Do Not Book EVA Air Waitlist Tickets Using Mileage or Award Points: Here’s Why

Eva Air is a popular choice for award travel to Japan given their excellent onboard service and multiple daily flights between North America and Tokyo. However, their award booking process has some quirks you should be aware of before transferring your hard-earned miles.

Availability Issues

The first issue is that EVA’s website often shows phantom award availability that isn’t actually bookable. Their calendar will display wide open award space, but when you try to book, you’ll get a cryptic error message. This is incredibly frustrating if you’ve already transferred points.

Search Partners First

To avoid this issue, search award availability on United, Air Canada or other Star Alliance partners first. If you can book EVA flights through them, the space will be bookable through EVA as well.

Long Transfer Times

Another quirk is EVA’s very slow point transfers. Unlike most programs which credit instantly, EVA takes 2-3 days. Plan accordingly so you don’t lose award space while waiting for points.

Waitlisting Process

Frustration of booking EVA Air waitlist tickets using award points:

The Frustration of Booking EVA Waitlists

Booking EVA Air waitlist tickets with miles can be an extremely irritating process for many travelers. When EVA’s website shows wide open award availability, customers get excited and transfer points, only to later find out the space is phantom. The feeling of seeing ample award seats, transferring hard-earned points, and then being unable to book is incredibly disheartening.

On top of the website issues, EVA’s multi-day transfer times mean you could lose the award space you found while waiting for miles to deposit. Nothing is more frustrating than finding the perfect award, transferring points, and then losing the seats because the transfer took too long.

The use-it-or-lose-it aspect of waitlisted tickets also generates anger. Even if your waitlist doesn’t clear, you have to use the ticket within a year or pay change fees. Being forced into a suboptimal redemption or throwing away money on change fees leaves customers feeling cheated.

Overall, EVA’s faulty website, slow transfers, and restrictive policies lead many to have intensely negative booking experiences. The time spent searching, stress of transfers, and risk of losing miles or money can make customers resentful towards the program. EVA would be wise to refine their systems to generate goodwill rather than aggravation.

Points Deducted Upfront

  • When you waitlist an award ticket, EVA will deduct the miles upfront from your account. Taxes and fees are also charged immediately.

$50 Cancellation Fee

1 Year Ticket Validity

  • Waitlisted tickets are valid for 1 year from booking date. If your waitlist doesn’t clear, you can change flights as long as it’s the same origin and destination.

Low Clearance Odds

  • EVA waitlists rarely clear more than a few days in advance, even for premium cabins. Have a backup plan and don’t expect to get out of the waitlist.

First Come, First Served

  • Waitlists are ordered by time of request, irrespective of elite status.

Call to Check Status

  • You can call EVA to check your position on the waitlist, but they won’t be able to confirm your chances.

Booking Tips

Given the hassles and risks of waitlisting with EVA, here are some tips:

  • Avoid waitlisting for important trips where you need confirmed seats
  • Book backup flights as soon as you waitlist
  • For premium cabins, waitlist only within 2 weeks of departure when last-minute openings are more likely
  • Be prepared to pay change fees if rebooking after a waitlist miss

Hope this overview helps you avoid headaches when redeeming your miles on EVA Air! Let us know if you have any other tips for booking EVA awards.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for your post. I have made the mistake you have stated, after transferring points only to learn EVA’s website shows phantom award availability that isn’t actually bookable. I am glad I found your post before I tried to book a different route for their waiting list.

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