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Aer Lingus launches Dublin to San Francisco, available for Avios redemption

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Aer Lingus launched its new route to San Francisco last week.  This will be followed by the new Dublin to Toronto route on April 21st.

The San Francisco service is operating five times a week, departing Dublin at 12.20pm and arriving in San Francisco at 3.20pm.

Aer Lingus route map

What is attractive about Aer Lingus is:

they are a British Airways partner, so you can book them using Avios (as long as those Avios sit at and not

they charge very low taxes and charges.  It is difficult to calculate these in advance, but a long-haul Business Class generally comes in at around £75 per person.

My ‘Avios Redemption University’ article on Aer Lingus, which lists all of their long-haul routes, is here.

The most annoying thing about Aer Lingus is that you cannot book their redemptions online.  You need to call British Airways Executive Club to do it.  Flights will cost the same in Avios points as a British Airways service, ie 100,000 in Club World / 50,000 in Economy to San Francisco and 80,000 / 40,000 to Toronto, return.

It is also not possible to accurately check availability online.  The Qantas frequent flyer scheme website appears to be relatively close to showing the seats BA can book.  However, the Qantas site has a habit of showing 9 business class seats available, when in reality there tends to be just two.  There is NO online service which can exactly match what the British Airways call centre will offer you.

You need to remember that there are only 24 business class seats per plane, so expect availability to be hard to find.  In any event, Aer Lingus does not release more than two business class seats on a flight.

Interestingly, these two new routes represent a genuine addition to the Aer Lingus network.  They are not cutting other routes in order to offer these services.  The company has leased three Boeing 757’s, previously used by Finnair, for the shorter routes.  This is unlikely to offer state-of-the-art comfort or space, but you can’t have it all!  San Francisco is operated by an A330 which was freed up from New York and Boston runs.

As far as seating goes, business class currently features the sloping Aer Lingus seat:

Aer Lingus A330 business class throne seat

It has announced plans to install fully flat seats.  Some US press coverage I saw quotes the Aer Lingus CEO as saying that the San Francisco route will be the first to get the new seat at the end of 2014.

These new Aer Lingus flights start from Dublin.  You would need to book a separate ticket to Ireland if you don’t want to pay long-haul Air Passenger Duty to the UK Government.  If you do this, though, remember that Aer Lingus is not liable to you if you miss your connection.

Don’t forget that Aer Lingus flights clear US customs and immigration in Dublin!  When you land, you are treated like a domestic passenger and can walk straight out of the airport without any delay.  That may be worth the inconvenience of the ‘angled lie-flat seat’ ….

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Andrew S says:

    Raffles – i understood that oneworld rules were that passengers on seperate tickets connecting within oneworld are protected as if they had a single PNR. I can no longer find the general condition, but here is AA version:

    “If a customer is holding separate tickets on AA or another oneworld carrier, customers holding separate tickets where travel is on oneworld airlines should be treated as through ticketed passengers. In the event of a disruption on the originating ticket, the carrier responsible for the disruption will be required to reroute the customer to their final destination.”

    • Rob says:

      It would be good if we could find a generic OW equivalent. Although, of course, Aer Lingus is not in oneworld.

    • nux says:

      There is no such published oneworld rule, AA is the only oneworld airline that currently has that rule published.

      Also as Raffles says, EI is not oneworld anyway.

      • Alan says:

        Indeed, AA are much more generous in this regard (although I wouldn’t be surprised if this also went given their recent behaviour!). I must say I don’t even trust BA with tickets on separate PNRs and try and leave an overnight stay between them (or at least quite a few hours).

        • Andrew S says:

          It does appear I was mistaken in my belief (and of course EI are not in the alliance anyway).

          Im going to be much more careful in the future!

  • N.American availability - Page 11 - FlyerTalk Forums says:

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This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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