On this publish I needed to take an in-depth take a look at what I think about to be the single best sweet spot award redemption on this planet, which entails redeeming Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors on All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Lets check out how you can earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors, how Virgin Atlantic redemptions on ANA work, and whether or not this redemption is even helpful anymore, given ANA’s stinginess with award availability.
The best way to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors
When you don’t presently have Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors, don’t fear, as there are many methods to earn them with transferrable points currencies, as all switch at a 1:1 ratio:
When you actually wish to maximize worth, we generally see switch bonuses from these applications to Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership, which might stretch your factors even additional. After we do see switch bonuses, normally they’re within the vary of 25-30%.
On high of that, the Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership program sells points directly, and there are often even bonuses.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic factors on All Nippon Airways
Whereas Flying Membership is much from my favourite loyalty program, it has some incredible niche redemptions that you just received’t discover by way of different applications, that may make accruing Flying Membership factors with a particular use in thoughts a superb concept.
My single favourite use of Flying Membership factors is redeeming on All Nippon Airways.
Virgin Atlantic redemption charges on ANA
Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership has a zone based award chart for journey on ANA, and the redemption charges are as follows (these costs are roundtrip, although you’ll be able to guide one-ways for half the price of a roundtrip):
As you’ll be able to see, all awards are to & from Japan, so when you plan on connecting past Japan, you’ll must guide your ticket as two separate awards. The excellent news is that since you’ll be able to guide one-ways for half the price of a roundtrip, you’ll be able to simply mix-and-match choices. For instance:
- You would fly one-way in top notch and one-way in enterprise class
- You would fly from the US to Japan, after which fly from Japan to Europe
I wish to particularly name out that:
- Enterprise class awards between the US mainland or Europe and Japan price 45,000-47,500 factors one-way
- Top quality awards between the US mainland or Europe and Japan price 55,000-60,000 factors one-way
Looking out ANA awards utilizing Virgin Atlantic factors
When you can’t search or guide ANA awards utilizing Virgin Atlantic factors by way of Virgin Atlantic’s web site, this system ought to typically have entry to the identical award availability as all of ANA’s different companion airways.
So you’ll be able to take your decide of which web site you wish to use to look availability. I’d advocate aircanada.com or united.com, as each present all Star Alliance award availability on-line.
Now, the foremost catch with this redemption possibility is that ANA is kind of stingy with award availability. The airline typically releases just one top notch award seat per flight, and even that isn’t constant, as many flights don’t have any top notch award availability.
At this second discovering ANA top notch award area is like discovering a needle in a haystack. Up to now we’ve generally seen ANA provide higher award availability, and I’m certain that can occur once more sooner or later sooner or later.
However count on that you just’ll need to work arduous to seek out ANA award area in top notch. On the plus facet, enterprise class award area is typically extra available.
Reserving ANA awards utilizing Virgin Atlantic factors
Whereas it’s annoying that it’s important to name to guide these awards, the excellent news is that Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Membership brokers are probably the most competent within the trade. They’re really superior. You’ll be able to telephone up Flying Membership from the US by calling 800.365.9500.
After you’ve decided which flights can be found, name up Virgin Atlantic and provides the consultant the precise flights and sophistication of service you need. The agent will search for the area, which can take a couple of minutes.
Usually they’ll get again to you after a couple of minutes and say that the area confirmed. Nevertheless, typically they received’t get an instantaneous response from ANA (although the area ought to match what different companions see).
In these cases you’ll be given a affirmation quantity and can be instructed to name again in just a few hours to see if the area confirmed. When you did your analysis appropriately, you need to be good.
Then simply name again a short time later and guide.
Virgin Atlantic gasoline surcharges on ANA
Virgin Atlantic passes on no matter carrier imposed surcharges ANA would have on income tickets. The simplest strategy to look these up is thru ITA Matrix — simply search for the itinerary there for the cabin you’re touring in, take a look at the fare breakdown, and count on to pay all the pieces besides the bottom fare.
For the time being ANA’s gasoline surcharges are greater than prior to now, reflecting the present state of oil costs. As oil costs lower, I’d count on ANA’s surcharges to lower as effectively. For a one-way ticket from Tokyo to New York in top notch, you’ll be able to count on to pay round $400 in the intervening time, with $343.60 of that being gasoline surcharges.
Virgin Atlantic award holds on ANA
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club can hold ANA awards for as much as 48 hours. Extra precisely, they request the area, and as soon as they try this, it’s 48 hours earlier than the flights drop out of the file. So that you do have as much as 48 hours, which must be loads of time to switch factors.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership award change & cancelation charges
If you wish to change or cancel an ANA award ticket booked with Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors there’s a $50 charge to take action, and also you’ll must make the change at the very least 24 hours earlier than departure.
Is that this actually that good of a deal?
Assuming you could find award availability, redeeming Virgin Atlantic factors on All Nippon Airways actually is that spectacular of a deal. With the ability to redeem simply 55,000-60,000 factors for a one-way top notch ticket between america and Japan is phenomenal. It solely will get higher when there’s a switch bonus Amex or Citi.
As some extent of comparability, right here’s how a lot different applications cost one-way for a similar award:
- Air Canada Aeroplan: 105,000 factors
- Avianca LifeMiles: 90,000 factors
- United MileagePlus: 110,000 factors
Is ANA top notch actually that good?
All Nippon Airways has new top notch and enterprise class merchandise, that are available on select long haul routes. I reviewed each of those merchandise, and located them to be spectacular:
ANA’s new arduous merchandise are really trade main, and if you mix it with the distinctive smooth product — nice service, meals, and drinks — ANA is phenomenal.
Even when you find yourself in ANA’s old first class, you’ll nonetheless have a terrific expertise. Whereas the arduous product isn’t fairly nearly as good, you’ll get the identical nice meals, drinks, and repair.
When will Japan’s borders reopen?
The one greatest factor standing in the way in which of making the most of this redemption alternative is that Japan’s borders proceed to be closed to a overwhelming majority of holiday makers. At the same time as the remainder of the world has largely reopened, there’s no indication that Japan’s borders will reopen on a widespread foundation with out quarantine. This coverage has confirmed fashionable with residents of Japan, which could clarify why Japan is in no rush to open.
So right here we have now the world’s finest award redemption alternative, however there are restricted alternatives to truly use it proper now.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership has some unbelievable area of interest redemptions, and unarguably the only finest worth is redeeming these factors for journey in ANA top notch. Whereas the award redemption charges are extremely low, the catch is that award availability will also be powerful to come back by, so it takes some effort to seek out availability.
Flying Membership is switch companions with all main transferable factors currencies, so when you’re planning a visit to Japan sooner or later, it is a redemption possibility that’s price conserving in thoughts. ANA’s first and enterprise class merchandise are wonderful, which is the icing on the cake.
Is anybody wanting ahead to redeeming Virgin Atlantic factors for journey on ANA?