Book ANA With Virgin Atlantic
Traveling to Japan is expensive. It's expensive to fly there and it's expensive once you arrive. Despite the costs, Japan is a unique destination that most travelers want to visit. In this post, we discuss one of the best sweet spots in all of travel, and easily the best sweet spot to Asia. We'll show you how to book ANA with Virgin Atlantic.
When Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam in March 2023, many feared that it would drop its partnership with ANA. Thankfully, this did not happen. But Virgin did increase the cost of first-class redemptions. Despite the increase, this is still a good deal, as we show below. HT: Thrifty Traveler via Vegas Teenager in ToP Facebook Group
ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS (ANA)
ANA is the largest airline in Japan. It has a 5-star rating (the highest possible) with Skytrax and has nearly perfect scores in all grading criteria. ANA has one of the best first class products in the world and has recently launched a new business class product that is also among the best in the world. Not only are you flying to Japan on a sweet spot redemption, but you are doing so in world-class luxury.
ANA flies from Narita and Haneda airports in Tokyo. The non-stop flights to the US from either Narita or Haneda include: Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Most of these destinations have daily flights and several (including Chicago and New York) have multiple daily flights.
Virgin Atlantic Sweet Spot
Virgin Atlantic, which is a transfer partner of nearly all major transferable currencies (UR, MR, TYP, and Bilt Rewards), has an incredible sweet spot redemption chart with ANA. Flights from Japan to the West Coast are 60,000 in economy, 90,000 in business, and 145,000 in first class. Japan to the East Coast is only slightly higher: 65,000 in economy, 95,000 in business, and 170,000 in first class. Simply put, there is no better deal available anywhere to fly from North America (the rates above also include Canada and Mexico) to Asia. One-ways cost half of the respective amounts above.
After joining SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic increased the costs of first class redemptions on ANA. Despite these increases, there is still no better deal out there on first class flights to Japan from the US. By comparison, United charges 220,000 miles for these same first class round-trip flights on ANA.
Only 47,500 each way in business for up to 14 hours in the air is insane value, especially since ANA offers one of the business class seats in the world! You can compare this to United (also a partner of ANA) that charges round-trip prices of around 70,000 economy, 140,000 business, and 220,000 first class! It should be noted that Virgin Atlantic charges by segments so only non stop flights make sense.
ANA is notorious for only releasing 2 business and 2 first class seats per flight, so these seats disappear quickly when the schedule is released to partners (330 days in advance), usually to never reappear.
The combination of this awesome sweet spot and Virgin Atlantic partnering with most transferrable currencies (check our ToP Transfer Partner Tool) means you can fly ANA round-trip to Japan in economy or one-way in business or first by opening any of the below-listed cards and earning the welcome bonus. The sheer size of this list–which is not exhaustive–should emphasize what a great sweet spot this is! Don't forget the frequent transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic too.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Cash
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited
- Citi Premier
- Platinum Card from American Express
- Business Platinum Card from American Express
- American Express Gold Card
- American Express Business Gold Card
Searching for Availability and Booking the Flight
To search for availability, we recommend searching directly on ANA's website. ANA requires you to log in to your Mileage Club account, so if you do not have one, you'll have to create one for free. Unfortunately, ANA only allows you to book round-trip awards, which means you have to search for round-trip or multi-city awards.
Once you find availability for the flights you want, write down the flight information (dates, number of seats, flight numbers, etc.) and call Virgin Atlantic at 1 (800) 862-8621. Virgin Atlantic's phone agents are the best in the business, so there's no reason to dread making the call. Feed the agent the flight information you wrote down and they'll search it and book the flight for you. Unlike ANA, Virgin Atlantic does let you book one-way flights.
Beware of Fuel Surcharges
The one downside to this sweet spot is the fact that Virgin Atlantic passes on fuel surcharges costs. And ANA's fuel surcharges are quite high. This means that you'll end up spending some cash along with your points redemption. Recently, ANA has increased its fuel surcharges by quite a lot. A recent search for a one-way flight to Tokyo from New York showed fuel surcharges at around $439 per person.
The high fuel surcharges make using this sweet spot for economy flights unviable. Redeeming 35,000 points to fly economy one-way from the East Coast to Japan is no longer a good deal when you have to also pay over $400 in cash. We can all debate whether the high surcharges are worth it to fly some of the best first and business class seats in the world, but just about anyone will agree that $400 in fees for an economy flight usually isn't worth it.
Thankfully, fuel surcharges are not set in stone. Airlines typically raise them when the price of oil spikes. On occasion, airlines do lower those surcharges when the price of oil drops. So let's keep our fingers crossed for ANA's fuel surcharges to go back down in a not so distant future.
How To Book ANA With Virgin Atlantic: ToP Thoughts
As award travelers, we're always looking for the best deal possible. When traveling to Japan in premium cabin, the best deal is usually booking ANA with Virgin Atlantic. While all classes of service are great deals, first class is truly where the Virgin Atlantic award chart shines. 85,000 Virgin Atlantic points to fly first class to/from the East Cost or only 72,500 to/from the West Coast. These prices are magical! If you want to experience world-class first class, book ANA first class with Virgin Atlantic! Hopefully you found this how to book ANA with Virgin Atlantic guide useful.
Have you flown ANA? Did you book it with Virgin Atlantic? Come over to our Facebook group to ask any questions!