One of Velocity’s newest partnerships is with All Nippon Airways (ANA). Virgin has only recently opened redemptions through their website and reciprocal benefits, allowing you to take full advantage of the partnership between the two airlines. ANA has an extensive network throughout Japan and to key destinations in Europe and North America, allowing an alternate route to travel from Australia over Singapore or the Middle East. On top of this, taxes and carrier charges are generally low. ANA offers a very well-regarded product that proves to be a great use of your Velocity points. Here’s our guide on how to earn Velocity points on ANA and redeem them for travel to Japan and onwards.
How to earn Velocity points on ANA
Like other Velocity partners, you can earn points and status credits on ANA flights if you insert your Velocity frequent flyer number into your booking. Make sure the flight is either an ANA flight operated on an ANA airplane or a Virgin Australia codeshare. This means it needs a flight number starting with NH or VA. Ensure that the flight is not operated by another airline on behalf of ANA, as this will not earn you any points. Below is the table of points that you can earn per mile flown on flights with an NH flight number. Unfortunately, this caps out at 1.5 points per mile even in First Class. Flights booked with a VA codeshare on ANA will earn points consistent with other VA flights to international destinations. This maxes out at 2 points per mile flown for Business Class.
How to redeem Velocity points on ANA
Now that ANA’s flights have been added to Velocity’s booking system, booking them is much easier than previously. ANA fly from Sydney daily and Perth three times per week. From here, you can redeem flights to Tokyo Haneda and connect to other destinations in Japan, the US or Europe. While Australia to Japan and Asia routes are available on Virgin’s website, finding availability for flights to Europe can be difficult. I found the best way to find ANA reward seats to Europe and the US is to use United Airline’s website. If you sign up for their frequent flyer program (for free), you can look for points bookings and should hopefully see more availability between Japan and Europe or Japan and the US. Once you’ve found your desired flight, the best way to book these is through Virgin’s call centre.
Regarding redemption rates, ANA offers some competitive rates and very low taxes compared to Virgin’s other partners, like Qatar. In addition, finding last-minute availability is quite possible, with seats available as little as a week in advance. This offers a good value proposition for me, especially when other airlines have long run out of reward seats. For instance, this flight from Tokyo to Honolulu on ANA’s unique Flying Honu A380 can be booked just before Christmas!
Flights from Sydney to Tokyo can be had for 42,000 points in economy and only $90 in taxes, which is excellent value when you consider how easy it can be to accumulate Velocity points through churning.
Using the Velocity-ANA partnership to travel around Japan
Japan has become a very popular travel destination in the last few years. It’s a very safe country with a unique culture and many natural and artificial sights. In addition, it’s incredibly easy to travel around by flying or taking the train with a comprehensive intercity network. Recently, due to the falling value of the Japanese Yen, travel has become cheaper for tourists, which is why this is a destination to look at for your next holiday. There is always something to do regardless of the time of year that you visit.
Tokyo is a massive city with a population of nearly 40 million people. You can take several day trips outside of Tokyo, such as Lake Chuzenji in Nikko. At only 2.5 hours out of the city by train, it provides stunning landscapes, especially in Autumn and Spring, with changing colours and beautiful cherry blossoms.
One of the perks of flying with ANA using Velocity points is you can now get to Tokyo nonstop. For those who want to see more of Japan, Tokyo is a great hub for taking a short domestic flight (which you can book with points again) to the ski slopes in Sapporo or the beautiful temples in Osaka. An advantage here is domestic flights have very low taxes. It’s only $7 if you’re flying from Tokyo to Sapporo. Remember, if you have some Qantas points, you can also book flights with Japan Airlines, pay no taxes for domestic flights, and get an equally great experience.
The new partnership between ANA and Velocity allows you to earn and redeem points on a new airline and provides a new route to experience not only the unique culture of Japan but also an alternate route to Europe and the US. More options are always better regarding points redemptions and open up the possibility of redeeming some last-minute seats.