ANA eliminates the bulk of fuel surcharges on business and first class awards

Jun 11, 2020

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All Nippon Airways Mileage Club (ANA) has always been one of the most underrated airline loyalty programs, thanks to low redemption rates and its partnership with Amex Membership Rewards. As is often the case, their low award redemption rates came with fuel surcharges ­– not exactly British Airways level, but around $260 round-trip for premium cabin awards between the U.S. and Tokyo.

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ANA seems to have done away with the majority of those fuel surcharges, as first reported by Spencer Howard.


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???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????????⁣ ⁣ I mentioned this on last night’s IG Live but, yesterday, I was searching for award space (just for fun) and noticed that the carrier-imposed surcharges on ANA (All Nippon Airways) flights were gone.⁣ ⁣ I checked ITA Matrix to see what was going on with the surcharges. ⁣ ⁣ ????’???????? ???????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????? ????????????????.⁣ ⁣ Well, I was wrong, the surcharges aren’t completely gone, they’ve just been reduced to $2 on a round-trip ticket from the U.S. ⁣ ⁣ ???????????? ???????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????? ????????????????????????????⁣ ⁣ On a round-trip award ticket flying ANA biz or first class, you could expect the total taxes/fees to be $250+.⁣ ⁣ Now, you can expect the total taxes/fees to be ~$60. That’s nearly $200 in savings!⁣ ⁣ ???????????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????-???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????⁣ ⁣ Carrier-imposed surcharges (often called fuel surcharges) can be super frustrating for those who like to book flights with airline miles.⁣ ⁣ When surcharges are tacked onto award tickets, they can wreck the value you’d get in using miles.⁣ ⁣ For example, if you used Aeroplan miles to book a one-way biz class ticket on Austrian Airlines, the award rate of 55,000 miles is great. However, the $680+ in taxes/fees kind of wrecks the value in most cases.⁣ ⁣ ???????????????????? ????????????????????????????????⁣ ⁣ Using 110k or 120k Virgin Atlantic miles to book ANA first class round-trip from the west or central/east U.S., respectively, was already a great deal.⁣ ⁣ Similarly, using 75-90k ANA miles to book business class round-trip has also been a great deal.⁣ ⁣ Now, that you can save $200 on the taxes/fees for a round-trip, the deal just got even better!⁣ ⁣ ❓Let me know if you have any questions about how to avoid surcharges when using your airline miles to book flights!

A post shared by Spencer Howard (@straighttothepoints) on

The same ANA award is now pricing out at $45.54 round-trip in business class and $57.56 in first class.

Image courtesy of All Nippon Airways
Image courtesy of All Nippon Airways


This is great news because ANA already has some of the lowest redemption rates on this route. The removal of fuel surcharges just sweetens the deal.

Image courtesy of All Nippon Airways


It’s also worth noting that if you book an ANA flight using another rewards program currency (i.e. Virgin Atlantic), you also won’t be liable for fuel surcharges. If you’ve already booked one of these awards before the new fees went into effect, it’s absolutely worth calling ANA to see if they’ll refund the difference. No guarantees, as usual. YMMV.

Related: The best Amex cards

Bottom line

ANA cutting back on fuel surcharges is great news all around and hopefully, other airlines will follow suit. If you’re planning a trip to Asia or even Europe post-pandemic, you can save a lot by redeeming ANA miles for your flight. For example, ANA requires 50,000 miles for a round-trip economy class ticket to Japan. United has implemented dynamic pricing, so redemption rates vary but you can expect to pay around 70,000 miles for the same award in the fall.

Premium cabins are where you’ll get the most value. ANA requires 85,000 miles for a round-trip business class award on ANA metal or 150,000 miles in first class.

United charges around 176,000 round-trip for business class and 242,000 for first class. Being able to book these awards at a lower rate is why I often keep a stash of Membership Rewards on hand. Not having to pay fuel surcharges is even more reason to earn those points going forward.

Featured photo by TPG.

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