EVA Air Infinity Mileagelands is a Citi ThankYou transfer partner. Transfers reportedly take 1-2 days.
Award prices are not the best for many uses. The tip Tiffany gave me is that Star Alliance airlines do not make partner awards uniformly available. EVA supposedly has better access to Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines flights than my usual Star Alliance programs such as United MileagePlus.
I have an EVA account from August when I didn’t believe EVA/Uni Taiwan domestic flights don’t earn miles (result: they don’t.)
The EVA website has a Star Alliance award search feature. To my surprise, four excellent partner award itineraries appeared for my Perth-Seattle trip. Too excellent. At 60,000 miles it wouldn’t be the best possible Star Alliance value, and I was nervous to transfer miles without being sure the awards were available.
First red flag: checking on Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, even the advertised Singapore Airlines segments were not available for awards. If it had been available, the price would have been 51,000 miles.
Second red flag: calling Virgin Atlantic to price the Air New Zealand option to San Francisco (I would need to buy a separate connection to Seattle), also came back as unavailable. That would have been 50,000 miles.
More red flags: none of United, Air Canada, Avianca, etc could find any award option that day.
Time to call EVA:
First call after 15 minutes of waiting there was an announcement to try calling later and the call was disconnected.
Second call I got an agent just before 15 minutes. It took considerable explaining to get her to search the options being shown rather than trying to force something to go through Taipei and pick up an EVA flight. Kudos that she was eventually willing to pull up their website to see what I was seeing, since so few airline agents can or will do that.
However she tried to search, even just the troublesome Perth-Singapore segment on its own, she could not get award availability and advised me to not try transferring miles to use the website.
The agent confirmed there are no award holds, even for itineraries solely on EVA flights.
She did not have a sense of how often the EVA website shows phantom availability though did remark that customers frequently call in to verify awards really are available, so we can deduce this is not uncommon.
Another program good on paper:
On the website I did try to click all the way through to purchase though got stuck at insufficient miles. I’d love to know if somehow those awards really exist though not at the cost of a one-way trip of my Citi ThankYou points.
Darn – those flights were perfect!
Readers, what are your experiences with EVA Air online and telephone award booking?