All Nippon Airways Increases Fuel Surcharges (Bad For Awards)

All Nippon Airways Increases Fuel Surcharges (Bad For Awards)

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All Nippon Airways (ANA) has increased fuel surcharges as of February 2022, which isn’t great news for those booking award travel to & from Japan through many frequent flyer programs. Then again, for most this is a moot point, given that Japan’s borders continue to remain closed.

All Nippon Airways increases fuel surcharges

As of this month, Japanese Star Alliance carrier ANA has updated fuel surcharges, and it’s not good news. For example, a flight from the United States to Japan now has $191 in fuel surcharges one-way, regardless of the cabin you’re traveling in (which is unusual, because most airlines have higher fuel surcharges in premium cabins).

Below is a chart showing the new fuel surcharges.

In mid-2020, ANA more or less eliminated fuel surcharges, reflecting the much lower fuel prices at the time. With oil prices having now increased significantly, fuel surcharges are making a comeback. I at least respect that ANA has fuel surcharges that somewhat reflect fuel prices. Furthermore, ANA’s surcharges aren’t nearly as bad as what you’ll find at airlines like British Airways.

ANA is increasing fuel surcharges

What are fuel surcharges, anyway?

For those of you not familiar with the concept of fuel surcharges, these are fees that airlines have been charging for years on tickets. They were introduced when oil prices were high many many years ago as a temporary measure, but for most airlines have never been eliminated.

Obviously that’s very convenient on their part — they add fees when costs go up, but airlines rarely eliminate them when costs go down. ANA at least deserves credit for not having terribly high fees, and adjusting them somewhat to reflect oil prices.

Fuel surcharges are incredibly frustrating for consumers

What are the implications of ANA increasing surcharges?

With ANA increasing fuel surcharges on most itineraries, what does that actually mean for consumers? Will tickets now be more expensive? Not necessarily.

For years airlines in most regions have had to advertise “all-in” pricing, meaning the pricing you see from an airline includes all taxes, fees, and (fuel) surcharges. Therefore for revenue tickets, when an airline raises fuel surcharges, the base fare generally decreases proportionally.

For OMAAT readers the biggest implications here are for award tickets, and specifically the programs that do charge fuel surcharges:

  • This doesn’t impact ANA awards through Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, or United MileagePlus, since those programs don’t pass on fuel surcharges on these awards
  • This does impact ANA awards through All Nippon Airways Mileage Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, since those programs do pass on fuel surcharges

The best way to book All Nippon Airways first & business class awards continues to be through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, given the exceptionally low award pricing:

  • Business class awards between the US mainland or Europe and Japan cost 45,000-47,500 miles one-way
  • First class awards between the US mainland or Europe and Japan cost 55,000-60,000 miles one-way

Unfortunately these awards will now come with an additional ~$190 per direction in fees, but I’d say this is still the best option.

This is bad news for those redeeming select miles

Bottom line

All Nippon Airways has just significantly increased fuel surcharges, after nearly eliminating them in 2020. This does reflect higher oil costs, and you can now expect to pay ~$190 one-way between the United States and Japan, regardless of the cabin you’re traveling in.

The biggest implication here is for those redeeming miles, particularly through programs like All Nippon Airways Mileage Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which do pass on these fees.

What do you make of All Nippon Airways increasing surcharges?

(Tip of the hat to The Lazy Traveler’s Handbook via View from the Wing)

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  1. Jorge Paez Guest

    They are just trying to claw back some cash (cash grab!) from free loading award pax.
    The free market rules!

  2. AC Guest

    Businesses everywhere are raising costs (Starbucks just announced an increase today). Get over it and deal with it. Much better than the constant bitching and whining for b this blog and others every time, God forbid, some award costs more or is harder to get.

  3. Yiannis Guest

    OMG you are all so precious! You’re getting a first or business class ticket worth thousands of dollars and you’re bitching about a couple hundred bucks in taxes???!!! Get real all you primadonnas!

    1. rj Guest

      What kind of mental illness caused this post?

  4. Toys Samurai Guest

    A) ANA has no choice but to be transparent. Japanese airlines' fuel surcharge is regulated by the government. If you check JAL's fuel surcharge table, it's almost the same as ANA's.

    B) They did seem to raise the price of cash tickets this time (can't say for sure if they did before) -- I was checking prices for a friend of mine in the past weeks or two. Cash ticket price of economy jumps in...

    A) ANA has no choice but to be transparent. Japanese airlines' fuel surcharge is regulated by the government. If you check JAL's fuel surcharge table, it's almost the same as ANA's.

    B) They did seem to raise the price of cash tickets this time (can't say for sure if they did before) -- I was checking prices for a friend of mine in the past weeks or two. Cash ticket price of economy jumps in the past few days. Your mileage may vary, depending on your trip's date as I was only tracking the price for the end of 2022.

  5. Andrew Diamond

    Yup, moot point. "Oh no, it's going to be more expensive" is really the least problem right now.

    My question would be, if Japan opened up to tourists, when would it be worth seriously planning anything? They get skittish at the slightest indication of disease increase, and I'd sure want confidence that they could stay the course instead of shut everything down at the hint of another variant (which seems to be a quarterly affair now).

    1. Toys Samurai Guest

      Well, as long as you get in, you are safe. Japan government has no power to shut things down -- they just can't do that constitutionally. They can declare a state of emergency, and "hope" that corporations would wind down economic activities, but that's about all they can do.

      My feeling is, they are just waiting for a window to open up. If the timing of omicron's arrival isn't so bad for them, I bet that they would have been opened the border already.

    2. Andrew Diamond

      That makes sense. The big question is whether we can get in. Between the time you buy your award ticket and fly, there's a nonzero chance of it being shut down again.

    3. Insallom Guest

      Japan will not open any time soon to tourists, probably not even any time this year. Their entire political agenda hinges upon xenophobia and advancing the us Japanese vs. them foreigners rhetoric, and they need to pretend to keep out random foreigners who are always blamed for the new surge in cases. Plus tourists are at the absolute bottom of the priority list. The country will first open up to business travelers, then students and...

      Japan will not open any time soon to tourists, probably not even any time this year. Their entire political agenda hinges upon xenophobia and advancing the us Japanese vs. them foreigners rhetoric, and they need to pretend to keep out random foreigners who are always blamed for the new surge in cases. Plus tourists are at the absolute bottom of the priority list. The country will first open up to business travelers, then students and essential workers more boadly. At this point they've done neither.

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Insallom Guest

Japan will not open any time soon to tourists, probably not even any time this year. Their entire political agenda hinges upon xenophobia and advancing the us Japanese vs. them foreigners rhetoric, and they need to pretend to keep out random foreigners who are always blamed for the new surge in cases. Plus tourists are at the absolute bottom of the priority list. The country will first open up to business travelers, then students and essential workers more boadly. At this point they've done neither.

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Jorge Paez Guest

They are just trying to claw back some cash (cash grab!) from free loading award pax. The free market rules!

0
AC Guest

Businesses everywhere are raising costs (Starbucks just announced an increase today). Get over it and deal with it. Much better than the constant bitching and whining for b this blog and others every time, God forbid, some award costs more or is harder to get.

0
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