The ANA Round the World award flight above would cover 8 stopovers: Tokyo, Seoul, Peking, Istanbul, Vienna, Paris, New York, and Las Vegas. It would cost 75,000 in Economy, 115,000 in Business Class, and 180,000 in First.
Here are the previous installments of my ANA series:
What Is the ANA Round the World award?
The ANA Round the World award chart is an obscure gem that doesn’t get much attention (which is a good thing). In most instances the ANA Round the World award chart is better than the long-dead AA oneworld Explorer Award chart. Hard to believe, but true.
This chart is just the old distance-based ANA Mileage Club chart (or something very close) that ANA had retired before revamping their program. It’s nice to know that this chart is still around. Why? Because it’s incredible.
But let’s list the restrictions first.
- You can only use ANA and Star Alliance airlines for the ANA Round the World ticket.
- You must fly East-to-West or West-to-East.
- Backtracking is not allowed.
- Up to 8 total
- Up to 3 in Europe
- Up to 4 in Japan
- The trip length should be at least 10 days from your first international departure.
- Must book on the phone.
When you see how few miles you need to travel around the world vs. a round-trip ticket, you will immediately recognize the value. You can use the ANA Round the World Award chart the same way you did or would’ve done the oneworld Explorer chart if it hadn’t been killed so suddenly.
How to Use the ANA Around the World Award Ticket
If you’re a world traveler who spends most of her time on the road, this is not really a question. All you need to think about is avoiding or reducing those pesky fuel scamcharges.
You can fly any Star Alliance airline in the Americas, and you can fly United or Air Canada between the U.S. and Europe. You can fly United or Air New Zealand to the South Pacific, or Air China to China and ANA to Japan and some cities in Asia.
Some airlines add smaller fuel surcharges that are tolerable. LOT adds $60 per one way to Warsaw from the U.S. while Turkish adds $180 to Istanbul. That’s on a higher side of reasonable, but Turkish availability in Business Class is phenomenal. Asiana adds $80 for a one way trip to Seoul.
Just remember that the RTW ticket doesn’t allow backtracking, so, if I understand it correctly, you can’t fly to Hong Kong via Japan, if your general direction is to the East. But you can fly via Japan from Hong Kong on your way back home.
But what if you’re just an occasional traveler? What if you don’t have all the time in the world to use up to 8 stopovers?
Let’s not make it a practical discussion with a trip I’m trying to build for myself. Will I be better off with a regular ticket or the ANA Round the World award?
I’m Going to Israel Soon — Here Are My Options
I’m going to Israel in Spring 2017. Israel is one of the most fascinating places on Earth I’ve never been to, and now I’m out of excuses. Or rather I have a perfect excuse — there is a TBEX conference in Jerusalem in March. I’m going!
And I also want to see Petra in Jordan. I’ve heard about it so much that I just can’t miss it now that I’ll be so close.
And it’s a long flight. Or rather a combination of flights, because it’s tough to find a non-stop flight to Israel even in coach. So here are my options. Note that in every scenario, I’ll end up spending 9,000 Avios and a whopping $180 for a 45-minute flight in Business Class between Amman and Tel Aviv. Yes, I could tough it up in economy, but they seem to never open economy class. Ever!
So, I can go this way — the easy way.
Or I can go this way and pay less in miles and cash, by flying my inbound flight from Europe, but I’ll have to find my own way from Tel Aviv to Warsaw. While ANA doesn’t let you fly one way, it will divide your miles according to the regions you fly in and out of. A flight to the Middle East in Business Class costs 104,000 miles, so my JFK-AMM leg would be 52,000. A flight to Europe is 88,000 miles, so my inbound leg from Europe to JFK would cost 44,000. Hence the (small) savings.
Or I can try the third way and pay even a little bit less, but then I’ll have to book a separate Avios flight between Tel Aviv and Berlin.
OK, timeout. How is it possible that the flights on Turkish and LOT cost only slightly more than the flight on Turkish and United?
We know that LOT adds fuel surcharge. It’s not too much, but United adds none.
So what gives? Why is the United flight just $7 cheaper than LOT’s?
Tegel’s taxes, that’s why.
This god-awful, run-down Berlin airport charges $97 for the departure tax. More than Paris CDG.
Look, Germany is crazy about airport taxes. Not as crazy as the UK, but plenty mad, too. They have ridiculous airport taxes everywhere. Munich and Frankfurt are even worse. But have you been to that abomination, that disgrace, that 1970s catastrophe with stinky restrooms called Tegel?
My goodness, they’re charging me $100 to use THAT? Although, I kind of get it. No money is too much to leave THAT delinquent DDR creation behind.
I don’t know how Angela Merkel sleeps at night, really. 😡
End of bitching!
Sorry, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.
Anyway, keep in mind that in the last 3 scenarios I would have to book a separate flight between Israel and Europe. I could fly to Berlin for 10,000 Avios, or to Warsaw or Istanbul for 25,000 United miles (the rates are in coach). In any scenario, I’m looking at spending around 106,000-121,000 miles plus $315-$470.
Honestly, I don’t think the savings would be worth it. If I choose a round-trip flight, I’ll go with the first scenario. I’ve just tried to show the options. Only because they do exist.
Or I could use the ANA Round the World Award Ticket
- New York to Amman via Istanbul on Turkish
- Open jaw: Amman to Tel Aviv on Jordanian
- Tel Aviv to Istanbul (if ANA doesn’t consider it backtracking, but I think it’s only for flying segments) on Turkish
- Istanbul to Tokyo (or Seoul) on Turkish
- Tokyo to New York on ANA (or Seoul to JFK on Asiana)
The whole trip falls under 20,000 flying miles and would cost me only 115,000 ANA miles in Business class provided I can find award space for all these segments. Or less, if some segments are in coach. Or more if in First.
Airport taxes and fuel surcharges would add a few hundred dollars to the bill, but we are talking about visiting 4 fascinating cities for about the same miles as a round trip.
But Maybe There Is Another Way Around — Literally!
Unless you are extremely inflexible about your travel, there are usually things you can tweak. I know, for example, that I must be in Jerusalem on certain days, because this is when and where the conference is. I’ve chosen to visit Petra before going to Israel rather than after, following the advise of an acquaintance who has gone the same route.
Other than that, I have a few days before and a few days after, but I know that I’d rather explore Israel after the conference because, I’m sure, I’ll pick up some pointers. So maybe I’ve been looking at it from the wrong angle. Maybe I should go West instead?
How about this route?
- New York to Seoul on Asiana
- Seoul to Istanbul on Turkish
- Istanbul to Amman on Turkish
- Open jaw: Amman to Tel Aviv on Jordanian
- Open jaw: Tel Aviv to Berlin on Air Berlin
- Berlin to New York on United
And this trip falls under 17,000 miles, which means it would cost me 105,000 ANA miles in Business Class plus an open jaw between Tel Aviv and Berlin for 10,000 Avios.
So, it’s not like jetting around the world would actually save you a lot of miles, although I’m sure you could find these extremely sweet spots if you tried. But with up to 8 stopovers, it certainly gives you more freedom.
What say you? Can I do even better?
Next and Final Part: Summing Up
I’m resuming my weekly newsletter and going to make an important announcement in the next one that comes out on Monday, Dec 5. Open it up even if you never do. 🙂