Aer Lingus announced this week that they’ll be launching service to San Francisco and Toronto — their fifth and sixth North American destinations — next April.


The San Francisco service will launch April 2, 2014, and will operate 5x weekly with the following schedule initially:

EI147 Dublin to San Francisco 12:20PM-3:20PM
EI146 San Francisco to Dublin 5:20PM-11:35AM (+1 day)

Meanwhile the Toronto service will launch April 21, 2014, and will operate daily with the following schedule initially:

EI129 Dublin to Toronto 2:00PM-4:20PM
EI128 Toronto to Dublin 5:50PM-5:20AM (+1 day)

While the San Francisco service will be operated by an Airbus A330, the Toronto service will be operated by a wet leased 757-200. Aer Lingus is wet leasing a total of three 757-200s, the other two of which will be operating the routes between Shannon and New York/Boston. They’ll each have 12 business class seats, though I’m not sure of the configuration.

Anyway, both of these new routes are really exciting news since they’re a great use of British Airways Avios. British Airways imposes fuel surcharges on a majority of their partner airlines, though Aer Lingus has among the lowest fuel surcharges in the industry, so for a roundtrip transatlantic ticket in business class you’re only paying about $150 or so in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.

If booking using British Airways Avios, the service between Dublin and San Francisco will cost 25,000 Avios in coach or 50,000 Avios in business class one-way, while the service between Dublin and Toronto will cost 20,000 Avios in coach or 40,000 Avios in business class one-way. Given that American Express Membership Rewards frequently has transfer bonuses to British Airways, that can be quite a steal.

I’ve reviewed Aer Lingus business class here and here, and it’s actually quite a nice product, so I can’t wait for this new service.

The best British Airways Avios redemption remains for travel on Aer Lingus between Boston and Dublin. That’s because British Airways has a distance based award chart, and Boston to Dublin is just under 3,000 miles one-way, making it just 12,500 Avios in coach or 25,000 Avios in business class. For more details on booking Aer Lingus awards using British Airways Avios see this post.

(Tip of the hat to Mac)

  1. July 4th, 2013 at 1:22 am

    levyFlight said,

    My first thoughht was thst there was nothing here for me but not so. This could be an additional route to europe, and particulalry UK. so tired of UA niput Oneworld crippled by YQ so hqve not flpwn them in a decade. Interesting.

  2. July 4th, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Eoin Kilkenny said,

    Also helps that you can do immigration and customs in DUB and SNN allowing some of the flights to arrive as domestic legs.

  3. July 4th, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Jerry said,

    Looks like they’re going to 757 for BOS/JFK as well, so @lucky may have to fly them again for a new Trip Report in Business class :)

    Update at 0400GMT 04JUL13

    AerLingus is expanding Trans-Atlantic operation out of Shannon, as a result of the introduction of Boeing 757 aircraft (configuration C12Y165). The Irish carrier will operate the Boeing 757 aircraft first on Shannon – Boston from 20JAN14, which will be operating on year-round basis instead of Summer-only. Upon the launch of Summer 2014 season on 30MAR14, the Boeing 757 will begin Shannon – New York JFK route 5 times a week, also on year-round basis.

    Shannon – Boston eff 20JAN14 5 weekly
    EI135 SNN1330 – 1530BOS 757 x26
    EI134 BOS1920 – 0610+1SNN 757 x26

    Service from 09MAR14 increases to daily. Operational schedule vary

    Shannon – New York JFK eff 30MAR14 5 weekly
    EI111 SNN1220 – 1440JFK 757 x26
    EI110 JFK1820 – 0600+1SNN 757 x26

    Reservations for both routes opened on Wednesday 03JUL13.

  4. July 4th, 2013 at 6:32 am

    JL said,

    Wish they would bring IAD back!

  5. July 4th, 2013 at 8:09 am

    John said,

    What is a wet lease vs some other kind of lease?

  6. July 4th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Grant said,

    SFO to DUB is 5,098 miles according to GCM, so this would be in the 25K BA Avios tier. Round trip would be 50K, not bad from the west coast.

  7. July 4th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    iv said,

    Not a fan of flying narrow 757 especially across the pond. Air Canada increased their service from seasonal to year round… I think it will hurt BA with connecting passengers.

  8. July 4th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    lucky said,

    @ John — A “wet” lease (in theory) includes the aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance, vs. a dry lease, which just includes the aircraft. At least that’s my understanding.

  9. July 5th, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Keith said,

    Strange that they do this at the same time as Air Canada is switching to a year-round YYZ-DUB service too.
    Also, not sure if they’ll have business class seats on the YYZ-DUB service. None are available for purchase at the moment anyway.
    Anecdotally, I know AC has been having great success with its full J service on the one day a week it runs to DUB at the moment – selling out well in advance.

  10. July 5th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Brian said,

    When can we start booking the YYZ-DUB direct flight? I tried searching today (for May 2014) but couldn’t find it yet.

  11. July 5th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Brian — It’s already bookable on Aer Lingus’ website.

  12. July 12th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Brian said,

    I am trying to book award seats using avios for next year using the Quantas website. The direct flights are not showing up there yet. Any other way to see award availability yet?

  13. January 29th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Ann said,

    Thank you!
    Booked SFO-DUB direct on Aer Lingus using my Avios. Called the Executive Club # as suggested…all in $55.87 one way.
    Looking forward to heading home middle of April.
    Without this website, I would have spent hundreds more on BA ( and had stupid layovers).
    THANK you again.

  14. January 29th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Ann — So happy to hear, enjoy the trip!

  15. February 2nd, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    SF Native said,

    Its bogus! They will not let you use your reward points to book from SFO to Dublin. I started to use the mastercard with the intention of using the points but its a scam. Now I need to switch to another card. They should say that it cannot be used from the flight from SFO to Dublin.

  16. February 2nd, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    lucky said,

    @ SF Native — Which card are you using?

  17. February 2nd, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Ann said,

    SF Native – it’s not a scam. I wonder if you need to call back and get a different customer service rep. It took me about 25 minutes on the phone. I gave her my Avios number, she found the flight availability and I paid with my Citibank Mastercard that’s actually an American Airlines rewards card! She didn’t care what credit card I used to pay the booking fee and taxes.
    Try again, it was time well invested for me just last week.

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