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Aer Lingus launches flights to …. Cleveland?

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Aer Lingus has announced a new route to the United States, and it won’t be one you expected.

The airline will be flying from Dublin to Cleveland, Ohio from 19th May.

There will be four flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) using an A321LR aircraft. This is a single aisle aircraft which is adapted for long haul flying, and is the same type as I reviewed here when I flew Aer Lingus to New York in July.

Cleveland – with a population of just 400,000 – is an odd choice, especially as Aer Lingus has yet to restart flights to pre-covid destinations such as Minneapolis. You can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whilst you’re there, of course.

As Mrs Merton would say, ‘Why did you want to fly to that home of very generous Government grants, Cleveland?’.

Routes Online reports that Aer Lingus will receive an incentive package of $600,000 over a three-year period for operating the service. A partnership comprising Jobs Ohio, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team NEO, and Destination Cleveland will provide a further $2.4 million. Divide $3 million over three years by four flights per week and that’s a handy $5,000 per return trip.

It is arguably good value for a city which has no existing flights to Europe, a factor which undoubtedly hinders inward investment. The last transatlantic carriers to fly there were Icelandair and WOW Air, which both flew to the not hugely convenient hub of Reykjavik in 2018. Continental flew from Cleveland to London in the early 2000s.

Avios availability seems to be good including in Business Class if you’ve wanted to give the A321LR a try. That said, ba.com throws up an error message when you try to book so I can’t give exact details. There is no availability at all via avios.com. It is still early days though.


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Comments (37)

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

  • Thywillbedone says:

    Was about to pull the trigger on some Hyatt points earlier this month …I didn’t factor in the possibility of government buffoonery completely banjaxing the currency …

  • Paul says:

    Anyone know if there is a false availability issue for Aer Lingus flights? Can’t book flights showing as available online as it errors for some reason and when I try to call up there aren’t any seats? No seats come up on Avios.com

  • Littlefish says:

    Didn’t mind Cleveland, not really a winter destination though. Flight timings are awkward as only gets into CLE at 18:50. The return to DUB is also too late at 08:50.
    Onward travel would be a limitation too, though a good few choices on Southwest.

  • Concerto says:

    There’s the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the best…

  • RussellH says:

    I took a flight out of Cleveland in 1977 to London. Just took about 40 minutes too.
    🙂

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      LMR-MME was a regular bmi route for a long time. Loganair had a shot at it but it didn’t last long.

  • Scallder says:

    As it’s bits, my wife and I have just had an email from Barclays “We really hope you’re enjoying Barclays Avios Rewards and Barclaycard Avios Plus. To say thanks for being one of the first people to sign up for both, we’d like to give you 25,000 Avios for free. We’ll automatically add them to your account by the end of October. Your Barclays team”

    Surprise 50k. Great start to a weekend!

    • illuminatus says:

      Got the same, extremely impressed with Barclays Avios treatment from they one – I had a 5K bonus after they delayed Apple Pay, and now this. By far the best ‘proactive retention’ policy I’ve come across – will be ditching my HSBC WE card soon and putting most my spend thru Barclays. Take note, Amex and HSBC, this is how you reward loyalty, not ‘sweeteners’ at point when I am calling to cancel my card.

  • Nick says:

    CLE could do quite well if the schedule is optimised well enough. There’s lots of traffic in both directions between Germany and the rust belt – EI has a decent number of European routes that would work well, particularly with preclearance on the way.

  • Todd says:

    Cleveland, despite it’s smaller downtown population has a catchment area including the suburbs of over 2 million residents. It’s the largest metro area in the US without transatlantic service. It’s a headquarters or US base for many large companies including Eaton which has a HQ in Dublin, Ireland and has become a major healthcare destination with the Cleveland Clinic. It’s a strong choice for Aer Lingus, the service should be successful.

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

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