New ANA Award Chart: Europe for 88K in Business Class

Apr 12, 2015

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The new ANA award chart is slated to go live today (though the booking site seems to be down when I tried it this morning), so I want to dig a little deeper into some of the different award chart prices since ANA is both a Star Alliance member and a American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner.  I know it takes some extra time and patience to learn a bit about some of these foreign frequent flyer programs, but I consider it an essential intermediate step in the miles and points world if you want to learn how to take your family around the world for much less.

You don’t need to become an expert on every award chart out there, but I do recommend learning just enough to know what is out there in case it might be handy on a future trip.

Understanding the New ANA Zones:

The new ANA award chart is zone based like most of the traditional US award charts you are probably already familiar with.  Sometimes the “award chart gems” come into play when a country or region is grouped in with a region where it doesn’t exactly make sense, or when a program just decides to charge less to go from one zone to another than the other programs.

View the New ANA Award Chart Here


The Lower 48, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico are grouped together in Zone 6 the “North America” zone.  Hawaii is actually its own zone, Zone 5.  The Caribbean is strangely grouped in with South/Latin America in Zone 9.


If you want to take a flight within Zone 6 “North America” zone, it will cost 30,000 miles in economy, 55,000 miles in business class (often domestic first), or 90,000 miles in first class.  In most cases these are not good values compared to other options in Star Alliance like United, Aeroplan, and others.  However, you can save some miles if you wanted to go to Mexico over what United charges since United puts Mexico in a different zone than the US, and charges 35,000 miles round trip in economy and 60,000 miles in “domestic first”.


Similarly, since destinations in the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and the rest are grouped with Latin and South America via the ANA chart, that can open up pretty good values within that region at 30,000 miles in economy and 55,000 miles in business (domestic first) as opposed to 40,000 miles in economy or 80,000 miles in business via United’s award chart.  However, the US to the Caribbean is now a terrible value via ANA since they are in different zones, and economy prices at 50,000 miles round trip.

Since Hawaii is in its own zone, it is pricing lower than the rest of the US to destinations like Asia and Oceania, but higher to destinations like Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  Flights between Hawaii and the rest of the United States are 40,000 miles in economy, 68,000 in business, and 120,000 in first on three cabin planes.  Those prices in economy or business are better than what United offers, but not as good as the prices that Singapore offers for Star Alliance operated flights.

New ANA Redemption Rules and Basics:

Many of these rules are unchanged from their old award chart, but the rules specific to routing are new and notable especially since they are a bit restrictive.  Note that these are not all of the rules, but rather ones that jumped out at me as being more relevant to most of us than others.

View all the ANA redemption rules here.

  • Miles are valid until the end of the 36th month from the month in which they were earned.
  • Awards may be used by the member, member’s spouse, or member’s immediate family.
  • It is not possible to combine your mileage with that of different members, such as family members or friends, and receive awards.
  • In the case of the partner airlines (as opposed to Star Alliance partners), miles can be used when flying on flights operated by the partner airline only.
  • Required mileage for child and infant is same as that of adult.
  • The required mileage does not change depending on the season.
  • One-way trips not permitted.
  • Passengers using flight awards will not be provided with alternative modes of transport or accommodation in the event of delayed or cancelled flights.
  • Even if your itinerary includes ANA flights, the chart of miles required for Partner Flight Awards will apply if the itinerary includes even one flight partner airline.
  • You can use miles for awards 355 days before your boarding day (not including the date of departure) until 96 hours before departure.  Changes are accepted up to 96 hours before the departure of the flight you wish to board.
  • If seats are available in routes for which tickets were issued using mileage for a class higher than the reserved class, it is possible to change to that higher class within the time limit for change procedures.
  • The airline, passenger, sector, and route cannot be changed.
  • Miles exchanged for flight awards may be refunded to the mileage account only in cases where the entire flight award remains unused, and reservation were cancelled before the departure of each flights, fee of 3,000 miles per person.

Here are some rules specific to ANA award flight routings:

  • You cannot create routes that pass through the first or last city on the outbound and inbound trips, or in which the destination is the first or last city.
  • You cannot transfer in a city in a zone with a higher required number of miles than your point of departure. You also cannot transfer so that the required number of miles from your point of transfer to destination is higher than the required number of miles from your point of departure to destination.
  • Hong Kong and China, and Hong Kong and Macau, are regarded as different countries.
  • The three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) are regarded as the same country, except for itineraries only in Scandinavia.
  • The United States and Canada are regarded as the same country.
  • Europe is regarded as the same country, except for itineraries only in Europe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You cannot transfer in a city in a zone with a higher required number of miles than your point of departure.  You also cannot transfer so that the required number of miles from your point of transfer to destination is higher than the required number of miles from your point of departure to destination.
  • As an example, via the chart below you would not route through Europe to get to Asia from the United States.

Good Values on New ANA Award Chart:

Okay, given all of that noise, what is the new ANA award chart good for?  A few better-than-average redemptions for those of us based in the Lower 48/Alaska/Canada/Mexico are:

  • 55,000 miles to Europe in economy
  • 88,000 miles to Europe in business class
  • 50,000 – 55,000 miles to Japan in economy
  • 85,000 – 90,000 miles to Japan in business class
  • 75,000 miles to Australia in economy
  • 120,000 miles to Australia in business class
  • 65,000 miles to Middle East/Africa in economy
  • 104,000 miles to Middle East/Africa in business class
  • Asia for 95,000 – 115,000 miles in business class

First class is generally extremely pricey on miles via the new chart, and thus I have left those amounts off.  The best values relative to other charts seem to be in business class, though even economy offers discounts over United (and other) mileage prices in many zones.  Remember that you do have to contend with fuel surcharges on ANA for partners that also charge fuel surcharges.

Looking at something like a simple flight from the US to Europe and back on a United operated flight, you can easily see some savings.  For example, United would want 115,000 miles for that flight while ANA requires just 88,000 miles for the same flight, and there would be no fuel surcharges on either itinerary on United operated flights.

The ANA “Around the World” awards seems to still use the old distance based award chart and may represent some good values since they do not follow all the same routing rules as the other awards (though don’t forget fuel surcharges).  However, your 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, so these have to be relatively short trips given the distance covered.

I also want to add that those who have played around in the new booking engine before it went offline report that it was not as good as the old search engine for awards and you had to search for premium cabin awards one day at a time.

You can access the award booking engine here…when it starts working again.

What awards do you see on the new ANA award chart that look good for your family?

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