You can now use your Alaska Airlines miles to book award travel on Aer Lingus. But on most days you shouldn’t. You really shouldn’t.
We’ve waited a year, but Alaska finally
Notice the variable pricing. Prices ranges from 60K-280K for a one-way journey. Since when did Alaska adopt Delta-style pricing?
Sure enough, on most days the price is 280K one-way for business and 80K for economy class:
This is an interesting development in the evolution of Alaska MileagePlan. Up until this point we’ve seen variable pricing on Alaska flights, but fixed pricing on all partners. This variable pricing on Aer Lingus represents a new era and may foreshadow plans for award pricing on other partners.
Aer Lingus uses “U” class for saver business and “T” class for saver economy. You can check this space on Expert Flyer. As is the case with many Alaska partners, Alaska seems to have access to one less seat than is available in U-Class. So if Aer Lingus has made two award seats available, Alaska will have access to only one.
But once the saver U and T buckets are exhausted, Alaska seems to have access to last-seat availability…at a very steep price. Spending 280K miles for a one-way trip on Aer Lingus is not going to make sense in any circumstance that I can imagine. Since the Irish carrier offers one-way pricing and has reasonably-priced business class tickets, it would just be foolish to dump so many miles on an Aer Lingus flight.
I’m less concerned about the Aer Lingus pricing itself than I am about what this may suggest for other partners. While I hope that Alaska would never start charging variable prices for saver awards, the Aer Lingus award chart at least suggests that Alaska is willing to consider a sliding scale for partner award prices.
Are you worried that the variable pricing on Aer Lingus foreshadows bad things to come?
I am a long time AS flyer with 1mm and have enjoyed their program for years now it’s known to be fair and advantageous to belong to. In the old days when you had a AS CC you got a free FC companion ticket, now it’s main cabin, ok I get it. EK really took the wind out of the system I was fortunate to get in three r/t’s before, OK I get it, but this Are Lingus is really a bit much. I saw the hook up as an alternative to get across Europe through Ireland because the Finish line is high and limited availability.
Not sure like you said what is going to happen in the foreseeable future. I have been Ok with AF dynamic pricing one just has to plan way out following the fares as they do change on the same flight, it helps if you know what the “average” miles needed to a particular flight/class is.
In any event it’s all changing before our eyes! I submit that take all the miles programs delete them and cost factor then see what a ticket costs.
280K for J TA? Hah. I used AS miles for 70K F on QF. Super deal. EI J cash tickets TA are like Finnair’s prices: Expensive. It’s a great airline, great service, etc. Using UA miles you can find EI J awards via YYZ and into the US from there for 70K. But that routing won’t get you pre-clearance at DUB. It’s darn near impossible to find EI J or Y availability Ireland to the U.S. Demand on EI’s TATL routes from paying passengers is extremely high – and growing fast with companies moving into Ireland from the UK due to Brexit uncertainty. EI’s TATL load factors show their strength in that market. Was at DUB early May, to describe crowded is an understatement. DUB has become a frenzy; a second runway is being built and a new third terminal is down the road. Prices for decent hotels in DUB area are on par with S.F., Boston, Silicon Valley. No bargains to be had – year round now.
Of course 280k is very poor value for an advance purchase of a J TATL seat for a leisure traveller, but if you *need* a one way lie flat seat to Europe from the West Coast in 2 days time, is 280k miles that bad in comparison to the 4/5/6 thousand USD that cash tickets will be?
For someone running a small business, like yourself, and if they have the miles then why not?
Of course, they could chose to fly economy or PE… but for as long as there are businesses (or people!) out there buying 5k+ one way tickets then the miles equivalent is not an unreasonable offer imo.
This program (Aer Lingus) makes no sense whatsoever. It will be interesting to see how many people actually go for it.
Not a good idea. I just transferred some Amex points to my Aer Lingus Avios account and got one way business class from Dublin to JFK for 44,000 Avios on top of my economy fare of $525 which wasn’t bad I think? Interested to see what u thin?