Bits: Dublin Airport opens US preclearance lounge (with photos), South African Airways sale

News in brief:

Dublin Airport opens a new US preclearance lounge

One benefit of booking an Avios redemption to the United States on Aer Lingus is the incredibly low taxes.  These are usually around £75 return in Business Class, compared to £500 on British Airways – see my Avios Redemption University article here.  Given the smart new Aer Lingus business class seating, you can see why a lot of people are happy to catch a connecting flight to Dublin and redeem from there.

51st Green Dublin Airport preclearance lounge

The 2nd reason is that you can clear US customs and immigration in Dublin. You land in the USA as a domestic passenger and can walk straight out of the airport without any delay.

Yesterday, a brand new airport lounge opened in Dublin – The 51st Green.

51st Green Dublin Airport preclearance lounge

It is located AFTER the US immigration desks and will give premium passengers on any airline heading to the US somewhere to wait during the final few minutes before boarding.  It may even improve punctuality as it will encourage passengers to pass through immigration earlier.  It isn’t clear if oneworld / BA status members will gain access if flying Economy on Aer Lingus or American Airlines.

A HFP reader was in Dublin yesterday and sent me the pictures used in this article – thanks Jeff.  Click on the images to enlarge them.

51st Green Dublin Airport preclearance lounge

South African Airways sale ends today

Whilst the latest British Airways sale finished last week, South African Airways has a few hours to go on its own Summer sale.  Here are the headline prices in Economy and Business – the Business fares are available over Christmas and New Year:

  • Johannesburg £512 / £2455
  • Cape Town £529 / £2472
  • Windhoek £530 / £2756
  • Durban £537 / £2699
  • Port Elizabeth £537 / £2670
  • East London £637 / £2832

amongst other destinations.  As a Star Alliance member, you can credit the miles from the flight to a number of loyalty schemes including Lufthansa’s Miles & More, SAS EuroBonus and United MileagePlus.

You can find out more on the SAA site here but, unless the sale gets extended, you need to book today.

Random thoughts: T5 Fast Track, Zipcar by the mile, why I'm moving to Paris for 5 days!
Why you should NEVER book Avios flights on Iberia via
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  1. Great news! Flying AA in J from Dublin next month! 😉

  2. Fiona Whyte says:

    Brilliant – flying J ex-EU for the first time next month and a surprise for my hubby’s 50th!

  3. Mr Iain Ponton says:

    Good news..

    The lounge that AA uses is aweful. Hopefully the drinks and snacks offerings are good enough in this new lounge that it will encourage folk to not waste time and get through security quicker…ie

  4. Great news, flying AA on Sunday morning to PHL.
    Does anybody know if there a fast track for US immigration for business passengers? Thanks

    • I don’t think so – last time I went through there were two lines. One for people who had previously travelled using an ESTA and one for first time travellers with an ESTA and those who need a visa.

  5. Strictly, it’s called the 51st & Green (note the ampersand offset below in the logo) – it’s meant to be like an American street intersection, rather than an extremely long golf course… Either way, a pretty rubbish name.

  6. Diydegsy says:

    Hi we are a family of 5 travelling BA business from Dublin via Gatwick to Orlando next month. The flights booked as a through ticket from Dublin to Gatwick are with aer lingus but will we still be able to clear us immigration as mentioned and use the new lounge or is it only passengers who are travelling direct to the states?

    • Only for flights that are going directly to the USA – the extra security/immigration they do in Dublin wouldn’t really have any benefit for them if you’re then getting off a plane in Gatwick :)

  7. Oooooh – I fly to NYC with AA business class on Friday – Looking forward to trying this out!

  8. Aer Lingus avios availability – Do I search on for a guide on dates? (I looked on google but got lost!).
    Is Avios availability the same as other carrier availability?

    • No, unfortunately not. What you see at United or Qantas is not the same as is available to British Airways.

      Once Aer Club launches (September?) this problem should go away as Aer Lingus availability should be transparent. That has good and bad sides, though, as more people will compete for the seats.

  9. OT has anyone tried transferring some MR points to a Kris Flyer account not in their name – but surnames the same – my hubby is going to have more MR points than me and I want to build up enough points in an account for each of us for a future trip.

  10. Peter K says:

    It’s a bit late to the conversation on the supercard extra fees so I’ll add it here.
    Supercard’s little extra charges are basically their way of making money.

    I bought the Iberia Groupon codes first on curve, then on supercard on the same day coincidentally, both linked to the same underlying card.

    Before the extra charges were added curve was 1% more expensive almost exactly, as expected. After the charges it was only 0.85% more expensive. Likely the shift of currency value but effectively a 0.15% fee on the supercard. Small maybe but NOT fee free.

  11. Any HFPters here in NYC Concorde lounge tonight, we are heading back to LHR on the 21.30, love to say hello!

  12. What’s the latest on Aer Lingus Avios redemptions being visible/bookable via

  13. I flew through Dublin this week to test out pre-clearance.
    The US immigration and customs service is excellent BUT:
    1. Why do you have to go through Irish immigration, completely unnecessary when firstly you are transferring and secondly you’re in the CTA. Particularly annoying when an entire Italian High school is in front of you.
    2. Two rounds of security scanning after going through Irish immigration ! Ludicrous. I’ve been through security at LHR. Interested to see what would happen if you bought duty free at LHR..

  14. Can you use One Time United Club passes to gain access to 51st & Green?


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    Bits: Dublin Airport opens US preclearance lounge (with photos), South African Airways sale