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One of Japan's largest airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), recently made a positive change to the airline's carrier-imposed fuel surcharges. Effective April 1st, 2023, travelers booking flights operated by ANA will enjoy significantly reduced fuel surcharges. This is most relevant to award travel.
In this article, we'll cover what travelers can expect as a result of ANA's recent revision to its fuel surcharges. In addition, we'll talk about who will be impacted by this recent change.
What's The Rationale Behind Reducing Fuel Surcharges?
Unlike most airlines, ANA routinely revises its fuel surcharges depending on the trend of the price of crude oil. Back in October 2022, ANA increased its fuel surcharges. Now, with oil prices having decreased over the past few months, ANA has made a new round of revisions. This time, ANA is reducing surcharges.
If you're not all that familiar with fuel surcharges, they're fees added to the base fare of a ticket, presumably to cover the costs of fuel. Fuel surcharges were first introduced years ago when global crude oil prices were at record levels.
But, now these fees are charged regardless of fuel prices. For instance, even when oil prices have reached record lows (i.e. spring 2020), most airlines didn't even reduce these fuel surcharges.
Some airlines are worse than others when it comes to surcharges. In fact, ANA is one of the better carriers when it comes to determining how much to charge passengers for these fuel surcharges.
With the price of crude oil having inched downward over the past few months, ANA has revised its carrier-imposed fuel surcharges accordingly.
Just How Much Have Fuel Surcharges Gone Down?
The last time the airline increased these fees was in October 2022 when ANA increased surcharges by up to 30%. Now, ANA's fuel surcharge revisions bring down the current amounts to levels even lower than what they had been before October 2022. Effective April 1st, surcharges have been reduced by 40% to 42% across all regions.
Here's a breakdown of how much you'll have to pay in carrier-imposed fuel surcharges on flights to Japan. To streamline this table, we have only included the price of these surcharges in U.S. dollars when purchased in the United States. Keep in mind that both the currency and locale in which you make your booking will have an impact on the total cost of these surcharges.
|Departure Regions (to Japan)||Surcharge for Tickets Purchased in the United States (from April 1, 2023)||Surcharge Prior to April 1, 2023|
|Europe, North America (except for Hawaii), the Middle East, Oceania||$259||$434|
|Hawaii, India, Indonesia||$166||$286|
|Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia||$129||$223|
|Vietnam, Guam, Philippines||$80||$133|
|East Asia (excluding South Korea)||$68||$118|
|South Korea, Russia (Vladivostok)||$25||$43|
There are a number of very specific exceptions to these rates. For a list of these exceptions, ANA has a dedicated landing page for information related to surcharges.
Unlike other major carriers, ANA does not charge additional fees on bookings made in premium cabins. So, the surcharges you see in the table above are the same across all cabins. In short, a booking made in first class will incur the same surcharges as a booking made in economy class.
Who Is Impacted By These Changes?
Technically, all cash fares on tickets sold by ANA should be reduced by these changes. Unfortunately, lower fuel surcharges do not necessarily mean lower cash ticket prices. Airlines often adjust the base fare either higher or lower to price the total cost of a ticket at what it thinks the market might bear.
Award tickets are where the impact is actually felt. ANA's fuel surcharge reduction makes it less expensive for some travelers to book award travel on ANA aircraft.
If you book award travel on ANA through many of the airline's Star Alliance partners — including Avianca LifeMiles or United MileagePlus — these changes won't have any impact on how much you pay out-of-pocket for ANA award bookings.
However, if you book award travel for flights operated by ANA directly with All Nippon Airways or through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, your future award bookings are now going to be less expensive. In specific, fuel surcharges are now up to 42% lower than before the recent revisions.
Best Options for Booking ANA Awards
Despite recent devaluations, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is still one of the best ways to book ANA awards. You can redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for travel in all classes of service on ANA, and you can even book one-way awards.
The other top option is to book ANA awards through ANA's own Mileage Club program. The redemption rate varies based on the season and cabin. The downsides with booking through ANA: You have to book a round-trip itinerary and you can't connect using United. Still, redemption rates can be downright cheap:
|Round-trip Award Rates||Low Season||Regular Season||High Season|
Build your balance of ANA Mileage Club miles by transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards.
Lower fuel surcharges are great news for travelers looking to burn through some of their ANA Mileage Club or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, it's not often that travelers can enjoy positive changes to carrier-imposed fuel surcharges. However, ANA just made a positive change, with the airline's fuel surcharges now up to 42% lower. These changes went into effect on April 1st and will remain in effect until at least May 31, 2023.
What do you make of these changes? Do you plan on taking advantage of these reduced fuel surcharges?
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