Booked! ANA RTW: 22,000 Miles in Glorious Business

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Booking ANA RTW Ticket is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round The World Trip Report.


TPOL is great at booking amazing trips. I’m just not as good finishing Trip Reports (see Writing Trip Reports: How Old Is Too Old?). The trick for Travel Guides, I’ve learned, is to write them with my Blackberry in real time and publish them later. There’s no urgency in writing those posts as what to eat, see, and drink in a city remains relatively the same. This can’t be said about posts about booking awards trips. What use is it to you, the reader, to write about my great US Air booking to Seychelles for 60k points? Thus, I’m posting the Booking ANA RTW Ticket guide right now. Let’s get to it:

Miles Required 

Depending on the distance flown and the class selected, there are different mileage requirements. The best value is flying business class for greater than 20k but not more than 22k miles. That requires 125,000 ANA miles.

How to Get ANA Miles 

I transferred 125k MRs and in a few days, the miles were reflected in my account. Note that ANA miles expire after 3 years from issuance and cannot be extended.

Fuel Surcharges 

If there’s one drawback to ANA, it’s that you have to pay fuel surcharges depending on which airline you fly. The way to check how much fuel surcharges will be is to search on the Matrix. Many blogs say that ANA does not impose United surcharges, but they certainly do for trips to Europe.

YQ or YR denotes fuel surcharges.

In the ‘el cheapo’ days, I would be outraged if I had to pay one dollar in fuel surcharges and would try to use my Barclays Arrival card to offset such charges. Today, I don’t care and don’t have the time or desire to MS my way to a few hundreds in savings (see I’m Done with Manufactured Spending). Here, the fuel surcharges came out to $1022. Que desastre!

Routing Rules 

Via God Save the Points, here are the rules with my comments in bold:

  • You must choose to fly east-west or west-east — you are NOT allowed to backtrack: ANA allowed to fly to Beirut via Istanbul and then to Shanghai via Istanbul. Initially, I thought it was absolutely not allowed to go backwards. From what I’ve read and with my experience, you just can’t backtrack from one continent to another. 
  • You must cross both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans — only once each as per the rule above: Easily done. 
  • Include up to 12 segments and include 4 ground transfer segments. I could only get to 10. Obviously, direct flights are your best bet. 
  • Up to 8 stopovers are allowed. If you have all the time in the world, take the stopovers. I do not but am still satisfied with the routing.
    • Up to 3 in Europe
    • Up to 4 in Japan
  • Your trip must span at least 10 days from the date of your first international departure. Would love to see someone do this in 11. 
  • Flights may be operated by ANA or Star Alliance partners. From what I read, you cannot fly Etihad and book flights with Star Alliance Partners. Juneyao Air, an airline based out of Shanghai, is a United partner but not a Star Alliance partner. 
  • Your itinerary must touch all three zones — what ANA calls “Areas” and return to the one from which you start the trip. As you’ll see from my GCMAP, I had to fly from New York and return to New York. I tried to fly from Puerto Rico and return to New York but was told that Puerto Rico is not part of the United States. That’s interesting to learn. 

Where I’m Going 

GCMAP is nice to look at, but where will TPOL be spending his time? My first stop is Sardinia, a new ‘country’ to add to my list (see Where I’ve Been and Is Hawaii a Country?). From there I go to Lebanon, a country in the traditional sense of the word that I have always wanted to see. #hummus After that I’m going to be living in Shanghai (see 再見 Puerto Rico, TPOL in Shanghai). While I’m in China I’m going back to Chengdu, this time to see the pandas, Nepal to detox, and Bhutan to find happiness. Then I’m off to New York for work and back to beautiful Puerto Rico for golf.

Airline Choices

United vs. Lufthansa 

I used to get excited when I saw Lufthansa availability and would be annoyed when I saw United. Those days have changed. The reviews for Lufthansa business are underwhelming, while the reviews for real United Polaris are anything but. It took a lot of effort, but I found a Dreamliner 787 Polaris flight from EWR to BRU.

Turkish

I’m excited to fly Turkish and am more excited to see their new business class lounge. Their old one was ridiculous (Turkish Airlines Business Class: Where Costco Meets Chuck E. Cheese).

EVA

I finally get to fly EVA. Will there be Krug? Will there be a Kitty saying hello?

Booking 

It’s easy, almost too easy, to book an ANA RTW ticket. Unlike most ticketing centers, the ANA representatives want you to feed them the flight numbers. And if something is not available, you don’t have to hang up and call back after you’ve figured it out. They help you find something else.

TPOL’s TIP: You have 72 hours to put your ticket on hold, but ANA will not guarantee that tickets will actually be there when you’re ready to book (see Award Booking OCD = Fortnite Addiction).

Total Mileage Flown 

I wanted to get as close to 22k miles as possible. GCMAP says I topped out at 21,589, but ANA says I am at 21,879. I’ll go with ANA’s official mileage in measuring how close I came to squeezing every mile in business.

The Airline Spreadsheet 

I’m known for my beautiful spreadsheets. ANA is in blue. JetBlue is in green and the revenue ticket to BCN is in orange. The rest of the spreadsheet with hotels and other stops will be in an upcoming post.

Overall 

I once wrote, Devaluation? I Laugh in the Face of Devaluation, and am happy to say, I still do. Maybe this points game will come to an end one day, but at this rate, I think I’ll be dead before that happens. #pointsnewdeal #tpol2020 #tpol2024


If you enjoyed Booking ANA RTW Ticket, read the entire ANA, Take Me ‘Round The World Trip Report.

32 COMMENTS

  1. “Peasant”… love it! I‘m guessing it is Vueling on the OLB-BCN route? You might‘ve come out cheaper buying Iberia Avios with their most recent (now expired) 50% bonus Avios sale and book an award or points&cash ticket than paying the $111.

    • Price went up to $122 so I transferred in Avios from BA which I did receive the transfer bonus way back when.

    • To be honest, describing the way 95% of people fly as “peasant” is patronising. As a business class traveller based in the UK who sometimes has no other way of taking a holiday in Europe to certain places with my family other than flying charter flights, it is frankly ridiculous to talk of economy as “peasant”. I do wish that sometimes American writers had some knowledge of the real way things work in Europe and the way people with children travel. It is as if certain bloggers don’t consider families, children dont want to do silly routes so their parents can get a lie flat bed (they rarely exist on intra European flights anyway). Some thinking beyond the way they can travel themselves might be a sensible idea. Points can be used for family travel too after all, and what is the title of the entire blog.

        • I have, I’m a Brit. Unlike yourself who is a US citizen. Shame you think patronising people is a substitute for humour. Try some humility sometime. You survive off readers, telling them to move along because you are a fool is hardly going to grow your readership outside of the US where this kind of “humour” is considered funny.

        • Ok then just go away. You contribute nothing with your negativity and I don’t need your readership and my readers don’t care for your comments. Seriously, in today’s climate of shit, no one is looking for negative trolls.

  2. I would like to see the spread sheet with a break-down of costs (taxes+YQ) for each flight. I am trying to put together a RTW ANA ticket right now and read UA has no fuel charges and Turkish and Eva has modest fees. When there are options like fly EVA or China or Air Canada back to USA, it would be good to know which one actually has lower out of pocket! ANA only gave me the total on my first try. (waiting for miles to post)

    • It’s not true. UA does have fuel charges going to europe. I did the breakdown for my first itinerary on Travel Matrix which was UA to FRA, Lufthansa to Ibiza and the rest Turkish, Air China, and Eva:

      ORD-FRA 600
      FRA-IBZ 71.9
      ATH-BEY 3.4
      BEY-IST 85
      IST-CAN 197
      CAN-SHA 0
      PVG-JFK 101
      1058.3

    • Why leave the good champagne on a route to such a horrid transfer airport as CDG, it is the worst airport I’ve ever been to, and I went to Malta before they built a new airport (look it up). CDG is a hole. Even worse when travelling with children. The airport is split into pods that you are not allowed to leave. I transferred on Air France there and they moved the gate to a different pod, didn’t allow transfer passengers to leave the other pod and left them all behind (including me) after making no gate change announcement. Horrid airport served by a horrid national carrier.

  3. Nice synopsis.

    Remind me again, what passports do people from Puerto Rico carry?

    Any idea if IST is considered Asia or Europe by ANA?

    Unless something weird happens, you’re gonna love the EVA flight in business. I’ve done two flights and my wife one, and we couldn’t love it more. The only thing better is Cathay first out of Hong Kong.

    If it’s not too secret, what time frame are you looking at? My wife and I are flying through IST with a long connection in November, and I’d love some independent insight on the new business class lounge, especially the nap rooms.

    • Lol US passport!

      And I leave next week.

      Didn’t check on IST geo bc I’m not staying there and it didn’t affect my ticket.

      EVA will be the highlight but comparing it to Cathay is bold.

  4. Why was it necessary to write a post on one the the most obvious points of fact there is? No one with any sense and google available thinks Hawaii is a country. It should be, but it isn’t (good old US imperialism). Sardinia isn’t a country in any sense at all, it is Italy and has been since Italy existed, in fact it was part of Italy before the Papal States (Vatican city and the province surrounding it including Rome). To even suggest it is is about daft to any European who reads your blog. To suggest Sardinia is a country is like a European suggesting that Manhatten is a country. Its ridiculous, unless you assume your readers are dim.
    You mentioned doing this in 11 days. Find me a routing, find me the cheapest way of doing it (I am points poor at the moment as I booked a family holiday in Australia with a lot recently) and I’ll review each segment, and further rate from 1 to 10 at the end how bad I felt after each flight given the cumulative miles and hours spent in airports and on planes, and no not in economy (please don’t patronise the vast majority of the world by using peasant to describe the way they have no choice to travel). Compare airline fares to the wages of lawyers and doctors even, in most of the countries in the world and you will come to understand why you and I were very lucky to have been born where we were (I in the UK and you presumably in the US). As a mostly business class traveller I appreciate how lucky I am. It appears you don’t, when you describe the way even relatively rich people in other parts of the world travel due to flying being a similar price across the globe as “peasant”. Flying is cheap to you, it is very expensive to most people in the world due to the massive disparity in wages.

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