As reported by View From the Wing, Aer Lingus would appear to be joining oneworld alliance after news that the parent of British Airways is acquiring a significant stake in the airline.
This is great news for folks with elite status on American Airlines. Why?
- Dublin is a great airport to connect through in Europe. I was there last fall and found it to be easy to navigate (much more so than Heathrow). And, Aer Lingus is updating their lounge offerings there.
- They have a number of routes from the US to Dublin now. Gary covers most of them but left out my home city of Washington-Dulles (IAD). This route was already supposed to have transitioned to an A330 and the new business class product but I still see some days where it’s being operated as a 757.
- Avoiding the painful fuel surcharges British Airways charges to fly to London and beyond from the US.
I reviewed a prototype of their new business class seat last year and found it to be quite comfortable. It’s the same seat that JetBlue is using for their Mint service, though the Aer Lingus seats have a few small changes like cloth instead of leather to make them a bit better for sleeping. This seat is already rolled out on most North American routes.
I have no idea what award availability will look like once the change happens, nor do I have any idea about the timetable. But, since the United Airlines Black Friday devaluation, the prices to book a partner award to Europe in business class are 140,000 miles round-trip, where they used to be 100,000. Now, it’s possible that American Airlines has a devaluation before access to Aer Lingus becomes available, but it will be great to have another option to get overseas with AAdvantage miles, especially in new business class seats.
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