My wife and I try to go on one “long-distance” trip with each of our kids each year. Since we have 6 kids, that means she goes with 3 and I go with 3. We try to let them pick the trips – recently we’ve gone to the Grand Canyon / Hoover Dam, New York City, Stockholm, and Athens and even “faraway” Columbus Ohio :-). My 11 year old daughter has always wanted to fly the Hello Kitty plane on EVA Air, so we have been planning a trip to Asia including Taiwan.
The amazing ANA award chart from the US to Asia
While doing research on the best miles to get to Asia, we came across the ANA Award chart.
Business Class from Zone 6 (North America) to Zone 2 or Zone 3 (China, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong) is only 95,000 miles ROUNDTRIP! Compare that to using United miles, which is 80,000 miles ONE WAY.
Transferring to ANA miles
ANA doesn’t have a (good) credit card or easy source of generating points for most of us, so I transferred some of my American Express Membership Rewards. ANA is also a transfer partner of SPG points (but not Citi nor Chase)
Since we’re booking 2 tickets, we needed 190,000 miles
It took about 2-3 days for Amex Membership Rewards to transfer to ANA miles.
Family restrictions for booking ANA awards
ANA has a restriction that you can only book award tickets for family members within 2 generations, including spouses. So your parents and grandparents (including your parents and grandparents-in-law), your siblings and their spouses, and your children and grandchildren (and their spouses). Registered legal partners are also okay.
In my case, I was going with my daughter, so I had to register her with the award user registration service. The link at this time is here, or you can also get to it off of the “My Profile” modal page (looks like the below picture)
You can register up to 10 people, suitable even for “extreme” families like mine. 🙂
Note that ANA also has a Family Account Service, where you can combine miles earned by different family members and costs 1000 miles to enroll. This is NOT what you’re looking for
Finding availability on ANA
I used United’s website to find the availability I needed. I searched segment by segment, even though United’s multi-site search might not show the connecting availability. United.com shows availability for EVA, ANA, Asiana, United, Thai, Air China among others, so pretty much all the partners that you’d need between the US and Asia.
Some of these partners WILL charge $100-$200 in fuel surcharges, so you’ll want to check out the comprehensive guide to fuel surcharges on ANA award tickets to find which partners you want to book. Spoiler alert – Air Canada has none and EVA Airs are cheap. United, ANA, Air China and pretty much everyone else all charge fuel surcharges
Business Class to Asia for 95,000 miles
Here’s an example of our itinerary (not the exact dates / route)
Not bad! We’re excited to go on our trip!
Have you used ANA miles to fly from the US to Asia? Leave your experience in the comments
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What is the award availability like? A great award chart is useless without availability.
It was not bad – especially if you were booking several months out and/or didn’t mind flying on one of the airlines that charge $70-100 fuel surcharges each way
Might want to mention the occasional 30% off sales of Amex points transfers to Virgin Atlantic, which you can then use to book ANA flights. I realize you might not have been able to wait for a sale, but I’m going to Japan this fall on ANA F for 93k points roundtrip from IAH because of this extra “sweetener.”
Well we’re talking about 2 different things – you’re talking about Amex to Virgin Atlantic to book flights ON ANA. I’m talking about Amex to ANA to book flights on other star alliance partners (in this case EVA Air, United and Air Canada)
Well, fair point. I probably should have read more closely. It is such a screaming good use of points, though.
Do they allow one way award?
No unfortunately they do not but they do allow open-jaw awards (but I believe you have to start and end in the same region)
What about stopover?
Yes – multiple stopovers. I’d have to check the rules again to be sure but I want to say somewhere between 3-5 stopovers?!?
Do you have to find business saver awards? Or will everyday awards work?
Only saver awards
I need to book a bus. award from ord to icn on Asiana metal. Is ana will be cheaper than booking directly on Asiana website?
The award chart for using Asiana miles (according to this) is 120,000 Asiana miles. Compared to 95,000 ANA miles. Of course what miles you have will be a huge factor
I have been looking at the ANA chart recently for a redemption next summer. Do you know how they define or what they require for a legal partner booking? Specifically, I want how (if?) I can book award tickets for my g/f and me. Thanks.
I do not know specifically but it says “legal partner” so I doubt you’d be able to book for your girlfriend (unless you get married 😀 )