ANA fuel surcharges skyrocket — but here’s why you shouldn’t panic

Feb 4, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

ANA Mileage Club is a popular program with award travelers, thanks to its well-priced award charts and the ease of earning points through American Express Membership Rewards. There are some quirks, though, such as that you can’t book one-way awards and that the program imposes fuel surcharges.

While fuel surcharges on ANA’s own flights have been relatively low in recent history, ANA doubled them at the start of the month. Unfortunately, this means these awards will have higher out-of-pocket costs for now.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The news, which was first reported by The Lazy Traveler’s Handbook, means you can now expect to pay around $500 in taxes and fees on round-trip ANA awards between North America and Japan, regardless of the class of service.

ANA award fuel surcharges
(Screenshot courtesy of ana.co.jp)

A couple of months ago, these same awards were bookable for about $50 out of pocket.

(Screenshot courtesy of ana.co.jp)

Related: Everything you need to know about ANA Mileage Club

So, why the massive increase?

ANA’s fuel surcharges have always been somewhat dynamic, changing every couple of months to adjust to real-world fuel prices. The current fuel surcharges will last from Feb. 1 to March 31. On April 1, the airline may increase, decrease or even eliminate its fuel surcharges, depending on the market price of fuel. Given ANA’s track record, I’m not too worried.

ANA fuel surcharges
ANA’s Feb. 1-March 31 fuel surcharges. (Screenshot courtesy of ana.co.jp)

When ANA eliminated the bulk of fuel surcharges in 2020, the price of oil was down significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is also why airlines like Emirates and Cathay Pacific lowered their fuel surcharges around the same time.

ANA has seen fuel surcharges go up and down over time. What’s important here is that ANA isn’t making changes to its award chart. Otherwise, there would be more cause for concern about an outright devaluation.

Thankfully, not all ANA award tickets are more expensive. While you’ll face higher surcharges when booking through a partner like Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, the new fuel surcharges do not affect programs like Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles and United MileagePlus. These three programs never pass on fuel surcharges on awards to the customer. Regardless, ANA and Virgin Atlantic are often the best deals, given their low redemption rates.

Of course, Japan is still closed to American tourists, so this change only affects those booking connecting award tickets. However, you should watch other programs that often adjust fuel surcharges, as these could also skyrocket in the coming weeks due to higher fuel costs.

It’s also worth noting that this change does not affect partner awards booked with ANA Mileage Club. This means you can still score a lot of excellent deals with no fuel surcharges, like round-trip tickets to Europe for just 88,000 miles in United Polaris business class.

Feature photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.