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Virgin Atlantic Increases ANA First Class Award Rates [Devaluation]

Stella Shon's image
Stella Shon
Stella Shon's image

Stella Shon

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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Another devaluation just dropped — and this time it affects one of the longest-standing first class deals to Japan.

From Virgin Atlantic officially joining the SkyTeam Alliance to offering several new transfer bonuses, it was inevitable the carrier would someday reevaluate its partner awards.

That day, sadly, has come, as you’ll now need significantly more Virgin points to book ANA first class, as first noted by Thrifty Traveler.

Here are the details you need to know, as well as some alternatives to consider if you’re looking to fly ANA in the future.

Virgin Atlantic’s New ANA Award Chart

The new award chart, which Virgin Atlantic discreetly published on its website, details the new round-trip rates for redeeming your Virgin points.

As always, if you’re looking for one-way rates, they require half the rates pictured below — but the chart doesn’t account for additional taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.

Virgin Atlantic ANA New Award Chart
Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

It appears that ANA first class awards have been impacted by the latest round of devaluations, while economy and business class award rates remain untouched — for now.

Here’s a closer look at the new pricing rates for a number of city pairs:

  • Honolulu (HNL) and Tokyo: 57,500 points one-way, previously 45,000 points one-way
  • Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) and Tokyo: 72,500 points one-way, previously 55,000 points one-way
  • Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), New York (JFK), or Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Tokyo: 85,000 points one-way; previously 60,000 points one-way

Most notably, award tickets between “Central & Eastern U.S. and Tokyo,” are bearing the brunt of these changes, with a nearly 42% increase in the points required.  

This isn’t the only devaluation we’ve seen to this partner award recently, as Virgin Atlantic has increased its fuel surcharges over the past several years. You can now expect to pay about $450 in additional taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges, and this rate will likely continue to climb.

ANA First Class Virgin Booking
I recently booked this coveted award for only 55,000 Virgin points, although the fuel surcharges were $450. Image Credit: Stella Shon

Alternatives to Booking ANA First Class Through Virgin Atlantic

This change was bound to happen. Virgin points are easy to acquire, as you can transfer your points and miles from Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Even so, the devaluation doesn’t completely rule out Virgin Atlantic for booking ANA first class tickets. Yes, mileage rates are significantly more expensive — and with more fuel surcharges to boot — but it can still be an amazing way to book one of the best first class cabins in the world.

Hot Tip: With the number of transfer bonuses to Virgin recently, including from Citi and Capital One, it’s still easier than ever to rack up your stash of Virgin points. 

What hasn’t changed, however, is the extremely limited award availability to book ANA on Virgin Atlantic. Even before this change, it has been quite complicated to find the award space. If you’re interested in giving it a try, we outline the steps in this guide to booking ANA first class.

If you see this devaluation as the final straw, remember that you can also:

  • Book ANA first class for between 150,000 and 165,000 miles round-trip (with minimal taxes and fees) through ANA’s Mileage Club loyalty program, though round-trip bookings are required.
  • Book ANA first class for 110,000 points one-way through Air Canada Aeroplan with less than $50 in taxes and fees.
  • Book ANA business class for the same rates through Virgin Atlantic.

Final Thoughts

Virgin Atlantic’s latest move only proves that points and miles constantly lose value. It’s very possible that the airline increases mileage rates in the future, perhaps for business class next time. Or worse, Virgin could axe this partnership altogether.

With that said, if you’ve been eyeing this ticket and found the award space, now’s the time to book!

Stella Shon's image

About Stella Shon

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.

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