Great Availability for ANA First Class Awards

ANA has offered the best award availability during winter. Tokyo Narita is a great place to connect onward in Asia, but winter time is low season for Japan travel. As a result they’ve tended to make first class awards available January through March. I’ve written about this many times over the years. (In slower times availability even extends into April.)

Spencer of Straight to the Points writes at the God Save the Points blog that there’s reasonably good availability in each direction between Tokyo and Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and Washington Dulles with best availability in January and February but some into March and early April.

That’s true for first class and business class. In general, as inexpensively as you can book first class — and as much as I enjoy ANA’s first class food and service — that’s what I’m most interested in.

Here’s availability in January for 2 passengers in first class, Chicago O’Hare – Tokyo Haneda.

Here’s availability in January for 2 passengers in first class, Chicago O’Hare – Tokyo Narita. I’ve included one-stop options because those will reveal some but not all of the availability through other US gateway cities (it’s showing ANA first class awards where there’s United domestic connecting award availability that lines up to it).

The best way to book ANA first class awards is using Virgin Atlantic miles.

  • You can put the award on a 24 hour hold before transferring points
  • Points transfer from Citibank, American Express, and Chase
  • From the West Coast awards are just 110,000 miles roundtrip, and 120,000 from the Midwest and East Coast.

Other options:

  • ANA for 150,000 miles roundtrip, a Membership Rewards transfer partner but transfers aren’t instant
  • Lifemiles for 90,000 miles each way
  • United for 110,000 miles each way (Chase transfer partner)
  • Aeroplan for 105,000 miles each way (Amex transfer partner)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Any sense of how hard it is to change the date of the return flight after flying the outbound?

  2. I was on some ANA flights between NRT-JFK last week, and I don’t think I’ve been on a flight as empty since the bird flu scare over 20 years ago. They have a huge business class cabin on that flight, and I don’t think it was 10% full.

  3. @Mak
    It was possibly partially due to the 10 day “Golden Week” holiday where many businesses were off. This year it was from April 27 – May 6.

    OTOH, it’s interesting to see several bloggers posting about NH award availability at the same time.

  4. Trevor, I would call whoever you are booking it though for details. VA told me it was $60 / ticket, but that was prior to the trip.

    I’m going to have to disagree on the premise that all ANA cities have great availability during J – M next year – definitely not from the West coast. I had trouble finding something that didn’t leave LAX on frigging Sunday when I booked my seats yesterday.

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