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) will be increasing fuel surcharges even further for bookings as of October 2022, which isn’t great news for those booking award travel to & from Japan through many frequent flyer programs. I find the timing of this to be really suspicious, especially with Japan finally reopening its borders.

All Nippon Airways hikes fuel surcharges

Japanese Star Alliance carrier ANA will be updating its fuel surcharges for bookings made as of October 1, 2022, and it’s not good news. With this change, a flight from the United States to Japan will have $434 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 fuel surcharges for travel originating outside of Japan for bookings as of October 1, 2022.

ANA fuel surcharges as of October 1, 2022

For context, below are the fuel surcharges for travel originating outside of Japan for bookings through September 30, 2022.

ANA fuel surcharges through September 30, 2022

Through early 2022, ANA virtually had no fuel surcharges, but since then, we’ve seen increase after increase (this is at least the fifth increase we’ve seen this year). I at least respect that ANA’s fuel surcharges have reflected the reality of oil prices… until now.

What am I missing? Oil prices have dropped considerably since their peak, yet ANA just keeps raising and raising fuel surcharges. Can anyone make sense of that, other than thinking that the airline is trying to compensate for the devalued JPY, and perhaps trying to take advantage of the tourism boom that’s about to happen?

I also get that Russian airspace closures have meant that ANA has been operating some circuitous routings, but that has been the case for many months now.

ANA is increasing fuel surcharges yet again

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 years ago as a temporary measure, but for most airlines have never been eliminated.

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

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 (though with fees this high, it does essentially create a minimum fare you’ll be charged in various markets).

For OMAAT readers the biggest implications are for award tickets, specifically with the programs that do pass on fuel surcharges to consumers:

  • 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 points one-way
  • First class awards between the US mainland or Europe and Japan cost 55,000-60,000 points one-way

Unfortunately the value of that will get significantly worse shortly, as you’re looking at $434 in fuel surcharges alone, and that doesn’t even account for taxes and other fees.

This is bad news for those redeeming select miles

Bottom line

All Nippon Airways will once again be significantly increasing fuel surcharges as of October 1, 2022. ANA had more or less eliminated these until early 2022, and then increased them to reflect higher oil prices. At least that was the case until now — I’m not sure how ANA can justify increasing fuel surcharges while oil prices are decreasing.

The biggest implication here is for those redeeming points, 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?

Conversations (29)
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  1. Brandon Guest

    @lucky - looking to book first or biz to HND or NRT in Jan/Feb and can't find partner availability in any US departure city. Seats are for sale, so any idea why everything is so blacked out?

  2. Tom Guest

    Kerosene is derived from crude oil, whose transactions are usually in USD, especially after Russian oil was blocked. The bulk of ANA's income is denominated in JPY, which has deprecated the most against USD among major currencies. The exchange rate history roughly aligns with ANA's increasing fuel surcharge over 2022.

  3. NYGuy24 Gold

    Hmm all those people listening to the blogs and transferring miles to virgin Atlantic for the so called ANA sweet spot are in for a rude awakening. Little tip, when bloggers post about something endlessly those opportunities tend to disappear. Award space was already tight with japan opening it up. Now you will have all the people that need to be spoonfed travel redemptions from bloggers lining up trying to redeem for few to any...

    Hmm all those people listening to the blogs and transferring miles to virgin Atlantic for the so called ANA sweet spot are in for a rude awakening. Little tip, when bloggers post about something endlessly those opportunities tend to disappear. Award space was already tight with japan opening it up. Now you will have all the people that need to be spoonfed travel redemptions from bloggers lining up trying to redeem for few to any available award space. Hope you like sitting on a pile VS miles.

  4. Art_Czar Member

    A couple of recent DPs booking NH award flights using VS miles -
    LAX-HND in J (stopover) HND- DEL in J - 80k +$311USD
    DEL-HND in J (stopover) HND-LAX in F - 90k + $339USD

    1. VJ Guest

      Would this itinerary have worked out better with United miles -93.5k + low surcharges ? Any reason you used VS miles for this booking ?

  5. Lee Guest

    ANA's "sweet spot" via Virgin Atlantic has turned sour! No availability on any of the usual websites to search for awards, UAL, Aeroplan, ANA. Award flights out to Sept. 2023 are waitlisted on ANA (what does that mean?) and are no longer the magical 90,000 pts. RT. They are now listed as 175,000 on ANA, and the same on UAL, Aeroplan etc. Seems like that "sweet spot" doesn't exist anymore! What experiences do other folks...

    ANA's "sweet spot" via Virgin Atlantic has turned sour! No availability on any of the usual websites to search for awards, UAL, Aeroplan, ANA. Award flights out to Sept. 2023 are waitlisted on ANA (what does that mean?) and are no longer the magical 90,000 pts. RT. They are now listed as 175,000 on ANA, and the same on UAL, Aeroplan etc. Seems like that "sweet spot" doesn't exist anymore! What experiences do other folks have trying to find award flights from SFO/LAX to Tokyo next year?

    1. David Diamond

      Nothing has changed with Virgin Atlantic's redemption rate. I think you are incredibly confused as you are constantly referring to what is "listed on ANA". There is no "listing", 175k sounds suspiciously like you're looking at ANA's own program's redemption rate for ANA flights, not Virgin Atlantic. There is an award chart you can find on Virgin Atlantic, it is the same as always.

    2. Joe Jones Guest

      ANA awards still exist but you have to be flexible and search frequently. Expertflyer notifications are very helpful. I have a booking in F on HND-LAX near the end of October, bagged about a month ago for approx. 100k UA miles.

  6. brianna hoffner Member

    I'm really surprised you didn't know this, Lucky, but ANA ties it's fuel surcharges to the Singapore index for jetfuel kerosene. They use a rolling window for price evaluation and its deployment to the ticketing system. If you look at that index and those timing windows, the prices make sense. Currently:

    Ticket date: October - November
    Price announced: 2nd half of August
    Price determined by: The average price from June to July

    I'd...

    I'm really surprised you didn't know this, Lucky, but ANA ties it's fuel surcharges to the Singapore index for jetfuel kerosene. They use a rolling window for price evaluation and its deployment to the ticketing system. If you look at that index and those timing windows, the prices make sense. Currently:

    Ticket date: October - November
    Price announced: 2nd half of August
    Price determined by: The average price from June to July

    I'd post a link but your commenting system always kicks the comment into the penalty box when it contains a link. On ANA's Website the page is called "Revision of the Fuel Surcharge" and it shows all of the price windows. A quick search can find you that and the Singapore jet fuel index.

    1. brianna hoffner Member

      That said, I'm trying to help a friend who's got a bunch of miles marooned at ANA and for what it's worth, the fuel charges for partner redemptions on EVA are much lower... But you still have to do a 3 day quarantine to be a tourist in Taiwan. He's banking on that going away before his miles expire in March.

    2. David Guest

      Taiwan Quarantine should be coming to an end in October, hope that helps.

    3. Jesper Guest

      Don't let facts get in the way of a headline that will attract many clicks!

  7. TimR Guest

    Aeroplan is great for Pacific NW routes in Biz (total distance less than 5K) which would price to 55K without the surcharges

  8. Bob Guest

    I had multiple ANA business class tix on reward throughout the pandemic and kept rebooking because I couldn't use the tickets. The first one in 2020 was sfo-haneda 85k points plus $270 tax. 2nd one rebooked sept 2022 was 85k and $477. Was looking to rebook again between now and may 2023. All waitlisted (I'm searching from sfo, lax, jfk, yvr to tokyo). Zippo. And if I did take the waitlisted tix it's $877. While...

    I had multiple ANA business class tix on reward throughout the pandemic and kept rebooking because I couldn't use the tickets. The first one in 2020 was sfo-haneda 85k points plus $270 tax. 2nd one rebooked sept 2022 was 85k and $477. Was looking to rebook again between now and may 2023. All waitlisted (I'm searching from sfo, lax, jfk, yvr to tokyo). Zippo. And if I did take the waitlisted tix it's $877. While point wise it's low, the hassle of the ticket and cost is not worth it.

    1. Andrew Guest

      Might have better luck with ORD.

  9. dave Guest

    Just paid ~$400usd taxes for a Korean Air award mix of J and F TYO-USA

  10. Andrew Diamond

    I had booked one business segment in January once I heard they reopened (SFO -> HND) - I was already surprised it was in the $350+ ballpark. Still wishing I hadn't collected so many VS miles. It won't be long until these fees are like redeeming for VS metal in/out of London.

  11. Eskimo Guest

    Fuel Surcharge
    Resort Fees

    Nothing but greedy cash grab.

  12. Trey Guest

    Thanks for finally writing about this; many have been complaining that awards on ANA via Virgin and ANA's own program just aren't worth it with the high fuel charges. It absolutely doesn't make sense to book Economy and Premium Economy awards if YQ is gonna be $800+ roundtrip. Even for Business awards, you'd have to be saving 40k+ miles (roundtrip) to book via ANA or Virgin.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Not saying this is Ben specifically, but showing luxe cabins and IG-worthy images is a main driver of card applications. The ANA myth has really declining rapidly in the last 8 months between scarce availability and the fees associated.

      My guess is that VS will renegotiate to cost at least 80k miles each way for first class at some point, and then it won't be any different than redeeming AA miles for JAL F. At that point, the hype cycle will definitely be over.

  13. Andrew Guest

    I’ve got ANA F next week booked with virgin Atlantic. So happy I purchased these before all the massive fuel increases this year.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Andrew

      I have EK F next week DXB-JFK and the new fuel surcharges were $637. I think it was 140K skywards. I’m more excited about RJ business class this week on the way out. Fuel charges $5 and 70K AA miles or so.

      Let us know what champagne you get on ANA. Salon ? I’m going to sample the Jordanian wines.

  14. Raylan Guest

    Short answer: because they can.

    Longer answer: they are aware that a significant number of ANA members are sitting on high account balances, so demand for flights with Japan reopening meaningfully outstrips award supply. Those miles will expire so for people looking to redeem for award travel, their pricing is inelastic; they'll pay whatever the taxes and fees are.

  15. vic Guest

    Years ago, JAL surcharges (for emirates) went from minimal to the thousands of USD, I filed a DoT complaint, and they reversed my transfer to Starpoints, this seems like a similar play? Japan has been closed and they have been "generously extending mileage validity", I've kept miles in my ANA account to be able to actually use them, and now they are adding fees and I still cannot use them.

  16. TravelerMike Guest

    This post focused on flights to Japan ... what about the impact to the ANA Around The World awards? Does this impact those too?

    1. Cam Guest

      This is about legs flown on ANA booked with programs that pass along fuel surcharges. This affects RTWs if you book a RTW with a leg (or legs) on ANA as the cost of those legs will increase sharply.

  17. John Ryan Guest

    What's interesting about these fuel surcharges is that there's a chance that if you are paying in GBP, you can get a great deal, as it is now almost equal to the dollar, if that makes sense.

  18. Nate Guest

    Just another stealth price increase, currency devaluation. Why best to build transferrable currency hoards with cash out/statement credit backup options better than building a lot of currency with a specific airline/hotel.

  19. Alonzo Diamond

    Japan out here trying to get their money back. One way or another, we all pay for the pandemic and the havoc is caused. Nothing is free.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

brianna hoffner Member

I'm really surprised you didn't know this, Lucky, but ANA ties it's fuel surcharges to the Singapore index for jetfuel kerosene. They use a rolling window for price evaluation and its deployment to the ticketing system. If you look at that index and those timing windows, the prices make sense. Currently: Ticket date: October - November Price announced: 2nd half of August Price determined by: The average price from June to July I'd post a link but your commenting system always kicks the comment into the penalty box when it contains a link. On ANA's Website the page is called "Revision of the Fuel Surcharge" and it shows all of the price windows. A quick search can find you that and the Singapore jet fuel index.

3
David Diamond

Nothing has changed with Virgin Atlantic's redemption rate. I think you are incredibly confused as you are constantly referring to what is "listed on ANA". There is no "listing", 175k sounds suspiciously like you're looking at ANA's own program's redemption rate for ANA flights, not Virgin Atlantic. There is an award chart you can find on Virgin Atlantic, it is the same as always.

2
John Ryan Guest

What's interesting about these fuel surcharges is that there's a chance that if you are paying in GBP, you can get a great deal, as it is now almost equal to the dollar, if that makes sense.

2
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