Aer Lingus releases details of new lie-flat seats for your Avios redemptions

I reported back in April that the Aer Lingus CEO had told the media that the airline was planning to introduce lie-flat seating.  There was no further information given apart from a hint that San Francisco would be the first route to get the new seats – a logical choice given the distance.

Aer Lingus has now launched a website highlighting the new seat.

There is even a video:

It looks pretty darn good especially the solo seats by the windows in certain rows.  The bed is 6 foot 5 inches which should keep most people happy, and all seats face forward.  Your feet slot under the seat in front when the seat is in bed mode which allows the airline to maximise the number of seats.

Note, too, that business class passengers will receive free in-air wifi!  BA becomes less attractive by the minute ….

Aer Lingus is, of course, a British Airways redemption partner.  Dublin to Boston is possibly the best Avios redemption you can do, coming in at just 50,000 Avios return in business class or 25,000 Avios return in economy.

Taxes and surcharges are generally around £75 return, saving almost £500 per person on a comparable BA Club World redemption – although you need to get yourself to Dublin of course.

You will also clear US immigration in Dublin, allowing you to land as a domestic passenger and walk straight out of the airport – potentially saving you an hour queuing in Passport Control.

Full details of how and where to redeem on Aer Lingus can be found in this Avios Redemption University article.  You cannot book online and you cannot even search for availability online – the Qantas website shows some Aer Lingus reward seats but that does not match what BA can access.

The airline has historically made two business class seats available per flight for redemption.  Given that the new business class cabins looks large – the video implies that the current 24-seat business class cabin will be expanded to 32 seats – I am hopeful that this situation will not change.

The only downside from this news is that the launch date has slipped from 2014 to March 2015 – but it looks worth the wait.

Plaza Premium Lounge now open in Terminal 2 - more terminals soon
Up to 30% bonus when you buy Avios in August - but cheaper via Iberia
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, airline miles and hotel points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our emails via the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Remind me… Can you earn as well as burn on EI?

    • Yes you do earn miles on EI. IIRC it’s 125% for a business class ticket.

      Service & food is streets ahead of BA CW, and they have run some very aggressive sale fares from the UK in the past, too.

  2. I agree Rob, it looks nice.

  3. Looks much better than their previous product. Handy for me aswell with Cambridge airport flights to Dublin for £99 return. Free parking at Cambridge too!

    • Felix Flyer says:

      Thanks for the tip about Cambridge airport. Handy for me too. Only downside for me about Aer Lingus is that we are a family of 3.

    • DeltaCharlie says:

      Another Cambridge resident here, and been contemplating a Boston trip for a while………….

      • Exactly my thinking.
        I used Darwin to fly to Amsterdam and it was an ok experience. Only me and one other on the plane. I keep hearing the adverts on the radio so let’s hope it becomes popular and flights continue.

  4. BA will need to address this issue pretty soon. They must be losing a lot of customers.

    • To Aer Lingus, I highly doubt it. What makes you say that?

      • Stand in Dublin airport any morning and watch increasing numbers of connecting (often premium) passengers from Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester etc heading for their US customs cleared transatlantic flights and you’ll understand.

        I’m sure ex-EI CEO Willie Walsh does! But then he’s lumbered with Heathrow and insane taxes (and self-inflicted charges)

  5. We have just come back from Orlando with Aer Lingus. Dublin is far more convenient for us, as our nearest Airport is Manchester. BA was always a none starter as they have stopped there flights from Manchester to Gatwick

  6. At the moment all the A330 fleet has 24 seats. With the new seat this will change. The -200s will retain 24 seats and the -300 fleet will expand to 30 seats.
    The 757s (all SNN routes, Toronto and selected winter DUB-JFK flights) will retain their current 12 seat “almost” lie-flat seat. This seems to be the seat VS used prior to Upper Class Suite. These do have AVOD, but no WiFi.

  7. Can you not add on a Heathrow (or wherever) connection to DUB as part of a redemption booking?

    • If you could, would that mean it was an ex-UK flight resulting in you losing the benefit of lower taxes/avoiding APD?

      • You would have to pay APD which adds £170 or so, and of course the extra flight would cost 9,000 Avios return. You still would not pay a fuel surcharge.

        • So presumably the best thing to do with a redemption is book DUB-USA-DUB-UK, then grab a cheap flight over to Ireland the night before. The Radisson is solid enough and is walking distance from the terminal.

          • If booking UK Dublin on Aer Lingus I would be happy doing it same day – even though it is not the same ticket, Aer Lingus would take moral responsibility for helping you out.

            • Aer Lingus are always ok in those situations, and as the airline celebrates escaping Ryanair’s deadly grasp it’s expanding again (Austin and other new routes next year),

              On the subject of partial alternatives to BA, have just booked RFS from Belfast to Berlin (4500 avios) via LHR and the return, Vienna-LHR-BHD for 7500.

              The bit in the middle came courtesy of one of Air Berlin’s current topdeal offers; Vienna-Berlin 6000 tb miles.

              Huge list of offers closing tomorrow, including Miami and New York for 15000.

              Topdeals come around again and again. It’s worth converting some hotel miles to the Air Berlin scheme to take advantage, then using BA avios to make the connection to Tegel (or Munich or surprisingly large list of non-German departure points).

              Current list of discounts is at http://www.airberlin.com/en-GB/site/tb/redeem/bargainredemption.php

              You’d hope BA will feel the need to respond to (especially transatlantic) competition from Aer Lingus and Air Berlin by cutting shocking add-on charges, but who knows…

  8. This is exciting – some rare good news for long haul avios redemptions. Fantastic!

  9. Can anybody remind me of what major cities fall into which mileage bands for onward travel in N America , as I’m trying to work out the ‘best’ Avios way to, say, Vancouver or Seattle from the UK and/or Dublin. ? Thanks.

  10. Watch out for the new Aer Lingus routes out of Dublin for Summer 2015, that will be announced in another month or two.

    Indications are one to Texas, and one to a new East coast destination (MIA).

    If MIA became a reality, would open up a whole host of Avios redemption options with little taxes to Carribean/Mexico, with MIA being an AA hub.

    http://www.goingonrewards.com/2014/08/aer-lingus-new-ireland-to-usa-routes-in.html

    • Farringdon says:

      DUB-MIA would also mean immigration pre-clearance in DUB, wouldn’t it? That seems like a huge advantage.

    • Taxes on rtns on AA back to MIA from the Caribbean seem to be higher though, for most Caribbean islands they charge GBP12 for the outbound but GBP70ish for a return.

    • I flew from Dub to Sfo last week with Aer Lingus and was speaking with an off duty Aer Lingus pilot who told me that Aer Lingus are looking at flying from Dublin to Las Vegas next year.

      • That would be very interesting. Due it being a very popular route, it is usually excluded from any ‘offers’ that BA or Virgin have. It would also be a decent Business Avios redemption as well :)

  11. should have be a question mark in there, i.e. “(MIA?)”

  12. Never seen the TopDeals before – but never flown Air Berlin. Some great deals there.

    But 150 miles per hotel review looks like it could be a goldmine at https://secure.holidaycheck.com/hotelrate.php?hc_cid=HCCOM_B2B_AB_airberlin&tsource=AB_HBAUF – it would be easy to just copy those i’ve done on Trip Advisor and pick up a quick flight to AUH/NYC.

    Anyone?

  13. Mr Bridge says:

    hi Robfles,
    thanks for the inspiration, I have just booked my holiday to bermuda for next year.

    It was worth the 48min wait on baec.
    fly dublin to boston 1 way 2 people in business class 50k avios +£106.54 taxes
    used my marco polo club (which for some odd reason the extended by 6 months) to book the seats 1a+1c.
    for the return booked bda-lgw in ist class ( thanks to tims calculator) 120k avios and total £352
    logged into finair and change ff no to book the seats for free with marco polo!

    just got to arrange to get to dublin, and then boston to bda( any ideas!)

    would never had been able to any of this if HFP didn’t exist! will be topping up on amazon gift vouchers for your tip…hope you saw i bought a tv last month!

    J

    • American flies JFK to Bermuda cheaply, and BOS to JFK (or take the train). You can also route via Philadelphia. Decent redemption as no tax.

    • I didn’t think you would be able to use CX Gold to select seats on an EI flight considering they aren’t a oneworld carrier?!

      • Yes, this doesn’t make sense. Aer Lingus offer free seating assignments in J to all and BA F would be a free seating assignment, too…

      • Mr Bridge says:

        was told can book seats, then i asked about cx, he putin me number and then could select seats. yes i think i changed via finair was not needed!

    • My Marco Polo hold card has been extended by 6 months as well. Also very interesting that they’re offering reduced thresholds for Amex Platinum holders than ‘normal’ Marco Polo members (although I ditched my Platinum card in March so don’t even hold it anymore)

  14. Lady London says:

    This makes a big difference. Think I’ll be taking my first EI flight for many years soon.

  15. I flew from Dublin to San Francisco last week with Aer Lingus . The flight took off at 2.30pm and three hours into the flight the lights in the cabin were turned off and we were asked to pull the window blinds down so that we could ‘take the opportunity to rest” . I could understand it if was late evening or later but 5.30pm !!! . I refused to drop my blind and don’t like to be told when I should be “resting” ! The lights weren’t turned on again for another 6 hours . I have not experienced anything like that before.

  16. This is interesting. Free parking at Heathrow and a 50 minute flight is well worth it for a £1,000+ saving.