All Nippon Airways (ANA), one of the flag carriers of Japan, is increasing the fuel surcharges required on award tickets — an unfortunate development that will impact redemptions to and from Japan on award reservations when flying ANA, no matter the frequent flyer program.
Japan will resume visa-free entry for individual travelers starting October 11, 2022, so this increase in surcharges is conveniently timed following an over 2-year closure to tourist traffic after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Are Fuel Surcharges?
When you redeem frequent flyer points for a ticket, the basic premise is that that ticket should come without cost (or very little cost) to the consumer, but airlines have found ways of adding on fees to these tickets in order to recoup some of the revenue that may be lost.
Fuel surcharges are a fee that many airlines add on tickets to cover the cost of fuel for your seat on the plane. However, in practice, these fuel surcharges may or may not actually be directly tied to the cost of fuel. For example, you may find the fuel amounts charged to you are well above what the actual cost of this fuel would be, and there’s no obligation for the airline to reduce this amount to match current costs.
British Airways is one of the most famous carriers to use fuel surcharges on tickets, and even if you use another frequent flyer program to book tickets, you’ll immediately be hit with a several hundred dollars extra cost that you might not have been anticipating. In fact, these fuel surcharges can sometimes be so high that a purchased cash ticket to your final destination might actually cost less than an award ticket.
What Is ANA Charging for Fuel Surcharges?
The price of gas did rise over the first half of 2022, but over the past month or so it has steadily been coming down. While ANA has raised the cost of its surcharge 5 times over the course over the last year, each of those increases has been tied to an actual increase in the cost of fuel, which is somewhat understandable. Now, we’re seeing our sixth increase, which is tied to a decrease in fuel costs, leading some to believe that these charges are tied to maximizing on the increase in tourists that will be booking tickets into Japan with the reopening.
For bookings made prior to October 1, 2022, the fuel surcharge for flights from Europe, North America (except for Hawaii), the Middle East, or Oceania to Japan is $363. From Hawaii, India, or Indonesia to Japan, the fee is $231.
For bookings made after to October 1, 2022, the fuel surcharge for flights from Europe, North America (except for Hawaii), the Middle East, or Oceania to Japan will be $434 — nearly a 20% increase. From Hawaii, India, or Indonesia to Japan, the fee will be $286, a ~24% increase.
Fuel surcharge changes by destination can be found on ANA’s Fare Rules page by clicking on the International Surcharge Info tab.
Hot Tip: ANA is expected to resume its flights to North America to ~90% of the pre-pandemic levels starting October 30, 2022. With more flights on the calendar, learn about the best ways to fly to Japan using points and miles in our detailed guide!
ANA is increasing the cost of fuel surcharges, which will be passed along to flyers redeeming points in a number of programs. These fuel surcharges are an added expense on tickets that are otherwise meant to be of very little cost, so if you are traveling to Japan on an award, you may wish to utilize another frequent flyer program that doesn’t charge as many fuel surcharges.
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