DEALS: Fantastic Business Class Fares USA – UK/Ireland/Europe


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American Airlines has announced that, in the light of recent events and the Europe/USA travel ban, it will be reducing capacity across the Atlantic by 50% through the end of April. Aer Lingus has chosen a different approach.

From now through to the end of April, Aer Lingus is offering some truly fantastic Business Class fares between select US cities and cities in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe as the airline reminds passengers that travel between the US and UK/Ireland isn’t covered by the ban and that US citizens and residents are still allowed to travel back and forth across the Atlantic unencumbered (at least for now).

One Small Point

Before I go any further I should point out that there’s one small issue with these fares – a lot of them are for mixed cabin itineraries.

Aer Lingus operates very few short-haul aircraft with a true Business Class cabin so although all the transatlantic sectors included within these fares will be operated by aircraft with lie-flat Business Class seats, the majority of the short-haul sectors between Ireland and various cities in the UK and Europe will be flown in Economy Class seating or in the new Aer Space seats at the very front of the Economy Class cabin.

This really shouldn’t be an issue as European short-haul Business Class seats generally don’t offer any more legroom than their Economy Class counterparts and it’s not like we’re discussing hour upon hour of cramped flying – pick an exit row seat you’ll be more than fine.

The Fares

I’ve picked out a number of excellent fares that I’ve found for departures out of Boston, Chicago and New York but you should also be aware that similar fares are available out of Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and possibly out of more cities that I haven’t tested.

The following roundtrip Business Class fares are indicative of what you’ll find available and do not represent the very cheapest fares. The prices you see below represent fares that are limited to a maximum of 1 stop and where the total travel time has been limited to something reasonable.

If you’re happy to book an itinerary with multiple stops or with an overnight layover along the way, you’ll probably find even cheaper options.

Boston

  • Amsterdam – $1,506
  • Barcelona – $1,489
  • Berlin – $1,524
  • Dublin – $1,502
  • Edinburgh – $1,677
  • Frankfurt – $1,524
  • Geneva – $1,506
  • Lisbon – $1,498
  • London – $1,600
  • Madrid – $1,502
  • Munich – $1,524
  • Paris – $1,545
  • Shannon – $1,502
  • Vienna – $1,496
  • Zurich – $1,506
Aer Lingus A330 Business Class

Chicago

  • Amsterdam – $1,706
  • Barcelona – $1,689
  • Berlin – $1,724
  • Dublin – $1,579
  • Edinburgh – $1,878
  • Frankfurt – $1,725
  • Lisbon – $1,698
  • London – $1,828
  • Madrid – $1,702
  • Munich – $1,724
  • Paris – $1,763
  • Vienna – $1,696
  • Zurich – $1,706

New York

  • Amsterdam – $1,500
  • Barcelona – $1,489
  • Berlin – $1,524
  • Dublin – $1,494
  • Dusseldorf – $1,529
  • Edinburgh – $1,677
  • Frankfurt – $1,518
  • Geneva – $1,500
  • Lisbon – $1,498
  • London – $1,596
  • Madrid – $1,502
  • Munich – $1,518
  • Nice – $1,559
  • Paris – $1,556
  • Shannon – $1,502
  • Vienna – $1,490
  • Zurich – $1,500
Aer Lingus Business Class

Look Out For This…

Aer Lingus operates narrowbody A321 aircraft and widebody A330 aircraft across the Atlantic and the better Business Class experience is almost certainly the one offered by the A330.

When you’re booking flights (especially out of New York) be aware that the difference in fare between Business Class in the A321 and Business Class in the A330 is often very small so it’s worth paying a little extra to fly in the larger aircraft.

Example itinerary with the A321neo (click to enlarge):

Example itinerary with the A330 (click to enlarge):

Use The Best Credit Card

The Platinum Card from American Express offers the strongest option here as it combines fantastic earings (5 points/dollar for spending made direct with airlines) with good trip delay, interruption, and cancellation protections.

I’d choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card as the second-best option because it combines good earnings (3 points/dollar) with the same good trip delay, interruption, and cancellation protections that the Platinum Card offers and the bonus points will be earned even if the spending isn’t made directly with an airline (this is the card to use when booking through 3rd party sites).

The Amex Green Card earns 3 points/dollar for just about all travel spending (like the Sapphire Reserve) but doesn’t offer the same level of protection as the Platinum Card or the Sapphire Reserve, and although the Citi Prestige Card matches the Platinum Card with its earnings of 5 points/dollar on spending made directly with airlines, the fact that it offers no travel protections at all makes it a considerably less appealing option.

Bottom Line

These are challenging times for travelers and the travel industry but challenges bring with them opportunities that are often worth looking into. There’s no doubt that these are some of the best USA-Europe Business Class fares that we have seen in a while (no prizes for guessing why!) so, if you’re happy to fly, this is a set of deals that are well worth considering.

4 COMMENTS

  1. “If your happy to fly”…..and then quarantine for 14 days after visiting Amsterdam, Berlin, etc have at it.

    Irresponsible to promote any type of air travel right now.

    • The last thing people need right now is more poorly informed people telling them what to do and what not to do so I’m not about to start making judgments and recommendations about what is right and wrong.

      No one is forcing anyone to book flights, no one is saying that there’s zero risk in traveling and it’s not like there’s a shortage of travel information across all the networks to guide people’s decisions so I see no reason not to let people know what’s available out there and let them be the judge of what’s right and wrong for them and their circumstances.

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