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For folks looking to get Big Travel with Small Money, using All Nippon Airways (ANA) miles can sometimes be a good deal.
But even if you don’t want to use ANA miles, their website is handy for searching for award seats on all Star Alliance airlines. Other sites, like United Airlines, don’t show every Star Alliance option.
If you don’t collect ANA miles, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards or Starwood points to ANA at a 1:1 ratio. And when you move Starwood points to ANA, you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer.
And you’ll often pay fewer miles using ANA miles for award flights compared to other airlines, like flights to Asia. But you’ll also pay high taxes and fees, which might not be worth it even if you’re saving miles. I’ll help you decide!
I’ll show you step-by-step instructions on how to use the ANA award site to book award travel!
ANA Award Chart
Link: ANA Award Chart
ANA miles can be very useful for specific, low-priced flight awards. Even though some websites such as United.com and Aeroplan.com might be easier to use, ANA’s website can search for flights on every Star Alliance airline. So some folks will love learning the ins and outs of the ANA award search tool!
To get started, visit the ANA website.
1. Set the Language to English
Note: Because ANA is a Japanese airline, the website is mostly in Japanese! But you can switch the language to English from the homepage.
2. Locate the Award Chart
3. Know What to Expect
A few things to note when booking with ANA miles:
- Only round-trip travel is permitted (no one-ways allowed!)
- ANA awards can sometimes have high taxes and surcharges
- ANA allows award holds for 24 to 48 hours if you call in
- Cancelling an award flight is very cheap at only 3,000 ANA miles!
- You can only book award flights for yourself and direct family members
All flight prices listed on the ANA award chart are for round-trip travel, since one-ways are not permitted.
4. Find Your Flight “Zones”
To find the price for a specific award flight, first identify the zone of your origin and destination.
For example, flights from the US to Europe are from zone 6 to zone 7, while flights from Japan to Sydney are from zone 1 to zone 10. Then, look under your departure zone heading to find mileage prices.
Note: Be sure to click on the tab for “Tickets issued from October 15, 2015.”
5. Compare Points Prices to Other Programs
For example, round-trip flights from North America to Asia 1 (including China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines) cost the following mileage amounts:
- 60,000 ANA miles round-trip in coach
- 95,000 ANA miles round-trip in Business Class
- 180,000 ANA miles round-trip in First Class
An award flight from North America to Shanghai or Hong Kong for 60,000 ANA miles round-trip in coach or 95,000 miles round-trip in Business Class is a great deal!
To compare, American Airlines charges 70,000 miles round-trip in coach or 140,000 miles in Business Class for the same route. And United Airlines charges 70,000 miles round-trip in coach or 140,000 miles (160,000 miles on partner airlines) in Business Class.
If you are unsure of how many ANA miles a flight costs, you can always try searching for award flights to see the quoted cost.
Note: If your award flights include travel to or from Japan, award prices vary by season.
To view specific prices, click on the corresponding route options on the ANA award site for flights on ANA.
How to Search for Award Flights on ANA’s Website
Link: ANA Website
Link: ANA Award Chart
ANA has a great tool for searching for award flights. For folks who prefer to book online, ANA’s website is very useful! And, the ANA website can search for award flights on every single Star Alliance airline!
Step 1. Create an ANA Mileage Club Account
Already have an ANA Mileage Club account? Log-in and then skip to step 2!
If you are not already a member, create a free ANA Mileage Club account by clicking “Join ANA Mileage Club” on the home screen.
On the next screen, click on “Choose and apply for an ANA Mileage Club Card.”
Then, scroll down until you see the option for “ANA Mileage Club Card.”
On the following page, enter the information to create your free ANA Mileage Club account. Though the website is a bit clunky, the whole process should only take ~5 minutes.
After entering your personal information, be sure to write down your account number and password so you don’t forget it! ANA is notoriously frustrating about trying to retrieve forgotten passwords.
Once you have an ANA account, you are ready to start booking award flights!
Note: In order to search for award flights, you must be logged-in to your ANA Mileage Club account.
Step 2. Searching for Award Flights
After you have logged-in, head back to ANA.co.jp and click on “ANA Mileage Club.”
On the next screen, select your award type by clicking “Domestic“, “International“, or “Partner Flight“. Click “Domestic” or “International” for flights on ANA, or “Partner Flight” for flights on one of ANA’s Star Alliance partners.
Most folks will want to choose “Partner Flight” and then “Award Reservation” in order to search for award flights on ANA’s Star Alliance partners. ANA’s website makes it easy to search for and book both ANA and Star Alliance award flights online!
Enter your origin and destination, travel dates, number of passengers, and preferred class of service. For example, use the following to search for flights from Washington, DC, to Shanghai.
Then press “Search”, and wait while your results load!
In this scenario, the following dates have coach flights available when searching for 1 adult passenger round-trip from Washington, DC, to Shanghai in April 2017.
Note: In order to see flight options for multiple days, remember to check the “Compare seat availability +/- 3 days.” This can be incredibly helpful when searching with flexible dates!
Based on the available dates, select an option that works for you! Then, press “Next” to view the details of your award booking. On the following page, you can view whether “ANA Group” or “Star Alliance Member Airlines” flights are available for each leg of your journey.
Scroll down to view which flights have award seats available. After making your selection, you can view the total cost for your award flight, including the taxes and fees.
For example, the total cost for a round-trip coach ticket from Washington, DC, to Shanghai is 45,000 ANA miles and 49,170 Japanese Yen (~$472). That’s a substantial cash cost, even if you’re saving a lot of miles.
For comparison, the same flights in Business Class would cost 80,000 ANA miles and the same amount in fees, ~$472!
Remember that all prices are in Japanese Yen (JPY), because ANA is a Japanese airline. Despite low mileage award costs, booking an award flight with ANA can carry very high fuel surcharges!
After selecting flights that fit your schedule, select “Next” in the bottom corner to confirm your award flights.
Note: If you don’t have enough miles for the award flight in your account, the “Next” button will be grayed out.
Step 3. Consider Booking Business Class or First Class
For folks who want to fly Business Class or First Class, ANA’s award chart has some incredible deals! Flying Business or First Class can be a great value because fuel surcharges are similar whether flying in coach, Business, or First Class!
To search for Business Class or First Class seats, select “Award Business” or “Award First” on the ANA award flight page.
Then, search as normal and view the available flights in Business Class or First Class depending on dates that work for you!
This itinerary is round-trip in Business Class between Los Angeles and Munich for only 88,000 ANA miles! But remember you’ll pay 68,100 Japanese Yen (~$654) in taxes and fees.
Note: Make sure to select your flights carefully, because itineraries with mixed cabins will usually price out at the higher price. For example, the above itinerary actually has a long flight in coach!
Overall, flights in Business Class and First Class can represent a great use of ANA miles, despite high taxes and fuel charges. Especially if you’d otherwise pay cash for a ticket.
Strategies for Booking
ANA’s online search tool is very comprehensive. But some might prefer to search on other websites like United.com or Aeroplan.com because they are simpler and easier to use. If so, you can search for award seats first. When you are ready to book, call ANA Mileage Club at 800-235-9262 between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm Eastern Time.
ANA phone agents are very friendly, but there can sometimes be a slight communication barrier. Try to be patient when making a complex award booking!
Note: When calling ANA Mileage Club, you can save time by having your ANA Account number ready.
Award Search Tools to Help
If you can’t find award seats that fit your schedule, you can consider setting an award alert with an award searching tool.
An annual premium membership to one of these tools ranges from $75 to $129. But if you frequently book award flights, it can be a worthy investment!
The following 3 tools are the most commonly used:
Each of the above tools has the capability to search for the same flights you can find on ANA’s website. But if you still need help finding specific award seats that aren’t available (yet!), consider using one of these Award Booking Services.
Plus, you can book both ANA and partner Star Alliance flight awards online, without needing to call in. But remember that some flights will have high fuel surcharges.
Have you used ANA miles to book award flights? Please share your experiences in the comments!