Booking Dublin: A Change of Plans

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Major change of plans is more like it.

Thanks to The Points Guy, I caught wind that an award I’d long had my eye on, BOS-DUB in business class on Aer Lingus, was widely available for booking with Avios points.

The good news: it still is.

I immediately transferred over some Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards (I love combining them when I can and British Airways is perfect for that – so is Singpore) to my British Airways account, and called in to book my dates.

Get 'em while they're hot!

Get ’em while they’re hot!

Throughout April and May, and possibly into the summer months, award availability is peppered here and there.

Business class award availability on Aer Lingus

Business class award availability on Aer Lingus (Click to enlarge)

That screen shot was taken just now. There are still some flights out there.

The best way to book this is by checking availability on the United website, then by calling British Airways to book over the phone.

I called them post Avios-hack (to change a different set of flights), and my hold time was less than 5 minutes. In fact, I was all booked and set up with flights in under 15 minutes (pre-Avios hack).

If you’re interested in booking, you have either one month or when availability runs out, beginning today. The Avios program is changing on April 28th, and this particular award will go from 50K round-trip in business to 75K, which is a pretty staggering change.

I’ve been interested in experiencing Aer Lingus business class, and visiting Ireland, for a very long time, so it’s all very serendipitous.

But what about the Delta flights?

Of course I had a pretty severe schedule change with Delta.

The mighty schedule change

The mighty schedule change

I was willing to get down to DC to take advantage of an awesome fare that Delta had earlier this year. I was even thinking I could spend a day or two in DC, maybe catch the tail-end of the cherry blossoms. But when the Aer Lingus award availability came around, I was then willing to get myself to Boston, and am now thinking of spending a day there instead.

I called Delta and explained that I had a schedule change of over 4 hours, and that those times no longer work for me – could I please cancel and get a refund? They immediately canceled the ticket and said to expect a refund in 5-7 business days. Awesome. So those are done.

It was a great deal, but then again, so is the Avios redemption on Aer Lingus, and even more so now that it’s time-sensitive.

The 2 round-trip flights would’ve been over $10,000 had I paid for them. Instead, I got nearly 11 cents per point of value by booking with Avios. An incredible deal – get on it if you can!

BOS-DUB on Aer Lingus business class

BOS-DUB on Aer Lingus business class

Getting to Boston

I’m considering transferring Ultimate Rewards to Amtrak and taking a train to Boston the day before the flight, and spending a night at the Hyatt Regency near South Station, then taking the T to Logan.

The good news is that the Hyatt Regency is a category 3 hotel, and I still have a the annual free night cert from my partner’s Chase Hyatt Visa that we could use to stay for free. It would be a savings of over $300 to stay in a great part of town for an evening.

Great availability at the Boston Hyatt Regency

Great availability at the Boston Hyatt Regency – $313 a night

I could always use more Avios to get to BOS from LGA or JFK for 4,500 Avios per person, which is a total steal. Those flights are usually around $200-$250, although JetBlue and Delta have a few from $60-$90, but not at very convenient times.

And in fact, I’m using Avios to fly back from BOS, back to LGA. 9,000 Avios for 2 one-ways.

The same flights would’ve cost $490. 

BOS-LGA

BOS-LGA, $490 for 2 one-way tickets

I got over 5 cents of value out of each point with this redemption. Way more than the 2 cents that is my minimum.

And the hotels in Ireland?

I’d already started booking hotels in Dublin. But with Club Carlson, I simply canceled and rebooked for different dates.

I got a similar amount of value out of booking 2 nights at the Radisson Blu Royal for 44K points.

It would’ve otherwise been ~$440. 

Radisson Blu Royal Dublin pricing

Radisson Blu Royal Dublin pricing

So about 1 cent per dollar, not that I value Club Carlson points the same way as other points currencies. Just interesting.

I’m considering booking the Radisson Blu in Cork for 2 nights, and maybe have the other 2 at a boutique non-chain hotel (can you imagine?).

Bottom line

This Aer Lingus deal threw a major wrench into my plans, but I was saved largely because of Delta’s schedule change.

Instead of DC, I now can spend a day in Boston (method of getting there TBD). And I get to be in Ireland for Beltane now!!! So cool. I’m so excited to go to Ireland for the first time!

Also:

  • I love Avios for short-hauls
  • I’m glad I got to get in on the Aer Lingus award
  • I love Club Carlson 
  • I love using free night certs randomly

That’s all for now, but there are a few other things that got kicked up by these changes. To be continued… (Although not in a series kinda way, just in general.)

Also, I have no Avios right now and my account is frozen. I booked this award THE DAY BEFORE THE HACK. #Lucky

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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