ANA RTW Award Booking Reports/Discussion

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Old Jan 18, 18, 6:09 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 49
ANA RTW Award Booking Reports/Discussion

I just booked my latest RTW ticket as an award ticket with ANA. This forum was obviously invaluable to me during the planning process, so I thought I'd share a few things I learned that were not super obvious, at least to me, in the hope that it's useful info for others.

We actually booked 2 tickets, business class, with a routing of:

SEA-NRT (NH)
KIX-SIN-DPS (SQ/SQ)
SIN-IST-ATH (TK/TK)
ATH-LHR-EWR (A3/UA)

Total cost of 115000 AMC miles (aka AMEX MR points) per ticket, and we paid USD$490 per ticket in taxes and fees. Total distance of 19532 actual miles according to AwardNexus.

My "tips":
  • I found I could enter the entire route as a multicity ticket at matrix.itasoftware.com, enter the exact flight numbers I was considering in the "advanced routing" fields, tell it to ignore availability, and get a pretty reasonable idea as to taxes by subtracting the fares from the total reported. My route came out to $441/pp in taxes and fees according to ITA, plus the additional $25/pp fee charged by ANA (I believe for booking over the phone.) After calling in, it came out to $490/pp, so I feel confident this definitely gave me a good ballpark number.
  • As reported elsewhere, most of the european carriers (LU, LX, and OS had more attractive routes available for ATH-NYC) have high YQ fuel surcharges, all were around $570/pp. So I went to some lengths to find an available UA flight for the transatlantic leg, and even though we're transiting LHR we're saving around $1k in total vs the alternatives.
  • The Star Alliance RTW tool is good for finding potential flight and route ideas, but ignore it for taxes if you're pricing an award ticket. It consistently gave me a $470 "Airline Insurance Surcharge", regardless of which carrier I chose for the transatlantic leg, despite all I read about UA flights not having that issue. My final routing was reported as the most expensive according to the RTW tool, having $948 in taxes and fees, but that is almost double what I actually paid (and what ITA showed!)
  • ANA's site does not seem to like to show availability for even slightly longish layovers. Our ATH-LHR-EWR leg didn't show up there (or on AwardNexus, which just searches ANA, obviously...) The individual legs did show up, it just would have been a 6.5 hour layover. So, it's worth checking united.com and searching any promising routes via the individual legs. As it turns out, when I called in to book, the agent placed us on a later flight out of ATH than I'd found, with only 2.5 hours in LHR, so it worked out well!
  • The "surface segments" of NRT-KIX and DPS-SIN definitely did not count against total mileage, unlike normal Star Alliance RTW tickets.
  • I originally had DPS-SIN included as well, and having two flights to the same hub (SIN) is totally cool / not backtracking, they were willing to do it, though I wound up having to book that flight separately to keep my total overall mileage down.
  • Had no problem starting with USA west coast and ending on the east coast. We're actually starting from BOG, but there's next to no availability to get back home if we were to start in BOG, so I resigned myself to starting in the states. As it turns out just BOG-MIA r/t that time of year would be $500/pp. I found BOG-SEA,JFK-BOG for $732/pp, so just marginally more for a big reduction in total mileage. And that difference meant I had just enough points for business class!
Anyway, hope some of my experience is of use to others!
Necromancer, rmeltz, Dalo and 4 others like this.

Last edited by hannibal; Jan 18, 18 at 6:38 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Jan 18, 18, 8:43 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Posts: 387
Thank you very much! Very useful!
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sodaisei is offline  
Old Jan 22, 18, 9:14 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MSP
Posts: 55
Yes, thank you very much for your experiences.
robe0341 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 18, 12:19 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Central Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 101
Hannibal, Thanks to you for sharing your insight and to others that have posted about booking RTW.

In about a month (as some availability hopefully opens up) I will be trying to book ANA RTW for three of us(family) in business class. Trip is in March of 2019 and will include SIN as we have a cruise departing from there. We will also be doing a multi day visit to MUC and one in Japan(Tokyo). ORD is basically our home base but we might have a different start or end to hit the under 20,000 miles level on the RTW award chart.

My biggest concern is finding flights that have three business class seats available. We might have to make some "tough" choices of either our teenager traveling in economy or one of us flying a separate date/flights for some legs. The good news is that except for cruise departure and return dates we are flexible on when we can fly and even what direction to make the trip.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 1:09 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: IND
Posts: 1,902
Should we make it into a sticky and allure more reports?

I arranged my parents' luxurious RTW thanks to ANA and AMEX MR. Paid 105,000+$450 per person for this itinerary all in business class:
ICN-SFO OZ
EWR-FCO UA
FCO-ATH A3
ATH-CAI MS
CAI-IST TK
IST-DEL TK
DEL-ICN OZ
Total 6 stops (8 is max), 3 in Europe (which is max possible in Europe), and one open-jaw.

My take-home messages are:
- I relied on star alliance round-the-world itinerary quote that prices out tax and total distance. It was very close to my final charge. Travel distance from the website was very exact to what ANA quoted.
- ANA agent couldn't see AI award seats although UA or AC website showed availability.
- A3 (Aegean) isn't searchable at ANA website, but the phone agent could find it.
- Regarding travel distance, open-jaw sector isn't added which is fair. But a same flight number with a stop (TG 628 BKK-HKG-ICN) sums BKK-HKG and HKG-ICN, not a direct distance from BKK to ICN.
- Once purchase, only date change is allowed. No airline change, no routing change. If airline and/or routing should be changed, be aware that ANA has to cancel whole itinerary and rebook which means reserved award seats might not be available anymore.
- ANA phone agents are very smart and fast and consistent (HUCA didn't work for me).

Regarding travel itself:
- Short haul business class worths every penny.
- OZ&TK overrated. UA&A3 underrated. IST lounge was awesome, though.
bobbybrown is offline  
Old Feb 5, 18, 6:41 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by john c wisconsin View Post
My biggest concern is finding flights that have three business class seats available. We might have to make some "tough" choices of either our teenager traveling in economy or one of us flying a separate date/flights for some legs. The good news is that except for cruise departure and return dates we are flexible on when we can fly and even what direction to make the trip.
I booked about ~5 months out (our trip is in June) and once I found a routing that was available at all, it was pretty much open on all days except for the transpacific leg, which was the only west coast USA to Tokyo direct flight on ANA metal I could find in the entire month. I really wanted to try the ANA business class experience! There was more availability on Asiana and via Canada, though. If you're flexible enough I think you'll definitely find something, just find the long hauls first and plan around those.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 6:53 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by bobbybrown View Post
- Once purchase, only date change is allowed. No airline change, no routing change. If airline and/or routing should be changed, be aware that ANA has to cancel whole itinerary and rebook which means reserved award seats might not be available anymore.
And the cancellation penalty is 3000 miles/ticket, I believe I was told, so even if the seats remain available you'd need to transfer more miles in to rebook, which seems to take ~48 hours with Amex MR.

- OZ&TK overrated. UA&A3 underrated. IST lounge was awesome, though.
I really hadn't heard much of anything about TK, was tempted to pay more miles to avoid them, but glad to hear the lounge will be good, anyway!
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Old Feb 5, 18, 10:00 pm
  #8  
Moderator, All Nippon Airways and Japan
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Originally Posted by bobbybrown View Post
Should we make it into a sticky and allure more reports?
Done! Thanks to everyone who is posting their reports!

Regards,
armagebedar
ANA forum moderator
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Old Feb 5, 18, 10:29 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Programs: ANA (Platinum, SFC) *G, JAL (JALCARD), IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 387
This is a great thread. In the future I will book a trip for my parents and I will use all this knowledge.
sodaisei is offline  
Old Feb 7, 18, 1:29 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: NH, JL, SQ
Posts: 159
there is a post from reddit.com/r/awardtravel reporting their ANA RTW booking experience which i have bookmarked for a fair while now, would it be appropriate to post it here?

from Dec 2016 by EXIA12126: https://www.reddit.com/r/awardtravel...ns_to_ana_rtw/

from Feb 2018 by the_fit_hit_the_shan: https://www.reddit.com/r/awardtravel...booking_report

Last edited by merridius; Feb 21, 18 at 7:57 pm Reason: linking reddit reports
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Old Apr 12, 18, 9:52 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: SEA
Posts: 119
We booked our own RTW last Summer.

SEA-FRA-ZRH (on LH) - stop
ZRH-CPH-SVG (mix of LX and SK) - stop
SVG-CPH-PVG-NRT (mix of SK, and NH) - stop
NRT-YVR (on AC) - stop

I used combination on KVS tool and UA web search to find space and book. The taxes and fees are higher due to LH and SK, came out at about $900 per pax. We spent 105K MR points per ticket. I attempted to price out the itinerary on ITA, and it came out I think around $18K each? We had option to book via ORD, or YYZ, with lower overall YQ (LOT or TK), but then we would spend $ buying positioning tickets and hotel stay the night before departure so decided to bite the bullet with LH, and it's convenient since we're SEA-based. The YVR to SEA ticket is on cheap AS 1-way.

Among the 3 different business long haul that we flew (AC, LH, and SK), the most comfortable IMO is ....... drum roll ..... LH. Yes, it's weird, the most basic J seat, no privacy and what not. But we both slept the longest, and service is quite nice. SK has very nice looking cabin, but foot well is very constricting for sleeping, and the FA is so clumsy. One of them dropped a b'fast sausage on my lap while serving ..... AC cabin is very nice too, but I kept hitting the tray table with my knees while trying to sleep.

We are planning another one next year, with stops in Norway, Denmark, and Japan.
r0m8470 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 18, 3:27 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SEA
Posts: 29
do UA domestic flights with only "First" count as J flights for purposes of an ANA RTW J ticket? I'm thinking of HNL-SFO or HNL-ORD in particular. Thanks for help.
K's Logic is offline  
Old Apr 17, 18, 2:08 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SEA
Posts: 29
also, are US & Canada considered the same "country" for RTW ticketing? E.g. can I start in SEA and end in YVR (or vice versa)? ANA makes it clear that for regular partner awards, they are the same country, but I don't see anything re: RTW routing.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 11:31 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: IND
Posts: 1,902
UA domestic first is regarded as J. RTW should come back to the same country, and Canada and the US should be regarded differently for that matter. Prepare a few backup plans before making a call. They are really helpful.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 10:12 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SEA
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Originally Posted by bobbybrown View Post
UA domestic first is regarded as J. RTW should come back to the same country, and Canada and the US should be regarded differently for that matter. Prepare a few backup plans before making a call. They are really helpful.
Great - thank you for your help.
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