This is fast breaking news as I write, but ANA appears to be in the process of switching from a distance-based award chart to a region or zone-based award chart, effective April 12, 2015. Most airlines (like American, United, Delta, etc.) operate their awards based on regions or zones. So if you want to take a roundtrip ticket anywhere in North America, its 25,000 miles. Or anywhere in North America to anywhere in Europe is 30,000 miles (on American during peak). Currently, ANA along with British Airways and a few other carriers is DISTANE-based, so the cost of your award ticket is based on the actual distance that you fly.
Where’s the information coming from?
I first saw it on Travel is Free, who has a pretty comprehensive post detailing some of the regions and costs. There’s also a thread on Flyertalk, and the source information is from ANA’s own website, though it’s all in Japanese!!
Yup, this is what we’re dealing with right now. This is the Star Alliance / partner award chart – there’s a separate zone chart for flying just on ANA.
(READ: Introduction to Air alliances)
From the Flyertalk thread, ths is the translation of the different zones. Still some figuring out of some of the zones – but there looks like some great redemptions here. Central America and South America being in the same zone! All of Africa in one zone. And of course all of Australia / New Zealand / Oceania in one zone is always good.
Zone 1A – Japan, The international sector, Journey of only two sections
Zone 1B – Japan
Zone 2 – South Korea
Zone 3 – China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Manila, Guam
Zone 4 – Other Asia
Zone 5 – Hawaii
Zone 6 – North America, Alaska, Canada, Mexico
Zone 7 – Europe, Russia
Zone 8 – Africa, Middle East
Zone 9 – Central and South America
Zone 10 – Oceania, Micronesia
We don’t know all the details (an English version would be helpful, of course 😀 ). If ANA’s current distance-based chart is any indication, most partner flights will have fuel surcharges, which makes it not as great of a deal. Currently United / Copa in the Americas and Air New Zealand are the only partners that don’t have fuel surcharges – everyone else does.
We’ll have to wait and see
Some sweet spots
Travel is Free has a great initial analysis, including some possible sweet spots, including:
- North America to Europe for only 45,000 miles roundtrip!
- North America to Oceania / Australis for only 65,000 miles
- Starting in Central America – a few regions have cheaper prices if you start in Central America – so a cheap positioning flight (on Southwest or British Airways) could make a big difference in price
Stay tuned as we learn more!