Our big trip to Japan is about to start so I went to check in today and encountered some difficulty getting ANA's website to find my reservation. I couldn't find anything about this online so I thought I'd post this for other folks if they have the same problem. We'd booked two All Nippon Airways seats through United.com using our United miles.
UPDATE: after our recent trip to Asia, I found that most Asian airlines do some variation of this, either "BrianL" or "BrianLee" goes into the First Name field.
First off, before you visit ANA's website to check in, visit United.com and view your reservation. There should be a link called "View additional confirmation numbers", which opens a popup with ANA's internal reference number for your flight. Do not use the United number.
|Not the other confirmation number hiding in this pop-up|
Second, when you go to the ANA check-in page, make sure you enter your first name followed immediately by your middle initial in the First Name box. In the picture below you see how someone called Joe M. Smith would enter his. You're then prompted to enter your passport information and print your boarding pass normally.