EVA Airways joins Star Alliance: what you need to know

By David Flynn, June 18 2013

Taiwan's EVA Air formally enters the Star Alliance network this week, joining the likes of Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, United and Air New Zealand in the world's largest airline alliance.

Travellers on EVA flights will enjoy reciprocal access to the airport lounges of its new Star siblings, along with other perks such as priority checkin,preferred seating and extra luggage allowance, plus point-sharing through EVA's frequent flyer scheme, which has undergone a change of name from Evergreen Club to Infinity MileageLands.

EVA is Taiwan's second-largest carrier behind China Airlines, which last year signed up with the SkyTeam alliance. The airline counts Brisbane as its sole Australian port, with twice-weekly flights between Brisbane and Taipei.

However, EVA Airways president Austin Cheng has scotched rumours that the Taiwan airline will launch Sydney-Taipei flights later this year, or indeed at any time in the near future.

“We currently lack that capability for that route, it depends on the aircraft” Cheng told Australian Business Traveller in Taipei  this week, adding that his first priority is to increase EVA’s Brisbane-Taipei schedule from two flights per week to daily.

“We will focus on having Brisbane daily before adding Sydney or Melbourne” Cheng said.

EVA status with Star Alliance

Here's how EVA's Infinity MileageLands status levels stack up against the standard Star Alliance status tiers:

  • Infinity MileageLands Diamond = Star Alliance Gold
  • Infinity MileageLands Gold = Star Alliance Gold
  • Infinity MileageLands Silver = Star Alliance Silver
  • Infinity MileageLands Green = nothing

As you can see, EVA's top two tiers are both equal in the eyes of Star, which will keep the airline's Gold card-holders happy.

Star Alliance Silver doesn't give you much across the entire alliance family, with only priority reservations waitlisting and priority airport standby.

Star Alliance Gold cardholders, by contrast, wallow in a raft of benefits: priority reservations waitlisting, airport standby, check-in, boarding and baggage, plus extra luggage allowance (20kg or one extra bag), and access to Star Alliance Gold lounges.

There are a few variation here: some airlines (usually those based in the US) also offer preferred seating, guaranteed seats and free upgrades, while United and US Airways only give out lounge access to long-haul international travellers.

Read: Fast-track your status: get Star Alliance Gold with just one flight

Star's growing footprint

Star Alliance is the largest of the three global airline networks, with 27 airlines already on board, although it noticeably lacks an Australian partner – a gap which many would like to see Virgin Australia fill.

Several international Star Alliance members are active in the Australian skies, however, with two of these – Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines – affiliated with Virgin Australia.

Australian Business Traveller is attending the EVA Air / Star Alliance media event in Taipei as a guest of Star Alliance.

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

There's no more continental, but now united after the merger.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 938

and Star is losing US and TAM soon.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Dear ausbt, if you're going to write an article about "What you need to know" about EVA joining *A, why not leave out some of the stuff that every frequent traveller already knows, and throw in some useful information like EVA's earn/burn rates so we can decide whether it makes sense to credit our *A flights to EVA?

I had a quick look at the website and: no, it appears to be a terrible choice. Earn/burn rates aren't good compared to United, you need 50,000 miles to get to gold status, and worst of all you need to fly all of those miles with EVA and not with *A partners! 

Another interesting question: what will happen to the EVA lounge at SFO? I imagine they're going to close it as soon as ten thousand United elites per day figure out that their status will get them in to the EVA lounge but not the United lounge. 

06 May 2012

Total posts 8

Miles can be earned through flying with Star partners. Sectors can only be achieved through flying EVA. hope that helps. It's a horrible programme I agree, but EVA does have good service & catering

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

Good catering yes, good service? Well, at least not in economy

Seriously, it's a "sometimes yes sometimes no" basis.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Hi Hugo, and thanks for your feedback. AusBT isn't exclusively for very frequent flyers who get deeply into earn/burn rates - our target audience includes mainstream business travellers who just seek the basics of what this means to them.  As far as EVA's SFO lounge is concerned, I'll ask them at the presser later today.

06 May 2012

Total posts 8

Hi David, if you get a chance, can you please also ask EVA what their long-term plan for the Australasian market is? Both VA and NZ are planning to focus more on the Asia-Pacific region, it probably makes sense for EVA to partner with them. EVA has a strong presence in both Japan and China. 

30 Oct 2012

Total posts 23

Honestly the BR SFO lounge isn't really worth going to. Went in on an NZ flight, it was small, old, very limited food and beverage selection. Not really that much better than the UA lounge.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Update for Hugo: EVA has no plans to close its SFO lounge.

21 Sep 2011

Total posts 65

Hi David, perhaps when you get a chance, you can ask them if they are talking to VA. As you mentioned in your article, many hope to see VA in the alliance.

30 Oct 2012

Total posts 23

Or hopefully an interline with VA. They only interline with QF atm even though they've ended the codeshare agreement between BNE-TPE.


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