Steps to EVA upgrade w/ UnitedMiles

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Upgrades to business class on EVA Air (BR) using United Airlines (UA) miles can be achieved via Star Alliance Upgrade Awards (SAUA). On BR, booking classes Y, B, and K are eligible for SAUA.

Reference links:
The general (not UA-specific) SAUA on BR thread on this FT forum: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/eva-...award-eva.html
Official UA information page about SAUA: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...de-awards.html
Official UA interactive award mileage chart: https://www.united.com/web/en-us/app...ardTravel.aspx
Official UA page to request SAUA (requires login): https://www.united.com/web/en-us/app...rdUpgrade.aspx


There exists limited debate as to whether SAUA availability on BR is tied to fare bucket "I" or fare bucket "Z". Initial confusion arises from the fact that fare bucket "I" is what indicates SAUA availability on many other *A carriers; therefore by default "I" is the fare bucket often associated with SAUA and is listed in some third-party tools such as KVS.

However, extensive reports from FT'ers indicate that SAUA availability on BR is actually tied to fare bucket "Z"; a total of nine different FT'ers have reported upgrading via SAUA despite I=0, with many of these FT'ers reporting Z>0. Additionally, at least one FT'er has reported being unable to upgrade when I>0 and Z=0. (For reference, see posts [63] [64] [65] [70] [71] [72] [76] [77] in the general SAUA thread and post [118] from this thread.)

Z fare bucket on BR is not displayed on BR's website or on third-party tools such as ExpertFlyer; the only way to check Z availability is to call BR directly. FT'ers have suggested calling the Taipei call center (internationally, +886 225011999 ) and specifically not mentioning SAUA or upgrades and only asking for Z fare bucket information, as discussing SAUA can only serve to confuse the phone agent.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 12:29 pm
  #1  
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Steps to EVA upgrade w/ UnitedMiles

Hi,

This was in an older thread that I was involved in, but I just wanted to make sure I had all the steps right before I pulled the trigger.

If there are any "gotcha" things I need to look out for, please let me know.

1. Use KVS tool to find award/upgrade availability for specific EVA flights (in this case 3 seats).

2. Book B class ticket on EVA for those specific flights.

3. Go to United.com, login with my account and enter the ticket numbers on the Star Alliance upgrade page.

Am I missing anything important?

I'd hate to get stuck with 3 EVA tickets in economy class :P

Thanks!

Last edited by edyang; Aug 6, 13 at 2:54 pm
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Old Aug 6, 13, 7:41 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by edyang View Post
1. Use KVS tool to find award/upgrade availability for specific EVA flights (in this case 3 seats).

2. Book B class ticket on EVA for those specific flights.

3. Go to United.com, login with my account and enter the ticket numbers on the Star Alliance upgrade page.

Am I missing anything important?

I'd hate to get stuck with 3 EVA tickets in economy class :P
Your understanding is correct.

Assuming the tickets are ex-US, you will also be able to apply for a full refund within 24 hours, just in case something goes wrong.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 8:05 pm
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Thank you. "Assuming the tickets are ex-US" - can you please elaborate on this? Meaning travel to outside the US?
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Old Aug 6, 13, 11:56 pm
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If you purchase your ticket using the US website for travel leaving the US, BR has to comply with US DOT rules allowing you to refund your ticket within 24 hours. There are certain restrictions that prevent you from abusing this (buying a ticket less than 2 days in advance, etc).
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Old Aug 6, 13, 11:58 pm
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Does that upgrade from Economy into Elite (Premium Economy) or Laurel (Business)?

It looks like upgrade from economy is only 30k miles, which is way less than what Eva is charging it's own customers for Business. They charge 25K to go to Elite, 60K to go into Business.
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Old Aug 7, 13, 10:14 am
  #6  
KVS
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Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
Does that upgrade from Economy into Elite (Premium Economy) or Laurel (Business)?
*A Upgrades are from Economy to Business.
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Old Aug 7, 13, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by KVS View Post
*A Upgrades are from Economy to Business.
Good to know, thank you. Tells me to not use my EVA miles to upgrade, should use *A miles instead.
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Old Aug 15, 13, 6:01 pm
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Finished the booking and upgrade, went off without a hitch. 40k Chase UR points temp got lost on its way to United but finally took hold.

Question:

1. A little late, but are LAX to TPE business class seats the new seats? For all the 3 daily flights I see 11 rows with a 1-2-1 configuration.

2. How do I go about finding out what seats we were assigned? The United confirmation upgrade page doesn't say. I'm assuming I call United?

Thanks! Looking forward to not spending 13 hours in Economy!
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Old Aug 16, 13, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by edyang View Post
Finished the booking and upgrade, went off without a hitch. 40k Chase UR points temp got lost on its way to United but finally took hold.

Question:

1. A little late, but are LAX to TPE business class seats the new seats? For all the 3 daily flights I see 11 rows with a 1-2-1 configuration.

2. How do I go about finding out what seats we were assigned? The United confirmation upgrade page doesn't say. I'm assuming I call United?

Thanks! Looking forward to not spending 13 hours in Economy!
I learned something from your post...didn't know such a procedure exists to upgrade a Star Alliance flight.

Does one have to be United Premier Elite to use this procedure? In other words, can a non-elite use this procedure?

My understanding is that all LAX-TPE business class seats/flights are Royal Laurel (their new business class). 1-2-1 is definitely Royal Laurel.

You'll need to call EVA to get seat assignments. They have a US number to call.
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Old Aug 16, 13, 3:50 pm
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Update: the previous poster was correct. Called EVA, gave them the ticket number and using the KVS tool told them exactly what seats I wanted.

Bingo, 3 Royal Laurel seats to TPE coming up!
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Old Aug 16, 13, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by edyang View Post
Update: the previous poster was correct. Called EVA, gave them the ticket number and using the KVS tool told them exactly what seats I wanted.

Bingo, 3 Royal Laurel seats to TPE coming up!
Hi, just wondering how you got 3 Lax-Tpe business award upgrade? I am trying to book 1 Lax-Tpe business on Eva for Dec and everything is on wait list. I was told that I could not be wait listed since that is only for Eva members using Eva miles (United not allowed). I was going to purchase a coach ticket and then use the United mile to upgrade to J class but was told again that is it the same Award seat. Is a J award seat is not available then I could not upgrade a coach to a business class seat. Is this correct? Any help will be apprecaited.

Right now I am hoping that a J award seat will open up when my travel date gets closer.
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Old Aug 16, 13, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by gmid2006 View Post
Hi, just wondering how you got 3 Lax-Tpe business award upgrade? I am trying to book 1 Lax-Tpe business on Eva for Dec and everything is on wait list. I was told that I could not be wait listed since that is only for Eva members using Eva miles (United not allowed). I was going to purchase a coach ticket and then use the United mile to upgrade to J class but was told again that is it the same Award seat. Is a J award seat is not available then I could not upgrade a coach to a business class seat. Is this correct? Any help will be apprecaited.

Right now I am hoping that a J award seat will open up when my travel date gets closer.
When are you looking to go? Seat availability was low through the summer months but very good indeed for mid-Sept.

I signed up for KVS' awesome tool and used that to search for award/upgrade seat availability on BR. Then I just made sure to book that exact flight on evaair.com. I went the route of paying for a B class ticket which was the minimum upgradable economy fair; each ticket was about $300 more than the lowest booking class.
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Old Aug 16, 13, 8:49 pm
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December around holidays might be tough in terms of available award seats...
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Old Aug 16, 13, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by edyang View Post
Update: the previous poster was correct. Called EVA, gave them the ticket number and using the KVS tool told them exactly what seats I wanted.

Bingo, 3 Royal Laurel seats to TPE coming up!
just FYI, you can go to EVAAir.com and input your PNR, it'll show Z class for your upgrade and then you can choose your seats, AND pre-order your RL meals

1-2-1 layout is RL (all LAX are 77N now)

I used 25K Aeroplan to upgrade my B-class to Z-class RL for TPE-YYZ one-way, via the Aeroplan upgrade page (ticket #, date, flight #, done)
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Old Aug 16, 13, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
just FYI, you can go to EVAAir.com and input your PNR, it'll show Z class for your upgrade and then you can choose your seats, AND pre-order your RL meals

1-2-1 layout is RL (all LAX are 77N now)

I used 25K Aeroplan to upgrade my B-class to Z-class RL for TPE-YYZ one-way, via the Aeroplan upgrade page (ticket #, date, flight #, done)
Really helpful to know, thanks.

Wow, 25k 1way is certainly less than 30K 1way using United Miles. That's a 10k saving per person, 30k for my family of three!!

Considering I have a ton of SPG points, that's the method I'll use in the future.

I'm assuming the award/upgrade seat availability number holds the same regardless if it's done through both United and Aeroplan?
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