I love ANA! I’ve written more about ANA Mileage Club than any other FF program in the world. In my opinion, this is the best all-around program for international long-haul BUSINESS CLASS redemptions, bar none!

If that sounds presumptuous please keep reading and (I hope) you’ll have no choice but to agree with me. 🙂

What I mean is this. There are many FF programs that have some sweet spots here and there, but there is none in our hobby sandbox that would offer these sweet spots consistently across the world.

ANA redemption schemes

ANA award charts are complex and the program itself is a bit quirky, so I’m not saying it’s all
moonlight and roses, but if you learn to work around these quirks and imperfections, you’ll
soon realize how outrageously overpriced U.S. frequent flyer programs really are.
There are two ANA Mileage Club redemption schemes: the region-based scheme utilized by
ANA and its partners and distance-based, used for the ANA terrific Round-The-World ticket.
You can find all award charts on ANA metal at this link. ANA maintains several charts for
flights to / from Japan, Asia 1, Asia 2, Europe and Oceania. Like I said, it’s a bit complicated.
Here is the chart for flights between Japan and North America.

Here is a seasonality ANA chart for flights between Japan and North America until the end of

ANA partner airlines

Star Alliance airline partners

  • Aegean Airlines (A3)
  • Air Canada (AC)
  • Air China (CA)
  • Air India (AI)
  • Air New Zealand (NZ)
  • Asiana Airlines (OZ)
  • Austrian Airlines (OS)
  • Avianca (AV)
  • Brussels Airlines (SN)
  • Copa Airlines (CM)
  • Croatia Airlines (OU)
  • EgyptAir (MS)
  • Ethiopian Airlines (ET)
  • EVA Air (BR)
  • LOT Polish Airlines (LO)
  • Lufthansa (LH)
  • Scandinavian Airlines (SK)
  • Shenzhen Airlines (ZH)
  • Singapore Airlines (SQ)
  • South African Airways (SA)
  • Swiss International Air Lines (LX)
  • TAP Portugal (TP)
  • Thai Airways International (TG)
  • Turkish Airlines (TK)
  • United Airlines (UA)

Other airline partners

  • Air Dolomiti (EN)
  • Air Macau (NX)
  • Etihad Airways (EY)
  • Eurowings (EW)
  • Garuda Indonesia (GA)
  • Germanwings (4U)
  • Jet Airways (9W)
  • Olympic Air (OA)
  • Philippine Airlines (PR)
  • Virgin Atlantic (VS)
  • Vietnam Airlines (VN)

And here is why ANA Mileage Club is fantastic for Business Class redemptions!

Sweet spots on ANA metal

The values below are from / to the U.S. for Business Class round-trip award tickets. The
prices depend on seasonality.

  • Japan: 75,000-90,000
  • South Korea: 80,000-95,000
  • Asia 1: 80,000-95,000 (Beijing, Dalian, Shenyang, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou,
  • Guangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu, Wuhan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila)
  • Asia 2: 100,000-115,000 (Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon, Jakarta,
  • Mumbai, Delhi, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh)

Sweet spots on partner airlines

You can find the chart and relevant zones for partners flights here. The values below are from
/ to the U.S. for Business Class round-trip award tickets.

  • Japan: 85,000
  • South Korea and Asia 1: 95,000 (Guam, Taiwan, Mainland China, the Philippines,
    Hong Kong, Macau)
  • Asia 2: 136,000 ( India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal,
    Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Maldives, Mongolia, Laos, among others)
  • Oceania and Micronesia: 120,000 (Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Papua
    New Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, among others)
  • Hawaii: 68,000
  • Africa and the Middle East: 104,000
  • Europe and South America: 88,000

Note: You can’t redeem miles for one-way flights.

Another sweet spot: Asia via South Pacific with a free stopover / open jaw

ANA has certain routing rules. They are not as rigid as American, but still – you can’t travel
between certain two regions via certain third regions.

Some of these restrictions are more reasonable than others. For example, you can’t fly to
Europe via Asia or South Pacific. That’s reasonable. But you also can’t fly to Asia versus
Europe, which is, well, not as reasonable. However, what you can do is to travel to Asia via
South Pacific. And there is no reason why that shouldn’t be allowed: after all, both are in the
same area.
So, basically you can fly from LA to Australia with a stopover in Sydney then hop on a flight to
Bangkok, take an open jaw to Singapore and continue to Tokyo (final destination) with the
return back to LA or ANY city in the U.S. or CANADA (will explain).
You can also have up to two open jaws – I say “up to” because it doesn’t work every time. To
be clear, the official ANA rules only allow one open jaw, but I have personally been able to get
two. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work, and when things don’t work on the ANA
website, it’s my experience that the Call Center agents are usually helpless.

A Unicorn-grade sweet spot: ANA Round-the-World award

The ANA RTW ticket is simply amazing. Unlike other ANA charts with a region-based
scheme, this chart has a distance-based scheme, and it’s really, really something!

Here are the rules:

  • Can only book on ANA and Star Alliance airlines – not other partners.
  • You must fly East → West or West → East.
  • Backtracking is not allowed officially, but ANA agents will let you deviate within reason.
  • Stopovers:
    • Up to 8 total
    • Up to 3 in Europe
    • Up to 4 in Japan
  • The trip length should be at least 10 days from your first international departure.
  • 12 flight sectors maximum plus four open jaws (include transportation between
  • different airports in the same city).
  • Must book on the phone.

When you might want to use the ANA RTW ticket

When people hear words “around the world,” their imagination starts running amok. They
picture months-long journeys with multiple stops in multiple countries, and who has the time
for that kind of epic adventures, right? However, while you can definitely make it as “epic” as
your vacation time (and ANA terms) allow, you don’t have to use all these stopovers. The
ANA website offers this example:

  • Fly with ANA (NH) from Narita to New York
  • Fly with United Airlines (UA) from New York to Frankfurt
  • Fly with Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt to Singapore
  • Fly with Singapore Airlines (SQ) from Singapore to Narita

This trip with “only” three stops in Germany, Singapore and Japan that spans a little more
than 20,000 miles can easily be done in two weeks, and it’s going to cost you… drum roll
please: 125,000 ANA miles in Business Class! Of course, the price won’t change if you start
this trip in New York rather than Tokyo. Keep in mind, though, that ANA can calculate the
distance slightly differently than
the Great Circle Map used for this example.

Here are a couple of ideas.
You can start your journey in the Continental U.S. and end it in Canada or Hawaii. Why?
Because while ANA rules force you to return to the same country where your flight originates,
the U.S. and Canada are considered the same country for the sake of its routing rules. As to
Hawaii, it’s hard to argue that Hawaii is the part of the U.S. 🙂
You can fly the following itinerary:

  • Los Angeles (via Houston)→ Rio De Janeiro on United – Stopover
  • Rio → Lisbon on TAP Portugal – Stopover
  • Lisbon → Istanbul on Turkish – Stopover
  • Istanbul→ Bangkok on Turkish – Stopover
  • Bangkok→ Tokyo on ANA – Stopover
  • Tokyo→ Honolulu on ANA – End of journey

This flight would cost you 145,000 miles in Business. That’s an insane value!

And from Hawaii you can take an astonishingly cheap flight home on Turkish for 7,500 miles (we’ll talk later about that amazing value)

As you can see, you’ve only spent six stopovers out of eight and seven flight sectors out of 12. So you can add five more flight sectors and two more stopovers along the way (but only one more stopover in Europe). You can also get really creative and add some ground sectors (open jaws) along the way. There are plenty of options for those of you who have plenty of time. 

Now, not everything about ANA is great. There are two major downsides to Mileage Club.

  • Considerable fuel surcharges
  • Only round-trip flights are bookable (except the RTW award).

ANA Fuel surcharges are on the rise

Unfortunately, ANA adds fuel surcharges to its own flights, as well as most of the partners. There is a silver lining, however. The surcharges are the same for all classes of service, which is not the case for most airline programs that charge more for premium cabins. 

The Japanese government regulates fuel surcharges and ties them up to the cost of Singapore kerosene, at least when you fly on ANA metal to / from Japan. 

For tickets booked between February 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022, ANA adds a record high YQ. I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen them that high.

  • North America: to Japan: $191
  • Hawaii to Japan: $116

So, add all other taxes, and you’re doling out about $500 in cash for round-trip travel. That’s quite a bit for a “free” ticket!

Still, high as it is, the fuel surcharge for flights between world regions and Japan is pretty transparent, which is not the case for connecting flights via Japan. According to the ANA fuel surcharge page, “special rules may apply when the itinerary includes a connection from an international flight to another international flight.” Well, that’s… convenient, to say the least.

Here is the evolution (devolution?) of ANA fuel surcharges from North America to Japan in the last 9 months.

  • April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021: No surcharge
  • June 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021: $48
  • October 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022: $95
  • February 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022: $191

So is there a way for us to control this ugly beast? 

There is, actually. Book travel on airlines with no or low / moderate surcharges. There are several airlines that fit the bill.

ANA Star partners with no fuel surcharges:

  • Air Canada
  • Avianca
  • Copa
  • Ethiopian
  • SAS
  • Singapore (can’t book long-haul premium classes)
  • TAP
  • United (except Asia)

ANA partners with low / moderate surcharges (round trip)

  • LOT ($120 to Warsaw)
  • EVA ($126 to Taipei)
  • United to Asia ($190 to Japan)

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend booking Turkish and Asiana like I used to (and enthusiastically so) before. Here is what they’re charging now:

  • Asiana $360 to Seoul
  • Turkish $406 to Istanbul in Business Class (for some reason Turkish has low surcharges on their own tickets) 

Once again, the numbers above include only surcharges and don’t include legit airport taxes and fees.

How to book

You can book all ANA Star Alliance partners online. For all other redemptions and to book the RTW ticket call 844-728-0647.

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