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Big News: ANA Announces New Award Chart for 2015

Some big news that isn’t bad news! ANA is changing from a distance based program to a region based program again, starting April 12, 2015 (I think). I’ve said multiple times in the last months that ANA is the most underrated award chart out there. When doing many comparisons, like Best Miles to Europe, ANA consistently has the best prices in Economy and Business. But the new award chart is even better in some areas and is now zone based instead of distance based.

I spent the last couple of hours trying to translate images and texts we have to english, and made an award chart. I’m excited and ready to get right into it, so let’s start with what their new award chart is going to be for Star Alliance redemptions. And trust me, it’s hardly a devaluation.

I made two award charts. The second is simply an english translation of the award chart they gave. But the first I’ll give is the one not only translated, but given from a US perspective. Meaning, I rearanged the award chart in an order I’m used to. For whatever reason my brain interprets the data easier that way.

Starting from North America (prices are roundtrip):

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 2.15.13 PM
Flights to southern South America for 40,000 miles.Now this is a great award chart. The number of awesome awards is incredible. Let me lay out some of these awesome redemptions in non-chart form.

  1. Flights to Europe will be 45,000 miles. Most airlines are 60,000 miles and many are a bit more than that.
  2. Africa and the Middle East for 60,000 miles are the cheapest flights to that region… possible. It’s insane.
  3. India for 70,000 miles. I couldn’t very clearly translate this section, zone 4, as it was only detailed in jpg and the image translators I used never had a clear answer. But it lists towns in southeast Asia, like Jakarta and one was Delhi. I know many readers travel regularly to India, so routes for 70k/110k peaked my interest, although fuel surcharges could be a problem.
  4. 65,000 miles to China.
  5. Japan for only 50,000 miles roundtrip.
  6. And 65,000 miles for a roundtrip to “Oceania”, which seems to be Australia and New Zealand.

Now a lot of this chart is great, but it’s not always logical. Australia is less expensive than China and SE Asia? Heck, some of the best awards to Australia are via China and SE Asia. So I’m curious how this plays out with routing through other regions. I imagine this will be ripe for the picking. There aren’t too many airlines in Asia that are zone based. And none of them have computers to book partners like ANA does. So this could be really interesting. I’ll start saving Amex points now.

 

Start in Central America

What I also find interesting are the regions that have better prices from Central and South America. This seems odd to me, but I think the reasoning is that there are flights to South Africa and Kenya from Brazil and Argentina, and those aren’t long flights. However all of Africa and the Middle East is one zone.

Here are the awards that are better priced when starting in Central/South America:

Central and South America Africa, Middle East SE Asia, India
Central and South America 30,000 45,000 60,000
55,000 72,000 90,000
85,000 110,000 140,000

What you end up with are flights roundtrip to the Middle East from Central/South America for 45,000 miles… which is insane.

It appears that Mexico, Alaska, Canada, and the US are explicitly mentioned as one zone. My assumption is that unlike Flying Blue, Puerto Rico will be Central America and not the US.

Which means you can take a cheap Flying Blue flight to Puerto Rico (12,500 miles), a cheap Southwest flight (we paid 8,000 Southwest points), or the best redemption is 4,500 Avios from Miami. Then, you could take a flight to the Middle East for 45,000 miles.

And look at premium redemptions. You know what a First Class ticket to the Middle East on AA is? 180,000 miles roundtrip. Yet, ANA on this new award chart will be 110,000 miles. Wow.

And Business Class will be 72,000 miles with ANA… instead of 135,000 miles with AA. Actually it would be less if starting from Central America, but AA wouldn’t require positioning.

What actually makes way less sense though is the fact that flights to SE Asia are cheaper when starting in Central/South America. In no situation could this possibly make sense. In fact, you’ll have to route through the US 99% of the time. So there’s no reason it should be cheaper.

 

Routing Rules

Well, I can’t say I know too much about what the actual routing rules will be, but I imagine they will be very lax. If you look across the board, Star Alliance is much more relaxed, somehow. United routing rules are ghetto rigged, and US Airways were completely non-existent until joining OneWorld. SkyTime is the most uniformed in theory, for example both Korean and Air France/KLM having many of the same rules/prices like only having 2 connections.

Anyways, it’s mostly theory now, but here’s what we know from Google Translate.

Star Alliance Award Rules

Looks like you get one stopover on Star Alliance awards.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 1.23.03 AM

ANA Award Rules

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 1.22.34 AM

And when you fly ANA, you can’t have a stopover when departing from Japan. Why that makes a difference, I do not know.

Over all, this is the biggest downer. Some flights will increase in price, especially in premium cabin, and many long hauls will go down. Prices overall, I’d say are for the better. However, the big loss is the ability to have 4 stopovers. That was, and still is until April, an incredible redemption.

Although, that’s just the nature of distance based vs region based. When you pay more to fly to more places, you generally get more stops. Now they price by region, so they want to cut down on stops.

 

The Full Award Chart

ANA award chart 2015

 

Conclusion

This is the first program change I’m actually excited about. Over all, I think it’s a good change, despite losing my precious stopovers. They go from having the best prices for certain coasts, like eastern US to western Europe, they are currently the best prices for economy and Business. But with this change they’ll just flat out be the best price from wherever you start.

Still price out a ticket now and see if you should book before the current award chart goes away. 4 stopovers is a big perk. Make sure you read my post on ANA’s current award chart, and then decide.

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36 Comments

  1. You claim that there are some awesome redemptions, but all 6 redemptions on your list will likely have fuel surcharges. So, ANA miles will continue to be useful only for trips within the Americas.

    Reply
    • I mean, another example of no YQ would Air New Zealand, which can cover a lot of ground. Plus, you can start in start in Brazil and go to the middle east for 45,000 miles. Avoid fuel surcharges and get a steal!

      But that doesn’t really change the fact that the award chart prices will be lower than most all airlines. And for a large number of people, they are willing to pay YQ, especially for business class. So on a milder YQ like turkish or Lot, its adding a couple hundred bucks, yes, but for some they are happy to supplement with a little cash. These awards good be great for those people and the extra savvy.

      Reply
    • So how is that Air New Zealand award inventory?

      Reply
  2. How do you know they are round-trip prices? If so basically all the econ/biz values are amazing with some good first class as well… Now how to get ANA points apart from MR.

    Reply
    • You raise a good point, which is that I don’t know Japanese at all so much of it is unclear so I filled in a bit with assumptions. My assumption is that a lot of these Asian airlines require roundtrips, and ANA for sure required roundtrip. And their award charts are always in roundtrip. Plus, the little I can understand talks about a stopover “each way”… that kind of thing. But I’m hoping someone japanese can explain a little more. 😀

      The only way I know to get ANA points is Amex, SPG, and flying.

      Reply
    • I just got the ANA Visa card from First Bankcard (FNB Omaha). Signup bonus sucks (only 5000 miles) but they HP from Equifax and it’s a different bank than the big ones.

      Link : http://www.anacardusa.com/en_02_anacard.htm

      Reply
  3. Looks like I need to book my kiwi-hopper asap. NO yq, NO taxes, 12 flights, 4 stops, 22k MR+$0 :). UA and Air New Zealand will remain the only two excellent redemptions if YQ does not change. If anything this change will allow for easier redemptions when the most direct routes are unavailable (air new zealand).

    Reply
    • That’s a really good point about direct routes. Sometimes the things I’ve drawn up are ideal but not available. I see zone based with these prices as an advantage. Or would be if they allowed 4 stops.

      A hopper on ANZ is a super good idea with ANA. I kind of with I did it that way. They are currently pretty liberal with route drawings (because you pay for it) and United was a pain.If you book before April, let me know what you book. Or after April for that matter.

      Reply
  4. Very cool! Thanks Drew!

    Reply
    • Thanks Max.

      Reply
  5. Any idea whether the new chart is for bookings made after April or flights taken after April? I have an itinerary planned for next year bjv-cai-lxr-amm-IST for 22000 miles each, but not until June. Is this still going to be an option?

    Reply
    • I’m positive that you can book flights out in the future with the current pricing. So definitely you can book your trip.

      Although, I should admit that I’m guessing that the change is April, 12 largely because their new page that introduces the new program says April 12, 2015… but everything else is in Japanese and I couldn’t translate the picture. Anyways… I’m pretty confident that’s the date but can’t be 100% sure of anything I’ve written, lol.

      Reply
  6. A small devaluation in some cases but it could have been a lot worse. ANA is a great value when you ride in the front even with surcharges. If you pick the right star alliance partner the surcharges and fees are quite reasonable. I really don’t mind YQ that much, when there is YQ availability seems to be better. Who can complain about paying a few hundred $$ to ride in business or first on long haul flights.

    Reply
    • For sure. There are still partners without YQ like in North/South America and ANZ, but for the most part that’s true. YQ on Air China to China is $300, same to Egypt on Egypt Air, and less than that for Turkish to Turkey. Not too much and sometimes things end up less than they should be. So I’d like to go through and see why YQ ends up really being on each airline.

      Reply
  7. call me crazy but I don’t think this will materialize/last. Too many sweet spots. Going from west coast to Europe in business for 72k… This will be blogged ad naseum… Don’t think their partners will like it.

    Reply
    • And yet, looks like I’m the only one so far. 😀

      Reply
    • This is all over the blogs and FT now. Not sure if it’s quite reached ad naseum yet….but it’s only been a few hours. Plenty of time for nausea ahead.

      Reply
  8. Drew, in your translations did you find any mention of one-ways v roundtrips? I might assume given their current policy, that all awards would continue to be round trip, but I guess you never know. Regardless, good news overall and a nice piece of research to find this!

    Reply
    • That was my assumption as well, plus it’s generally how these airlines list their awards. Plus, the language in the routing rules seems to say “each way” and what not. I’d cry if it was oneway though. :-p

      Thanks. Glad I took the time to do this.

      Reply
    • Indeed! Hopefully not like TG’s epic – though short lived -doubling of award prices! Looking forward to more details when they come.

      Reply
  9. Hey Drew,

    Does this mean they’re combining both their partner award chart and ANA award chart?

    Reply
    • You can add family members in your account at any time. If they are automatically accepted by the system you should be fine. I don’t know if different last names will trigger a review, but adding my wife and kids was instant and I had no problem booking for them.

      Reply
  10. Sad that west coast -> north asia is going up. LAX-TPE in business is ~90k currently, jumping to 105k.

    Reply
  11. sweet -like you said – time to get some amex points

    Reply
  12. well written post, good job

    Reply
    • Thanks gomike

      Reply
  13. Hey Drew,

    Do you have the link to the Japanese website? I can take a look at it for you as I’m sure some automated online translators are unreliable.

    Reply
    • Great!

      Here’s the page where I got the date.
      https://www.ana.co.jp/amc/news/info/201411/kokusai_revision/
      2015 – 4 – 12 is at the top. I assume that’s the date for the new program.
      Let me know if you can confirm roundtrip prices. That would be the best.

      I think this is the ANA one – https://www.ana.co.jp/amc/news/info/201411/kokusai_revision/pdf/chart_nh1.pdf
      This is the *A one that i used for the chart above – https://www.ana.co.jp/amc/news/info/201411/kokusai_revision/pdf/chart_teikei.pdf

      Also want to verify that Star Alliance award chart includes India with SE Asia, aka “other asia”

      Reply
    • Hey Drew,

      You’re correct, 4/12/15 is the new date.

      The site is vague on if it’s Roundtrip/oneway, but theres a tiny blip in there that mentions “Partner award tickets will price the same as ANA regular-season tickets when departing from Japan,” so the prices listed are round trip.

      I think zone 4 “other asia” would include india and zone 3 would be more the traditional SE Asia. Therefore, 2 separate zone for the two. Zoen 3 specifically lists China/Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau/Manilla/Guam, no mention of anything near India. Funny how they call India and surrounding areas “Other Asia…” But I guess it doesn’t fall in SE Asia or the Middle east so they had to come up with something. I wonder if Singapore/Thailand would be SE Asia or other asia?

      Let me know if there’s anything else.

      Reply
  14. Hmm.. now how to get from Hawaii to Hawaii using Star alliance?

    Reply
    • Check out the United chart. It’s actually a good value (gasp!) for inter-island flights

      Reply
  15. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? There is one truth in this game: things don’t get better, they get worse. ALWAYS.

    Gotta agree with this posted above…

    “call me crazy but I don’t think this will materialize/last. Too many sweet spots. Going from west coast to Europe in business for 72k… This will be blogged ad naseum… Don’t think their partners will like it.”

    Exactly. If your Japanese translation and interpretation aren’t wrong, this will result in rapid disappearance of award seat availability. Blogs kill everything.

    Reply
  16. Thanks for the write up on the new changes. You make it so clear and easy to understand for a novice like me. Not overwhelming. THANKS!

    Reply
  17. Drew –
    Japan to South America in First is 210,000 but SE Asia to South America is 140,000?

    Reply
  18. ANA updated a new award char as of 3/3/2015
    There are many negative changes
    now US-Europe in economy is 55k miles
    US-Europe in business is 88k
    US-US in economy is 30k
    US-US in business is 55k
    US-Hawaii in business is 68k
    US-middle east in economy is 65k
    US-middle east in business is 104k
    and several more (see the link provided below)

    it looks like ANA allows only 1 stopover
    here’s the link:
    https://www.ana.co.jp/amc/news/info/201411/kokusai_revision/pdf/chart_150326.pdf#page=1

    Reply

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