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With the launch of ANA’s Sydney-Tokyo flights from December 11, Star Alliance frequent flyers can now use their points for a non-stop hop between the two cities for the first time since 1999.
What's more, the new route also provides an opportunity for Virgin Australia Velocity members to both earn and redeem frequent flyer points on ANA's services via Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer scheme.
If that's your preferred path, you'd need a hefty 209,250 Velocity Points for a return Sydney-Tokyo trip in ANA business class, which you could book by first converting those points into 155,000 KrisFlyer miles and then swapping them for an ANA flight.
For those sitting on a pile of credit card points – such as with American Express Membership Rewards or Westpac Altitude Rewards – directly transferring these to KrisFlyer is also a good option to keep up your sleeve.
Buying miles for ANA's Sydney-Tokyo flights
Further abroad, Avianca LifeMiles and United MileagePlus frequently allow members to simply purchase miles at a significant discount, and then use those miles to book a sojourn at the pointy end for much less than the regular ticket price.
You'd need 80,000 miles with either program to get your hands on the same business class return trip, and under a typical United 30% discount promotion, you'd pay just US$2,107 (A$2,850) for the full 80,000.
Taking the LifeMiles route would instead set you back US$1,320 (A$1,786) for the same during an Avianca two-for-one deal – an offer that Avianca runs intermittently throughout the year but which isn’t currently on the table.
Whichever option you choose, you'll also need to pay any applicable government taxes, fees and surcharges relating to your trip with real money, which on this return trip comes in at roughly US$105 (A$142), plus US$25 (A$33) when booking via Aviaca.
And of course, you could also book the journey through points earned in ANA’s own Mileage Club scheme – but if you're already a member, you'll know the drill.
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