Business class award space flying long distances can be tough to get when you want it. There’s one approach that isn’t written about very much, but that can get you the seats you want – when you want it – on a great airline: waitlisting.
EVA Air, based in Taiwan, is a member of Star Alliance. They’re a great airline, and when you can use your United, Air Canada, or Avianca LifeMiles to travel on EVA in business class that’s a win. But did you know that,
- EVA Air’s own frequent flyer program is a transfer partner of Citibank and Capital One so you can move your bank points into EVA’s miles
- EVA Air makes more award space available to people who are using their own miles than those using miles in partner programs like United’s MileagePlus
- And when awards aren’t available, EVA Air lets you wait list – and they really do clear wait lists.
EVA Air is known for its Hello Kitty jets where all the details of the flight are Hello Kitty-themed… right down to the toilet paper. And there are very few business class products in the world that exceed EVA’s Royal Laurel Class. It’s a good seat, great service, and top notch amenities and food and beverage program.
EVA Air Shining Star Boeing 777-300ER
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 do add fuel surcharges to awards, but currently those are less than $120 each way across the Pacific.
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, Cebu, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Phnom Penh, and Singapore — as well as destinations in Mainland China, Japan, and South Korea — and they even serve Brisbane in Australia.
If you want to know whether EVA Air is offering award space to their own members, you can search their website – but I find it sufficiently cumbersome that I actually find it easier to call and ask.
The great news is that if they don’t have availability, and you’re using their own miles, you can waitlist. They actually do clear awards off of the waitlist.
One reader, who asked me recently about EVA Air miles, waitlisted an award and writes,
I had reserved my ideal flights on waitlist and two weeks later they confirmed! First time trying that.
Bingo. Many flights to Taiwan aren’t selling out in business class, and they’ll take a look and see if they can accommodate your use of miles. Worth keeping that in your back pocket.