Next trip to Japan on ANA with Virgin Atlantic miles?

We love Japan and have been wanting to go back, but it's tough with American employer standards for annual vacation days 😜. At this point we're hoping for a couple of weeks in Autumn and I suuuure wouldn't mind repeating our ANA First Class flight! We're both fresh out of United miles, though, so that means we'd need to either:
  • transfer Chase points to United and do a partner redemption, or
  • transfer Amex points to ANA and redeem with them or
  • something a bit more obscure...
Well, looking through one of Reddit's travel forums today I was reminded of an option I'd completely forgotten about: Virgin Atlantic. Not only are their partner redemptions for ANA very reasonably-priced, Virgin can accept incoming transfers from both American Express AND Chase Sapphire. According to this link and this link, the transfers are instantaneous. Sadly, one-way rewards aren't permitted.

Apparently people are using to check individual dates for ANA availability and then calling Virgin to book (they don't have online partner reward booking yet on Virgin's site). Again, I've never done this myself (this person has), but it sounds like a great option despite their recent devaluation and new peak dates policy.

So I created a new Flying Club account, searched United for Saver First Class availability on ANA and called Virgin's main US number. I had a live person on the phone with about a 5 minute wait and he was able to confirm the availability and price: 120,000 Virgin miles + US$85 for a round-trip flight in First! (United charges 220,000 points + $11 for that same ANA flight!). The agent offered to put the flight on hold for 72 hours until my points could be transferred in.

Sadly, though, a family emergency arose and the dates I'd chosen didn't work any longer, but I wanted to mention it since it's such a great deal compared to booking that very same flight with United.

Once I get new dates for the trip I'll definitely keep this option in mind!


  1. So was this 120k miles for ANA F or UA F? We're thinking of Japan in the fall too, and ANA F would be awesome :)

  2. 120k for ANA First (I updated it to be a little more clear). Keep us in the loop about dates – it'd be fun to go out for some food and drink in TYO together!


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