Best Ways to Book ANA First Class Using Points [Step-by-Step]

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Whether you’re flying Singapore Airlines first class or Cathay Pacific first class, many Asian carriers have developed a reputation for world-class service. When you fly ANA, not only will you enjoy the privacy and comfort of your first class suite, but you’ll experience unbelievable service.

With several routes to the U.S., a competitive award chart, and plenty of partner booking options, let’s dive into ANA first class.

A Look Inside ANA First Class

ANA First Class Cabin
Enjoy one of ANA’s first class suites. Image courtesy of airlinereporter.com.

ANA is widely considered to be one of the best airlines in the world, and their first class experience really drives that point home.

Departing from Tokyo (NRT only), you’ll step into luxury from the moment you enter the airport thanks to the ANA Suite Check-In in Terminal 1.

ANA’s concierge staff will help make the check-in process a quick and painless process. You can either check in at the counter, or wait comfortably on one of the check-in area sofas.

You will be taken care of when checking in to your ANA first class flight at Narita Airport in Terminal 1. Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

Once you’re finished checking in, you’ll be off to security. While this is probably one of the least enjoyable experiences for most travelers, you’ll be whisked through priority security in no time.

At this point, you might rush to your gate — but hopefully you’ve left enough time to relax in the ANA Suite Lounge, which is available at both Narita and Haneda.

It’s here where ANA’s amazing service really starts to shine. During your stay, you can enjoy a great meal and refresh in one of the fully-stocked shower rooms. ANA really makes an effort to ensure the wait as well as the flight is an experience to remember!

Once onboard the ANA Boeing 777-300ER, you’ll see you a large rectangular first class suite waiting for you. Unlike some first class suites, these seats do not have doors that close you off from the rest of the cabin. But they provide more than enough privacy (especially the window seats).

Another difference you’ll notice is that the 2 middle seats also have tons of privacy. Even if you lower the divider, you still have to lean forward to talk to the person next to you.

ANA Samsonite First Class Amenity Kit
ANA’s Samsonite amenity kits in first class make for a great souvenir. Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

No first class experience wouldn’t be complete without pajamas and an amenity kit. ANA first class amenity kits are provided by Samsonite (departing from Tokyo) or Rimowa (departing to Tokyo) and have everything you need to refresh on a long flight.

How to Fly ANA First Class Using Points

ANA is a member of Star Alliance, which is the world’s largest airline alliance — so you’ll have plenty of options for booking ANA first class.

ANA Mileage Club

ANA Award Chart
ANA Mileage Club provides some great first class redemptions to Japan.

The most straightforward way to book first class is through ANA’s own Mileage Club program. The entire booking process can be taken care of online. This might be the best way to book ANA business and first class, because ANA keeps a decent amount of award availability reserved for ANA Mileage Club members only.

Here are the steps to booking ANA first class:

  1. Visit ANA’s website
  2. Select “ANA Mileage Club”
  3. Select “International” then “Award Reservation”
  4. Log in to your account
  5. Enter your desired route and dates
  6. Select “First Class”
  7. Select your flights

Hot Tip: Use our Transfer Partner Calculator to quickly determine how many miles you’ll get for transferring between programs.

There are a few important caveats to remember when booking with ANA Mileage Club. First, you can only book awards for yourself and your family members.

ANA Low Regular High Seasons
Make sure you book ANA first class during the low or regular seasons to get the most out of your miles. The above dates apply to bookings between Japan and North America/Europe.

Second, ANA has low, regular, and high seasons for awards. Stick to the low and regular seasons for your award bookings to get the most bang for your buck.

The mileage cost of first class awards is actually the same for the low and regular seasons, so there are plenty of travel dates from which to choose.

ANA Waitlist
Make sure award space is available before you transfer miles to your ANA Mileage Club account. If you see the “Waitlist” label, think twice before transferring Amex Membership Rewards points.

Third, ANA allows you to waitlist award bookings. This can be a nice feature, but there’s no guarantee you will move off the waitlist (especially on popular travel dates). For this reason, it’s important to check whether your selection is actually putting you on the waitlist.

Fortunately, it’s clear when you are waitlisting an award. Just make sure you confirm before moving forward!

Speaking of the waitlisted flight pictured above, you’ll notice the route is from Chicago to Sydney, Australia connecting in Tokyo.

ANA not only allows you to transit a third region on your way to a destination, but they allow you to book a stopover. This means you could visit Tokyo for a bit before continuing on to Australia.

If you need some more miles in your Mileage Club account, you can transfer Membership Rewards.

Membership Rewards generally take about 2 to 3 days to transfer. Keep this in mind before transferring, as award space isn’t guaranteed to be available if you wait.

Hot Tip: Check out other great ways to redeem with ANA Mileage Club.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

With the recent removal of Korean Air as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, it’s now extremely difficult to find sweet spot awards to Asia.

Luckily, Virgin Atlantic is an amazing transfer partner of all major flexible award points. This is absolutely crucial for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club because they offer unbeatable first class award redemption rates on ANA to Japan.

The following chart is the ANA Award Chart using Virgin Atlantic miles:

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club provides some stunning sweet spots to Japan on ANA. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.

Virgin Atlantic, similarly to ANA, will only allow round-trip bookings. But with these round-trip rates, why would you bother flying one-way? Here are some great example flights you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Tokyo (NRT/HND) nonstop round-trip for 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + ~$300 in taxes and fees in ANA first class
  • Houston (IAH) – Tokyo (NRT) nonstop round-trip for 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + ~$300 in taxes and fees in ANA first class
  • Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Tokyo (NRT/HND) nonstop round-trip for 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + ~$300 in taxes and fees in ANA first class
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo (NRT/HND) nonstop round-trip for 110,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + ~$300 in taxes and fees in ANA first class

These redemptions are already amazing, as ANA charges anywhere from 150,000-165,000 miles for round-trip first class trips and Virgin charges 110,000-120,000 miles.

To make things even better, Citi and American Express often run huge transfer bonuses of 25%-30% to top off your miles even more! If you line everything up correctly, you can fly from the West Coast to Japan in ANA first class round-trip for 85,000 points! 

One significant drawback of Virgin Atlantic vs. ANA is that Virgin Atlantic will only be able to reserve award seats that are released to partners. Since ANA has access to much more award inventory, you’ll need to plan further in advance or be more flexible.

Here’s how to book ANA first class with Virgin Atlantic (do not transfer your points yet):

  1. Visit United or Aeroplan.
  2. Log into your Aeroplan or United account.
    • For Aeroplan: Under “Use Your Miles” select “Travel.” Select your travel dates, cities, and business/first class.
    • For United: Click round-trip, check “Book with miles,” and select your travel dates, cities, and first class.
  3. Find your desired flight in ANA first class.
  4. Call Virgin Atlantic at 1-800-365-9500 to hold your award booking for 24 hours.
  5. Transfer your points.
    • If transferring from Chase, you will not be able to transfer points to another person unless they share the same address as you.
    • If transferring from Citi and the Virgin and Citi names don’t match, you will need to use “Points Sharing” to transfer to a Citi account with the same name as on the Virgin Atlantic account. You will then need to transfer from Citi to Virgin Atlantic.
    • If transferring from American Express, the names must match the name on the Virgin Atlantic account.
    • If transferring from Marriott, the names don’t need to match. Keep in mind that if this policy changes in the future, you can transfer up to 50,000 Marriott points to other accounts to get around this rule.
  6. Call Virgin Atlantic at 1-800-365-9500 to confirm your booking once you have enough points and pay for taxes and fees.
  7. Write down the ANA Record Locator and use it to select your seats.
    • Navigate to ANA’s Manage Reservation Page. Enter your Record Locator and First/Last Name. If you have a middle name on your Virgin Atlantic account, you must type it after your first name without spaces.
      • For example: John Steven Doe will be First Name: JohnSteven and Last Name: Doe.
  8. You will be prompted to log in with your ANA Number and Password.
  9. Click “Service” on the right tab to select your seats and add meal preferences.

The last thing you need to know is about transfer times: Chase and Citi transfer instantly, AmEx takes 2-3 business days, and Marriott can take as long as AmEx. Make sure you know this when you’re planning award holds! If your award hold is lost, there’s no guarantee the seats will still be there if you try again.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Unlike when booking with ANA Mileage Club miles, to use Singapore KrisFlyer miles you have to call to book ANA flights.

Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Visit Air Canada’s Aeroplan site
  2. Log in to your Aeroplan account (you’ll need your account number)
  3. Under “Use Your Miles” select “Travel”
  4. Select your travel dates, cities, and class of service
  5. Find your desired flight — make sure it’s ANA first class
  6. Call Singapore Airlines to complete the booking (800-742-3333)
  7. Write down the ANA Record Locator and use it to select your seats
    • Navigate to ANA’s Manage Reservation Page. Enter your Record Locator and First/Last Name. If you have a middle name on your Virgin Atlantic account, you must type it after your first name without spaces.
      • John Steven Doe will be First Name: JohnSteven and Last Name: Doe
  8. You will be prompted to log in with your ANA Number and Password
  9. Click “Service” on the right hand tab to select your seats and add meal preferences

Booking through Singapore KrisFlyer allows you to book a one-way first class award on ANA if that’s all you need.

A big benefit to booking this way is that it allows you to leverage Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points since Singapore Airlines is a partner. Transfers to the KrisFlyer program generally take up to 24 hours; transfers from Citi generally take 1-2 days.

Hot Tip: Check out other great ways to redeem with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Asiana Club

Asiana Airlines Award Chart
Asiana Club provides some great one-way booking options for ANA first class.

Asiana Club miles provides another great option for booking flights on ANA. Like Singapore Airlines, they also allow one-way bookings.

You must reserve and have your ticket issued 3 days prior to departure, which prevents snagging last-minute awards.

  1. Search for availability using Aeroplan’s site (see above for the steps)
  2. Call Asiana at 1-800-227-4262
    • The U.S. call center is open between 8:30am-5:30pm PT (Monday-Friday)
  3. Tell the phone representative you’d like to book an award with their Star Alliance partner ANA
  4. Provide your travel dates and flight numbers
  5. Once you confirm space, you will be prompted to give your credit card for any necessary taxes and fees

Other Options for Booking ANA Flights

You can also book through one of ANA’s other Star Alliance partners including Avianca LifeMiles, United MileagePlus, or Air Canada Aeroplan.

Great ANA First Class Redemptions

ANA 777-300ER
Whether you’re flying to Japan or Australia, ANA first class is a fun way to get there. Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

Each program we discussed above has its sweet spots:

  • Virgin Atlantic is the best way to fly round-trip if you see partner availability.
  • Asiana Club often provides solid one-way redemption options, but it doesn’t allow stopovers.
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer might cost a few more miles, but you can book one-ways and stopovers.
  • ANA Mileage Club requires round-trip bookings, but offers some of the best redemption rates and allows stopovers. Most importantly, ANA has exclusive award availability compared to all other partners.

Here’s a quick comparison of some round-trip award redemptions with each program.

DepartureDestinationANA Mileage ClubVirgin Atlantic Flying Club**Asiana ClubSingapore KrisFlyer
Chicago (ORD)Sydney210,000 milesN/A240,000 miles255,000 miles
New York City (JFK)Tokyo150,000 miles120,000 miles160,000 miles200,000 miles
Washington, DC (IAD)Bangkok195,000 milesN/A180,000 miles225,000 miles

**Virgin Atlantic is really only worth it to fly to Japan. It’s possible to book to places like Australia and Thailand, but you don’t get anywhere near the same value.

When booking with Asiana Club or Singapore KrisFlyer, a one-way ticket will cost half the miles of the round-trip award.

How to Earn Enough Miles for ANA First Class

ANA miles can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards at a rate of 1:1.

Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic miles can be transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi Thank You Rewards (all at a rate of 1:1).

You can also earn Marriott points and transfer those to ANA, Asiana, Virgin Atlantic, or Singapore Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1. For every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000-mile bonus.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

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Business Owner? See our article on Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards.

When Should You Search for Award Space?

You can search and book ANA flights between 355 days and 96 hours from departure. Start your search early to give yourself the best chance of finding award space, and check regularly if you don’t see space initially.

What Makes This a Great Redemption?

ANA is one of the premier carriers operating out of Asia, so you’ll definitely want to give their first class a try. Here are some of the aspects of this experience you’re really going to enjoy.

First Class Service

If you’re accustomed to the service on U.S. carriers, you might be a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry, there’s no trick here — ANA’s cabin crews really are that great!

From the moment you set foot onboard, they are ready to help you have a wonderful first class experience.

ANA Suite Lounge

Relax before your flight in the exclusive ANA Suite Lounge. Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

Once you’re in the ANA Suite Lounge, staff will be there to offer you a hot (or cold) towel and a drink — champagne is a great choice. If that’s not a great way to start off a lounge visit, we don’t know what is!

If you need a shower after a long flight or a long day visiting Tokyo, you can enjoy a relaxing one here. There’s plenty of seating even during busy times, so you can definitely stretch out. If you need a quiet place to work, grab one of the workstations that include noise-canceling headphones.

Whether you’re enjoying a nice vacation or visiting the lounge for work, the ANA Suite Lounge will be a great experience.

Final Thoughts

Go ahead and add ANA first class to your list of flights you must try. If you need a one-way flight, Asiana Club and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer can get you what you need. If you need a round-trip, you’ll often find your best booking options are ANA’s own Mileage Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

What are you waiting for? From the moment you arrive at the airport, the service will be amazing. Enjoy some champagne and before you know it, the journey will be as much fun as the destination!


FAQ

What is the best way to book ANA first class?

Often, ANA’s Mileage Club program requires the fewest miles to book first class flights on ANA, but it requires round-trip bookings.

Asiana Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and other Star Alliance partners can also provide some great redemption options.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly ANA first class?

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and ANA Mileage Club are partners with American Express Membership Rewards.

You can also earn KrisFlyer miles through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

What do I get when flying ANA first class?

First and foremost, world-class service. ANA is renowned for its amazing inflight service! Additionally, you can expect some great champagne and food in the ANA Suite Lounge and during your flight.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

26 comments

  1. Great rundown!

    But I just wanted to check with you. I’m sure you can book ANA flights directly with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. I was able to book first class tickets from Tokyo to Honolulu 4 weeks ago.

    • Stephen Au · February 25, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Ben,

      Yes, it’s possible to book ANA First Class using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. However, the redemption rates are generally not favorable. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic to book the same flight for much, much cheaper. Thanks for reading.

      • Stephen, I totally understand and agrees..

        it just this step by step said..

        “”Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
        Unlike when booking with ANA Mileage Club miles, to use Singapore KrisFlyer miles you have to call to book ANA flights.

        Here’s what you need to know.

        Visit Air Canada’s Aeroplan site
        Log in to your Aeroplan account (you’ll need your account number)””

        which I think is incorrect, and I agree Virgin Atlantic is much better value for sure!

        Ben

        • Stephen Au · February 27, 2019 · Reply

          Hey Ben,

          A lot of people don’t like the idea of calling to book award flights. They’d much rather prefer to do it online through a streamlined search engine, which Aeroplan has. This is why we included it as one of the best ways to book. Sure, Virgin Atlantic bookings on ANA flights is the best sweet spot. However, it can take a lot of time to complete bookings. Thanks for reading and your feedback.

  2. Nicholas · March 1, 2019 · Reply

    Thanks for the info Stephen, is ANA partner availability ~330 days out and do you know how many F awards are released? I’m trying to rebook for next year and our son will be over 2 by then.

    • Stephen Au · March 19, 2019 · Reply

      Nicholas,

      If you book when the schedule is first released, you’ll typically see 2 first class seats available. However, these are short-lived, so you must absolutely take advantage of it when the schedule is released. Otherwise, you’ll be lucky to find 1 seat. I recently flew ANA First Class from Tokyo to Los Angeles. The cabin was almost completely empty.. and yet there weren’t any last-minute award seats. ANA releases lots of business class seats close-in, but almost no first class seats close-in.

  3. Andrew · March 20, 2019 · Reply

    Hi guys – great guide!

    Couple of quick questions:
    1. Can you add a domestic USA connecting leg for the same cost using Virgin miles?
    2. Can you fly from and to different USA cities and it still count as a return flight?

    • Stephen Au · March 20, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Andrew,

      Thanks for reading.

      1. You can’t add a connecting leg.
      2. Yes, you can return to a different city. Just remember you’ll have to pay based on each city. If departing from the West Coast and returning to the East Coast, you’ll have to pay half the round-trip cost for West Coast and half the round-trip cost for East Coast.

  4. Brenda · April 15, 2019 · Reply

    Thanks for all the tips Steven! Our family of 3 (all adults) would like to travel to Japan on ANA with Chase reward points. Do you have any tips for getting 3 reward seats on one flight? Without having to travel in the winter?

    • Stephen Au · April 17, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Brenda,

      Getting 3 reward seats in business or first is on ANA or Japan Airlines is tough but not impossible. Virgin Atlantic miles is the best and most cost effective choice in this case.

      With business class, you’ll want to plan far in advance to get 3 seats.

      With first class, you’ll almost always have no choice but to get last-minute availability if you want 3 seats.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Patti · May 2, 2019 · Reply

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for your super helpful post! I was wondering if you could help me. My boyfriend and I are planning to travel to Japan in August 2019, First Class ANA by transferring to Virgin Atlantic.

    But when I log in on United’s site and check on various combinations of dates, all the First Class, they all say Not Available. Are they supposed to open up or are they all spoken for, for good? Should I just try my luck with ANA’s availability at this point?

    Thank you!

    • Stephen Au · May 4, 2019 · Reply

      Patti,

      Thanks for reading. Generally, if you want to book ANA First Class, you’ll want to plan anywhere from 8-11 months before departure. It’s really hard to get availability otherwise. For business class, ANA opens up a lot of space within 3-4 weeks of departure. ANA doesn’t open up much first class space before departure, as they would rather fly the seat empty.

  6. I would like to add a datapoint that my AMEX MR -> VS Flying Club transfer on 5/18 was instant.

    • Stephen Au · May 22, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for reading. We appreciate the additional data point.

  7. Hey Stephen,

    Great article & step by step guide. I’m not sure if anyone else is having this issue, but when I look for award availability on United’s website. I can almost always find an outbound 1st class flight, but I can never find a return 1st class from Narita/Haneda. I’m looking at Spring of 2020. I’ve looked 9,10, 11 months out & nothing is coming up.

    Any ideas?

    • Stephen Au · June 7, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Bill,

      Award availability is nearly impossible to predict in a general sense. However, we would suggest playing with your return city, as you might find first class availability back to the same country and it may be worth it to just pay cash for a short domestic flight to your home city. Thanks for reading!

  8. Rich C · July 8, 2019 · Reply

    Is it possible to take advantage of the Virgin sweet spot from SFO with a stop over in Seoul? We would like to spend 5 days in Seoul and 3 in Tokyo. Sounds like it is impossible to score the 4 tickets I am looking for in business or first. When checking for award space on United.com am I looking for any award space or just saver awards?

    • Stephen Au · July 8, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Rich,

      Thanks for reading. Using Virgin Atlantic will not allow you to book stopovers. Instead, you can only book that exact sweet spot directly to Japan. It’s possible with ANA Mileage Club. You’ll either want to check far in advance (11-12 months before departure) or close to departure (within 2 weeks). If you’re using ANA miles, you can check directly on ANA’s website because they will have better award availability than United.com. Otherwise, you’ll want to use United.com or Aeroplan.com.

  9. Chin V · July 9, 2019 · Reply

    Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for the write-up. It’s a great summary article for beginners like me. I think I know what I need to do but need some advice about my situation. My wife and I have points all over the place with Chase UR, United, and Virgin Atlantic. I feel like my best option is to transfer from Chase to Virgin and book through Virgin. Would this be the way to go? Is there anything I can do about my United miles? I think I can only book ANA tickets with United miles but I can’t transfer it to Virgin. Any feedback is appreciated, thanks.

    • Hi Chin,

      Are you hoping to book an award ticket to fly ANA? If so, given the points you have at your disposal, transferring your Chase Ultimate Reward points to top off your Virgin Atlantic account would definitely be your most cost-effective option. Just be sure to find the award space you want to book first, because once you move your Chase points to Virgin Atlantic you cannot move them back!

      Thanks for reading!

  10. Where/how can you search 355 days ahead? United will only show 330 days in advance, and Aeroplan just spins endlessly when I try to search there.

    • Stephen Au · July 16, 2019 · Reply

      Bear, you’ll have to search using ANA Mileage Club to look that far ahead. One of the benefits of using ANA’s own mileage program is that you have access 25 days before United does. Aeroplan can glitch out if you look too far ahead.

  11. Any experience with modifying your ANA via VS award flight?

    For example: if I just want to change my departing city/date, will it cancel the entire original booking? And am I at risk of losing my return date?

    • Andrew Kunesh · August 9, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Mike, you should be able to change just the departing city/date without canceling the return ticket. You will, however, need to do this over the phone with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Thanks!

  12. Luis M. Muniz · August 11, 2019 · Reply

    Hi great guide,

    I’m a beginner. I’ve looked online to see how many miles is for Premium Economy from NYC to Japan with Virgin Flying Club. Is this worthwhile considering the fuel surcharge? I appreciate any information.

    Thanks

    • Andrew Kunesh · August 13, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Luis, ANA (Virgin Atlantic’s partner to Japan) does not operate a Premium Economy cabin. However, you can book ANA’s economy, business, or first class cabins with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. A round-trip from the U.S. to Japan has roughly $300 in fuel surcharges on a business class ticket. With this in mind, we think transferring miles to Virgin Atlantic for a business class award ticket on ANA is an excellent use of miles. Thanks!

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