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Booking Business Class flights on Aer Lingus to Ireland will cost more British Airways Avios points beginning on April 28, 2015. But for some folks, it may actually be a better deal for getting Big Travel with Small Money than before.
Live and Let’s Fly reports that Aer Lingus is upgrading their Business Class to fully lie-flat seats with massage functions, Wi-Fi, and improvements.
Note: You can use British Airways Avios points on Aer Lingus to fly to Dublin. And those are fairly easy to get with certain travel cards from Chase and American Express. I’ll explain!
But is it still a good deal?
New Aer Lingus Business Class
Aer Lingus has upgraded their Business Class to fully lie-flat seats so you can relax or sleep on flights from the US to Dublin.
You can fly in the new Business Class seats between Dublin and:
- New York
- San Francisco
Flying Business Class you get:
- Priority check-in (where available)
- Free airport lounge access (Aer Lingus and partner lounges) in the US, UK, and Europe
- Free in-flight Wi-Fi
- Premium entrance hall in Dublin
- Arrivals lounge in Dublin (shower, press your shirts and suits, grab coffee)
- Pre-clearance for customs entry back into the US
Aer Lingus has upgraded other amenities for Business Class travelers. You’ll get:
- Available pre-dining in the lounge from Boston and New York (so you can sleep the entire way instead of waiting for a meal)
- Seats are fully lie-flat (the old seats were angle-flat)
- Seats extend to 6’5″ (great for tall folks and all folks who want more room)
- Seats have a massage feature (I love massages)
- More aisle seats (90% of the seats have aisle access so you won’t have to climb over someone to get out)
- Keeping your laptop, shoes, and other items close (you don’t have to get items out of the overhead bin)
- Meals featuring Irish ingredients with dishes from the best Irish restaurants
- Fast-Track security (even if you don’t have Global Entry!)
Using British Airways Avios Points on Aer Lingus
You can get British Airways Avios points from the Chase British Airways card and by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points. I’ll explain more in a bit.
And because British Airways Avios is a distance-based program, for short flights you’ll pay fewer points than with region-based programs like American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.
Ireland is closer to the US than most of Europe, so you can pay fewer British Airways Avios points for a flight.
When you use British Airways Avios points on Aer Lingus you’ll pay fuel surcharges. But, they are very low compared to fuel surcharges on British Airways flights.
Note: Because of Irish airport taxes you’ll pay more fees for your return flight.
When you book prior to April 28, 2015, a 1-way Business Class award ticket from the US to Ireland costs:
- Boston to Dublin or Shannon – 25,000 British Airways Avios points
- Chicago to Dublin – 40,000 British Airways Avios points
- New York (JFK) to Dublin or Shannon – 40,000 British Airways Avios points
- Orlando to Dublin – 50,000 British Airways Avios points
- San Francisco to Dublin – 50,000 British Airways Avios points
Note: These prices only apply to direct flights between these cities! If you make a connection, you’ll pay separately for each segment (and the price will be higher!).
Note: Not all cities have daily service (like San Francisco or Orlando). So award seats on these routes might be harder to find!
But the price to book with points is going up!
- Boston to Dublin or Shannon – 37,500 British Airways Avios points
- Chicago to Dublin – 60,000 British Airways Avios points
- New York (JFK) to Dublin or Shannon – 60,000 British Airways Avios points
- Orlando to Dublin – 75,000 British Airways Avios points
- San Francisco to Dublin – 75,000 British Airways Avios points
Although you’ll pay more for booking Business Class award flights starting April 28, 2015, using British Airways Avios points from Boston (and other East Coast cities) to Ireland is a still good deal! But you should book before rates increase if you can!
If Ireland isn’t your final stop, you can use a discount airline or points to go other places from Dublin or Shannon.
For folks who do not live in Boston, you can use British Airways Avios points for award tickets on American Airlines, US Airways, or Alaska Airlines. Or use your Southwest Companion Pass to get there!
Should You Use British Airways Avios Points for Aer Lingus Business Class to Ireland or Consider Other Airlines?
Using British Airways Avios points to fly Business Class on Aer Lingus can be a good value compared to Business Class on other airlines, depending on where you’re flying from and when you book!
For example, after April 28, 2015, you can fly from Business Class from Boston to Dublin for 37,500 British Airways Avios points.
But for folks who are NOT in Boston, it would be cheaper to use United Airlines miles to fly Business Class on United Airlines. That’s because a 1-way Business Class ticket costs 57,500 United Airlines miles regardless of where you start your journey in the US.
That’s compared to the 60,000 British Airways Avios points you’d use to fly on Aer Lingus Business Class from Chicago or New York. Or 75,000 British Airways Avios points from Orlando or San Francisco. That’s more miles than United Airlines!
But if you can book before the April 28, 2015, points increase, you’ll get a better value booking Aer Lingus with British Airways Avios points.
So for folks in Chicago and New York, it’s a question of flying 1-way on United Airlines Business Class for 57,500 points or 1-way on Aer Lingus for 60,000 points.
Note: Remember you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points 1:1 to either United Airlines miles or to British Airways Avios points for use on Aer Lingus.
Note: In the New York area, United Airlines flies out of Newark Airport while Aer Lingus departs from JFK Airport. So that might influence your decision, too!
That said, if there are limited award seats available, you may not have a choice of which airline miles to use.
But I Have Lots of United Airlines Miles and Want to Try the New Aer Lingus Business Class!
If that’s the case, you can also use United Airlines miles to fly on Aer Lingus. But you’ll pay 70,000 United Airlines miles to fly 1-way in Business Class! Although sometimes it’s cheaper when there’s a partner award sale.
I know some folks will pay more miles just to try out Aer Lingus’ new Business Class. And because they’re promoting it so much, I expect the service and experience will be top-notch!
But if you want to use the fewest number of miles possible, you’ll be better off flying Business Class on United Airlines (except from Boston).
Note: There’s not a huge difference in taxes between these award tickets.
The Best Ways to Collect British Airways Avios Points
You can get more British Airways Avios points by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways on a 1:1 ratio.
|Personal Cards||Business Cards|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Chase Ink Plus|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Ink Bold (No Longer Available to New Applicants)|
|Chase Freedom||Chase Ink Cash|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited|
|Chase Sapphire (No Longer Available to New Applicants)|
|Note: Points earned from the Chase Freedom, Sapphire, and Ink Cash cards can only be transferred to travel partners if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.|
|Personal Cards||Business Cards|
|Premier Rewards Gold Card From American Express||The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN|
|American Express® Mercedes-Benz Platinum||The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN|
|AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN|
|AMEX EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express|
|American Express® Gold Card|
|American Express® Green Card|
|Blue from American Express® Note: These are the ONLY AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points that can NOT be transferred to airline & hotel programs. But you can use these points on the Membership Rewards website for other redemptions. Includes personal AND small business versions of the card.|
You can get 50,000 British Airways Avios points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening from the British Airways card.
You can fly in the newly upgraded Aer Lingus Business Class with big fully lie-flat seats with electronic back massagers and Wi-Fi using British Airways Avios points.
This is an especially good deal for folks in Boston. You’ll pay 25,000 British Airways Avios points (if you book before April 28, 2015) for a 1-way Business Class ticket between Boston and Dublin. After that date, the price increases to 37,500 British Airways Avios points.
To compare, you’d pay 57,500 United Airlines miles to fly 1-way in United Airlines Business Class from the US to Dublin. After the British Airways award chart changes on April 28, 2015, United Airlines will be the cheaper Business Class option for most folks (except those in Boston).
Will you spend more British Airways Avios points to fly the new Aer Lingus Business Class? Or would you rather save points and fly coach?