ANA has offered the best award availability during winter. Tokyo Narita is a great place to connect onward in Asia, but winter time is low season for Japan travel. As a result they’ve tended to make first class awards available January through March. I’ve written about this many times over the years. (In slower times availability even extends into April.)
Spencer of Straight to the Points writes at the God Save the Points blog that there’s reasonably good availability in each direction between Tokyo and Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and Washington Dulles with best availability in January and February but some into March and early April.
That’s true for first class and business class. In general, as inexpensively as you can book first class — and as much as I enjoy ANA’s first class food and service — that’s what I’m most interested in.
Here’s availability in January for 2 passengers in first class, Chicago O’Hare – Tokyo Haneda.
Here’s availability in January for 2 passengers in first class, Chicago O’Hare – Tokyo Narita. I’ve included one-stop options because those will reveal some but not all of the availability through other US gateway cities (it’s showing ANA first class awards where there’s United domestic connecting award availability that lines up to it).
The best way to book ANA first class awards is using Virgin Atlantic miles.
- You can put the award on a 24 hour hold before transferring points
- Points transfer from Citibank, American Express, and Chase
- From the West Coast awards are just 110,000 miles roundtrip, and 120,000 from the Midwest and East Coast.
- ANA for 150,000 miles roundtrip, a Membership Rewards transfer partner but transfers aren’t instant
- Lifemiles for 90,000 miles each way
- United for 110,000 miles each way (Chase transfer partner)
- Aeroplan for 105,000 miles each way (Amex transfer partner)