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Aer Lingus announces LAX-DUB and why it’s a big deal!!!
Brief History (stay with me here)
Aer Lingus has been a great business class opportunity for several years. Whilst being a member of Star Alliance and its great group of airlines, it is also an individual partner of British Airways – BOOM. This created a unique opportunity: search for availability with United or ANA, and then book it by calling into British Airways (using their distance based award chart) – maximizing the short midwest and east coast flights into Europe. The best deal used to be a roundtrip Boston – Dublin for a shockingly low 50,000 Avios + $5.60!! By flying into Dublin, a traveler avoids all the British Taxes…and they are HEFTY! Around $450-550 each way for a biz or 1st class seat on BA or American. With the new business class cabin on those Transatlantics, Aer Lingus is a very competitive hard product option to both BA and AA members, and the price is so good it really can’t even be compared. For people who live in Scotland or Northern England this was the very best way to get home.
Well, as these things go, BA devalued their chart earlier this year (nooooo). There are some terrible results from it, but that BOS-DUB route is still a great deal at 75,000 Avios + $5.60. Compare that price to the 140,000 United Mileage Plus miles it would take to fly the same plane, same seat, but using United’s partner pricing scheme, not bad huh. Seeing as though both Airlines are partners of Chase, this exhibits the massive benefit of understanding where and how to find and use award chart sweet-spots.
Aer Lingus is one of those little gems Miles and I keep a close eye on.
IAG purchases Aer Lingus!
For a long time there has been scuttlebutt surrounding the potential M&A deal between British Airways’ parent company IAG and Aer Lingus. The main contention was that IAG wanted to compete on a broader scale in the transatlantic market. Well, when Aer Lingus unveiled a truly incredible looking business class cabin last year, IAG’s interest was piqued.
- It is completely lie flat, 22 inches wide and 6.5 feet long and, to the benefit of many travelers looking for great Transatlantic business class products, it would be featured on one of their new US routes DUB-SFO.
Back in July, the deal approving Aer Lingus’ absorption into IAG was cleared. This was a huge deal for travelers because it opened up the door for Aer Lingus to leave Star Alliance and join One World. Why is that important do you ask?
- American Airlines. American has some of the best deals for partner travel with Aadvantage miles. With Aer Lingus now a potential partner, it means a new way of avoiding the Awful British Taxes imposed on all flights in and out of the UK. By routing through Dublin, suddenly, much of Europe becomes available…tax free.
Da Daaaaaaaaa; New Routes announced
Today, according to the Irish Independent, Aer Lingus has announced 3 new routes to Dublin: Los Angeles, Hartford, and Newark. LAX to DUB will be the first route serviced, commencing May 2016, followed by the other two in the September timeframe. Aer Lingus will utilize their newly redesigned A330-200, featuring the 2-4-2 lie flat business class. These new routes represent a 17% increase in total seats servicing USA from/to Dublin. I was excited, last year, when they announced they were flying the new product on a direct flight from San Francisco as that’s an easy positioning flight from LAX, but THIS NEWS IS BONKERS!!!!!!!
With the new news, it means that getting in and out of Europe can be done via Dublin direct from Los Angeles. The merger deal was finalized in September and will make Dublin a much more competitive Hub for European business/leisure travel servicing over 2 million people.
This is very exciting news. More options and more competition is always in the best interest of the consumer. The hope is that even though IAG levies taxes and fees against flights in/out of the UK, it won’t do the same with it’s Irish counterpart. In fact, with the beneficial Irish tax scheme, it wouldn’t surprise me if IAG doesn’t try and do a Tax Inversion, thus protecting the ability to offer International flights with much lower taxes and fees assessed, and ultimately paid by the airline (RESULT!).