Award Tickets 202: One-Way Award Tickets On ANA

ANA is a Japanese airline that is largely considered to be one of the best in the skies. The ANA award chart tends to be rather generous as well, but there is one big issue with redeeming ANA miles – the award ticket rules require that you book a round-trip ticket. Luckily, there is a clever work around to avoid this which I will focus on in my first Award Tickets 202 installation!

ANA’s award chart underwent a devaluation of sorts approximately a year ago. While devaluations are bad in general, the changes really were not that bad in the big scheme of things.

ANA also offers what is largely considered one of the best first class products in the sky.

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As well as a great (albeit boring color combination) business class product.

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In addition, you can use ANA miles to book award tickets on any of the Star Alliance partner airlines. These include:

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As you can see, there are quite a few options for your award redemptions – and that translates into value!

Earning ANA Miles

ANA partners with both American Express and SPG, so both your Membership Rewards points and your SPG Starpoints can be transferred to ANA. Your Membership Rewards points will transfer to ANA at a 1:1 ratio.

ANA 5While your SPG points will also transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

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Remember, if you transfer in chunks of 20k Starpoints, you will earn a 5k mile bonus so make sure you are taking full advantage of this!

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ANA’s Award Chart

Like most airlines these days, ANA uses two different award charts – one for flights operated by ANA, and one for flights operated by their partners.

The award chart for flights operated by ANA uses a low, regular and high season system where you award costs will vary according to the date(s) of your flight(s). This will vary depending on the year, your origin and your destination, so it is worth reviewing before you transfer your hard earned Starpoints or Membership Rewards points.

The award chart for flights operated by ANA’s partners uses a zone based system with no difference in redemption cost due to the date(s) of your travel(s).

Important Notes On ANA Award Ticket Rules

It is worth noting that if your itinerary includes both ANA flights and a partner flight, you will be subject to the ANA partner award chart.

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It also important to know that ANA (much like Korean Air) only allows you to redeem miles for your family members – all of whom you will have to register (up to 10) in advance of ticketing your award ticket. This is how ANA defines “family members”:

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Lastly, ANA requires that you book a round-trip ticket. You will notice there is no option to select on the award search page for a one-way ticket.

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The relevant rule states that the departure airport and the final destination on the itinerary may differ, but must be in the same country.

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This is very important language and the key to being able to book a one-way award ticket using your ANA miles!

How To Book A One-Way Award

Given the language of the rule, that means an itinerary that went Orlando (MCO) to Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) on the outbound and Tokyo Narita (NRT) to New York (JFK) on the return would be a valid routing because you both departed from, and returned to, the same country – the United States.

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That routing in economy would cost you 55,000 miles. Not a great redemption, but also not a horrible redemption all things considered.

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But what about if you actually just need the first segment from Orlando (MCO) to Tokyo Narita (NRT)? There is no option to search for a one-way award ticket, so you need to get a bit creative. Remember how the award ticket rules only said you had to return to the country you departed from? That means you can tack on a flight from somewhere like Monterrey Mexico (MTY) to Houston (IAH) to make your ticket a round-trip!

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As you can see, this satisfies the award ticket rules, and will only cost you 42,500 miles in economy. The segment from Monterrey (MTY) to Houston (IAH) will be a throw away ticket (i.e., one you have no intention of actually flying), but you could also use it down the road for the return segment of a later trip!

If you are returning to the United States, Air Canada and United usually have pretty good availability from Canada or Mexico to United’s hubs in the United States. Just keep plugging in your city pairs until you find something that has space available.

Again, this option will not necessarily create great value, but can be a good value if you run into a situation where you have one portion of your trip already booked, but cannot find one-way saver level award space on any airline that you have miles with. With a bit of creativity and knowledge/research on Star Alliance flights, you can really get this to work to your advantage if you are in a situation where you need a one-way award ticket that only ANA is showing availability for.

Final Thoughts

Not only does ANA offer some very generous redemption rates and routing rules, but they also offer a great product. While I do not generally recommend that travelers skirt the award ticket rules or book flights they have no intention of actually flying, this trick actually does comply with the ANA award ticket rules. Hopefully this helps give you some ideas for how to redeem your miles for a one-way ANA award ticket!

What is your favorite redemption using ANA miles?

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4 thoughts on “Award Tickets 202: One-Way Award Tickets On ANA

    1. That would depend on your origin, destination and date of travel really. In most cases though, booking through Aeroplan is going to offer you better value for a one-way.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t believe it does anymore when it comes to online bookings. I think that ANA’s system errors out when you try to build in these one-ways, so you would need to call in to try this. Since you’re not technically violating their award routing rules, there’s no reason not to call and try in my opinion.

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