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TravelCan you no longer book last-minute premium cabin ANA awards with Virgin...

Can you no longer book last-minute premium cabin ANA awards with Virgin Atlantic points?


One of TPG’s favorite points and miles best sweet spots has now become seemingly harder to book. It seems Virgin Atlantic Flying Club no longer has access to last-minute All Nippon Airways business- and first-class award seats.

Redeeming your Virgin Atlantic points for business- and first-class flights operated by Japanese carrier ANA has long been one of the best ways to use them. Virgin is a transfer partner of all major credit card programs (except for Wells Fargo Rewards), making Virgin points easy to earn.

One-way ANA award redemptions made with Virgin points can be booked as follows:

  • Hawaii to Japan for 37,500 Virgin points in business class or 57,500 points in first class
  • Western U.S. to Japan for 52,500 Virgin points in business class or 72,500 points in first class
  • Eastern U.S. (as well as Europe) to Japan for 60,000 Virgin points in business class or 85,000 points in first class

While TPG found available award redemptions in 2025, last-minute award availability was nonexistent.

Related: Feels like first class: Flying ANA The Room business class from LA to Tokyo

Is ANA limiting premium cabin award availability with Virgin Atlantic?

Availability on ANA through partner airline programs has always been very limited, with some award seats being released when the schedule opens up to 12 months in advance and a usually reliable extra release of last-minute seats up to 14 days in advance.

While Virgin’s Flying Club website has never allowed you to book ANA awards online, you can book these tickets by phone if you find seats available. An easy way to check if a seat is available is through other partner airline programs, such as United MileagePlus, where you can also book ANA award seats, albeit at much higher prices than what Flying Club charges.

United’s online platform follows the usual ANA availability trends, with some premium seats being available toward the end of the schedule in 2025.

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There is also some availability for last-minute flights departing over the next 14 days.

UNITED.COM

Virgin Atlantic usually has the same (or similar) access to United’s ANA award availability. TPG contacted Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to inquire about booking premium cabin ANA award availability, as seen on United’s website.

The availability yielded the same results in the multiple flight searches Flying Club checked for us between North America and Japan. While Virgin could see and book business- and first-class seats for flights departing in 2025, for flights departing within the next 14 days, only economy seats were available to book with Virgin points. This is unusual as the award availability provided to partner airlines is usually the most abundant during this 14-day period.

Plus, business- and first-class seats are available on the same ANA flights through other partner airline programs like United (as this is where we found the availability to ask Flying Club to check).

In each case, Flying Club was required to request the seats from ANA, which leads TPG to believe that ANA is limiting its award availability provided to Flying Club instead of Virgin Atlantic blocking members from booking ANA seats.

TPG contacted Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for an official comment about this restriction.

“We can confirm there have been no changes made to our ANA availability, and premium seats remain part of our offering,” the official said. “We’re investigating the issue with our partners and will provide more details in due course.”

Despite several minor devaluations of ANA redemption rates by the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program over the past 18 months, perhaps the rates are still too low to be sustainable. This may have led to an excessive number of ANA seats being snapped up by Flying Club members, resulting in ANA deciding to make fewer seats available to Flying Club members than other partner programs.

Hopefully, this is a temporary issue. TPG will update you as soon as the situation unfolds.

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