ANA has released a redesigned website featuring a brand new award search tool to coincide with its launch of a region-based award chart. There are both positive and negative changes we will unpack below.
- The positive
- No more tricking the website to search for Star Alliance partner award space
- Can now search more easily for same-day award space
- Can now search for more than four award seats (up to nine)
- Economy Class 7-day scrolling availability not just for direct flights
- Tool now offers more creative routing options
- The negative
- Key award space does not show (see below)
- Searching for premium cabin award space is now more cumbersome
- The ability to easily toggle between dates no longer exists for business or first class
- Website is buggy — frequent error messages when using 7-day search
Here’s how to navigate through the new website and search for award space:
Step I: Log onto ana.com, choose country/language
Step II: Click on the ANA Mileage Club link and log into your account
My previous link to the ANA search tool no longer works, though my AMC number remained stored. Here is the new link.
Step III: Near the bottom of the page is a “Members Service” box. Click on ANA International Flight Awards to search for Star Alliance award flights.
Step IV: Your now have two options to search: economy class round-trip or other classes / itineraries
Previously, you also had a simple round-trip search or a search for other classes/itineraries. Now, the round-trip search is for economy class only. There is what appears to be a drop-down menu indicating “class” but economy class is the only option.
You can still click on the other tab and search for premium cabin space, but you do not have the option to check the “Compare seat availability +/- 3 days” box if you do not click on the economy class round-trip search tab.
For example, let’s search for a round-trip economy class trip between Los Angeles and Frankfurt:
You can now search for up to nine award seats at once (the previous limit was four):
Before, you would need to have the three-character IATA airport code memorized or find it on a cumbersome drop-down list. Now, as you enter the city name the city will be populated into the “From” and “To” boxes.
Clicking on search brings up a calendar with available space showing “OK”
You can toggle between dates, one week at a time, to see alternate economy class availability. Previously, you could only do this when searching for non-stop flights, though you could search for space in all three cabins of service. Now, you can only search for economy class, but all available itineraries will be searched, not just non-stop flights.
Click continue and you will see the flight options–note that Star Alliance and other partner options now show up immediately. Previously, you could not view non-ANA partner availability without miles in your account or a workaround trick:
If you click through to continue, you will see the mileage and taxes/fees required to complete the booking. If you do no have sufficient points, you will encounter an error message.
Step V: Click on other classes / itineraries if you wish to search for premium cabin space.
Clicking on other classes / itineraries will bring you the search page below:
You must enter at least two segments to search or you will receive the following error message:
Let’s search for a trip between Los Angeles Seoul. All three cabins are searched and now color-coded green for economy class, blue for business class, and red for first class:
Same-day searches are now much easier than before. For example, I searched for space between LAX and ICN departing today and business class availability shows available.
However, you still must book award travel at least 96 hours in advance. If you are searching for multiple segments and the first one is within 96 hours, you cannot go on to the next flight but will instead receive this error message–
There is no way to toggle between dates other than clicking on “Modify Search” and re-enter your dates. This is a real letdown.
The new site is still buggy. I encountered this error message on several occasions, often when clicking through on dates that showed available award space–
WARNING: Not All Available Award Space is Showing
Disturbingly, the ANA search tool seems to be missing (hopefully not blocking!) award space. This is a major concern that will make this tool much less valuable if it is not fixed.
For example, say you want to travel from Honolulu to Tokyo on June 29th. United has availability in economy, business, and first class:
But none of it shows up on the ANA. A simple r/t economy search yields no results–
An other classes / itineraries search also does not reveal the space in any cabin except a convoluted economy class routing tracing back to LAX and SFO–
There are other examples as well. If not addressed, this problem will render the ANA award search tool worthless.
Brief Overview of ANA Mileage Club
ANA is an oft-overlooked American Express transfer partner which now offers a region-based award chart and high fuel surcharges.
In addition to its Star Alliance partners, ANA also partners with carriers like Etihad, Gardua, JET, and Virgin Atlantic:
ANA’s region-based award chart looks like this–
Zones are defined as follows:
ANA allows one stopover and has no close-in processing fees. Just remember that you cannot book one-way awards on ANA.
I will unpack these changes further in an upcoming post — there are some very positive changes that are now in place.
Changes to ANA Award Search Tool Are Net-Negative
I generally hate it when airlines tinker with their websites and here is no different — the new website update’s ANA early 1990s interface, but I liked the functional old interface just the way it was…
In exchange for the ability to more quickly search for economy class space, we sacrifice the ability to quickly and efficiently search for premium cabin space. Searches will now be cumbersome, but still possible and necessary to verify against the phantom award space that often pops up when searching award space with United or Aeroplan. Alarmingly, key award space is not showing. Let us hope this is just a temporary glitch, but in the meantime, you cannot solely rely on the ANA search tool to check for available award space. Hopefully this problem will sort itself out in the coming days.