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Searching for *A awards using the ANA Tool (and other things)

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by gpaya, Mar 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gpaya
    • Original Member

    gpaya Gold Member

    This guide is is meant as an expansion of this thread, which describes how to access the ANA tool and its basic functionality. Please review the instructions there before using this guide.

    As many of you may be aware, there is extraordinary value in redeeming miles for premium cabins across Star Alliance partners. There are a number of ways to research these awards including Award Nexus, KVS, and ExpertFlyer (as well as other paid/free services I'm probably not aware of).

    Strengths of the ANA Tool

    ANA award availability checker allows a user to search through all Star Alliance carriers to find award seats in Economy/Business/First (Y/C/F) for specified flights.

    The interface offers you two options (click on the images for full screen captures):

    1. Quick Search - good for simple round trip itineraries and single transit-point trips (e.g. JFK-NRT-JFK or JFK-FRA-NRT)

    [​IMG]

    Not a lot of availability here.

    2. Flight Search - a powerful way to search individual flights between varied transit and/or stopover points (e.g. JFK-FRA/IST/CPH/VIE-NRT or JFK-FRA-ZRH-NRT)

    [​IMG]

    And the results...

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there are many results to choose from - but at least you can see the direct flights for each route you searched. In this case, there's premium availability to FRA and coach to IST/ZRH/CPH etc. This exercise will be repeated for each leg of the trip as necessary. Remember to note the routes where you find availability. Also, note that ANA will give you all avialability regardless of connection time, which may be an issue if you are not diligent.

    How do you find available flights and flights you want?

    It's good to know the airline hubs and major connections points in the region of interest.

    For the major *A Hubs: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/star-alliance-hub-google-map.1480/

    For all *A airlines serving a certain airport: http://www.staralliance.com/en/services/destination-information/airport/

    You don't necessarily have to connect at a hub. LHR & CDG for example, are not star alliance hubs but CO/UA/AC all fly there and NH flies there from/to NRT.

    Another great tool is the Airline Route Mapper that uses flight data released on a regular basis. There, you can filter by alliance, airline, plane type, codeshare etc.

    That's all for now, I'd be happy to answer any questions or add any information if requested. Thanks to all the others who have put together the helpful tools and guides.
     
  2. kyunbit
    • Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

    great post.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  3. Steven Schwartz
    • Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Silver Member

    I was grateful to have access to the ANA search engine but it is a pain to only be able to search one day at a time - a true invitation to carpal tunnel syndrome to piece an itinerary together! I'm a flexible, leisure traveler so lots of dates work, but I have not found a way to search for a range of dates. Am I missing something?

    Altho I have to pay now, I prefer Award Nexus.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  4. gpaya
    • Original Member

    gpaya Gold Member

    While you can search a range of dates, you can easily see availability for the dates surrounding the date in question. The buttons with the two arrows (that look like fast forward/reverse) adjust the time by one day for the itinerary selected.

    For your purposes though, the only way to search multiple non-consecutive dates is the paid option.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  5. ChicagoEric
    • Original Member

    ChicagoEric Silver Member

    Is there a work-around to searching ANA for award availability inside of 7 days?
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  6. gpaya
    • Original Member

    gpaya Gold Member

    Yes - per the following (from this post):

     
    ChicagoEric and jbcarioca like this.
  7. deant
    • Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    Great information
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  8. slotownmomma
    • Original Member

    slotownmomma Silver Member

    Can someone help me. I've read this thread and the other ANA tool thread. I feel stupid. When I sign on to ANA if I go to search I only have the option to search from USA to the Region of Japan, China, Southeast Asia, India. How do I change this. I can't figure out why I don't see other regions. Can someone help?
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  9. deant
    • Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    jbcarioca likes this.
  10. slotownmomma
    • Original Member

    slotownmomma Silver Member

    Thank you I got it working. Install greasemoney and I've been searching.
    I have been trying without any luck to find 2 award tickets using United Miles from either LAX or SFO to Aruba. My dates are flexible. I am trying to go in October preferrably or end of August. I am just trying to fly out on a Wed or Thurs & return on Monday. I could be flexible on that too. I have been using ANA website, award nexus and obviously United, Continental & US Airways. I can't find anything to get me there that is only for 35,000 Saverpass. There is plenty if I fly first class but I need to save the miles.
    I have checked all the hubs and connecting cities, IAD, LGA,EWR,YYZ,PHL,CLT. It seems I can get to the hub but can not get a flight out of it to Aruba. That is where the connecting flight is the problem. I was wondering if anyone has any creative routing ideas. Routings that would not be coming up in award nexus. All the routes listed are what award nexus shows.

    Does anyone have any tips or ideas for me? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  11. deant
    • Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    I responded in the other thread where you asked the same question. You are basically doing everything right. At times there is just no award availability. You might try calling UA and see if they have any inventory that ANA is not showing. It has happened.

    Good luck.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  12. slotownmomma
    • Original Member

    slotownmomma Silver Member

    Okay...Thank you! It thought I was doing pretty much everything I could do to find a seat. I'll just keep looking.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  13. cwebb86
    • Original Member

    cwebb86 Active Member

    Used U S Air miles on LH for Business Class to Europe:
    Just redeemed 200,000 Dividend Miles for 2 business tix on LH PHL-PRG and BUD-PHL in late Sept outbound and mid-Oct return. Taxes, et al were only about $250. Think this is a good use of these miles - purchased tickets would have been almost $11,000 for the pair (not that I would have paid that!) So about 5 cents of avoided cost per mile spent.[​IMG]
    As suggested in the beginning of this thread, I used the ANA website to check partner availability. Then called US Air reservations and spoke to a very knowledgable rep - completed BOTH the ANA search and actual booking in less than 1 hour. Was a very positive experience.
     
  14. catgirl
    • Original Member

    catgirl Gold Member

    Good gravy. I must be an absolute moron. I can't for the life of me get the ANA tool to work or figure it out. :confused: I wanted to look for alternate, more fun options for an award flight already booked. Guess I will stick to my original plan. Wasn't meant to be. :)
     
    jbcarioca, savydog and kwidhalm like this.
  15. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    • Start by getting an account.
    • Once logged in go to do an award search.
    • Search for GMP-HND on any date.
    • Scroll down to the bottom of the results and click the "Use Star Alliance Partners" link.
    • Put in the cities you actually want to search and check the results.

    That's the simple version. The more advanced options - especially the "Flight Search" option - can be incredibly powerful but we'll save that for a future lesson.
     
  16. catgirl
    • Original Member

    catgirl Gold Member

    Thanks!
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  17. kwidhalm
    • Original Member

    kwidhalm Gold Member

    If you are an "absolute moron" then I don't want to even consider what that makes me! :p
     
    jbcarioca and Scottrick like this.
  18. Scottrick
    • Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    There are a lot of unnecessary, and fairly small, links all over ANA's site, not just on the flight search page. Your confusion is warranted.
     
  19. pilotkentx

    pilotkentx Active Member

    I'm a newbie. What is * Awards? I'm a CO Elite, planning to book two award tickets in Business Class between DFW and EZE in Dec. 2012. I'm open to indirect routings. I see AC: DFW YYZ EZE. I would also consider TAM or other Star Alliance options. I've been told CO/UA seats are hard to get in Business Class and do NOT include F cabin for the domestic portion. All suggestions are appreciated.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  20. gpaya
    • Original Member

    gpaya Gold Member

    * Awards refer to awards using multiple star alliance partners. In your case, YYZ to EZE on AC is actually YYC-SCL-EZE. if you want to connect in N. America, you'd have to do DFW-IAH-EZE or DFW-IAD-EZE on CO/UA.

    If you want to connect in other areas, you have more options. GRU,SCL,GIG for example.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  21. DeacFlyer1
    • Original Member

    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

    Can someone please explain to me the difference between the dark yellow (left-hand image) "select" button vs. the light yellow (right-hand image) "select" button in the search results? I've just started using the tool and I often get both dark and light yellow boxes within the same search results, and I'm not sure what the difference is. They both say "OK" (which I thought indicated availability), but I want to make sure I'm fully understanding this. Thanks!

    ANA tool.png
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  22. gpaya
    • Original Member

    gpaya Gold Member

    It means it's available but you can't book it on ANA. if you search the same flight on CO.com, you'll see it as available
     
    jbcarioca and DeacFlyer1 like this.
  23. Rom Sac
    • Original Member

    Rom Sac Silver Member

    You may be right, but I often see this on the return when I haven't yet clicked on the outbound leg. Presumably once you select your outbound it would change color (I haven't tried since I don't use ANA miles for booking).
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  24. tondoleo
    • Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    I have tried to access the ANA search tool for the first time. I tried to find the Aramean's grease monkey workaround and my browser tells me it is unavailable. Of course I do not have any miles in my ANA account at the moment. Is there a viable workaround I could find? Thank you for the assistance.
     
    jbcarioca and Quasiconvexity like this.
  25. Quasiconvexity
    • Original Member

    Quasiconvexity Silver Member

    Use this instead. http://awardfinder.juny4ng.com/
     
    SC Flier, jbcarioca, charlilo and 2 others like this.

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