Is New Aer Lingus Business Class to Europe a Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points?

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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!

Is New Aer Lingus Business Class To Europe A Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points

Enjoy a Nice Evening at the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin After a Restful Flight in Aer Lingus’ New Business Class

But is it still a good deal?

New Aer Lingus Business Class

Link:   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:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco

Flying Business Class you get:

Is New Aer Lingus Business Class To Europe A Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points

You Can Use British Airways Avios Points to Fly Business Class on Aer Lingus

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

Link:   British Aiways Avios Calculator

Link:   Book flights with British Airways Avios points (sign-in required)

Link:   Wandering Aramean Avios Tool

Link:   The Best International Awards Using British Airways Avios Points  

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!

Is New Aer Lingus Business Class To Europe A Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points

The Cliffs of Moher Are ~3 Hours From Dublin

But the price to book with points is going up!

Booking on or after April 28, 2015, you’ll pay more British Airways Avios points for long-haul flights (2,000 miles or more) in Business Class flights on British Airways partners like Aer Lingus:

  • 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!

Is New Aer Lingus Business Class To Europe A Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points

Fly to the East Coast Using Your Southwest Companion Pass

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!

Is New Aer Lingus Business Class To Europe A Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points

Folks in Other Cities, Like New York or Chicago, Will Pay MORE British Airways Avios Points Than From Boston

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.

You might decide to spend a few thousand more points to try the new Aer Lingus Business Class.  Or save your points because you’re just as happy with United Airlines’ Business Class.

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.

Is New Aer Lingus Business Class To Europe A Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points

You’ll Pay 70,000 United Airlines Miles for a 1-Way Business Class Ticket on Aer Lingus

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 CardsBusiness Cards
Chase Sapphire ReserveChase Ink Plus
Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Bold (No Longer Available to New Applicants)
Chase FreedomChase 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.

And don’t forget that American Express Membership Rewards points also transfer to British Airways.  And sometimes there are transfer bonuses!

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Premier Rewards Gold Card From American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
American Express® Mercedes-Benz PlatinumThe Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe 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.

Bottom Line

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).

To get more British Airways Avios points, remember Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards are transfer partners.

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?

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5 responses to “Is New Aer Lingus Business Class to Europe a Good Deal With British Airways Avios Points?

  1. is availability between Boston and Ireland known to be extremely tough to find? i searched almost the whole year and didn’t find a single day open in business.

  2. You didn’t mention how EI has pretty much zeroed out business class availability beyond May.

  3. Awesome redemption.. Problem is EI isn’t releasing any space, even in economy.

  4. Using expertflyer.com and calling the dreaded BA reservation line, I was able to find economy options. Unfortunately, there is 0 business availability between now and Oct. This seems to indicate to me that they do not release business award availability even a.) as yield allows closer to departure (such as the end of March when there are many seats available for purchase) or b.) off season as it is currently now and again in the fall. BUMMER.
    Great deal, just wish we could use it

  5. I know this article especially focusses on the Aer Lingus business class fare going up via Avios, but with the April 28 changes, does the 25,000 BOS-DUB RT flight on economy remain the same?