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ANA Fuel Surcharge Is Gone… Kinda — Best FF Program for U.S. Travelers, Part 4

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ANA Fuel Surcharge

Which is the Best Frequent Flyer Program for U.S. Travelers

ANA Award Availability — The Best FF Program for U.S. Travelers, Part 2

ANA Awards Booking, Etihad Apartment, Routing Rules, and More — The Best FF Program for U.S. Travelers, Part 3

I thought of leaving the topic of ANA fuel surcharge for the conclusion, but decided against it. In the end, fuel scamcharges are a huge part of award travel, and whether or not we can avoid or reduce those vicious fees can make or break the trip.

The reason I hate fuel surcharges is not that they cost extra money (well, not just that), but that they are deceitful. Calling the integral and irrepalacible part of your product a “surcharge” for a simple reason of fleecing travel agents and your frequent flyers on award tickets is disgusting and immoral and should be illegal everywhere in the world.

Fortunately, some governments in different parts of the world do find this this practice of legalized highway robbery disturbing. Brazil, Hong Kong, and the Philippines ban the practice outright. Malaysia and China prohibit surcharges on domestic routes. The Japanese regulators have found a different way to keep their airlines honest, so to speak. As soon as the price of fuel (Singapore kerosene) falls below certain level, airlines are mandated to lower their YQs, and once it reaches JPY 6,000, they must remove them altogether.

That’s my understanding of the way it works. At least this is what the ANA fuel surcharge policy seems to be.

ANA Fuel Surcharge

So, ANA has removed fuel surcharges, yey, right? Well, not so fast. All habits die hard. It’s true, there are no YQs for simple round-trip flights between the U.S. and Japan, which is beyond terrific! You can fly to Japan for 75,000 miles and $85 in business in low season (for comparison, United charges the same for a one-way flight!). It doesn’t get better than this. Seriously, it doesn’t!

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA JFK-TOK-JFK Asiana J

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA JFK-TOK-JFK F

ANA fuel surharge is still there sometimes

However, try something more complicated and you might be in for a little nasty surprise. Well, not so little, actually.

ANA Fuel Surcharge JFK-SYD-AKL-Osaka-NRT Coach

 

Now, why is there a fuel surcharge? Air New Zealand doesn’t charge it, ANA doesn’t charge it and neither does United. So why on earth, are we asked to pay surcharges for connecting flights? It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever!

Well, it is what it is. Flights on ANA metal reveal the same pattern too, time after time.

ANA Fuel Surcharge: U.S. => Tokyo => Manila => U.S

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-MNL-LAX YQ

ANA Fuel Surcharge: U.S. => Tokyo => Bangkok => U.S

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-BKK-LAX

ANA Fuel Surcharge: U.S. => Tokyo => Singapore => U.S

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-SIN-LAX

ANA Fuel Surcharge: U.S. => Tokyo => Phnom Penh => U.S (start in September)

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-PNH-LAX

$709. Ouch!

I checked China. Since China banned scamcharges on their domestic routes. I thought, maybe there is a hope there. Nope!

ANA Fuel Surcharge: U.S. => Tokyo => Beijing => U.S

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-PEK-LAX

The Silver Lining

Well, you know me! I’m a half-full glass guy. So I kept digging.

There are no scamcharges fo visit Hong Kong, with or without a stopover in Japan. As long as you don’t travel anywhere else besides Japan and Hong Kong, there won’t be any surcharges. Use Hong Kong as a base to explore more of Asia, and use Avios to get [almost] anywhere you want.

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-HKG-LAX

But it turns out there are more scamcharge-free destinations than HKG. Granted, Jakarta is not exactly crawling with tourists, but the good part is — no surcharge!

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-Jakarta-LAX

There are no surcharges to Vietnam, and ANA flies to both, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-SGN-LAX

There is a couple of other cool destinations where ANA fuel surcharge is not going to kill you. If you want a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, go for it. ANA does add a surcharge, but it’s only $144 total.

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-KUL-LAX

Taipei is an even better deal (coolness factor and all) as it costs even less, $85 added to the bill.

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA LAX-TOK-TPE-LAX

ANA Fuel Surcharge on partners

I strongly believe that ANA is a business class go-to airline. First class — sure, there are some values there too, but the mileage cost difference between business and first is huge, while the actual difference in comfort — well, not that much really. I would save my miles and take two flights in business rather than one in first.

However, I would make an exception for the Asiana First Class Suite. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed that suite more than Cathay Pacific’s and yes, even more than Emirates’. The Asiana suite is not glitzy, but still amazing in every respect, from the physical size of the seat to the monstrous IFE screen (32 inches, believe it or not). And availability is usually quite good too, if you’re booking in advance.

So, again, if you want to experience the Asiana First Class Suite on-board of A380 or 777 (between Seoul and NYC or LAX) go for it since that it has a pretty low fuel surcharge.

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA JFK-ICN-JFK Asiana

Other partners with low YQ worth considering are LOT and Turkish. Although the ANA fuel surcharge on Turkish is considerable, I hear that the food and the lounge at IST are worth the price of admission.

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA JFK-WAW-JFK Asiana

ANA Fuel Surcharge ANA JFK-IST-JFK Turkish

That’s all I’ve got to say on the subject of the ANA fuel surcharge. Hate it or really hate it, these scamcharges are unfortunately the way of life. I wish the regulators all over the world would burn this shameful practice to the ground, but we all know that if that happens, the airlines will come up with some new tricks without skipping a bit.

Photo By: Milan Klusacek

Next: ANA Secret Trick 

 

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ANA Award Availability — The Best FF Program for U.S. Travelers, Part 2

  ANA award availability or lack thereof is not something that we can take lightly. In the end, it doesn’t matter how good your chart is or how easy it is to obtain your miles if you can’t actually use them. So let’s see. Previous Post: Which is the Best Frequent Flyer Program for U.S.Continue Reading

Asia Via Australia on an ANA Award Ticket — Unmatched Value!

  Yesterday, I wrote about the much-needed improvement in the ANA award ticket booking — the ability to search and book awards to multiple zones. It didn’t use to be the case, as all you could do was search and book a ticket to one zone. Anything else — you would have to call ANA.Continue Reading

The ANA Award Tool Can Search Multiple Zones Now!

One thing that had infuriated me about the ANA Award Tool was that you couldn’t search for an award if your travel spanned more than one zone.  And well, there are a lot of zones in the ANA Mileage Plan award charts. 8 zones for flights on ANA metal and 10 for flights on partners.Continue Reading

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