Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Will Start Flying Between Dublin And Las Vegas

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Despite not growing their fleet much, Aer Lingus has very nicely expanded their longhaul route network the past few years.

Last year Aer Lingus added flights to Los Angeles, Hartford, and Newark. In 2015 they added frequencies to New York and San Francisco, and added a new route to Washington Dulles. In 2014 they started flying to Toronto and San Francisco. So they’re not growing at a Gulf carrier pace, but they are adding capacity consistently.

It looks like we now have a hint of Aer Lingus’ next longhaul route. While the schedule hasn’t yet been published, Aer Lingus’ CEO has stated that the airline will launch 2-3x weekly flights between Dublin and Las Vegas this coming winter.

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An Aer Lingus Business Class Award I’ve Never Seen Available Before

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I’m hoping to fly Aer Lingus soon, as they’ve greatly improved their business class product since I last flew them. They now have fully flat beds in business class, free wifi, pre-flight dining in Boston and New York, an arrivals lounge, etc. They’re also a fun and quirky airline, which I appreciate.

In general the best ways to book awards on Aer Lingus are through British Airways Executive Club and United MileagePlus. Finding awards from the East Coast to Ireland isn’t too tough, while finding awards from the West Coast to Ireland is extremely difficult.

Aer Lingus flies from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Dublin — only a couple of times have I ever seen award availability in business class out of SFO, while I don’t ever recall ever seeing business class awards out of LAX.

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The Next 16 First & Business Class Products I’d Like To Review

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In early 2016 I set out to review as many new first & business class products as possible, as a way of sprucing up blog content. While I figured I’d really miss the repetitive nature with which I flew many of the world’s best first class products, I’ve found reviewing new airlines to be extremely enjoyable. That goal didn’t stop in 2016, and my goal in 2017 is to try even more new airlines.

In the first couple of weeks of the year I’ve flown business class on EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Royal Brunei, and Emirates, all of which were new products for me.

As I begin to plot out my next big trip, I figured I’d make a list with the next 16 products I really want to review, in no particular order. I’m always curious to hear what you guys think, because at the end of the day my airline selection is based on what you guys are most interested in reading about.

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Aer Lingus’ Christmas Video Will Warm Your Heart

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Aer Lingus just published one of the best airline Christmas videos of the year, as they united three Irish families, with the kids living in the U.S. and the parents living in Ireland. It’s a quick and touching video — I had to make a conscious effort not to tear up:

The video beautifully highlights how airlines really do bring families together. It’s not just about transportation, but about the stories of the people that airlines connect.

Last year Aer Lingus had an equally fantastic Christmas video, with the caption “bringing people home for Christmas since 1936.” Here’s that video:

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Aer Lingus Doesn’t Understand How A Distance Based Award Chart Works

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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. As part of this, Aer Lingus also announced that they would rebrand their loyalty program, which would be joining the “Avios” scheme. The new program is called AerClub, and was just recently launched.

I find it a bit puzzling that there are so many different Avios currencies, and that British Airways basically runs several parallel loyalty programs, all of which are slightly different. That seems unnecessarily complicated to me, especially since you can transfer points between currencies. For example, there are plenty of instances where redeeming Iberia Avios is a better value than redeeming British Airways Avios.

Anyway, the AerClub program is now live, and while I’ll have a more detailed post about the currency as such soon, there’s one specific aspect of the program that I feel deserves a separate post.

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Update On Aer Lingus Joining The Oneworld Alliance

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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.

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:

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Aer Lingus & Air New Zealand Are Having An Epic Twitter Battle

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about rugby (apparently it’s a sport?). Upon doing some research, it looks like Ireland and New Zealand recently competed against one another, and Ireland won. This was a big upset for New Zealand, as it broke their winning streak. The teams will have a rematch soon, so the stakes seem high, as New Zealand wants to prove they just had a bad day, while Ireland would of course love to beat them twice in a row to demonstrate that they’re better.

As an airline geek, the only part of this that interests me is how the airlines are reacting. And boy, are Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand having fun with this rivalry. If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s the hilarious interaction between Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand on Twitter:

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Aer Lingus Adding Flights Between Dublin And Miami In 2017

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Aer Lingus has been growing their US route network significantly the past few years, in a steady but consistent way.

This year we’ve seen Aer Lingus add flights to Los Angeles, Hartford, and Newark. Last year Aer Lingus added frequencies to New York and San Francisco, and added a new route to Washington Dulles. Meanwhile in 2014 they started flying to Toronto and San Francisco. So they’re not growing at a Gulf carrier pace, but they are adding capacity consistently.

Well, per @airlineroute, Aer Lingus has just announced their first new longhaul route for 2017. Aer Lingus will begin flying 3x weekly between Dublin and Miami as of September 1, 2017. The route will operate with the following schedule on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays:

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British Airways, Iberia, And Aer Lingus Are Adding Wifi On Shorthaul Flights

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In May of this year, IAG (the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus) signed a deal with Gogo to install their 2Ku satellite technology on 137 longhaul planes. This includes up to 118 British Airways, 15 Iberia, and four Aer Lingus planes.

I had long criticized British Airways for their lack of wifi on longhaul flights, given that most other airlines had at least announced the intention to install such a service, even if it hadn’t been done. IAG expects to complete the installation of wifi on 137 planes by 2019, though that schedule is always subject to change.

Well, it looks like IAG is going all out, because they’ve just announced that wifi is coming to shorthaul planes as well.

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A New US Pre-Clearance Lounge Is Opening At Dublin Airport

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Dublin Airport has a US pre-clearance facility, where for select flights you clear US immigration before getting on the plane in Ireland.

As you’d expect, this means you have to leave the lounge a bit earlier than usual, as you need to leave plenty of time to clear immigration, as the queues can sometimes be quite long (at least if you don’t have Global Entry). Fortunately it looks like the wait at Dublin Airport will soon be more pleasant.

A US pre-clearance lounge is opening for premium passengers at Dublin Airport as of July 18, 2016. It’s worth noting that the lounge is being run as a contract lounge, and isn’t operated by Aer Lingus, so I assume premium passengers on other airlines would potentially have access as well.

The lounge will be called 51st&Green, and is described as follows:

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Aer Lingus’ Snazzy New 757 Business Class

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Aer Lingus is an airline which has really stepped up their game over the past few years. Their former CEO was Christoph Mueller, who is now the CEO of Malaysia Airlines (though he’s mysteriously leaving the airline in a few months). Aer Lingus was losing a lot of money before Mueller started there, but under his leadership they underwent some very successful growth.

They added several new US destinations, introduced a new business class seat, and invested heavily in their product otherwise as well, adding inflight wifi, an arrivals lounge in Dublin, pre-flight dining in their US lounges, etc.

While all of their Airbus A330s are outfitted with a new business class product, Aer Lingus is also leasing three Boeing 757-200 aircraft, which weren’t part of the initial fleet overhaul plan.

However, Aer Lingus has now finished installing a different new business class product on their three leased Boeing 757-200 aircraft… and you can view the cabin in Google Street View.

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Watch The Best Airline Holiday Video Of The Season

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Holiday videos have become pretty popular for the airlines. If there’s a way they can capitalize on the emotional feelings people have towards the holidays and by extension have them associated with their own brand, that’s a big win.

WestJet possibly had the most popular airline holiday video ever, with their 2013 “WestJet Christmas Miracle” video. It was so well produced and creative, and has nearly 45 million views on YouTube:

I’ve gotta be honest — this year I haven’t been especially impressed by airlines’ holiday videos. While many airlines have published videos, they all lacked that magic “touch.” That’s to say they came across as quite staged and weren’t actually that creative. I felt like they were showing us what they thought we wanted to see, and emotion was lost in the process.

Well, Aer Lingus just published their holiday video, and it’s spectacular. It’s called “Bringing people home for Christmas since 1936,” and it follows Irish Americans going home to Ireland for the holidays courtesy of Aer Lingus. Here’s the description:

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Aer Lingus’ New Revenue Based Program, AerClub

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In mid-October, Aer Lingus revealed that they would rebrand their loyalty program as AerClub, though they didn’t provide further details of the new program at the time.

This followed the announcement earlier in the year whereby Aer Lingus would be taken over by IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

Aer Lingus has had an impressive turnaround over the past several years, whereby they went from a struggling airline to one which has a unique identity and is growing at a fast pace, thanks to the turnaround led by Christoph Mueller (who is now the CEO of Malaysia Airlines). Aer Lingus has also greatly improved their premium product, including adding wifi on their longhaul flights, installing a new business class, revamping their lounges, etc.

This morning Aer Lingus has revealed further details of the AerClub frequent flyer program. My assumption when I first heard about the intention to create a new program was that it would likely mirror British Airways Executive Club, given the recent changes they made to the program. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

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Aer Lingus’ New Hartford To Dublin Flight Now Bookable

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In late-October I wrote about Aer Lingus’ US expansion, whereby they’re adding three new routes. At the time I wrote about the new Dublin to Los Angeles flight, which is possibly the most significant, and was also the first of the new flights to become bookable.

Aer Lingus’ two other new US destinations include Hartford and Newark. It’s worth noting that Aer Lingus’ new Dublin to Hartford flight is now bookable for flights as of September 28, 2016.

Via airlineroute.net, the new 4x weekly flight will be operated by a Boeing 757 with the following schedule:

EI131 Dublin to Hartford departing 2:40PM arriving 4:40PM
EI132 Hartford to Dublin departing 6:10PM arriving 5:20AM (+1 day)

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