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My Experience using Dublin for cheaper Business Class
I recently went to London for a weekend wedding. By weekend wedding, I mean we flew in from LA on Saturday, went to the wedding on Sunday, and then flew home on Monday morning. It was a whirlwind trip and would have been an insane grind in economy. When we set out to find tickets for this trip we thought maybe we could find r/t biz with points. However, roughly 6 weeks before the trip, nothing had become available except BA with nearly $500 in fees each way. To use 115k AA and spend $1000 was too much for us. So we sought out to get a bit creative. I’ve toyed with the Dublin routing idea for a long time, but it requires that you go back to Europe to make full use of it’s cost advantage, and up until now I didn’t really ever have multiple European trips planned. Well, this year, I’m planning on going back to Europe at the end of September so the Dublin deal made a lot of sense. Here is my experience using Dublin for cheaper Business Class Fares
How much cheaper is Dublin?
Tons. The roundtrip business class ticket that I got was roughly $1800. Had we booked the same LHR-ORD-LAX-LHR itinerary in business it would have been over $5k. Now $1800 is a huge amount of money and I’m not arguing that this is some insanely cheap fare, but rather comparatively speaking: it was a steal. You see, in addition to being GROSSLY cheaper on a biz to biz scale, a roundtrip going in the opposite direction ( lax – lhr ) was pricing in around $1500 in coach. SAY WHAT?!
YES, Coach going the opposite way ( Lax-Lhr) was just $300 cheaper.
Because I had 2 trips and I needed to get back and forth to Europe twice I thought I could fiddle around a bit:
- Los Angeles to London in July = $1500 in coach
- Los Angeles to London in September
- I had a ticket, pre-deval for LAX-LHR in AA 777-300 biz. Still needed a ride back.
I could either get both tickets with origin and destination above, or mix and match. Mix and match!
- Points to London
- Cash from Dub to LA to Dub
- Cash for LHR-DUB-LHR
- ? back from Dub
Which looked like this:
- LAX-SFO-DUS-LHR = 57,500 AA and $85 on Air Berlin
- DUB-LHR-ORD-LAX and LAX-LHR-DUB for $1800
- r/t lhr-dub ~$150
- DUB-LAX = ?
With the original routing (lax-lhr) Id spend a lot of money to end up in economy for a long time, and I’d only earn half the EQM I would in Business. Since this trip was nearly 12,000 miles r/t and biz earns 2x eqm- that’s 12k EQM for just $~300. Not to mention all the other perks of business, but the extra EQM alone was worth the increase in fare.
Compare that to what we were seeing 6 weeks out in Business Class with British Airways: 115k Miles and $1000 in fees and taxes. That means we’d be burning 115k AA miles to save $800, earn no EQM, and drain our point balance significantly. A positively horrible valuation. So we mixed and matched.
I had to get to Dublin…that’s the thing
Yes, you have to position yourself to Dublin, and after one full day in London and a night of celebration that was anything but easy. But, it was super fun. My girlfriend, Miles, and I set out on an adventure. I’ve actually routed a few people through Dublin through my award booking service, and private consultations, but I actually hadn’t done it myself. So I was eager to try it out. We ended up booking a cheap ticket up to Dublin. You could also spend 4500 Avios and roughly $75.
SUPER DUPER FLIPPING EASY
Flights were on time. Our flight to Dublin departed out of LHR Terminal 2 and there is a United lounge and a Priority Pass lounge there. Some place you can go and chill if you want. We weren’t flush with time so we skipped the lounges, grabbed a quick bite, and headed to our gate. Flight was on time, and we landed in Dublin early.
Getting through immigration
Aside from getting a chuckle from the immigration officer that I was flying from London to Dublin to only go back to London…it was one of the easiest immigration experiences I’ve had. The guy was really friendly and asked why I was doing it, and when I told him that the ticket was nearly $4k cheaper out of Dublin he almost did the Irish Jig. True.
Getting to Check-In
Since we were flying out of Terminal 1 and landed in the adjacent terminal we had to transit. This was a cinch. Less than a 5 minute walk and indoors.
Check In maybe took 5 mins and we had fast track
yep. quick and easy.
I would do this again and again and again. It’s just crazy to me that you can fly on the same exact planes from London to the states, but if you start your trip in Dublin rather than London you can save thousands of $$$$$. It’s a little bit more of a pain, but for the long haul stretches I think it’s worth it. I’d also recommend taking carry ons. I’m sure this process would have been longer had I checked a bag, and we allowed a 4 hour buffer in case of delays, and even made sure there was another flight we could get on if ours was cancelled because Miles is super detail oriented and paranoid.