Now that ANA has their new site up and running and new information about their new rewards program and award pricing, I’ve spent some time messing around with online award bookings.
Finally, here is a post about some of the results. We’ll talk about the new award chart, some sweet spots, which airlines have fuel surcharges, online bookings, and stopovers. The most interesting part might be that they still kind of have their old distance based award chart (stick around until the end).
I think most people will still consider it a devaluation, and most of it is, but there are a few big improvements. And there are still a few unknowns or things I couldn’t get to work. But this post is a good overview of the new program and the good parts about it.
Oddly enough, I wrote about the program change in the fall and the award chart they used during the announcement is now nowhere to be found. It seems that they had a devaluation months before bookings were allowed. I wasn’t too sure what to make of it until being able to test it. Which is to say that a lot of the things I wrote about earlier has changed.
Earning ANA Miles
Fyi, ANA Miles transfer 1:1 from American Express Membership Rewards points and SPG. That means the following Amex cards can earn ANA Miles:
- Both Amex EveryDay Credit Cards
- Green Card
- both Gold Cards
- Platinum Card
- SPG card
The New ANA Miles Award Chart
Like I often do with foreign award charts (or missing award charts) I made one of my own that’s North America centric. It’s just easier for me to read this way.
One thing to note is that Japan 1-A is the cheaper price to Japan with connections only in Japan and only 1 connection.
Not too sure where to put this, but wanted to share some important links.
Sweet spots on ANA’s award chart
While there are many devaluations, there are a lot of great things about this award chart. I’ll go over some hot spots in the award chart and then go over fuel surcharges after.
Cheap business class to Europe
Roundtrips to Europe are now 55,000 miles for economy and 88,000 miles for business class. While this isn’t an improvement, it’s an example that things across the board are competitive.
But like FlyingBlue, ANA considers some non-European countries in the Europe region. This is a unique opportunity. According to ANA, Europe includes: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Morocco, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, and Tunisia.
Cheapest Flights To Africa and Middle East
By far, the new ANA award chart has the cheapest miles price to “Africa”, for 65k/104k, which includes the entirety of Africa and Middle East that isn’t included in Europe. So everything except Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Africa still includes Egypt all the way to South Africa, and includes Mauritius, Madagascar, and Seychelles.
Seriously 65,000 miles is the cheapest roundtrip economy flight to Africa/Middle East, and 104,000 miles is the cheapest business class price for this.
Read more: Cheapest miles to India and the Middle East
Cheapest flights to Japan and Asia
ANA has, again, the cheapest [year round] miles to for trips to Japan. Economy flights are 50k to 55k for a roundtrip to/from Japan, Business class flights are 85k to 90k for Japan.
And flights to the rest of east Asia aren’t that much more expensive. 60k to 70k for economy flights for a roundtrip, and 95k to 115k in business class.
Another plus, is that Asia 2 isn’t just Southeast Asia. India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are all considered “Asia 2”.
Fuel Surcharges Using ANA Miles
I tested international flights from one hub in the US to a hub in that airline’s region. Or for the US Airlines flgihts I tested international flights. If you wanted to transit to another place you might add on extra costs.
Here’s the chart of fuel surcharges on Star Alliance partners:
|Airline||YQ in $USD|
|Air New Zealand||0|
|United (to Asia)||172|
- *to fly from North America to ADD on Ehtiopian, you have to transit via Europe each way, which will add quite a bit. Fees came out to $445 for a roundtrip from Toronto to Ethiopia.
- Somehow EVA flights from the US end up having charges around $380… which doesn’t make any sense as the YQ is $100 and the airport taxes and immigration taxes end up being less than $80. How are they charging well over double?
- Singapore and Thai have to transit through somewhere like Tokyo or Seoul to get the US adding on an extra little airport tax. So while it’s not technically an airport tax, like Ethiopian, you end up paying more than the YQ listed.
- Somehow LOT always passes on a small portion of its fuel surcharges. Normally it passes on $390+ on Transatlantic flights, but here they only charge $81.
As usual, flights to avoid fuel surcharges always involve flights within South America. But what’s really great is that Air Canada (which goes to Europe and Asia) has no fuel surcharges, as well as United flights everywhere except Asia. Air New Zealand remains a great option to avoid fuel surcharges, and LOT is a relatively good way to get to and from Europe. I’d rather fly United or Air Canada to avoid fuel surcharges completely, but you do what you can.
Remember that connections add costs. Airport taxes in Europe can easily add $100 with a couple of connections. And as noted, Thai and Singapore flights tend to layover in NRT or ICN. However, you can always connect there on an Asiana or ANA flight to go somewhere else, in case your end destination isn’t Singapore but you wanted to fly them across the Pacific.
Non Star Alliance Partners
What’s really cool is that ANA also partners with Etihad, Garuda, Hawaiian, Jet Airways, TAM, and Virgin Atlantic.
Actually, this is amazing given that Etihad has zero fuel surcharges to pass on, and the prices to Africa and the Middle East are super cheap.
Hawaiian also doesn’t have fuel surcharges to pass on. Hawaiian Airlines has routes to Japan, Seoul, Taipei, Manila, Australia, Auckland, American Samoa, and Tahiti, as well as connections to a lot of mainland USA.
And TAM increases the network within South America, which also has no fuel surcharges.
The problem is this:
In the case of the partner airlines listed below, miles can be used when flying on flights operated by the partner airline only.
Apparently you can’t combine a flight on Etihad with another Star Alliance partner.
Specific Best Uses of ANA Miles
Yes, I’m going to discuss this before stopovers. Because stopovers aren’t really a part of this normal award chart.
Etihad to Africa and Middle East for 65k/104k
Flying to Tanzania for 65,000 miles roundtrip is insane because that’s about what Aeroplan charges for a flight to Europe and this is twice as far away. If your goal is to get to Africa or the Middle East, this can save some miles. And 104,000 miles for business class is as cheap as you can get for the destination. And the best part is that Etihad doesn’t have fuel surcharges to pass on.
Etihad isn’t a part of Star Alliance, so it seems that you can’t combine it with other airlines, and you can’t book it online. This would involve phoning in ANA.
Air Canada & Air China to Asia: Economy or Business Class
ANA just isn’t charging fuel surcharges on Air Canada or Air China. According to OMAT, Air China’s Business Class hard product is “phenomenal” and he says that Air China is one of the most generous airlines in Star Alliance in terms of releasing premium cabin award space.
Simply put, the prices to Asia are phenomenal. 50,000 miles for economy and 85,000 miles for a roundtrip is great. And 60k/95k for Northern Asia. But remember, “Asia 2” includes the “stans” and India, as well as the rest of Southeast Asia. 70k for a trip to India is super cheap, and 115k for business class is way cheaper than most.
So try Air China Business Class to China for 95k, or to India for 115k.
Again, many of these spots on the chart are good prices, and are very competitive. But the regions are big, which has pros and cons. “Latin America” is an absurd region for us. 50k for a roundtrip to the Caribbean is absurd for an economy flight. But to Chile and Argentina… it’s actually a good price.
In our favor, the Africa and Middle East prices are amazing. It includes so much of the world and for only 65k.
And there are few places in Africa and the Middle East that are considered Europe, as mentioned earlier. This brings the price down to 55k on a roundtrip to a place like Morocco.
Stopovers and the “Round The World” Award Chart
For a second I thought that stopovers were made worse and completely taken away. Messing around online I couldn’t get any stopovers to work except when starting from Japan. That seems to be the new rule, 1 stopover allowed on a roundtrip that originates in Japan. Super lame, as we never fly roundtrip to/from Japan.
“One stopover, other than your destination, may be made on flights departing from Japan and overseas for either the outbound or inbound trip. Up to two transfers may be made on the outbound and inbound trips each in Japan. Up to two transfers may also be made on outbound and inbound trips each other than Japan.”
Much to my surprise, when I read the “round the world” part, which allows 8 stopovers, it included an award chart I recognized from somewhere else.
The ANA Round The World Award Chart:
Wait a second…
That’s the old award chart! ANA indeed just switched from distance based to region based (to the award chart I shared above)… but apparently they kept the exact same awesome award chart that they hard earlier. They just added some rules.
For round-the-world itineraries only, the required number of miles is calculated based on the total itinerary distance (basic sector mileage total). You can make up to eight stopovers when using airplanes to cross the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans one time each until you return to your country of departure (however, only up to three stopovers can be made in Europe and four stopovers can be made in Japan). You must choose either an eastbound or westbound route, and cannot travel in the opposite direction. The final international flight to return to your country of departure must be boarded on or after the 10th day after boarding the first international flight
What? This is the same award chart except you can only travel east or west! You have to cross both the Pacific and Atlantic.
Alright ANA… you win. I’ll fly around the world if I have to… with up to 8 stopovers.
Let me just price something out here that’s super basic.
New York, to Paris, to Hong Kong, to New York
A simple trip with only 2 stops. This would cross both oceans and I could fly AC/United over to Europe and Air China home. The problem would be getting from Europe to Asia, but I just want to price out the miles part.
The total distance flown on this route is 17,676 flown miles, which means the ANA miles price would be 65k/105k/160k.
That’s 65,000 miles for the round the world trip in economy up to 160,000 miles for first class. And…
We still have 6 stops left!
Going out of your way will increase the price a little. But the next price point up is only 10k more for economy and 20k more for First and that’s not a lot for a potential 8 destinations.
For me, this is a huge improvement to the award chart. We now get 8 stopovers and can make it price out super cheap. Stop in Africa and the Middle East too. I can’t even imagine how I’d spend 8 stopovers. Of course fuel surcharges and airport taxes will add up. But airport taxes are unavoidable for any place you want to see. But just FYI, I’ve tried to get crazy with ANA and backed out of a ticket because of the huge cash price tag that would have been added on. The fuel surcharges are real, and you need to use my chart above.
I feel like I should be writing an entire post on this…
And then I realized all my ANA posts so far have been on this award chart for the last few years. This is the same award chart. Basically the only difference is that you can only move one direction.
This is not at all bookable online, and even the example they give (same but FRA-SIN) didn’t price out online, it just says that it can’t be booked online.
A lot to cover. New prices, all partner YQ, and “round the world” tickets.
The irony is that on the award chart, short distances were nicely priced. Roundtrips from east coast USA to west coast Europe would be as cheap as 43,000 miles. But now the best awards are to super far away places like Africa and the Middle East, which are 55,000 to 65,000 miles. It’s nothing.
Losing stopovers on the majority of tickets is a downer, but it’s completely made up for with the old award chart that allows 8 stopovers.
What are your thoughts? Can you use the 8 stopovers award chart? Can you use the 65k to Africa? Or are your favorite awards gone?