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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Airline, ANA, Barclays Arrival, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase United Explorer, Credit Cards, United Airlines | 0 comments

Flight Review: ANA First Class Square from Chicago to Tokyo

After stopping over at Charlotte for my friend’s wedding, my wife and I continued on to Japan for a week-long vacation at Tokyo then Hiroshima and Miyajima. We flew ANA First Class Square going to Tokyo and flew United BusinessFirst coming back to New York City from Hiroshima. By using United Airline’s MileagePlus miles and booking a round-trip, we were able to get one free stopover and one free open jaw. The free stopover meant our flight down to Charlotte was free, and the free open jaw meant we could fly back home from Hiroshima even though we flew into Tokyo.

 

How You Can Do It

We booked our award flights before United Airlines completely changed their award chart and increased mileage prices substantially especially for nicer Star Alliance airlines, such as ANA. While you can still book the same ANA First Class Square flight, the number of United miles needed is so high I wouldn’t recommend doing so. Instead, I recommend using United MileagePlus miles to book flights on United Airlines since it is a better deal. For United States to Japan, the cost for a one-way ticket on United Airlines is just 65,000 miles for business or 80,000 miles for first class.

You can obtain free United MileagePlus miles by collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards points then transferring the points over to United. Some of the best credit cards with big signup bonuses for Ultimate Rewards points include the following: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Bold, Chase United Explorer.

 

To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

The taxes and fees for our award flights were $50.80 a person so you can use the Barclays Arrival credit card to pay then redeem part of the 44,000 miles signup bonus for the charges so that you end up paying nothing.

 

ANA First Class Square

We flew flight NH11 from ORD-NRT (Chicago to Tokyo) by flying Charlotte to Chicago beforehand. This ANA flight features the new ANA First Class Square seats, which are designed for better privacy. Because ANA and United Airlines are both in the Star Alliance, ANA First Class passengers can use the United Global First Lounge in Chicago.

 

United Global First Lounge

United Global First Lounge

Shower rooms

Shower rooms

Lounge area with seats and power outlets

Lounge area with seats and power outlets

A variety of drinks

A variety of drinks

More drinks and cold food

More drinks and cold food

You can order complimentary hot food as well

You can order complimentary hot food as well

I had an instant noodle

I had an instant noodle

ANA First Class Square seat

ANA First Class Square seat

ANA First Class Square cabin left side

ANA First Class Square cabin left side

ANA First Class Square cabin right side

ANA First Class Square cabin right side

Large TV, Rimowa amenity kit, and Sony noise cancelling headphones

Large TV, Rimowa amenity kit, and Sony noise cancelling headphones

You can take the pajamas home, but the cardigan is for use on the plane only

You can take the pajamas home, but the cardigan is for use on the plane only

Large foot rest and storage area

Large foot rest and storage area

A storage area pulls out from the foot area

A storage area pulls out from the foot area

My wife and I sat next to one another and could communicate through this window, but if you were traveling by yourself, you can close the panel for complete privacy

My wife and I sat next to one another and could communicate through this window, but if you were traveling by yourself, you can close the panel for complete privacy

Side panel with various storage spaces

Side panel with various storage spaces

Seat remote control

Seat remote control

A useful holder for phones and glasses

A useful holder for phones and glasses

The bathroom is always kept clean and even has a foot platform for changing so you don't have to stand on the floor

The bathroom is always kept clean and even has a foot platform for changing so you don’t have to stand on the floor

Nice sink

Nice sink

I don't really take pictures of food since I eat it right away but here are a few pictures of the menu starting with the Kaiseki menu

I don’t really take pictures of food since I eat it right away but here are a few pictures of the menu starting with the Kaiseki menu

Modern European menu

Modern European menu

Snacks menu

Snacks menu

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

I did take a picture of the Ippudo ramen snack, which was good but not anything like ramen you get at an actual Ippudo

I did take a picture of the Ippudo ramen snack, which was good but not anything like ramen you get at an actual Ippudo

ANA First Class Square Seat in bed mode

ANA First Class Square Seat in bed mode

High quality AiR mattress and Angel Float pillow

High quality AiR mattress and Angel Float pillow

Spacious leg room when sleeping

Spacious leg room when sleeping

 

The Main Point

ANA First Class Square is definitely a fantastic first class seat with great service. After United changed their MileagePlus award chart, however, I recommend flying on United Airlines instead, which still offers a nice seat as I’ll review in an upcoming post. Using the right combination of airline miles and points, which I received for free from opening credit cards, I was able to book the ticket without paying any cash. Just remember to be financially responsible and pay off your credit card balances every month, cancel the credit cards before the annual fee hits, and use Amazon Payments to meet credit card minimum spending requirements rather than actually spend any money. Hopefully, that will help you plan the ultimate wedding and an unforgettable honeymoon while paying next to nothing.

 

Disclaimer: I may receive referral credit for some of the links above, which I appreciate

 

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