Aer Lingus award availability has a tendency to go in spurts. It’s feast or famine. And right now August 2016 through end of schedule is feast.
These seats are bookable online with United miles, or by phone with British Airways Avios. And there’s almost no fuel surcharges, making British Airways redemptions a good value.
The Aer Lingus Route Network
Aer Lingus flies between Dublin and Washington Dulles, Toronto, Boston, New York, Chicago, Orlando, and San Francisco.
They fly between Shannon and both Boston and New York.
Their European route network for connections beyond Dublin (with an all-economy product) especially is extensive.
Searching Award Space
You can find Aer Lingus awards at United.com. The nice thing about that is no login is required to search space. You can specify non-stop flights as well and you’ll limit yourself to Aer Lingus flights (except where United offers service, e.g. Chicago and Newark – Dublin).
Aer Lingus award space can also be searched with Expert Flyer.
Here’s What Award Availability Looks Like
I searched United’s award calendar (which isn’t perfect, but has been working well for me and whose results I’ve validated) for 2 passengers non-stop. Dates on the calendar in blue have business class available. Dates in green have business and economy available.
Here’s what New York JFK – Dublin looks like for August and September (October is similar):
When it’s available it’s usually available for both flights.
Availability isn’t only in one direction, here’s availability for Dublin to New York JFK in August and September:
Boston – Dublin is equally good.
Interestingly, Boston – Shannon appears good for economy only.
San Francisco – Dublin is available mostly in economy.
How Much Do Awards Cost?
United charges 70,000 miles each way for US – Europe on partner airlines including Aer Lingus.
British Airways charges based on distance. Boston – Dublin and Boston – Shannon are just under the 3000 mile mark so they are just 12,500 miles each way in economy and (sadly now) 37,500 each way in business class.
Other East Coast flights outside of Orlando are less than 4000 miles so 20,000 Avios each way for economy and 60,000 for business.
As a result British Airways Avios are the cheaper way to redeem for these flights.
The great thing about using British Airways Avios is that Aer Lingus adds only the most modest of fuel surcharges onto their fares, so they’re inexpensive redemptions across the Atlantic.
Chase is offering a total of 100,000 bonus Avios for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and of course Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to British Airways.
Ultimate Rewards transfer to United, as well, so you can use those to top off a United MileagePlus account.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is offering 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $4000 spend within 3 months, plus 5000 points for adding a no fee authorized user and making a purchase within that time period. The card is $0 the first year, then $95.
The Aer Lingus Product
US-Ireland, especially from the East Coast, is a short enough flight that many will opt for economy.
For business class, Aer Lingus has installed a fantastic new product.