Lucky Charms Ireland: Introduction

Introduction
W Boston
Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge Boston & Air France Business Class Lounge Boston
Aer Lingus Business Class Boston to Dublin
Four Seasons Dublin
Exploring Dublin
Ritz Carlton Powerscourt
Hilton Dublin Airport
Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge Dublin
Aer Lingus Business Class Dublin to Boston
InterContinental Boston


Okay, I’m not sure what the title of the post has to do with anything, but I love Lucky Charms cereal, my “name” is Lucky, and Lucky Charms’ mascot is Irish, right? As you can see we have very high standards here at One Mile at a Time when it comes to post titles. 😉

Ever since I was young I’ve wanted to visit Ireland. It’s a country that has always fascinated me, but for whatever reason I kept pushing off visiting. I guess part of it was that Ireland doesn’t fit too well into any “aspirational” award redemption, given that there aren’t very many exciting airline products to Ireland. Furthermore, I never really saw any compelling mileage “specials” that would cause me to book a trip there. I knew I’d eventually make it there, I was just putting it off for all the wrong reasons until the perfect opportunity rose.

In April that opportunity finally arose when I found out it was possible to redeem 50,000 British Airways Avios for roundtrip business class between Boston and Dublin. While Aer Lingus business class might not seem like the most “aspirational” airline product, I’ve always been kind of curious about their product and have wanted to try them. And at 50,000 Avios roundtrip it sure was an amazing value.

The reason this was so cheap is that British Airways’ new (devalued) award chart is distance based, and the cost for a roundtrip distance of 6,000 miles is 50,000 Avios in business class or 25,000 Avios in coach. As luck would have it, Boston to Dublin is just under 3,000 miles each way, so it would be just 50,000 Avios roundtrip (vs. the next distance up on the award chart, which would have been 80,000 Avios roundtrip).

The other downside to Avios points is that British Airways imposes huge fuel surcharges on award redemptions, in particular to Europe. As it turned out Aer Lingus doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on award redemptions, so the total cost of taxes/fees was under $150 roundtrip per passenger.

Unfortunately there’s no way to search Aer Lingus award space online (at least not the space that British Airways has access to), so I called up the Executive Club call center, which is one of my least favorites. After about 30 minutes on the phone I had the following tickets booked in business class for me and a friend for 50,000 Avios roundtrip per person:

06/27 Aer Lingus 136 Boston to Dublin departing at 6:25PM and arriving at 5:20AM (+1 day)
07/04 Aer Lingus 137 Dublin to Boston departing at 2:15PM and arriving at 4:15PM

Since the trip originated in Boston and I live in Tampa, I booked a separate ticket from Tampa to Boston on American for about $250 roundtrip, which I won’t be covering in this trip report since they were run of the mill domestic flights. I scheduled an overnight in Boston in each direction to leave plenty of room to connect, and since I haven’t been in Boston for years, so was interested in seeing a bit of the city again.

I’ll cover the actual hotel and itinerary decision-making process in the individual installements, though those are the basics of how my trip to Ireland came to be.

It’s also worth mentioning that this deal is alive and well, so if you’re interested in visiting Ireland this is about the most economical way to do so. If you have any questions regarding my trip or how to book Aer Lingus awards, just let me know in the comments section.

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Comments

  1. Lucky, I actually have one of these bos-dub awards booked. My return is in coach as I didn’t have enough miles at the time to book the wife and I rt in biz. Do you think it is worth the change fee to now redo the reservation and do rt in biz?

  2. @ adam — I’d definitely pay the 12,500 mile premium and change fee to get transatlantic business class, not just for the improved onboard experience, but premium check-in, security, and lounge access.

  3. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your posts because my family and I are going to Ireland in early September.

  4. Really excited to read these reviews. I booked my Summer 2013 trip just yesterday when I have been waiting for schedules to open up. Because of this great redemption I am bringing over 7 people for only 175k avios and less than $900 in fees. Great deal! And really excited. Couple of things to point out:

    1) This is only bookable on the phone.They waived the $25 booking fee because it’s not possible to book online so the taxes and fees came out to $117 per ticket. Paying more than that you should call back.
    2) There is plenty of redemption availability. I booked mine over a major holiday week and they had 9 domestic and 5 business class for my dates which depart and arrive on weekends.
    3) BA cust reps are just plain nasty. But, they get the job done. Don’t expect a nice converstaion. They are the “soup nazi’s” of customer service.
    4) Off topic but they have Miami to Lima, Peru for the same redemption on LAN airlines. Would be a great post if you can do this trip.

  5. Really looking forward to the other posts. We will be spending a lot of time (a lot as in months and months) in Ireland in 2013.

  6. I just booked a trip to dublin a few days ago, granted its not the avios deal, but i did manage to find a ticket on united for $500. Which for me is good since i need the miles to requalify. Looking forward to checking out the city, any tips on places to see or things to do?

  7. I booked this trip (bos-dub) 2 months ago for 4 of us in business class. Couldn’t get 4 seats on same plane, so, booked seperate planes about 2-3 hours apart. trip is in april. My plan is to contact BA a month or 2 before the trip and try to consolidate us onto the same plane and preferably change itinerary to Mco-dub (we are in s. florida. Also would like to change itinerary to include dublin-edinburgh on same ticket, but, of course that would increase the mileage over 3000. Any thoughts???

  8. Hi Ben,

    Just did this last month, but my final destination was past Dublin to Edinburgh. Couldn’t get BA to release the seats for an additional award from DUB to EDI, so I had to book a separate RT for around $250. On the DUB-EDI flight there were only 4 pax, and I checked award availability every week until flight time. Do you think BA doesn’t allow award tickets on Aer Lingus for travel past Ireland? Can’t figure out why award space wasn’t opened up.

  9. @ Jon H. — Will have tips in the Dublin section.

    @ miamislick — You would be charged 80,000 instead of 50,000 for departing out of Orlando, so you may just be better off booking that ticket to Boston separately, especially since I don’t think they’ll release four seats on one flight. For whatever reason Aer Lingus is really stingy about releasing intra-Europe award space, so you may be stuck buying that segment separately.

    @ bo — Wish I had an explanation, though Aer Lingus seems to just be very stingy with releasing award space intra-Europe.

  10. OMG. I can’t believe I ran into this. Lucky, we made almost the same itinerary. Currently staying at the Four Seasons, then in a couple of days going to the Ritz, then finally the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel. I flew BA F though to LHR then ET to Dublin. So far, plenty fun. Looking forward to comparing experiences once you finish writing the rest. Ciao.

    post scriptum:
    See you at the Chicago Seminars…

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