One of the most annoying things about booking an award ticket is dealing with fuel surcharges. Specifically I am trying to book a ticket using ANA miles and so started asking the question about ANA fuel surcharges on an award ticket and on what airlines does ANA charge fuel surcharges. Some airlines (British Airways I’m looking at you!) put fuel surcharges on award tickets that are so high that they’re sometimes even more than a cost of an economy ticket itself!
(SEE ALSO: How to avoid fuel surcharges on British Airways)
ANA fuel surcharges on award tickets
ANA miles are a pretty big sweet spot for business class from the US to Asia. It’s only 95,000 miles per person ROUNDTRIP in business class, AND you can take advantage of several stopovers on one award ticket. Another advantage is that mixed-cabin itineraries are not a problem at all. My daughter and I are looking for a trip to Taiwan and Beijing (to fly the Hello Kitty plane) – here’s an example of an itinerary that we’re looking at
But the problem has been that many airlines charge fuel surcharges on the route. They haven’t been AS egregious as some of the British Airways fuel surcharges above, but, if I can help it, I don’t really want to pay an extra $500 / ticket if I don’t have to!
Does ANA charge fuel surcharges?
Here’s a table of the different airlines and whether ANA charges fuel surcharges on award tickets with these airlines
|Does ANA charge fuel surcharges when flying…||Long-haul (one way)||Short-haul (one way)||Notes|
|Air Canada||No||No||Air Canada has $62 in fuel surcharges - ANA does not pass them on|
|Air China||$214||$10-15 (TPE-PEK)|
|Air New Zealand||No||No|
|Asiana Airlines||$111||$10 (NRT-ICN)|
|Brussels Airlines||$150||$45 (BRU-CDG)|
|EVA Airways||$33||$10-15 (TPE-PEK)|
|South African Airways||$110||$96 (JNB-MPM)|
|United||$68*||No||Only on flights to Asia - United flights to Europe and the Americas don't pass on fuel surcharges to ANA and United does not charge YQ on flights to Oceania|
These amounts were in economy, but in many cases the fuel surcharge amount for economy in business were the same or similar. Once you know from the table if ANA charges / passes on fuel surcharges for a given airline, you can use ITA Matrix to look up your flights and find the exact amount. It will be called YQ or YR and look something like this
Finding award space to book on ANA
ANA is a member of the Star Alliance (QUIZ: Can you name all 28 members of the Star Alliance?) and generally I’ve found the best way to search for award space is to find it on United.com. Then, once you’ve found the flights that you want with saver availability on United, you can book your ticket with ANA miles. ANA is a partner of American Express Membership Rewards, and it takes about 3 days for points to transfer. ANA is also a partner of SPG
Our final(ish) itinerary
So, taking what we’ve learned about ANA fuel surcharges on award tickets, here’s the basic framework of an itinerary that we’re looking at. Air Canada is one of the few ANA partners that does NOT charge fuel surcharges (well, technically, Air Canada DOES charge about $68 one way for a longhaul flight but ANA does NOT pass them on. We knew we wanted to fly EVA Airways for the Hello Kitty plane, we knew we’d have $33 for that flight, and another $10-15 for the flight between Taipei and Beijing (regardless of whether we booked an Air China or EVA flight), but we were hoping not to have to pay anything else
That is hard to beat for ROUNDTRIP business class from the US to Asia with 2 stops (and I could have maximized it even further had I wanted)
Have you used ANA miles to fly business class to Asia? Leave your experience in the comments