All Nippon Airways (ANA)–a Japanese Star Alliance carrier–launches a new route between Tokyo-Haneda and Vancouver from March 30, 2014.
Saver award space is excellent on the route in economy and business class. You can book the space this week–by January 31, 2014–with United miles at pre-devaluation rates. You can also book the award space with US Airways miles until March 30, 2014 when US Airways leaves the Star Alliance, which will end its partnership with ANA.
How good is the award space? Where does ANA connect to/from Haneda? What Star Alliance flights fly into Vancouver?
Vancouver to Tokyo-Haneda is a great strategic addition to Star Alliance route network.
Because flights from the US to Japan take off heading northwest, connecting in Vancouver is a more direct routing for most people heading to Asia from the Western US than connecting in Los Angeles or San Francisco would be.
The Award Space
For all calendars below:
- Green means Saver award space in economy and business class that day on the direct ANA flight.
- Blue means Saver award space in business class but not economy that day on the direct ANA flight.
- Yellow means Saver award space in economy but not business class that day on the direct ANA flight.
- White means no Saver award space in either cabin that day on the direct ANA flight.
Vancouver to Tokyo-Haneda
Award space is wide open on the route in both directions. From Vancouver to Tokyo, award space is nearly perfect in April and May in economy and business class for one passenger.
Even for two passengers, award space is pretty good in both cabins, though fewer days have two business class seats than economy seats.
Tokyo-Haneda to Vancouver
The picture for June and July for one passenger returning from Tokyo is similarly rosy in business class.
Space for a pair of travelers is far worse this summer than for one passenger.
From Tokyo-Haneda, ANA connects throughout Japan and Asia.
To and from Vancouver, United, US Airways, and Air Canada fly from several American cities.
While this is great, widely available space to Asia, there is one big drawback. The airplane operating the route–an ANA 767-300–does not have fully flat business class beds. Some of their 767s have recliners in business and some have angled lie flat seats.
Booking the Flights
ANA flights can be searched on united.com. Here’s a guide to searching united.com. Once you find the space you want, you have to book the flights with the airline whose miles you’re using. If using united.com, book on united.com. If booking with US Airways, call US Airways at 800-622-1015.
United and US Airways never collect fuel surcharges on award tickets. Most other Star Alliance partners will collect fuel surcharges on ANA flights.
Getting the Miles
United miles are extremely easy to rack up.
The United card, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus are all options to earn United miles. (The latter three all earn Ultimate Rewards that transfer 1:1 instantly to United, or can be transferred to nine other hotels/airlines.)