ANA Slashes Surcharges, Drastically Reducing Out-Of-Pocket Costs on Award Tickets

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Over the last few weeks, we've seen a few airlines lowing carrier-imposed surcharges. Last month, Emirates lowered the fees on award redemptions by over 90%. Earlier this month, Qatar cut segment fees on awards. Now, All Nippon Airlines (ANA) has all but eliminated carrier-imposed surcharges on itineraries on certain routes.

ANA's new First Class “The Suite”

Lowered Surcharges to Japan

Noted initially by Spencer Howard from Straight to the Points (and shared by FrequentMiler), it appears that ANA has lowered the carrier-imposed surcharges on itineraries to and from Japan to just $1 per segment.

Similarly, this two-segment itinerary between Chicago (ORD) and Singapore (SIN) via Tokyo (HND) shows $2 in surcharges:

Before ANA made this change, it wasn't unusual for the carrier-imposed surcharges to be as high as $80-100 each way between the U.S. and Japan. That's a far cry from the $800-1,000 surcharges some other airlines charge (we're looking at you, Lufthansa). However, it still ate into the value of awards. Charging $1 per segment is a significant improvement.

We don't know whether this will be a permanent update or just a temporary change in light of current circumstances. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's the prior.

Not All Routes Have Been Cut

Interestingly, it doesn't appear that ANA has applied this pricing formula uniformly. We are seeing the $1 surcharge per segment on itineraries between the U.S. and Japan. And we are seeing this $1 surcharge per segment on other routes from Japan, such as between Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Delhi (DEL):

However, ANA is still imposing higher carrier-imposed surcharges on some connecting itineraries. Take this itinerary from Los Angeles (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Tokyo Haneda (HND) for example:

Ouch.

How Does This Affect You?

The story behind what fuel surcharges are and why airlines levy them is a bit complicated. In a nutshell, airlines have tacked these on for years as a sneaky way of boosting profits without raising the ‘base fare'. For many reasons, this can be advantageous for the airline, including marketing opportunities, limiting travel-agent commissions, and offering “discounted fares” for corporate clients.

For passengers paying for flights with cash, this won't change much. Airlines are typically required to display the ‘all-in' ticket price from the start of your search, without adding taxes and extra fees after you've settled on a fare. Subsequently, the prices you're seeing while shopping around for a ticket will already have carrier-imposed surcharges factored in. Once you've settled on a price, it doesn't really matter (to you) what the price consists of, even if taxes and surcharges make up the largest percentage.

Where this helps, however, is with award bookings. Some loyalty programs impose carrier-imposed surcharges on award bookings, requiring a hefty cash co-pay in addition to the points or miles.

Now that ANA's surcharges are lower, the cash co-pay for award bookings are also lower. A quick search on Air Canada Aeroplan—which known to pass on surcharges on ANA award redemptions—shows the far more palatable out-of-pocket costs for an award booking in ANA first class:

Results are similar when searching the other partners typically used to book ANA award tickets—such as Virgin Atlantic and ANA Mileage Club. Since United MileagePlus and Avianca LifeMiles have never passed along surcharges on ANA bookings, you'll see no change there.

Bottom Line

Surcharges can be one of the most annoying aspects of making an award booking. The last thing anybody wants to do after shelling out a ton of points for a great redemption is to pay a bunch of money to book it.

With that in mind, lower surcharges are always an improvement, regardless of whether we'll necessarily see a difference in cash fares. Fingers crossed that this is a permanent change.

Are you more likely to book an award with ANA with these lower surcharges?

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Comments

  • This is a welcome improvement. Hopefully other programs also cut their fees to increase travel redemptions.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    Your point on surcharges is valid. The last thing I want to do after spending a lot of money on points is to pay a bunch of money to book a flight. Yhis may be a good deal.

  • good post. when i go to toyko soon, i will look into this airline. thank you

  • Now this is what I like to hear. I’m all for removing fees for the customer.

  • Good for them. Hopefully many will follow suit, though I won’t hold my breath.

  • love ANA, this is a great move. I will fly them when the world is ready.

  • This is great, let the flying begin. All airlines should get rid of the bogus fuel charges.

  • Now that they’ve reduced some of these sneaky fees, I’d like to see ANA’s star alliance partners (United, Lufthansa etc) standardize (remove) their fees.

  • Florencia says:

    What good news, I would love to redeem miles to travel to Japan.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    Competition, and reduced fuel costs, are good for us customers. Now the other carriers that impose bogus “fuel charges” need to get on board with the reality we all and the airlines now face.

  • Good news!
    It seems ANA’s fuel surcharge was reviewed every two months depending on the crude oil price and the departing (or ticket selling) country.
    https://www.ana.co.jp/en/jp/book-plan/charge/fuelsurcharge/info.html

  • I guess that it is more important for airlines to fill the few flights they need to operate now because the demand has totally collapsed.

  • I suppose with so much empty capacity airlines would be happy for award points to be used on seats they can’t fill anyway with revenue generating tickets. So a move like this incentivizes those points to be used.

  • It dramatically increases the value of ANA miles. ANA becomes one of the most valuable transfer partner of AE now.

  • Definitely a big difference when redeeming miles. Hope this lasts for a while.

  • Elaine She says:

    That is good to know as we are searching for a potential late summer getaway. always helps to know that there are potential savings on out of pocket cost when redeeming

  • I avoided this airline due to their surcharges. I also hope it stays this way when travel has improved. I have heard very good things about their premium classes and I would like to try them.

  • Excellent news. NH J and F have to be some of the best premium products out there, well worth using your points on.

  • I wonder how long this will all last. I am seeing a lot of different changes on the surcharges. I know that it won’t last but am curious about what will come in the future. I like to hear changes like this at least for now. I am really looking more for next summer. I am hoping that there are good fares then. Or even good fares whenever I can finally get an interview for global entry.

  • The AmEx : Virgin Atlantic : ANA redemption has long been a sweet spot that is awesome. This news makes it even better. Woo-Hoo!

  • I hope ANA will reduce the surchanges on award tickets for all flights.
    Otherwise it is necessary to do a lot of searches and see the result.

  • I have no experience with ANA. Certainly I will try ANA with my United miles. I hope to visit Japan in 2021.

  • I would love to fly ANA again even on business class, I flew ANA first in December and came back in February from the Philippines using MR. I’ll fly business class again once Philippine open up without all the restrictions.

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