Advice for September trip on ANA

Old Jul 2, 19, 3:33 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Advice for September trip on ANA


For various reasons, plans for a trip to Japan for the rugby world cup have been shifting, otherwise I'd have had flights sorted out some time ago. I have match tickets already, so I am definitely going! I've heard that ANA have great service, but my only miles are with United (106k and no status). Is there any chance of getting an upgrade, or return flight with this number of miles at this point? Or, option to get upgrade on one leg? I'm looking for my best optimization strategies.

The following info will be helpful, I hope:
  • Live near PHL, but EWR or other NYC airport isn't out of the question since I have cheap transport and overnight stay options.
  • I don't mind having a very long layover, or several days in another country. I hate super short connections. Although it seems like normal connections via US airports seem like the cheapest option from ITA Matrix searches.
  • I have at least 10 days of vacation banked, so jetlag recovery is less of a concern. I'm assuming any flights through Europe are going to blow away my budget, but I have a lot of friends I could visit.
  • The United miles have been useful for visiting family in Ireland or for them to visit me here. I assume ANA will credit miles to my United MileagePlus account.
  • I'm open to other airlines, especially if it would offer premium economy for part of the way.
  • I was hoping to keep the cost of flights under $2500 which seems doable based on my searches, but I'd be open to approaching the limit if I could see other places. Open jaw travel seems really expensive and I've always done point-to-point flights.
Thanks in advance!
BrianLy is offline  
Old Jul 2, 19, 4:36 pm

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The only way to upgrade ANA flights with United miles is through the Star Alliance upgrade flow. This would require award inventory to be available on the flight (booking class I) and the original ticket needs to be booked in rather high booking classes. Often the ticket needed is more expensive than a discounted business class. Think booking class Y or B. And probably flexible PY booking classes as well. Don't know United MP that well.

As you do not have elite status, you probably don't have a GPU, but maybe you know someone you can charm one out of. They are not easy to get applied to ANA flights. But it is theoretically possible.

Yes, an ANA flight will credit miles to your UA account.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 7:10 am
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Don't rule IAD as a start point, particularly for Star Alliance carriers. ANA flies non-stop to NRT as does UA.
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