVA Airways. At the same time, I was told that the availability on EVA’s website may not be available for United Mileage Plus members. Is this true in your experience?

  14. @ Sandy — If you searched correctly the availability should match. I’d suggest calling back and trying a different agent — maybe you’ll have better luck.

  15. @ Dax — Hmmm. There are airlines for which United frequently shows phantom availability (Lufthansa and Brussels, for example), while there are other airlines where I see phantom availability maybe once a month, which I chalk up to little more than a delay in systems communicating.

    Aside from Lufthansa and Brussels I really can’t think of any airlines where I frequently see phantom space. For example I don’t remember ever seeing phantom space on Air Canada or US Airways. That’s not to say it never happens, but it’s rare enough so that I’ve never seen it.

  16. Its important to note that with EVA joining Star Alliance if you choose to earn miles in United MileagePlus for EVA flights those miles will now qualify for PREMIER QUALIFYING MILES and not just base miles.

    United has not done a good job of being clear and upfront about this policy with EVA flights to date..there is a cryptic one liner buried on one of their web pages which is not obvious to most people

  17. I just called 1K desk and specifically asked whether I could accrue Premier Qualifying Miles on United – and the answer was NO! It is possible to accrue ‘base miles’ but not PQM – at least not until EVA officially joins Star Alliance. That date is said to be June 18, 2013.

    Additional information welcome.

  18. I have EVA business flight booked on June 18 and would love PQM from Mileage Plus! Any information welcome.

  19. @ Natalie — Assuming they actually do join on June 18 as expected then you should be able to earn PQMs, so I think you should be good to go.

  20. @ Josh — They already let all United and Gold Star Alliance members in their Taoyuan lounge. I’ve flown out of Taoyuan multiple times this year and last year (flying ANA/United) and was given EVA lounge access each time (I’m Gold with Star Alliance).

    @ downhillcrasher — As Hugh has said, the EVA lounge in the international terminal is tiny. It is more like a big closet, with some snacks and wifi access. I could definitely see them closing it, as it would serve no purpose with the United lounge just next door.

  21. Eva Air definitely has better foods than any United Lounge in the world. When I fly United via Narita, I only use All Nippon lounge which serves better foods and more choices. UA only gives you bananas and tiny pcs. of cheese sandwiches. Where I fly, UA lounge is the last choice I would use.

  22. @ Andy — That might be true of the other Eva lounges, but the one at SFO is truly pathetic. I also go to the ANA lounge, which is much better than the United Lounge in NAR. However, that United Lounge is better than the ones we get in the US. It has soup, sushi, pastries, and other things.

  23. I wonder whether the Star Alliance would actually change the wat EVA Air’s operating policy on their memebership programme. As native Taiwanese, I used to be remain on Gold car level of EVA over 7 or 8 years. However, EVA is notorious about very limited on the reward seats. They release very tiny seats as rewards seats only. If you are not booking way ahead, e.g. 8 to 10 months, you normally do not get a reward seat. This is how they try to push their milage to be used as upgrade instead of free reward seat. Hope the Star Alliance changes the way they work. I was completely pissed off about the reward seats and decided not to fly with EVA any longer.

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