ANA’s Mileage Club apparently no longer imposing fuel surcharges for travel on United!

All Nippon Airways’ Mileage Club program is transfer partners with both American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, and offers a pretty lucrative distance based award chart.

The major catch is that they impose fuel surcharges on all award tickets equal to what the airlines would charge on a revenue ticket, which means a transatlantic award ticket will easily cost you $500-700 in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges. Compared to redeeming with a US airline that doesn’t impose those fuel surcharges, that takes quite a bit of value out of the program. Up until now the only airline I know of on which they didn’t impose these fuel surcharges was US Airways, and that’s simply because they don’t have fuel surcharges on revenue tickets either.

Anyway, Dan’s Deals reports that ANA is apparently no longer imposing fuel surcharges for travel on United, which would be huge. Taking a look at the award chart you’ll see that business class for travel of 4,001-7,000 miles roundtrip costs just 63,000 miles, and travel for 7,001-9,000 miles roundtrip costs just 68,000 miles. This covers travel from most of the east coast to Europe, making this a spectacular value without the fuel surcharges.

What’s also unique about ANA is that they allow four stopovers on an itinerary (including the destination), though none are allowed in the country of origin and only two are allowed in Europe.

Anyway, this may just be the best use of Membership Rewards points for business class travel to Europe now. United has flat bed business class seats on much of their transatlantic fleet, and flying routes like Newark to London for 63,000 miles in business class with no fuel surcharges is a value that’s tough to beat.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. @ AdamH — Well there were never fuel surcharges for travel from the west coast to Hawaii (or if there were, they were negligible), so nothing has changed there. You’re paying 38,000 miles roundtrip in coach which is good, though not great (given that BA charges just 25,000 Avios roundtrip).

  2. now if only they eliminate all surcharges for all star alliances including their own flights. award chart looks good for business to southeast asia but surcharge makes it unworthy.

  3. how do you do a stopover on a mileage-based award chart? wouldn’t that just raise the amount of miles flown and thus make the award cost more?

  4. @ Kenny — Right, you do pay based on mileage, though in many cases it’s not many more miles to do a stopover. For example, Newark to London to Frankfurt isn’t much further than Newark to Frankfurt nonstop.

  5. @ Rasamee — Yes, four stopovers allowed, including destination, and you can do open jaws, though they count as a stopover.

  6. So if you were to combine a United flight EWR-LHR, stopover, and then fly LHR-FRA – for example – would you just pay YQ on the LHR-FRA segment? Or would that reinstate them on the whole routing?

  7. Question I just booked a ticket on united website first class on ANA flight for the Philippines this coming December. Is there a fuel surcharge I need to pay later on? Maybe when I check in? I’m a newbie on miles. Thanks.

  8. @ Jeff — Nope, fuel surcharges are based on the carrier with which you book the mileage ticket. United doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for award redemptions, so you wouldn’t have to pay them.

  9. Well to be fair the fuel surcharges are often a pass through. So for example BA does not impose FS on AA award tix to south america (because AA doesn’t) but AA imposes surcharges on BA award tix from USA to London because BA does.

    Still it is good to know I can use UA miles on ANA without a surcharge. But does ANA have lie-flat business class seats?!!

  10. @ Boraxo — ANA does have lie flats on a majority of their fleet.

    Don’t think you’re totally correct re: passing on fuel surcharges, though. For example BA does impose them for travel on AA to Europe and Asia, while they don’t for travel to South America.

  11. @lucky can you point me to your article on searching awards on ANA? I used it about 5 months back and now I can’t seem to find the correct link any more. Thanks

  12. How is the routing rule? Is it possible to combine several airlines? Is the following allowed?

    JFK-LHR UA
    LHR-FRA LH
    FRA-JFK UA
    TOTAL 7714 MILES

  13. @ ikonos — Happy you figured it out!

    @ Sean — That routing would be allowed, and it would be 68,000 miles in business class (though there would be fuel surcharges for the Lufthansa segment — keep in mind United only flies out of Newark to Europe, though).

    @ Winston — They don’t, though you can just have the return be shorter than the outbound and it’s a way to at least minimize the cost.

    @ Bill — They do.

  14. not sure what’s up, as a check (on ANA) of various flights indicate airline surcharge (insurance/fuel) still show up when flying solely on United, and I have over 100,000 ANA points. ANA search tool and availability in general is hell.

  15. Lucky – does ANA charge YR or just YQ? Can I use what ITA matrix specifies for the YQ as a guide for what the taxes will be? Or will there be others (YR, etc.) in addition?

  16. Don’t forget to start your ANA award tickets out of Brazil – GRU – IST – ATH – JTR – ATH – VIE – LED – IST – SGN – NRT – ITM // PTY – MAO had only $280 in taxes and fees – when normally it would be $1,000+ in YQ

  17. Lucky, is this a legal routing under ANA’s rules? Trying to go to both Munich and London for 90k in business, while also avoiding the UK Air Passenger Duty.

    SFO-MUC (stop) MUC-LON (dest)
    (open jaw) AMS-EWR-SFO

  18. Followup to yesterday- I tried again on ANA website (with a sufficient number of ANA points in account) today using United as sole carrier but it still includes AIRLINE SURCHARGE (INSURANCE/ FUEL) among the fees.

    Also, it would be difficult if not impossible to book the stopovers using ANA (especially on-line) because of their extremely complicated booking system, by which i mean lack of availability of flights in general. If you could write a post how to take advantage of the stopovers, i for one would be most appreciative. That said, thank you for your site.

  19. This is bogus. I called two different ANA reps and both still showed heavy fuel surcharges for united flights.

    Has anyone actually confirmed this to be working?

  20. I saw found the exact award I wanted on United and plugged into Ana search and it ticketed 43K just like it should

    However, some of the flight will be on lufthansa. Does that mean I have to pay a a huge surcharge price due to flying on Lufthansa? Or they wave it since the award shows up on United.com?

    I am trying to go as follow:
    Bos – AMS
    NAP/FCO – BOS

    I noticed that United has some flight that uses United planes only, but they dont seem to show up as award, all the award seems to have Lufthansa.

    Is there a way to outsmart this system?

  21. I just saw there were some award available into FCO from US airway. So there should be no surcharge right? I am hearing mixed things about US airways and ANA charges

  22. @ AT — If it’s for travel on Lufthansa you would pay fuel surcharges for those segments. It doesn’t matter where you see the space, what matters is which airline operates the flight.

  23. Hi Lucky, Does ANA allow OW award redemption? I found the flight distance between CAN-NRT is 1831 miles, while ANA website quote me a R/T CAN-NRT in Y requires 17000 miles, Will they allow me to book O/W for 10000 miles?

  24. Then the way to reduce the fuel surcharges/taxes on a Europe trip would be to fly over on UA and back on LH? Or vice versa? Or does it matter?

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