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By now you’ve probably seen Sam’s new inaugural video from NRT-HNL on board ANA’s A380 Flying Honu in Business Class. ANA’s product is hands down the best way to get between Japan and the Hawaiian Islands. It’s optimal not only from the gourmet food provided by Michelin Star Restaurant, Noe at the Four Seasons Resort in Oahu, or the direct lounge boarding for all premium cabin passengers. ANA has even thought about Economy Class with the Couchii and meals provided by Bills Hawaii. ANA truly put its best foot forward with launching this route. I am sure that you’re all dying to take this flight and experience the same way that Sam has in his videos. I’m here to tell you its possible to fly like this for very little points or miles even in First Class!

The best way to use your miles to fly on board the new ANA A380 product is by using United Mileage Plus Miles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles, or Avianca Lifemiles.

Heres the cost to redeem with a handful of ANA’s Partners:

Cabin ANA Mileage Club (R/T) Avianca Life Miles (O/W) United MileagePlus (O/W) Aeroplan (O/W) Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (R/T)
Economy 35,000 – 43,000 miles 27,500 miles 27,500 miles 40,000 miles 45,000 miles
Premium Economy 53,000 – 61,000 miles N/A N/A 65,000 miles N/A
Business 60,000 – 68,000 miles 48,000 miles 55,000 miles 80,000 miles 70,000 miles
First 120,000 – 129,000 miles 66,000 miles 85,000 miles 100,000 miles 90,000 miles
Taxes  + Fees Yes YesNoYesYes

While Virgin Atlantic and ANA both offer the best value, the one catch is those flights MUST be booked as a round trip and finding availability can be challenging. 

How to Earn Miles

The easiest way to earn Aeroplan Miles, Avianca Life Miles, or Virgin Atlantic Flying club points is with American Express cards! American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to all of these programs on a 1:1 basis with occasional bonuses up to 30% more points! I personally recommend The Platinum Card® from American Express as benefits include:

  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Access To American Express International Airline Program discounts
  • + More

Or the American Express® Gold Card as benefits include:

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • + More

You can learn more about The Platinum Card® from American Express here and the American Express® Gold Card here


While we really like the opportunity of getting a 30% bonus with American Express, there is a great reason to book an ANA A380 award ticket with United Airlines as well! United doesn’t pass along most of the taxes and fees when redeeming your miles. The easiest ways to earn United Airlines MilagePlus Miles is with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the United℠ Explorer Card.  Chase Ultimate Rewards Points transfer to United on a 1:1 basis. The benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include:

  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • + More

For the person who is truly dedicated to flying on United Airlines I would recommend the United℠ Explorer Card for its great benefits including:

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • + More

You can learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card here and United℠ Explorer Card here


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Comment Disclaimer: The responses in each article are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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