How to pay no more than $150 for domestic flights with ANA in Japan

A guide to using Airpoints Dollars for cheap domestic Economy Class ANA redemptions

ANA Airplanes on tarmac
GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Easy
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: April 30, 2019
UPDATED: June 12, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Air New Zealand Airpoints

With my colleague Matt recently writing about his tips for travel to Japan, I thought I would share the single best travel hack I know for purchasing cheap domestic flights in Japan with ANA.

Partner Awards with ANA

As most will know, each Airpoints Dollar (APD) is worth $1 when redeemed towards flights with Air New Zealand.

While this results in unbeatable award availability — every seat on the plane is up for grabs — it also means that you are the mercy of the revenue cost of the fare.

This is where the Airpoints partner airline partner award chart comes in:

  • 125 APD will allow you to redeem for an Economy Class seat on any Star Alliance airline on one-way sectors under 1,000km.
  • 150 APD will cover all one-way sectors under 2,000km.

In Japan, this includes all regularly scheduled domestic routes serviced by Air New Zealand’s Star Alliance partner, ANA.

Example – Tokyo to Fukuoka

You have just arrived in Japan, and after a few nights in Tokyo, you decide that you want to fly to Fukuoka in the south.

Tokyo to Fukuoka ANA flight

Fukuoka

On 2 May 2019, the cheapest revenue flights on offer are with Jetstar and Peach:

List of airfares from Tokyo to Fukuoka for May 2 2019

Airpoints Gold or Elite members will likely have a preference for travelling with ANA, with benefits such as priority boarding, lounge access, and extra luggage on offer.

However, flights with ANA are considerably more expensive:

ANA prices from Tokyo to Fukuoka

Airpoints comes to the rescue, beating even the best available price on the route:

Airpoints redemption ANA Japan domestic flights

A total of 14 flights options are available on this high-frequency route

Example – Fukuoka to Sapporo

Looking to hit the ski slopes in the north of Japan, after exploring the sights in the south for a few weeks?

Tokyo to Hokkaido route

A building in Hokkaido

A flight with ANA on the 17 May would break the bank:

However, Airpoints let you redeem for the same seat for only 25% of the price:

Note that you could also fly with Peach a few days earlier for only half the price—but with no luggage allowance, no seat selection, and cramped seats, you would need to weigh up your preference for a discount airline over a full-service carrier.

How much luggage can I check on these flights?

Economy Class checked luggage on ANA’s domestic flights is free up to 20kg. More information can be found on the ANA website.

What about airline taxes and fees?

You will pay no taxes and fees on domestic award redemptions with ANA.

How do I ‘buy’ these flights?

The Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards issued by Kiwibank are the only cards that allow you to top up your Airpoints Dollars account.

As long as you have available credit on your account, you can purchase Airpoints Dollars at cost.

Simply follow the instructions here.

While you will incur a $5 fee for each top-up, you will also earn Airpoints Dollars on your spend.

Other rules to remember

  • Reward travel cannot be booked online within 3 days of departure. If your travel is within 3 days, you will need to book by phone at 0800 737 000
  • The ANA Experience Japan Fare may offer cheaper travel on some routes, especially the shorter ones, but availability can be limited. It is a good idea to compare prices before deciding the cheapest way to book
  • This redemption option is particularly good for last-minute bookings, when revenue fares can be high. If you plan your travel far in advance, revenue fares can be cheaper on some routes
  • As usual, be sure to confirm award availability before booking

Summing up

The more I explore the Airpoints partner award chart, the more I come across hidden gems like this that make the programme ever more appealing.

This is especially so in light of continuing devaluations or changes to other Star Alliance award programmes like KrisFlyer and United.

While domestic flights in Japan with low-cost carriers like Jetstar and Peach can often be found at a lower price, those who like to plan their trip as they go will find these redemptions with ANA valuable.

Have you found a great value Airpoints redemption? Let us know in the comments below.

How to pay no more than $150 for domestic flights with ANA in Japan was last modified: June 12th, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch