Alaska Shares Details Of New Aer Lingus Partnership

Filed Under: Aer Lingus, Alaska

A couple of days ago I wrote about how there were media reports that Alaska and Aer Lingus would be forming a partnership. We hadn’t heard anything directly from either airline, though this is logical enough, and something I predicted when Aer Lingus announced that they’d add flights to Seattle as of this May.

Alaska Airlines has now issued a press release regarding this new partnership, which contains some further details, though doesn’t answer everything.

Per the press release, Alaska Airlines and Aer Lingus will be introducing an interline agreement as of April, allowing passengers to book tickets that include travel on both airlines, and check bags through to their final destination when traveling on Alaska and Aer Lingus.

Alaska Mileage Plan members will also be able to earn and redeem miles on Aer Lingus, and Aer Lingus AerClub members will be able to earn and redeem Avios on Alaska (which is significantly less exciting). The big question has been when that would happen, though as of now Alaska just says that functionality will be added as of “a later date.”

Here’s what executives from both airlines had to say:

“This new partnership with Aer Lingus is another example of how Alaska is giving our Mileage Plan members more and more ways to travel and earn miles to all corners of the map through our diverse global partners,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “Aer Lingus provides our members even more reach for travel within Europe, with seamless service through Dublin to 24 cities in the U.K. and Europe.”

“We’re pleased to join with Alaska Airlines. It’s a meeting of like-minded, service-oriented carriers bringing attractive propositions to their respective travelers,” said Greg KaldahlAer Lingus’ chief strategy and planning officer. “Our Aer Lingus guests will now be able to connect onwards to a wide range of destinations up and down the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii; while loyal Alaska flyers will gain the opportunity to fly transatlantic on Ireland’s only 4-star airline. We are looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”

I’d of course love to see Alaska add mileage earning and redemptions soon, though my guess is that it may be this fall or winter before that functionality is fully added, especially since they haven’t yet given a timeframe. I suspect they’ll first introduce reciprocal mileage earning, and then at a later point introduce reciprocal mileage redemptions, as that’s the precedent that Mileage Plan has set.

Alaska added a partnership with Finnair last May, and a partnership with Singapore Airlines last August. While you can now earn Alaska miles for travel on Finnair and Singapore, you can’t redeem miles on them yet. This is in spite of the fact that Alaska promised redemptions on Finnair as of last fall.

Regardless, this is an exciting development, and I look forward to eventually being able to earn and redeem miles on Aer Lingus, given their reasonable business class fares, as well as the great value of Mileage Plan, which will allow members to redeem miles for tickets on Aer Lingus to Europe (hopefully with minimal or no fuel surcharges), with a stopover in Dublin.

  1. At this point, Alaska is practically a One World airline for North American travelers. They lost all their Skyteam partners and signing up more and more One World airlines (or their partners).

  2. They still have KE which is a SkyTeam airline. But the rest of the partners are skewed towards One World indeed.

  3. I’ve always wondered if they would actually join Oneworld, I guess if they add a partnership with Iberia next we’ll know it’s coming.

  4. @M.O. I think AA has veto power on OW, so I’d imagine those discussions not going far.

  5. AA has a weak presence in Northwest, so I do not think they are THAT against AS. They also just added SQ so it is not really going towards OW. AS seems to be looking for whatever partner they can find, which seems to be OW airlines most of the time. Also do not forget their unique partners like EK, HU, and FI.

  6. I love Aer Lingus. I love Dublin. I love Wexford. I love Ireland. I love the Irish people. The main thing I don’t like is that they drive on the “wrong” i.e. left side of the road.

    I know many of you already know that you can pre-clear US customs in Dublin even before you get on the plane, some of you may not. That makes a huge difference in being able to deplane completely as if it were a domestic flight. I always look forward to stopping in Dublin at least for one night prior to returning to the US. It’s just how I do Europe. Try it.

  7. Regarding AS joining OW: did AA and/or AS *want* to pull back on their partnership, or was AS forced to do it as condition of acquiring VX? I would think that if neither AA nor AS wanted that and it was purely a regulatory thing, that AS joining OW would be more likely.

  8. @Color me Irish – I hate the Dublin pre-check. You swap a potential long immigration queue in the US (sometimes I wait an hour, often I’m through within 20 mins) with a guaranteed long immigration queue in Ireland – after which you sit in a plain waiting room for 1 hour plus!

    Maybe I’ve just been unlucky in Dublin/lucky in the US though?

  9. Callum,

    I’ve seen people miss flights because of the delay with US pre-clearance. Their bags then get de-planed and they have to leave the area and, presumably, wait 24 hours for the next flight.

    If you are starting your trip in Dublin you can build in extra time, and there is a lounge air-side. But if you are connecting in DUB then it can be tight

  10. Ben [or Tiffany ,love her], I have a paid Business Class trip on Aer Lingus coming up…Do you think it would be safe to just not credit these miles to any program and attempt to credit to Alaska MP once the functionality is in place…??? I think that my only other option for earning would be BA Avios…Thoughts…???

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