All Nippon Airways (ANA) business class is one of the most sought-after flying experiences for the Miles & Points community.
A five-course Japanese set menu, an industry-leading hard product, and excellent Japanese hospitality are just some of the reasons why ANA is a favourite to cross the Pacific and beyond.
In this guide, let’s take a look at the ANA business class experience from start to finish. As well, let’s have a look at the best ways to book the product using a Miles & Points strategy.
The ANA Business Class Experience
Prior to getting into the plane, passengers flying ANA business class will enjoy complimentary access to the ANA Lounge. The flagship lounges are naturally at ANA’s global hubs in Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Tokyo-Haneda (HND).
While the ANA Lounge may not rank amongst the best business class lounges in the world, you’ll still enjoy an array of delicious food and drink, as well as comfortable seating as you wait for your flight.
When at the ANA Lounge, be sure to try out the signature chicken curry, which you can savour while enjoying the views of the tarmac.
Other amenities offered include shower rooms available for freshening up before a flight, as well as a relaxation zone with massage chairs.
Where there isn’t an ANA Lounge, you’ll have access to a lounge operated by a Star Alliance partner or a third-party provider.
The seats and amenities on ANA business class are amongst the best you can find on any business class product – especially if you find yourself flying “The Room”.
One of the widest business class seats in the industry, The Room comes equipped with a 24-inch, 4K inflight entertainment screen. Along with abundant storage space, the seat includes a control panel, which allows you to fully customize the configuration of your lie-flat seat.
Not to be missed is its defining feature: a sliding door, which ensconces you from the rest of the cabin.
If you do happen to find yourself on the older business class product marketed as ANA Business Staggered, fret not – you’ll still get to enjoy a lie-flat bed with abundant legroom.
Whichever version of ANA business class product you find yourself taking, you’ll receive an amenity kit by luggage brand Globe-Trotter on long-haul flights.
Food and Drink
Upon boarding, you’ll be offered a welcome beverage – a choice between Champagne or orange juice.
Catering is one of stand-out features of ANA business class. On all flights, passengers are offered a choice between the Japanese (Washoku) menu and the International menu.
Both menus feature five courses. With the Washoku menu, you’ll be treated to a zenzai (selection of morsels), kobachi (tasty tidbits), kimono (simmered plate), shusai (main course), rice, and dessert.
Meanwhile, should you opt for the International menu, you’ll enjoy dishes like beef fillet steak & sorel mushroom with Madeira wine sauce, and sautéed chilean sea bass & scallop with fennel butter sauce.
To accompany your meal, you can choose from a wide variety of beverages, including sake, shochu, and top-shelf Japanese whiskey. You can also try the signature kabosu, which is a citrusy honey drink.
Keep in mind that meal service can vary greatly if you’re departing late at night – in which case, you’ll be presented with an overnight menu, also known as reduced service. The five-course meal is whittled down to three courses.
ANA Business Class Cabin
If you’re flying business class with ANA, there’s always a chance that you end up on the older business class product, which doesn’t quite offer the same allure as “The Room”.
Fortunately, at the time of booking, you’ll see the aircraft type and seat map on your prospective flights, or alternatively, you can use tools, such as Expertflyer and SeatGuru. Note, however, that there might sometimes be last-minute aircraft swaps.
The Room (Boeing 777-300ER)
On aircraft equipped with “The Room”, 64 business class suites take up rows 5–20. The seats alternate between facing forward and backward.
Odd-numbered rows are backward-facing and are closer to the window, while even-numbered rows are forward-facing but closer to the aisle.
If you’re travelling alone, select any of the “A” or “K” seats with an odd number to be close to the window. For more privacy, try to get a seat on rows 5, 17, or 19, which are on the forward and aft mini-cabins.
On the other hand, for seats in the middle, odd numbered rows are closer together, while even-numbered rows are further apart. If you’re travelling as a couple, select any of the “E” or “F” seats with an odd number, as these are the so-called “honeymoon” seats.
There are only nine 777-300ER aircraft with this refreshed hard product, so they’re only on rotation on a handful of long-haul routes.
ANA Business Staggered (Boeing 787, Boeing 777, and Airbus A380)
ANA Business Staggered is the branding for the “older” seats, which are still a solid product. Configuration on aircraft featuring these seats are similar – seats are positioned 1-2-1, with each seat having direct aisle access. Since seats are staggered, “A” and “K” seats are closer to the window, offering more privacy. These seats are ideal for solo travellers.
The middle seats, meanwhile, are more or less the same. A console separates each seat, so none of them are “honeymoon” seats. However, Boeing 787-8 aircraft, you’ll find “F” seats that are spacious “throne” seats, or middle seats that take up the space of two seats.
ANA Business Cradle (Boeing 787 and Boeing 767)
ANA Business Cradle seats are on older Boeing 787 and Boeing 767 aircraft. The seats transform into angled-flat beds, making them an outdated product these days.
An upside of these cradle-style seats is the ample legroom, which is less constricting than footwells in pod-style seats.
On Boeing 787 aircraft, seats are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, while on Boeing 767 aircraft, seats are arranged 2-1-2.
Short-Haul Business Class (Airbus A320)
For short hops, you might find yourself on a narrowbody Airbus A320. Business class seats on these aircraft are recliners arranged in a 2-2 configuration.
ANA Business Class Routes
Most of ANA’s destinations are within Asia, but the airline also operates several routes in Europe, Oceania, and North America. You can expect business class to be offered on all international flights.
The Room is usually offered on certain flight schedules from Tokyo to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and London. Still, you should check if your specific flight is offering The Room.
The easiest way to tell if your plane will feature The Room is through the ANA website. During your search, flights that offer it are marked with “The Room” branding.
How to Redeem Points for ANA Business Class
ANA is a member of Star Alliance; thus, there are several loyalty programs through which you can make a booking. However, let’s start with ANA’s in-house program, Mileage Club.
The program isn’t a transfer partner of any bank in Canada. In the US, meanwhile, American Express allows Membership Rewards points to be transferred to the program at a rate of 1 MR point = 1 mile.
When redeeming for ANA business class, Mileage Club has three pricing tiers: low season, regular season, and high season. You can think of it as ANA’s way to impose dynamic pricing.
For international awards, redemptions are priced by geographic zone, and connecting flights are priced based on the zone of the origin and the final destination.
This means that a Vancouver-Tokyo-Manila redemption isn’t priced as the total cost of Vancouver-Tokyo and Tokyo-Manila flights. Rather, the redemption is priced as Vancouver (Zone 6) to Manila (Zone 3).
The biggest caveat of redeeming ANA business class flights through Mileage Club is that awards may only be booked as round trips.
You may somewhat skirt this rule by booking open-jaws. For purposes of redemption, Canada and the US are considered one country, as are all countries in Europe. Hence, you may redeem Vancouver-Tokyo and Tokyo-Seattle flights as a round trip, should you find availability this way.
Air Canada Aeroplan
For those in Canada, the easiest way to book ANA business class is naturally through Aeroplan. After all, Aeroplan points are the easiest airline currency to accrue in Canada, since several banks issue co-branded credit cards.
Up to 100,000 Aeroplan points†
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points†
Up to 100,000 Aeroplan points
95,000 Aeroplan points
45,000 Aeroplan points
45,000 Aeroplan points
60,000 Aeroplan points
90,000 Aeroplan points
Up to 20,000 Aeroplan points†
10,000 Aeroplan points
Aeroplan is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.
70,000 MR points
120,000 MR points
75,000 MR points
Up to 77,000 MR points
100,000 MR points
30,000 MR points
Flights between North America, Japan, and most of Asia fall under Aeroplan’s North America–Pacific redemption chart.
A nonstop flight from Canada and the contiguous US to Japan falls under the 5,001-7,500 distance band. Therefore, a seat in ANA business class, assuming you find availability, would cost only 75,000 Aeroplan points per way.
Since ANA only flies to Vancouver, Canadians may alternatively add a connecting flight to a US city, without crossing over to a higher distance band.
ANA’s flights to Europe also fall under the second distance band of the Pacific–Atlantic chart, meaning that a flight between Tokyo and London or Frankfurt would cost 80,000 points.
Keep in mind that, under Aeroplan rules, you’re permitted to add a stopover in Japan of up to 45 days for only 5,000 points.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club charges fewer miles for ANA business class redemptions, but remember that the program passes on fuel surcharges.
In the US, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a transfer partner of American Express US Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. You may convert points from all these programs at a rate of 1 point = 1 Virgin Point.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club uses individual redemption charts for non-SkyTeam partners, such as ANA. Here’s the ANA redemption chart per round-trip:
While Virgin Atlantic Flying Club recently devalued ANA First Class rewards, the business class “sweet spot” still exists. A direct business class flight from the West Coast to Japan costs only 45,000 Virgin Points per way, while flying from the East Coast will set you back only 47,500 Virgin Points per way.
ANA Business Class Availability
ANA serves several North American cities, so you should be able to locate space if you’re flexible with your departure city and dates.
Availability in ANA business class tends to be reliable if you’re looking for one passenger. You might find flights with two award seats, but they’re rare.
As with most highly-aspirational awards, you’ll also want to book as far in advance as possible. Japan sees strong demand as a destination, especially during spring for cherry blossom season, and summer for festivals.
Alternatively, you can try checking for last-minute awards that open up or end up being cancelled by other travellers.
Tying all these tips together, a good strategy to book ANA business class awards is to start searching 9–12 months in advance, and maintain some degree of flexibility in terms of dates and departure/connecting city.
Tips & Tricks for ANA Business Class
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you score coveted ANA business class seats.
ANA Mileage Club’s Award Calendar
The ANA website features an award calendar, which allows you to easily visualize availability for ANA flights from Japan to all of its international destinations for the coming months.
To access the calendar, click on “Flight Awards” on the ANA homepage. After logging into your ANA Mileage Club account, you’ll see the “Award Calendar” link.
Monitoring Award Seats
Since ANA business class seats awards are frankly quite difficult to score, you’d benefit from knowing general best practices in booking them.
Foremost, ANA tends to open up award availability starting at 355 days out, and seats are generally released at 9am Japan time, which corresponds to 8pm EST.
Meanwhile, for close-in availability, trends indicate that ANA releases business class award seats 21 days before departure, at around 6–7pm EST.
Lastly, out of all of the North American airports, New York is by far the most competitive ANA destination, so you should consider flying out of other airports.
As always, you could use tools, such as ExpertFlyer and AwardLogic, to help you monitor award seats.
ANA offers one of the best business class products in the world, and everyone wants to visit Japan these days. It’s then no wonder that ANA business class is one of the most sought-after awards in the Miles & Points game.
Whether you’re wanting to book “The Room” or ANA’s staggered seats, you should leverage the tips and tricks we’ve outlined above, so you can find yourself enjoying ANA business class soon enough.