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ANA first class availability, booked far in advance, is outstanding right now. And it’s accessible using miles from a variety of programs — in the Star Alliance and through other airline partnerships as well. They offer one of the best and most consistent first class products in the world. It’s not as flashy as Emirates or Etihad, but the service and food are fantastic.
Here’s availability for two passengers in first class between Washington Dulles and Tokyo Narita.
There’s some availability starting in July, getting better August through October, and it’s great not just in November but December as well.
While we’re at it, the same search revealed a ton of first class availability for two passengers flying Chicago – Tokyo Narita however that’s predominantly United Airlines not ANA.
And searching New York JFK – Tokyo Narita reveals a few days in November with first class awards on ANA for two passengers but also shows that Air China First Class is available whenever you’d want it.
ANA offers first class from Los Angeles (to both Tokyo Narita and Haneda), San Francisco, and Houston as well. And I did see a reasonable amount of Los Angeles and Houston availability.
Booking ANA first class awards:
- Roundtrip first class between the US and Japan on ANA for 110,000 – 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles From the West Coast it’s just 110,000 miles for first class (90,000 in business class). I’ve booked a Houston – Tokyo Narita first class roundtrip for 120,000 miles and $169.26 in taxes (no fuel surcharges).
You can put the award on hold for 24 hours. Points transfer from partners instantly. Roundtrip travel is required, Virgin Atlantic awards have a $50 per passenger change fee, and a cancel/redeposit fee of $50 as well. No changes are permitted within 24 hours of travel.
- United on the other hand charges 110,000 miles each way.
- Aeroplan charges 105,000 miles each way.
- Avianca LifeMiles charges 90,000 miles each way.
With United, Aeroplan, or LifeMiles you can easily add ANA connecting flights beyond Japan to destinations throughout much of Asia albeit for additional miles if your destination is in South Asia.
Notably Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to United — or to Virgin Atlantic. There are three Chase cards you can apply for whose points transfer to airline miles and hotel points.
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has the best signup bonus — 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. That can even be enough for a roundtrip business class award ticket between the US and Europe.
It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google. It also comes with $600 protection against theft or damage when you use it to buy your cell phone.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The card earns two points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card has an introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. I suggest it as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. Get Sapphire Reserve later, perhaps, the card’s annual fee makes this the one to get first.
American Express points transfer to Aeroplan or to Virgin Atlantic. And Citibank points transfer to Virgin Atlantic as well.