AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.
All Nippon Airways — better known as ANA — substantially increased the fuel surcharges it levies on ANA flights. The new pricing came into effect for tickets issued or after October 1, 2022. The announcement is a negative for award bookings, as it increases the out-of-pocket costs on award bookings — decreases the value you'll get from your miles.
How Fuel Surcharges Work
A clue to what “fuel surcharges” are is found right in the name. Fuel surcharges is the common term for a surcharge on the ticket price that covers increases in the cost of fuel. Another way of looking at them is that they are an excellent way for airlines to boost their revenues and bottom line without increasing award mileage rates.
Typically, fuel surcharges are levied on all tickets, and most airlines charge a higher surcharge on premium cabins. ANA does not do this. Instead, you will pay the same price, whatever your fare class. This applies whether traveling in the cheapest economy seat or the lap of luxury in first class.
The Scale of The Increase
The scale of the increase in surcharges is substantial in percentage terms. Below are the new fuel surcharges that came into effect on October 1, 2022.
To put these increases into perspective, below is the fuel surcharge pricing from August 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022.
For tickets purchased in the US, the percentage increase is as follows:
- Europe, North America (except for Hawaii), Middle East or Oceania to Japan and increase of 19.5%.
- Hawaii, India, or Indonesia to Japan, an increase of 23%.
- Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, or Cambodia to Japan, an increase of 22.5%.
- Vietnam, Guam, or the Philippines to Japan, a rise of 17.6%.
- East Asia (excluding South Korea) to Japan, an increase of 29.6%
- South Korea or Russia (Vladivostok) to Japan, a rise of 16.2%.
In pure dollar terms, the most significant increase is for routes from North America and Europe to Japan. However, the biggest hit in terms of percentage increase is from East Asia to Japan — an increase of almost 30%.
Can You Avoid ANA Fuel Surcharge Increase?
The good news is that you can avoid these higher ANA fuel surcharges by booking your award flight through certain other mileage programs.
Unfortunately, ANA levies fuel surcharges on all tickets — whether they are cash, an ANA award, or even a partner award. To avoid these charges, you need to find a program that lets you book ANA awards and does not pass on fuel surcharges.
Both ANA and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club levy fuel surcharges on award bookings. Still, the Virgin deal can be a fantastic sweet spot. Sadly, with the announcement last week of Virgin Atlantic joining SkyTeam, it is anticipated that this deal will disappear as Virgin fully integrates into the SkyTeam ecosystem of airlines. In the meantime, booking these awards will sting a little more with the increased fuel surcharges.
The good news is that several of ANA’s Star Alliance partners do not typically pass on fuel surcharges to the award booking. The following three programs do not pass on ANA fuel surcharges on award bookings:
- United MileagePlus.
- Avianca LifeMiles.
- Air Canada Aeroplan.
The partner you choose will depend on many factors, including your mileage balances, whether you plan on transferring flexible credit card points for the awards, and much more.
If you are looking for a short hop across the pacific from the US to Japan, Aeroplan can offer the best value. ANA business class prices at between 50,000 and 75,000 Aeroplan miles each way depending on the distance flown.
It is never good news when fuel surcharges are increased. Any move that reduces values or increases the price is a step backward. Fortunately, if you are looking to book awards in ANA premium cabins, you still have a couple of partner options open to you that will spare you the new increased fuel surcharges.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.