Which Aer Lingus Flights Feature The New Business Class?

Last July, Aer Lingus announced that they would be installing a new fully flat business class product throughout their longhaul A330 fleet.

I’ve flown Aer Lingus’ old business class product between Boston and Dublin before, which I enjoyed. After all, Boston to Dublin is quite a short flight, so even an older business class product is fine.

The reason I’m especially interested in Aer Lingus’ business class to begin with is because they’re a British Airways Executive Club partner, and redeeming BA Avios on Aer Lingus is an incredible value, due in part to the fact that they don’t impose fuel surcharges.

Anyway, I’ve received a lot of questions as to which Aer Lingus routes will feature the new business class product. Originally Aer Lingus was only planning on starting the reconfiguration process in March of this year, though it looks like they’re ahead of schedule.

Aer Lingus recently updated the seatmaps for some flights to reflect the new business class product. Based on seatmaps, it looks like the new business class product will begin debuting on routes as of the following dates:

  • Dublin to San Francisco: January 28, 2015
  • Dublin to New York: January 29, 2015
  • Dublin to Chicago: February 1, 2015
  • Dublin to Orlando: February 17, 2015
  • Dublin to Boston: February 27, 2015

There are a few important things to note:

  • The above dates reflect the first dates I see the new business class seatmap on a given route. That being said, in many cases the new product is only on the schedule for a couple of days a week at first, so be sure you check the seatmap for the flight you’re eying.
  • Presumably this is all subject to change, since the first plane hasn’t even been reconfigured yet. So it could be that the above is aspirational.
  • The 757-200s that Aer Lingus is leasing and flying on select frequencies to Boston, New York, and Toronto, won’t feature the new business class product.

As a reminder, to figure out whether your flight is scheduled to feature the new product or not, see if the seatmap reflects a staggered configuration, which alternates between four and five seats per row in business class, like this:

Aer-Lingus-Seatmap

If the seatmap shows six seats per row, then it’s the old product:

Aer-Lingus-Seatmap-1

I can’t wait to try out Aer Lingus’ new business class product, especially in conjunction with all of their new product offerings, including onboard wifi, an arrivals lounge in Dublin, and improved lounges with pre-flight dining in the US.

Aer-Lingus-Lounge-Dublin
Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin

So, who’s going to be the first to redeem British Airways Avios for travel on Aer Lingus?

Comments

  1. Flew their old business DUB-JFK 2 days ago. Agree the old product is good enough for that route, but an upgrade can’t hurt. Main issue right now for me would be their new lounge in DUB which is lacking in food options. It’s before the US Immigration which is a shame too, but then they’d need two lounges.

    I had admittedly just come from the United LHR lounge which is particularly pleasant.

  2. This is great news, since I was planning a trip sometime in the spring / early summer. Does anybody know which routes and dates have good business award availability using Avios? I called BA and asked about the BOS-DUB route and the JFK-DUB route, both of which had zero business availability in the month of May. It’s difficult to ask the agent “so I’m looking for any J availability on any US-Europe route from March to May”, so I thought I’d ask here if anyone has noticed trends in J for the spring / summer.

  3. Would you rather fly DUB-SFO-LAX on Aer Lingus/AA or DUB-LHR-LAX on BA, assuming both are in J? Does BA.com show Aer Lingus space online?

  4. @ Stannis — Nope, BA’s website doesn’t show space, you have to call. All else being equal I’d probably go with BA, though keep in mind they impose fuel surcharges while Aer Lingus doesn’t (assuming you’re on an award), in which case I’d take Aer Lingus.

  5. BA doesn’t show availability. I checked on united.com and then called BA to book. United did have availability that BA didn’t but still got the same same day in mid April, just on the later flight. Still, a bit longer in the lounge.

  6. @Lucky – Where are you seeing those seat maps? BA are being a bit rubbish about giving me my Aer Lingus booking reference (and the BA one doesn’t work on their site). If I do a dummy booking for the flight I’m on it’s just showing three rows of three seats in business!

  7. Interesting to see that they are upgrading the product. I really liked the “old” business class seat and for my flights from BOS-DUB on an Avios redemption, no one was next to me, I had free Wi-Fi to use and I had to actually stop the FA from refilling the wine glass as she was very, very attentive never letting my glass go empty. It was a short, comfy flight that I’d love to do again. Now I have a reason to go back as if I need to justify a trip to Dublin – the Westin was fab and the Morrison (a Doubletree) a great surprise with cookies!

  8. Definitely not liking the configuration in the center. The aisle seat without the console is definitely inferior to the one with the console. I do like that there are adjacent seats at the window though. And it’s nice that they also have single window seats. I just so prefer reverse herringbone. I’ll admit I’ve never seen reverse herringbone with two adjacent seats at the window, and I understand that this is business, not first, but I’m thinking it could have been done in the same amount of cabin space.

  9. I’m flying YYZ-DUB-AUH return in J with EI and EY in March. I’m kind of bummed that they are still operating only the leased Air Contractors 757 from Toronto, which has the angled lie -flat seats, but apparently they are going to be using the re-configured A330s on some of their YYZ-DUB frequencies when they increase them for the summer season.

  10. Enjoy the no fuel surcharge while you can – BA are trying to take over Aer Lingus and I imagine the fuel surcharges will appear if that does happen.

  11. @ Stuart — Hmmm, I could be mistaken, but I believe the 757s don’t even have angled seats. I believe they’re just recliners. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, though.

  12. @ Daviddd — I’m using ExpertFlyer. I’d suggest trying Expedia or Orbitz if the Aer Lingus website is giving you weird seatmaps (I had the same happen).

  13. Hi Ben

    Was wondering if you have seen award availability on anything other than the boston to dublin route? I would be using avios. Thank!

  14. @ danny — Yes, I’ve seen some space on all routes except San Francisco, which is extremely difficult for finding space.

  15. Lucky, are you familiar with the amount of one-way availability from DUB to JFK?

    Using Delta’s new one-way award booking, I am thinking about doing a (surcharge free) JFK to LHR booking on Virgin Atlantic upper class, flying on to Europe via BA, and flying Aer Berlin back through Dublin (with a one or two night stop)…

  16. Has EI opened up any business awards BOS-DUB for this summer yet? Using United search nothing is available anywhere.

  17. @ Ken — I have seen some seats, though BA has different access to space than United, so you’ll want to call to find out.

  18. I was able to score two business class tickets in august from bos-dub and dub-bos. I did it back in sept. Though so good luck finding them now. I’m really excited for these new seats especially since I’ve never flown anything but coach!

  19. I’m trying to find two seats bos-dub-bos June, July or August. Not a single set there or home via the BA call center!

  20. @Andrew – I’m seeing BOS-DUB on Aug 18th or 19th. And then DUB-BOS Sep 2nd or 3rd. But that’s it, doesn’t look like any other dates are available. Things filled up real quick compared to last year.

  21. has anyone flown it?
    it looks like when you are lying down
    it would be a very narrow fit between the screen and your legs,
    like sleeping on your side would be either uncomfortable or impossible

  22. Providing a data point:
    Family and I are booked on EI 136 and EI 138 in late July, and both show the “new” Y configuration. šŸ™‚

  23. Which are the better seats to choose in business class in this new configuration? We are a family of four flying this summer, Boston to Dublin, two of us on each flight (6PM & 9PM). It will be one adult and one child (age 10) on each flight. I couldn’t find this seat map on seatguru.

  24. It will be nice to get Ben and others’ opinions. Three of us are traveling, BOS-DUB, two on the 6pm and then me on the 9pm. I picked 2a and then put the other two together in 6HK.

  25. And for those of us traveling in staggered arrivals like this…I wonder if the new Aer Lingus terminal 2 arrivals lounge will be open yet? It would be nice for our families to have somewhere nice to wait when they arrive to Dublin early in the morning.

  26. Were all you guys able to book those J seats as awards? I’ve been looking for months and have never seen any J awards open on for the BOS-DUB June-August flights.

  27. I’ve been looking for June-August forever for two tickets. I finally broke down and purchased flights in J and the cheapest carrier was Aer Lingus from Boston. We purchased 4 seats. Only 4 sold on the flight.

    I just don’t think that they have released the seats yet!

  28. I had looked off and on since the fall, and then almost by chance, I happened to look today, and there they were. They were not there yesterday — I know that for sure.

  29. I got my tickets as award flights with Avios. I was looking for 4 BOS-DUB tix for sometime in August (last month) but only found one day with 4 biz seats (August 4th). So I had booked my return in coach w/avios in (economy) at that time (from Dublin to Boston). Two days ago I put in an alert on expertflyer.com for BOS-DUB biz class tickets in a 4-day window (August 9-12). The next day (yesterday) I got an alert that many of the dates had opened up in biz! I chose August 11th, but the 10th also had 4 biz seats, and the 9th and 12th had two each each last time I looked.

  30. Ken, you’re right! There is tons of business availability now! Thanks for posting. I was still within the 24 hours “cooling off” period, so I was able to cancel our two 6pm tickets and get all 4 of us on the same 9pm flight together!

  31. Glad to help šŸ™‚ We had to cancel our Ireland trip last summer, and this summer isn’t looking good either. We already have a 3 week trip to SE Asia on CX F, and we’re not sure if we’re buying a house and we’d need August to move so we can’t be jetting around in Ireland.

  32. Snagged four(4) BOS-DUB-BOS J seats for mid-August 2015 travel.
    IMHO, a good burn of 200k Avios (and $114/person in taxes and fees).

    BA rep (had to call) said, “We sure are booking a lot of Aer Lingus award flights today.”
    šŸ™‚

  33. @ Harry — It depends on the date/flight. I wouldn’t trust SeatGuru. Have you tried just pulling up the seatmap directly?

  34. Is it possible to pull up the seatmap without buying a ticket? I’m redeeming Avios and want to make sure we’ve got a plane with the new J seats. No J coming back into the US though since we’re departing SNN which is a leased plane.

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