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Trip Report: Aer Lingus NEW Business Class DUB-BOS

Our bird, the A330-200

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Happy to continue my Ireland series after the good news that the country is moving to legalize gay marriage. I saw the signs up everywhere when I was there to “Vote Yes” or “Vote No” and it seems that they’ve collectively decided to lead the 21st Century. Congratulations to Ireland!

If you’re interested in the new Aer Lingus business class product, you’ll want to also read my review of the BOS-DUB flight.

The key difference is that BOS-DUB is a red-eye whereas DUB-BOS is a daytime/lunch flight.

After an amazing flight over, I was excited to see how the finer points of service would differ during the day flight.

Flight details:

  • Aer Lingus Flight 137
  • May 5th, 2015
  • Depart: 11:50am
  • Arrive: 1:45pm
  • Duration: Duration: 6H, 46M
  • Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
  • Distance: 2,983 mi

First impressions

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Trip Report: Aer Lingus NEW Business Class BOS-DUB

Aer Lingus new business class cabin

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After staying at the Hyatt Regency in Boston, and hanging around in Bean Town for the better part of the day, we headed to the airport around 6pm for the 9pm flight. Check-in and security went quickly, and after only about 20 minutes, we were in the Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge in Terminal E waiting to board. After enjoying the small lounge for a short while, we boarded around 8:20pm.

First impressions

There’s something so great about experiencing a brand new product. Aer Lingus recently refreshed their business class cabins (late April, according to the booklet at the seat).

We were assigned to seats 3D and 3G, both aisle seats in the middle of the cabin. I had 3G.

First impressions were… WOW. It looks so fresh. The cabin is done up in shades of gray with splashes of emerald and lime green, which is gives it a very distinct, chic look. They made sure to put their clover branding all over everything – it was done well and added cohesion. It looked and felt very modern, and I was positively giddy to have this flight experience.

The plane was an Airbus 330-300 and right away, I started to feel a little more Irish.

It was a dark overnight flight, so forgive the graininess of some of the photos below!

The seat

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Review: Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge @ BOS

By the time you read this, I will be in the air on Aer Lingus headed to Dublin (assuming you read this within the next 7 hours. Hmmm… that opening line doesn’t hold up well to posterity).

I booked the coveted BOS-DUB award with 50,000 British Airways Avios for a round-trip ticket. And now, I’m in Boston at the Aer Lingue Gold Circle Lounge.

A few notes

The Boston airport is super cute. I’m sure I’ve been here before, but my travels pre-Out and Out are such a jumbled blur in my mind that I can’t remember where, when, or how. It reminds me of AUS airport somehow, although with way more international flights. I spotted Icelandair, WOW!, Swiss, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways in Terminal E. I… had no idea that there were so many routes out of here. Very cool.

The Aer Lingus lounge is super small. It’s really just one open room. They do a good job of squeezing in a lot of seating, and it doesn’t get seem like it gets too crowded. There are no bathrooms in here though, and definitely no showers. Very limited services and limited hours, too. Just 3:30pm-8:30pm. I’m thinking they’re only open for the BOS-DUB and BOS-SNN flights, then they close up shop.

The Boston airport is easily accessible to/from the city via the T Silver Line. It’s literally 20 minutes to downtown Boston. I didn’t know this before this trip. If you’re keen to take public transportation, I’d recommend looking into this option!

The lounge

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Aer Lingus business class seats showing up as economy on United website?

A-ha, so now I’m finally getting to it: the crux of all my recent Aer Lingus posts.

I noticed that when selecting Aer Lingus business class seats on the United website, they are showing up as being in the U fare bucket – which is economy class.

I was perturbed about paying for business class seats (with Avios) only to see that I’d maybe been booked in the wrong fare class.

However, I called British Airways and Aer Lingus to verify that I am indeed in a business class seat. But then I went to look again on the United website to make sure it wasn’t just a glitch.

For this dummy booking, I selected economy class to Dublin and business back from Dublin.

Aer Lingus fare buckets on United

Aer Lingus fare buckets on United

It looks like economy is being booked into the T bucket and business is being booked into U – but U is economy.

I plugged in the record locator into the Royal Jordanian website, and sure enough, their system displayed the same information.

EI booking on RJ site

EI booking on RJ site

But, it still says business on the BA website.

Aer Lingus booking on BA website - business, confirmed

Aer Lingus booking on BA website – business, confirmed

Bottom line

Just in case anyone else got in (or wants to get in – space is still very open) on the lucrative amount of award space on the Aer Lingus BOS-DUB route and had the same questions I did…

Of course, I’ll be pretty miffed if it does actually end up being economy, but 6 hours over the pond isn’t so bad. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again if I have to. I’d be a tyrant to get my Avios back, though.

But that’s worst case scenario stuff. I’m gonna let this be a trust fall with British Airways and assume they’ll catch me (there is a good joke and punchline in here somewhere…).

Has anyone else noticed this mislabeling on the United website? Even better, has anyone flown the flights and can confirm they are indeed in business class? 

Either way, I will have Aer Lingus trip reports soon enough. Looking forward to it, and to visiting Ireland, so very much.

Stay scrappy out there!

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Good availability: BOS-DUB Aer Lingus biz class August thru November

Hi, it’s me again.

Consider this post to be that phone call right after you hang up but then discover something cool and call back again for another 30 seconds just to add another thought or two.

In researching my previous post, Booking Dublin: A Change of Plans, I wanted to verify award availability on Aer Lingus business class for the BOS-DUB route for the rest of 2014. Partially because I wanted to see where my own rebooking could fit in, and partially out of pure curiosity (because who doesn’t spend their Sundays looking at random award availability?).

Well, it’s still out there, and the clock is ticking. You have until April 28th, or until availability dries up – whichever comes first – to book yourself flights to Dublin and back.

It’ll set you back 50,000 Avios, but 50K points to Europe round-trip in business class is a great deal, especially considering that these flights are ~$5,000 each if purchased.

I went to United.com and filtered for nonstop award availability. It’s all the BOS-DUB route.

Check for the blue and green days – those are the days when the business class flight is available (the yellow is just for the economy flight, which is only 12.5K Avios each way or 25K Avios round-trip – still a great deal especially considering it’s only a ~6-hour flight).

April and May have scant availability

April and May have scant availability

June and July are dismal

June and July are dismal/nonexistent

Ah, but August and September... fall in Ireland anyone?

Ah, but August and September… fall in Ireland anyone?

October and November are great as well - maybe for Halloween or for Thanksgiving?

October and November are great as well – maybe for Halloween or before the holidays?

How to search and book

For this award, start out by finding the space on United.com

Screenshot 2015-03-29 16.28.47

Be sure to tick “Nonstop Flights Only”.

When you find the flights you want, make a note of the dates and flight numbers (or just leave it on your screen), and call British Airways.

Chosen at random, but flights on these dates would be

Chosen at random, but flights on these dates would be over $8,000

I’ve found the best number to call British Airways on is 1-800-247-9297. At the prompts, press 4, then 2. Then wait for an agent. Hold times are usually not long on this number.

Feed them the dates and flight numbers and mention it’s for Aer Lingus business class.

Also make sure the Avios are in your account if you are transferring them in from Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards (or Starwood, or wherever).

Be sure to ask them to waive the phone booking fee – I say something like, “I tried to book online, but was forced to call – can the fee be waived?” And they always take it off.

Booking 2 business class tickets cost me 100,000 Avios and ~$228.

Here is a breakdown of all the taxes, fees, and surcharges:

Cost to book Aer Lingus with British Airways

Cost to book Aer Lingus with British Airways

Bottom line

There’s still great award availability to Dublin from Boston, and at a great price, if anyone’s still interested in booking.

Just wanted to share the info, as I’d been wanting to go to Ireland for a long time. In fact, I am tempted to book another ticket in the fall because I know it will be so beautiful there. But, moderation.

If anyone does book, enjoy! I will be there in early May – say hello if you see me on the plane or around Dublin!

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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

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