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ANA Award Taxes and Fees: Airline Partner Roundup

by on April 24, 2013 · 18 comments

in ANA, star alliance

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If you have Amex Membership Rewards points or plan on transferring Starwood points to airlines, you may want to bookmark this post!
This is the fifth and final installment of my series calculating the cost of award tickets using ANA miles. In Part 1 I priced out itineraries on Air Canada, ANA, Lufthansa, Singapore, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United and US Airways. In Part 2, I looked at Adria, Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana, Austria, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa and Virgin Atlantic. In Part 3, I found the taxes and surcharges on partners: Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, SAS, Shenzhen, South African Airways, TAM and TAP. In Part 4, I found the taxes and surcharges for itineraries on ANA’s non-Star Alliance partners (I found Virgin Atlantic in Part 2 since it’s a popular carrier) including: Air Macau, Etihad, EVA (intra-Asian only), Hawaiian Airlines (inter-island only), Jet Airways and Qatar Airways.

I put this list together because ANA is a a member of Star Alliance and its award search engine is one of the best ways to find Star Alliance availability. It has several other airline partners and is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards (transfers usually take about 48 hours) – which you earn on cards like the Premier Rewards Gold and the Platinum – and Starwood Preferred Guest (transfers can take up to a couple weeks), which makes it a very versatile program to maximize when it comes time to redeem some of those points for an award on a Star Alliance carrier or its other partners such as these airlines.

ANA is a transfer partner of Membership Rewards and SPG.

ANA is a transfer partner of Membership Rewards and SPG.

ANA’s mileage program is  distance-based, so you can find some award redemption sweet spots such as needing just 63,000 miles for roundtrip business class between the east coast of North America and Europe. See the whole partner award chart here.

ANA's distance-based award chart.

ANA’s distance-based award chart.

However, ANA levies variable fuel surcharges on many of its partners, so as a follow-up to my series on Aeroplan Star Alliance award taxes and fees, I wanted to do another series going through awards on each of ANA’s Star Alliance partners and looking at the taxes and fees associated with each so that if you were considering ANA as an airline transfer partner to book Star Alliance and other awards, you’d have some clear estimates of how much you could expect to pay.

So here is where I have put all the information together in one place. I’ve estimated the taxes and fees on each carrier based on the long- and short-haul award itineraries in business and economy that I found for the other parts of the series. So have a look and use this general guide to help you determine which carrier might be your best option for the itinerary you want to book. Before transferring points, should always price out your itinerary since these prices can change anytime, but feel free to bookmark this page and use it as a resource when deciding whether ANA makes the most sense for you award.

AIRLINE DOMESTIC/SHORTHAUL INTERNATIONAL/LONGHAUL
Adria Airlines Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Aegean Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Air Canada Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
Air China Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
Economy: Under $300-500
Business: Under $300-500
Air New Zealand Economy: $100-$200
Business: n/a
Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
All Nippon Airlines ANA Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Economy: Under $500-700
Business: Under $500-700
Asiana Economy: Around $100
Business: Around $100
Economy: Under $300-500
Business: Under $300-500
Austrian Economy: $100-200
Business: $100-200
Economy: Around $500
Business: Around $500
Avianca Economy: Around $100
Business: Around $100
Economy: Around $400
Business: Around $400
Brussels Airlines Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Economy: Around $600
Business: $900-1,000
Copa Economy: Around $200
Business: Around $200
Economy: Around $300
Business: Around $300
Croatia Airlines Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Economy: n/a
Business: n/a
EgyptAir Economy: Around $400
Business: Around $450
Economy: Around $700
Business: Around $700
Ethiopian Airlines Economy: Around $50
Business: n/a
Economy: Around $500
Business: Around $500
LOT Polish Airlines Economy: Under $150
Business: Under $150
Economy: Under $500
Business: Around $500
Lufthansa Economy: Around $250
Business: Around $250
Economy: Under $700
Business: Over $1,000
Scandinavian Airlines SAS Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Economy: Under $600
Business: Under $1,000
Shenzhen Airlines Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
Economy: n/a
Business: n/a
Singapore Airlines Economy: Under $300
Business: Under $350
Economy: Under $500
Business: Under $1,000
South African Airways Economy: Under $400
Business: Under $500
Economy: Around $500
Business: Under $600
Swiss Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Economy: Under $700
Business: Under $1,000
TACA Economy: Around $200
Business: Around $200
Economy: Around $400
Business: Around $400
TAM Economy: Under $100
Business: Under $100
Economy: n/a
Business: n/a
TAP Economy: Around $150
Business: Around $150
Economy: Around $600
Business: Around $900-1,000
Thai Airways Economy: Around $150
Business: Around $150
Economy: Under $500
Business: Under $700
Turkish Airlines Economy: Around $150
Business: Around $150
Economy: Under $350
Business: Under $350
United Economy: $5
Business: $5
Economy (transatlantic): Under $100
Economy (transpacific): Under $700
Business: Under $100
US Airways Economy: $5
Business: $5
Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200

 

Non-Alliance Partners

Airline Domestic/Shorthaul International/Longhaul
Air Macau Economy: Under $200
Business: Under $200
Etihad Economy: $500-$1,000
Business: $500-$1,200
Eva Air Economy: Around $100
Business: Around $100
Economy: Under $500
Business: Under $500
Hawaiian Airlines Economy: $5
Business: $5
Jet Airways Economy: Over $1,000
Business: $1,000-$2,000
Qatar Airways Economy: $500-700
Business: $500-$1,000
Virgin Atlantic Economy: $500-$900
Business: $800-$1,200

Pick Your Carrier

As with the Aeroplan redemptions, what was most interesting to me is that depending on which carrier you used miles to book on similar routes from North America to Asia or Europe, you could pay about $100 in taxes and fees, or $1,000 on taxes and fees, which is just incredible – and incredibly important to pay attention to!

It’s not always possible to fly any Star Alliance carrier anywhere, and you might not want to, say stop in Seoul en route to China, and award availability is always a huge factor, but if your plans are flexible and you do have options with routing and airline partners, you might as well try to save hundreds of dollars in your award booking.

Flying US Airways to Europe instead of other carriers can save you hundreds of dollars.

Flying US Airways to Europe instead of other carriers can save you hundreds of dollars.

If you’re just looking to get from North America to Europe, I’d suggest looking at the US carriers United and US Airways since the fuel surcharges on these are dramatically lower, and then other options like Turkish Airlines (especially), Brussels Airlines and LOT are also decent for business class awards with fees coming in at under $500 as opposed to the $1,000 mark with Lufthansa, SAS, SWISS, TAP and Virgin Atlantic. On the way to Asia from North America, United came in as a bargain as did Air Canada at under $100, while EVA (once it joins Star Alliance), Asiana and Air China were all decent, though still coming in at around the $300-$500 range.  Still, that’s better than the nearly $700 you’d be paying on ANA itself, or the $400-$600 on Thai between Asia and Europe.

Air Canada incurred the cheapest surcharges to Asia.

Air Canada incurred the cheapest surcharges to Asia.

Class Options

The other interesting element of all this was that in many cases, the taxes and fees for economy awards were not much lower than those for business class tickets on both domestic/short-haul and international/long-haul routes, so if you have the extra miles (or transferable points), you should try for the premium classes of service since you’ll be paying the same amount in cash anyway.

If you've got the miles, might as well fly business class on Turkish Airlines since the fees are the same as in economy.

If you’ve got the miles, might as well fly business class on Turkish Airlines since the fees are the same as in economy.

For example, an Air China award from the US to China or on Asiana from the US to South Korea will cost you the same in either economy or business, as will tickets from North America to Europe on LOT and flights between Europe and Asia on Austrian and between North America and Turkey on Turkish Airlines. Some others such as from North America to South Africa on South African Airways were slightly different, but paying $100 or so more gets you into business class instead of economy, which is definitely worth it!

However, there are some instances where this is not the case. For instance, a TAP economy award incurs around $600 in fees while business would cost over $900, or Virgin Atlantic’s charges of around $600-700 for an economy ticket instead of nearly $1,200 for a business class ticket, so keep an eye on your fees with Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and SAS in particular.

As always, before committing to a particular redemption, weigh your options, and if these numbers aren’t specific to your itinerary, you can call ANA’s mileage desk and they will price out awards for you. Since many of you might be considering a points transfer from Amex Membership Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest to ANA, you should also consider Air Canada’s Aeroplan program since in many instances, the fuel surcharges on certain carriers (especially some of the European ones like LOT and Brussels Airlines) were significantly lower than what ANA is charging.

That said, ANA’s mileage redemption levels might be lower – just 68,000 miles in business class from the east coast of North America to much of Europe as opposed to 90,000 with Aeroplan – so if you’re looking to save miles instead of dollars, ANA could still be your best option.

Hopefully this guide will help you make informed decisions about booking ANA awards and the options you have for getting where you need to go without overpaying on taxes and fees. Please share your experiences below if any of you have recently booked awards through ANA.

If you enjoyed this series and would like to see more research posts like this, I would appreciate if you could use my links when possible when you are applying for credit cards. This site is free and runs solely on advertising and credit card referrals so we greatly appreciate any support when our readers are applying for top offers.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam April 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

Great post! I’ve really enjoyed this series.

Ed April 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

What are the routing restrictions? For example, can you fly to Asia over the Atlantic and back over the Pacific?

dee seiffer April 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

Thank you very much, Brian. Great series.

Hans April 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

Thanks for the posts! I was recently wondering why the bloggers don’t talk more about ANA with it’s incredible redemption options. Great timing!

Darije April 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Excellent, excellent! This is such an amazing resource, thank you, and yes, I do use your links :)

Ahmed Abdullah April 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Anybody know if ANA redemption on United incurs the same 75$ *booking fee? That’s one of the best parts of Avios redemptions, for example – AA directly booked would charge 75$ when departure is <21days but same itinerary booked via Avios doesn't have this charge.

Edit: close-in fee, not booking

Angel April 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Yes, since the awards are distanced based. The only restrictions are: start and end on the same country and if you book a non-partner flight you can only mix the itinerary with ANA’s own flights.

lessilber May 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I have 250K Amex Miles in business class for two and would like to determine what the full cost is to fly from LAS-AKL with a stop on Air New Zealand or any of the other Star Alliance.partners. Also, I’d like to determine the full cost for two in business clas from LAS-TLV with stops on Turkish Airlines or other Star Alliance partner.

Secretary Toaster August 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

As of today there is DEFINITELY YQ charged for redemption on international Air Canada flights. I already used the miles but as I recall it was between $350 – 400 OW

Dave January 20, 2014 at 8:01 pm

What a great post! I was about to transfer my AMEX points to Delta. I am interested in redeeming on Swiss/Asiana for ZRH-ICN route. I can see the mileage but cannot see the tax/fees on the ANA website. I tried to approximate with what i see when i try to purchase a ticket on booking.swiss.com, comes out ~$700. Does anyone know if this is in the ballpark? Or if you have enough miles in your acct and could approximate for me, i would really appreciate this! Thank you

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