Award success: ANA Round The World Award in business class for only 115,000 miles

This week our series Award success represents one of the most lucrative awards available today, the award ANA All Nippon Airways Mileage Club Round The World Ticket in business class.

The ANA Mileage Club is a specialized program that is quite undervalued outside the Asia-Pacific region, but has huge potential if one is able to constantly accumulate ANA miles.

Over the years, prizes have become increasingly stringent, especially for stopovers, which have always been my favorite feature when compiling award tickets for one of my trips.

Very few loyalty programs still allow for stopovers, but one way to combine complex routes is a Round the World ticket, and the ANA Mileage Club has the cheapest rate in the entire Star Alliance network.

Here you can enter the ANA Mileage Club, where you will learn about the conditions of the Round The World award.

This is the valuation table, which is structured according to the total distance flown:

I usually trade for an award of 20,000 miles, which costs me 115,000 miles in business class – an absolutely bargain offer! You could also receive an award for 105,000 miles, but traveling around the world with a total distance of 18,000 miles is a very challenging task and you would leave too many directions.

On the plane, even those 180,000 miles for first class would be very good, but NONE of my long-distance segments to Asiana, United, Lufthansa and THAI even offer first class, so that’s out of the question.

My ANA miles come mostly from American Express membership fees, ANA credit cards (US and Japan), as well as transfers from Marriott Bonvoy points.

Here is what I booked this time:

I would like to include a few more stops along the way, such as Taiwan and a long stopover in Japan, but that is still not possible.

Here is the complete routing:

Some segments were only available in economy class, which is not ideal (especially in Bangkok-Seoul), but it is the only way to get there. There are very few flights to Korea that have just opened, and they almost never have any awards. Too bad!

Overall, I ended up (according to the agent) with 19,280 miles, which is a small deviation from my own calculation (19,109) based on GCM. I’m not sure what ANA uses to calculate distance. I added LAX-YVR as a surface segment (non-flying segment) as I embark on a cruise along the coast. Keep in mind that these surface sectors will not count towards the total mileage.

You can change this RTW ticket free of charge, but no changes to the airline or route are allowed. I hope it doesn’t haunt me during the trip in case I need to change the date as the last time I canceled one of my flights.

Unless taxes and fees ANA MC is expensive, but not as brutal as Lufthansa Miles & More.

The whole ticket cost me $ 754.37 plus a $ 25 call center fee:

The most significant part of this is fuel surcharges, mostly from Thai Airways and Lufthansa, but also United flights from Seoul to San Francisco. I have tried my best to avoid expensive carriers, but this is currently impossible for my direction.

Here are some frequently asked Questions from the ANA website I linked to above:

  • For timetables Around the world, the required mileage is calculated according to the total mileage of the basic sector for the whole timetable. (Calculations do not include land transport sectors.)
  • Flights must be used for one crossing of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  • The flight direction of the itinerary must be from east to west or from west to east. Tracking is not allowed.
  • Up to 8 stopovers are allowed between the place of departure and the final return point. (Up to 3 stopovers are allowed in Europe and up to 4 stopovers are allowed in Japan.)
  • The departure date of the last international flight to return to the country of departure must be at least 10 days after the departure of the first international flight in the itinerary.
    Example: When you leave Japan on October 1, it will be October 1 + 10 days = October 11. The return flight to Japan must therefore be after October 11.
  • In addition to a maximum of 12 flight sectors, the itinerary may also cover a maximum of 4 land transport sectors (including travel between different airports in the same city).

The experience with booking this ticket was quite pleasant, which of course contributed to the fact that this ticket had only 6 segments and 1 surface sector and that I checked the availability of these flights in advance.

RTW tickets cannot be booked online, you must call and book it. I called the US reservation hotline ANA and was suspended for about an hour until I reached the agent. After booking, the ANA took several hours to calculate taxes and fees, and I gave them permission to issue a ticket without calling back. I put the fee on the Amex Platinum card, because it is really the only type of fee that makes sense on this card due to the 5-fold earnings.

I’m looking forward to finally getting on the road next week, especially returning to Korea after two and a half years.


ANA Mileage Club still has a number of interesting awards in its system (so far) and the Round The World award is certainly one of the most lucrative options. First and Business Class return flights are also excellent, unfortunately they do not allow international one-way flights.

This was the second time I booked an RTW award with ANA and the experience was quite enjoyable, taxes were on the higher side but not outrageous. We’ll see how the trip turns out.

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