Sweet Spot: Fly to Ireland From 7 US Cities for Only 26,000 British Airways Avios Points Round-Trip!

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Sweet Spot:  Fly to Ireland From 7 US Cities for Only 26,000 British Airways Avios Points Round-Trip!

Million Mile SecretsSweet Spot:  Fly to Ireland From 7 US Cities for Only 26,000 British Airways Avios Points Round-Trip!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Considering a trip to Ireland?  You can currently fly Aer Lingus to Ireland from 7 US cities, like Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, and more.  It’s just 26,000 British Airways Avios points round-trip in coach during most of the year!

That’s because Aer Lingus is part of the Avios program along with British Airways and Iberia, and has it’s own frequent flyer program (AerClub) and award chart.  This sweet spot is one of the best ways to get to Europe with miles & points.

Award Flights To Ireland
Use 13,000 British Airways Avios Points to Fly One-Way in Coach, 8 Months Out of the Year, From Cities Like Chicago, New York (JFK), and Washington, DC, to Dublin. And Visit the Stunning Cliffs of Moher!

I’ll show you how to find and book these cheap award tickets to Ireland!

Award Flights to Ireland

Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, is partners with British Airways & Iberia, meaning you can redeem your other Avios points for an Aer Lingus award flight.

But with the distance-based award chart from Aer Lingus, it’s no longer possible to fly from Boston to Dublin for 12,500 British Airways Avios points one-way in coach.  That was one of the top 5 cheap ways to get to Europe using miles and points!

Instead, those tickets now costs 20,000 British Airways Avios points one-way in coach during the peak season.  But it’s just 500 Avios points more than the previous price during off-peak times, or 13,000 British Airways Avios points.

The good news is, the new chart DID open up sweet spots from 6 other US cities to Dublin (with more to be added soon).  And you can now fly from these cities to Dublin for 13,000 Avios points one-way in coach during the off-season:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Hartford
  • Minneapolis (starting in 2019)
  • Newark
  • New York – JFK
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington, DC

I called British Airways to confirm these award ticket prices myself, because there’s conflicting information on the internet.  And it turns out, British Airways is indeed using the new Aer Lingus award chart prices for flights operated by Aer Lingus, even when using British Airways (not Aer Lingus!) Avios points for a ticket.

Tickets between these cities and Dublin used to cost 20,000 British Airways Avios points one-way in coach (except for Boston) throughout the year.  So you’ll save a lot of points with the new award chart for flying during the off-peak times!

That’s because the distance between these cities and Dublin puts them in Zone 5 of the new award chart.

Award Flights To Ireland
The Great Circle Mapper Shows the Distances Between 2 Cities

So one-way, off-peak awards cost 13,000 British Airways Avios points and peak awards 20,000 British Airways Avios points

Award Flights To Ireland
Flights Between 3001 and 4000 Miles Are In Zone 5 On the New Aer Lingus Award Chart

Note:  There’s a specific exception for Boston to Dublin and Shannon on the new award chart, putting it in Zone 5.

Award Flights To Ireland
Zone 5 Flights Require 13,000 Avios Points One-Way In Coach During Off-Peak Times

Plus, off-peak times include nearly 8 months out of the year.  So there’s plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the cheaper award seats. 😉

And Aer Lingus also has very low fuel surcharges, so the fees on your ticket will not be a lot.  Although you may have higher charges on your way home due to European departure taxes.

To compare, United Airlines charges 30,000 miles in coach one-way between the US and Europe.  Or 60,000 miles for a round-trip coach ticket.  So this is a really good deal!

How to Find and Book Award Flights on Aer Lingus

You can NOT search for or book Aer Lingus award flights on the British Airways website.

But you CAN search for saver level award seats on the United Airlines website (or use ExpertFlyer if you have a subscription).  Then call British Airways to book at 800-452-1201.  You can even ask them to waive the phone fee because it’s not possible to book online. 

Step 1.   Find Saver Award Seats on United Airlines

Let’s look for a ticket between Chicago and Dublin in May.  The entire month of May is considered off-peak by Aer Lingus.

Enter your travel information on the United Airlines site and click the “Search” button.  Be sure to check “award travel” and “nonstop.”  And I like to search for flexible dates too, to see my options.

Award Flights To Ireland
You Can Search for Saver Award Seats on Air Lingus Through the United Airlines Website

From there, you’ll be able to see which dates have saver award seats.

Award Flights To Ireland
Nearly Every Day in May 2017 Has One-Way Non-Stop Saver Award Seats Available Between Chicago and Dublin

Click on the date you want and check to make sure the flight is operated by Aer Lingus.

I found a coach saver award seat operated by Aer Lingus from Chicago to Dublin for 30,000 United Airlines miles and ~$6 in fees.  This same ticket would cost just 13,000 British Airways Avios points and ~$35 in fees!

Award Flights To Ireland
You Can Save LOTS of Miles & Points by Booking Certain Aer Lingus Flights With British Airways Avios Points Instead of United Airlines Miles!

You can repeat the same steps to find a return flight or search for a round-trip ticket from the beginning.  Just be sure to write down the flight information, because you’ll need this to book the tickets!

Step 2.   Call British Airways to Book

Once you’ve found the flights you want, call British Airways to book your ticket at 800-452-1201.

You’ll need your British Airways frequent flyer number, and the numbers, dates, and times, of the flights you want.

If you get an agent who’s unable to book your tickets, I suggest politely hanging up and calling again. 😉

And if they try to charge a phone booking fee, you can ask for the fee to be waived, because you can’t book these flights online.  I can’t guarantee this will work, but it’s worth a try!

Bottom Line

With the distance-based award chart from Aer Lingus, you can fly coach from 7 US cities to Dublin for just 13,000 British Airways Avios points one-way.  Or 26,000 British Airways Avios points round-trip.

This price is good for off-peak travel only.  Luckily, almost 8 months out of the year are considered off-peak according to Aer Lingus!

To find award seats, you can search United Airlines for available saver award seats.  But you’ll have to call British Airways to book your flight.

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If you go directly to avios.com and sign in with your British Airways or AerLingus or Iberia Avios accounts, you can book with any of the Avios’ airlines. They have season calendars for each of these airlines, and the dates vary and are sometimes spotty. AerLingus’ off-peak season is 8 months of the year, and goes right to the middle of June whereas British Airways’ ends earlier in June. Check each calendar if your dates are on the edge of summer, or may be a holiday for that country. Dublin to San Francisco, nonstop, 16,250 Avios plus $161.

You had a recent post about transferring AMEX points to British Airways through September xx, 2017, at 1:1.4!
It would be great to put that link in this article.
Thanks for all you do for us!

Gahhh! I’m 2000 points short, I got a referral bonus with Ultimate Rewards but no longer have the Chase Sapphire Preferred. So, I can’t transfer those. I don’t have any of those above cards. Any thoughts on how to *simply* get those other 2000 points?? Thanks!!

This worked great for my fiancee and I for our return to DC from Dublin for our honeymoon. You rock!

Thank you for this advise! I just booked our trip to Dublin in May for 26,000 avios points per person! I have a question, I am a BA silver member can we get access to the Aer Lingus Lounge at JFK terminal 5? for myself and spouse? or should we go to BA terminal 7 hang out and then go to Terminal 5 when we are ready to leave? which one is better? we will have a 3 hour wait. Love your posts they are extremely helpful.

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