Update On Aer Lingus Joining The Oneworld Alliance

Early last year it was announced that IAG would be taking over Aer Lingus. For those of you not familiar, IAG is the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling. This announcement drew mixed reactions. Personally I’m not a fan of British Airways (especially under their current leadership), so them expanding their “family” of airlines further is bad news, as far as I’m concerned.

Aer-Lingus-A330
Aer Lingus A330

Aer Lingus joining oneworld?

What I am excited about is the prospect of Aer Lingus joining the oneworld alliance, which has been part of the plan all along. Well, it has now been almost two years since it was announced that IAG would be taking over Aer Lingus, and we still haven’t heard much about the prospect of the airline joining oneworld.

While the date still hasn’t been set, it looks like we now have an update. USA Today reports that IAG chairman Willie Walsh hopes that Aer Lingus will join oneworld and the oneworld transatlantic joint venture in 2017:

“The plan is Aer Lingus will rejoin the oneworld alliance and therefore will benefit from the arrangements that apply,” Walsh said in an interview with Today in the Sky last week.

“We don’t have a specific timeline. We’re working as quickly as we can,” he said. “But these issues aren’t always as simple as they might appear. IT (information technology) tends to be the issue that drives the timeline on most of this — getting the Aer Lingus systems capable of interacting with the other oneworld carrier systems.”

“I would expect it in 2017, but I don’t have an exact date,” he added.

oneworld-transatlantic-joint-venture
Oneworld transatlantic joint venture airlines (as of now)

Pros and cons of Aer Lingus joining oneworld

On one hand I’m really excited about Aer Lingus joining oneworld. Aer Lingus is such a fun, quirky airline, with a great business class product. So I’m excited at the prospect of being able to earn and redeem miles on their flights. While you can already earn and redeem British Airways Avios for Aer Lingus flights, it’ll be cool to be able to earn and redeem American AAdvantage miles as well.

Aer-Lingus-Business-Class-5
Aer Lingus new A330 business class

I’m also excited about Aer Lingus joining the oneworld transatlantic joint venture. There are often fantastic oneworld business class fares between the US and Europe, so Aer Lingus flights would be eligible for those fares. I’ve booked several discounted business class tickets on British Airways the past couple of years, but would prefer flying Aer Lingus by a long shot.

The one major downside of Aer Lingus joining the oneworld transatlantic joint venture is that it would further reduce competition in the transatlantic market. Pricing is fixed across the oneworld joint venture, so it’s the equivalent of eliminating a competitor in the market.

As of now oneworld business class fares out of Dublin are generally excellent, though I expect that will change once Aer Lingus becomes part of the joint venture, since it’s their home market.

Aer-Lingus-Lounge-Dublin
Aer Lingus business class lounge Dublin

Bottom line

All things considered I’m excited about Aer Lingus joining oneworld. Hopefully it does in fact happen next year. While Aer Lingus doesn’t have all that much business class award availability, I’m still excited at the prospect of earning and redeeming miles on them, and flying them on discounted oneworld business class tickets.

Are you excited about Aer Lingus joining the oneworld alliance and transatlantic joint venture?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Seems short sighted and narrow minded to be excited about them joining. Losing a competitor on transatlantic routes and losing the ability to use United miles on Aer Lingus just for the possibility of being able to earn AA miles when you can already earn and use Avios doesn’t seem like it is a great trade off.

  2. I think the title of this should be changed to EI to rejoin the, because in fact EI was an OneWorld member until 2007

  3. Ditto, only negatives really. Existing BAEC redemptions on EI also have to be done over the phone which helps preserve availability.

  4. I’d assume that as an IAG airline we can expect BA or IB size fuel surcharges on oneworld award redemptions for IE seats?

  5. Please amend the article so that it is correct. EI Are rejoining One World not joining. A quick google search will show you they wer members until March 2007.

    I do like your blog but given that you are pretty much a journalist some accuracy would be nice every now and again.

  6. Will – nitpick much? I can’t believe some of the petty little things people like you rag on Lucky for. Get a life and stop deriving pleasure from putting people down. If you’re so perfect start your own blog and see how you like jerks picking on you for the tiniest of errors.

  7. @Will – I am a devout nitpicker when it comes to language, so when I say you’re being too picky, I speak from experience. Technically, you’re correct. But in this instance, using “joining” versus “rejoining” is a distinction that makes no difference in understanding to the reader. Nine years have passed, and – more importantly – the ownership of Aer Lingus has changed. Iin this very important way, it’s not the same airline that left OneWorld back in 2007.

    Now if Aer Lingus had left in 2007 and then became a member again in, say mid-2008, the choice of “rejoin” would reflect the judgment of the author that leaving had been a mistake. But between the time that has passed and the change in ownership, there’s no judgment to be made here, so no need to insist Ben change the title. It’s not like the situation in sports coverage that always irritates me when you are watching a game between two teams and the commentator says something like “these two teams met under similar conditions back in 1956”. No, they didn’t. At least not in any meaningful sense that would allow you to judge the current situation based on past experience, as the entire team roster, the coach, and in many cases the ownership, have all changed. The two teams have the same name, but that’s about it.

  8. Interesting… booked Aer Lingus returning from Dublin to LAX using United Miles. I have a flight from Dubrovnik to Dublin on Aer Lingus that I paid for – guess I should either earn Avios or AA miles.

  9. Aer Lingus is a good choice to Dublim but many of the onward flights are on turbo-props which isnt my favorite way to fly and there typically is not a premium cabin if you are booked business class through to your ultimate destination.

    In fact last time I took the ferry from UK to Dublin to avoid that AND avoided all those UK airport taxes

  10. I think it would be great if the AA and BA websites would show the Aer Lingus avails and you could book online. The waits on the BA 800 line are very long and you could hone your search much better online than you can calling to an agent.

    Also, I apologize if this has already been addressed, but the fuel surcharges of BA are prohibitive. Will those extend to Aer Lingus? I prefer to fly out of IAD and there is a non stop to Dublin. However, if surcharges are $450 per flight, it really isn’t much of an award flight.

    I very much like the 1-2-1 configuration especially since I really don’t like people.

  11. @GR Downtown – that’s precisely the concern, if they are really bookable online as part of the JV they will almost undoubtedly incur the same mammoth charges, plus expect lower availability – the current system means most people don’t easily know about booking them!

  12. For me, If a trans-atlantic carrier develops a relationship that allows cheaper partner redemptions for an award flight, so be it. UA charges a massive price for award flights across the atlantic in J class. I like this!

  13. @Chris you can ALREADY redeem BAEC Avios on EI at very low cost – this is only going to increase cost thanks to the JV and higher taxes (plus reduced availability if easily bookable online)

  14. I’d trade fun and quirky for clean and comfortable any day of the week. There are recent hard product updates to the A330 fleet but EIs shorthaul fleet is tired and old.

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