How To Book One-Way Award Ticket Using ANA Miles

ANA Mileage Club is one of the more unique Star Alliance frequent flyer programs, and partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.

ANA-Membership-Rewards

What makes them unique is that they have a distance based award chart, much like British Airways. The difference is that British Airways’ distance based award chart charges you based on the length of each individual segment, while ANA charges you based on the distance of your overall itinerary, whether you have two segments or eight.

Here’s ANA’s distance based award chart:

ANA-Award-Chart

One question I’m often asked is whether ANA allows one-way award tickets.

The short answer is no. The rules do clearly state that “awards cannot be issued for one-way travel.”

So how do they define that? Saying one-way travel isn’t allowed is quite different than saying a journey must be roundtrip with no open jaws.

Here are the applicable rules:

  • The departure airport and the final destination on the itinerary may differ, but must be in the same country
  • Routes cannot pass through the region of departure en route to another destination

What does this really mean? ANA defines a roudtrip ticket as being from one country and returning to the same country.

So using the “Flight Search” option on ANA’s website, try entering Newark to London and then Toronto to New York. Toronto to New York is just 357 miles, but in this case you’re technically flying from the US to another country, and then have a segment returning to the same country (the US).

ANA-One-Way-Award-1

When you select the flights and price out that award, you’ll see that it does indeed price out at 43,000 miles one-way in business class, which is the cost for an award ticket of up to 4,000 flown miles.

ANA-One-Way-Award

One-way awards (sort of) are possible with ANA’s Mileage Club… with a bit of creativity. Just add on an international segment back to the US from a nearby country (whether it be Canada, Mexico, or elsewhere), and that award will be considered a roundtrip.

I should note that the value proposition isn’t really that amazing for one-way ANA awards. For example, the great thing about ANA’s award chart is that you can fly Newark to London roundtrip in business class for 63,000 miles (since the total distance is just under 7,000 miles).

But one-way travel between the US and Europe for 43,000 miles isn’t really that amazing — British Airways Executive Club charges fewer miles for travel from the east coast to Europe (40,000 Avios for one-way business class on airberlin from New York to Berlin/Dusseldorf, or just 25,000 Avios for one-way business class on Aer Lingus from Boston to Dublin/Shannon), and Aeroplan charges 45,000 miles for one-way business class travel between the US and Europe.

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. this is pretty cool… have you found a practical example where it would make sense to do this?
    thanks.

    ps: why don’t you want us to see your current mielage balance?

  2. Using your example, if I don’t fly the last segment, are there any adverse consequences (other than wasting some points)?

  3. Not vouching for it being the shortest and not helpful for the above query, but SFO-MRY gets you down to 77 miles.

  4. @ Lantean — I mean ultimately the above example is one where it could make sense. It’s cheaper than Aeroplan for the same award.

  5. I thought ANA now charges YQ on UA TATL awards, is that right? If so, Aeroplan one way is a better deal.

    On the other hand, one of the ANA deals useful to me is YVR-SJD-YVR for 22,000 miles in economy.

  6. @ Fan — It doesn’t, since you can’t mix non-Star Alliance carriers with Star Alliance carriers on an ANA award.

  7. This may take the discussion a bit off track, but I have a ton of MR points that I moved to ANA in hopes of scoring two business class tickets from the east coast (ideally, Washington DC area)to Europe (ideally Spain, but could be anywhere in western Europe)next May. I’ve been looking on ANA for availability of such awards from IAD to Munich, London, Frankfurt, etc, in April (just to get a sense of availability) and coming up empty. Are there some transatlantic routes that typically have more availability of business class awards than others? Do these awards typically open up closer to the flight date vs. at the beginning of the booking period?

  8. @ cocosun — Star Alliance transatlantic award availability for next year is indeed looking grim. Generally you’ll find better Lufthansa availability out of BOS, DTW, ATL, etc. That being said, with some date flexibility it shouldn’t be impossible to find space out of IAD. I suspect more space will open as the departure date approaches. They just seem to be very stingy right now.

  9. It’s also helpful to note that you can save a fare amount on fuel surcharge by positioning a flight ex-Canada. I’m not sure why, but, we recently flew RT on OS/SN and originating from ex-Canada saved us over $500.

  10. Don’t you mean “ANA defines a round-trip ticket as being from one country and returning to the same country.”?

  11. AC flies YYZ-ROC, which is 106 miles. That’s the shortest Canada/US Star Alliance flight I could find. (YVR-SEA is 127 miles).

  12. @ Lucky – don’t you think another interesting use of ANA miles is to book two one-way domestic awards, especially if you can’t transfer to UA from UR? For example, it lets me do IAH-ORD outbound and LAX-IAH inbound for 22,000 miles in Economy. So you save 3,000 for Y RT and 7,000 for J RT compared to United.

    P.S. As an aside, domestic space on UA out of IAH sucks!

    P.P.S. Could’ve sworn ANA now allowed one-ways on *A awards but guess I’m mistaken and it’s some other airline.

  13. @ Lucky – thanks! I’ve been doing a lot of research/searches on both programs so got them mixed up 🙁

  14. in the award ticketing rules it states that a refund is permitted (minus 3000 mile fee) if all sectors not used. Seems like a work around to get a one way flight. thoughts?

    “-Validity is one year from the ticket issuance date. The award validity period cannot be extended even if that period includes blackout periods.
    [Refund]
    -If all of the sectors have not been used, a refund is permitted. However, 3,000miles per passenger will be assessed as a refund fee.”

  15. i guess it depends on what ANA mean by sectors. If you book a RT ticket from CDG-ORD and only fly CDG-ORD would the return ORD-CDG count as unused sectors? Do you need to call in and cancel the return flight? Or miss your flight and then call in?

  16. @ Mr. Cool – запутался в правилах разных программ. Летаю не так часто, чтобы всё помнить 🙁

  17. @ mulbry — I interpret that a bit differently. I read it as them saying that if you haven’t used any sectors of the ticket, as in not flown it all, then you’re eligible for a refund.

  18. @Ivan Y
    haha i feel your pain
    только что завершил круг-световой турне… лишь пролетарным эконом классом 🙂

  19. @mulbry @lucky
    hmmm if mulbry’s quote is correct..

    “..If ALL of the sectorS have not been used..”
    doesnt sounds like “not flown all”. rather at least 1 segment complete & 1 uncompleted segment remains… could be very useful.
    would ANA prorate the distance though? doesnt seem likely

  20. @ mr. cool — I see how it could be interpreted that way, but I know for sure that in practice that’s not the case.

  21. Mr Lucky, I am interested in booking a one way F award on NH007 using NH miles for SFO-NRT, and am wondering if the trick you posted above still works. I was playing around with NH’s webpage, but it seems to be giving an error when selecting a return flight such as YVR-SFO. If the method may not be allowed any more, would you have any recommendation? Thank you.

  22. Hi Lucky, thanks for the great post! I was wondering if this still works under the new ANA chart. Thanks in advance!

  23. @ Eric C — It doesn’t seem to be possible through the website anymore, though not sure about through the call center.

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