Incredible First Class Award Availability To/From Asia for Cheap

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ANA first class availability, booked far in advance, is outstanding right now. And it’s accessible using miles from a variety of programs — in the Star Alliance and through other airline partnerships as well. They offer one of the best and most consistent first class products in the world. It’s not as flashy as Emirates or Etihad, but the service and food are fantastic.

Here’s availability for two passengers in first class between Washington Dulles and Tokyo Narita.

There’s some availability starting in July, getting better August through October, and it’s great not just in November but December as well.

While we’re at it, the same search revealed a ton of first class availability for two passengers flying Chicago – Tokyo Narita however that’s predominantly United Airlines not ANA.

And searching New York JFK – Tokyo Narita reveals a few days in November with first class awards on ANA for two passengers but also shows that Air China First Class is available whenever you’d want it.

ANA offers first class from Los Angeles (to both Tokyo Narita and Haneda), San Francisco, and Houston as well. And I did see a reasonable amount of Los Angeles and Houston availability.

Booking ANA first class awards:

  • Roundtrip first class between the US and Japan on ANA for 110,000 – 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles From the West Coast it’s just 110,000 miles for first class (90,000 in business class). I’ve booked a Houston – Tokyo Narita first class roundtrip for 120,000 miles and $169.26 in taxes (no fuel surcharges).

    You can put the award on hold for 24 hours. Points transfer from partners instantly. Roundtrip travel is required, Virgin Atlantic awards have a $50 per passenger change fee, and a cancel/redeposit fee of $50 as well. No changes are permitted within 24 hours of travel.

  • United on the other hand charges 110,000 miles each way.

  • Aeroplan charges 105,000 miles each way.

  • Avianca LifeMiles charges 90,000 miles each way.

With United, Aeroplan, or LifeMiles you can easily add ANA connecting flights beyond Japan to destinations throughout much of Asia albeit for additional miles if your destination is in South Asia.

Notably Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to United — or to Virgin Atlantic. There are three Chase cards you can apply for whose points transfer to airline miles and hotel points.

  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has the best signup bonus — 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. That can even be enough for a roundtrip business class award ticket between the US and Europe.

    It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google. It also comes with $600 protection against theft or damage when you use it to pay your cell phone.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

    The card earns two points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card has an introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. I suggest it as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. Get Sapphire Reserve later, perhaps, the card’s annual fee makes this the one to get first.

American Express points transfer to Aeroplan or to Virgin Atlantic. And Citibank points transfer to Virgin Atlantic as well.

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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Booked 2 first tickets LAX-NRT a few months back for March. There was tons of availability on all three flights out of LAX. Looking forward to seeing how ANA F compares to JAL F.

  2. ANA First and Business award availability out of IAD is fairly common with UA MP. Certainly not “incredible” to find it although the low cost flights on the ANA website may be a good find for those that have miles in that program.

  3. I have been tracking ANA for their 2 ORD flights. Seats are generally available to about 6 months out. What is incredible is the Virgin Atlantic chart for ANA. How much longer will it exist?

  4. Can I add on ANA segments in Japan and make it an open jaw on a VS award? If I am going to be there with the wife for 10-12 nights in September, what cities should I hit? I know Toyko is a must and Kyoto looks great for a couple of days but what else.

  5. Hello.

    Can you please tell us which is the best place to search for this availabilty when using Virgin Atlantic miles?

    I have heard that the United website is good?

    Are there any better ones?

    Thank you

  6. So, I searched expertflyer for 3 seats in First Class on various dates in November and found a round trip that said “yes” for 3 seats. I then called Virgin Atlantic to book them and they said ANA would only release 2 first class seats on both flights. Is there a trick or am I being naive thinking I’d get 3 first class seats?

  7. Bump re @Aaron Wang’s question “Gary, do you have a hunch for when the next Citi/Amex transfer bonus is?”

    Would LOVE to have any guesses as I need to do a transfer soon from both Citi and Amex to Virgin Atlantic and would love to get a 20-50% bonus or whatever it might be.


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