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.
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.
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.
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