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Folks who want to visit Ireland, England, or Scotland will soon have more award flights to choose from! Aer Lingus announced more flights on its routes to Dublin from Chicago and Washington, DC. And brand new routes from Cork and Shannon, Ireland – all starting in 2016!
This is great news for folks with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Starwood points, British Airways Avios points, and United Airlines miles!
I’ll share the details!
What’s the Deal?
Aer Lingus is making strides! They already fly between Dublin and US cities including Boston, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC. And they’re adding 3 new non-stop flights from Hartford, Los Angeles, and Newark to Dublin from the US in 2016.
In Summer 2016, Aer Lingus will add an extra flight between Dublin and Chicago. And increase its service from Washington, DC, from 4 flights a week to a flight every day!
Plus, they’ll begin new routes from Ireland in Summer 2016. You’ll be able to fly between:
- Cork – Leeds Hampton
- Cork – Southampton
- Shannon – Edinburgh (begins March 2016)
They’ll also add more flights between Cork and Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle, England!
This will open up more options for folks who prefer non-stop flights to Ireland. Especially in the warmer months, when award tickets to Europe can be harder to find!
And it’s terrific news for folks who want to explore more of Ireland, and continue on to England or Scotland.
Depending on where you fly from, award tickets on Aer Lingus can be a terrific deal!
How to Book Aer Lingus Award Tickets
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Remember, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways and United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. There’s an increased sign-up on the Chase Sapphire Preferred of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is enough for a round-trip coach award flight on any of the non-stop Aer Lingus routes from the US to Dublin!
And when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Chase Ink Plus or Ink Bold) you can transfer the points you’ve earned with the Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Cash to partner airlines, including British Airways and United Airlines.
You can move Starwood points to British Airways, too. You’ll get 5,000 bonus points for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer.
1. British Airways Avios Points
Using British Airways Avios points for award seats on Aer Lingus can be a terrific deal! It’s 1 of the few airlines you can book with British Airways Avios points with minimal fuel surcharges.
Keep in mind, British Airways has a distance-based award chart. Cities on the East Coast are closer to Ireland, so they cost fewer British Airways Avios points than flights from the Central or Western US.
For example, 1-way flights in coach between Dublin and the following cities cost:
- Boston – 12,500 points
- Chicago – 20,000 points
- Hartford – 20,000 points
- Los Angeles – 25,000 points
- New York – 20,000 points
- Newark – 20,000 points
- Orlando – 25,000 points
- San Francisco – 25,000 points
- Washington, DC – 20,000 points
Those are excellent prices for flights to Europe!
That said, prices in Business Class are much higher (37,500 to 75,000 British Airways Avios points each way!). Read my post to see if it’s worth booking Aer Lingus Business Class with British Airways Avios points.
You’ll be able to book the new routes from Ireland to England or Scotland for only 4,500 British Airways Avios points each way because these flights are under 650 miles. So this is a fantastic way to see more of Europe after you visit Ireland!
Remember to always check prices on budget airlines because you can get outstanding deals on flights from Dublin to the rest of Europe.
If you need more British Airways Avios points, check out my post on all the ways to earn them!
Chase has a fantastic offer to earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points with the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card. That’s enough for 5 one-way flights to Dublin from Chicago or Washington, DC! Or 11 round-trip short-haul flights between Ireland and England or Scotland! Read my review of the offer to decide if you should sign-up.
Note: You can NOT search for (or book) Aer Lingus award flights on the British Airways website. But you CAN search for available award seats on the United Airlines website (or use ExpertFlyer if you have a subscription). Then call British Airways to book at 800-247-9297. Ask them to waive the phone fee because it’s NOT possible to book online.
2. United Airlines Miles
United Airlines charges the same number of miles for partner airline flights to Europe, regardless of which city you’re starting from in the continental US (unlike British Airways which charges more for longer flights).
To Europe, you’ll pay:
- 30,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in coach
- 70,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class
It’s easy to search for Aer Lingus award seats on the United Airlines website. Keep in mind, you’ll see options for Star Alliance and other partners as well.
Tip: Click “non-stop” when you search to reduce the number of results!
Keep in mind, coming back you’ll pay more fees. But it’s a reasonable ~$45 from Dublin to Chicago.
If you’re short United Airlines miles, here are more ways to earn them!
Aer Lingus is adding more flights to Dublin from Chicago and Washington, DC, starting in Summer 2016. And, they’re expanding service from Ireland to more cities in England and Scotland, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester.
It’s easy to search for available award seats on the United Airlines website. Depending on the price, you may decide to book your flight with United Airlines miles. Or if you want to use British Airways Avios points, you can call to book your award flight.
Dublin is a great starting point for cheap trips to other European cities with budget airlines. And the new routes also open up more of England and Scotland with points.
Will these new Aer Lingus flights tempt you to visit Ireland, England, or Scotland next year?