You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles On Aer Lingus

Filed Under: Aer Lingus, Alaska
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs, thanks to the fact that they continue to award miles based on distance flown, have unique airline partners, have low award redemption rates, allow stopovers on one-way awards, and offer generous elite benefits.

While Alaska Airlines doesn’t belong to one of the major global alliances, they have valuable airline partners, including airlines that belong to the major alliances, and also some airlines that are independent.

However, there is one thing that really frustrates me about the program — they add new airline partners, but then they take forever to add award redemptions. Often it even takes a couple of years for them to add redemptions.

Alaska’s partnership with Aer Lingus

Alaska and Aer Lingus announced a partnership in March 2018, around the same time that Aer Lingus began flying between Dublin and Seattle.

Then as of May 2018, Alaska Mileage Plan added the ability to earn miles for travel on Aer Lingus.

Well, it has now been over a year since that happened, and up until now it hasn’t been possible to redeem Alaska miles on Aer Lingus.

That has finally changed, and there’s something very interesting about the redemption rates.

Aer Lingus A330

Redeem Alaska miles on Aer Lingus

Alaska Mileage Plan has just added award redemptions on Aer Lingus, and tickets are bookable directly on alaskaair.com.

You can redeem Alaska miles for travel between North America and Europe at the following rates:

  • One-way economy tickets cost 30,000-80,000 miles one-way
  • One-way business class tickets cost 60,000-280,000 miles one-way

For intra-Europe travel:

  • One-way economy tickets cost 8,000-30,000 miles
  • Redemptions in business class aren’t possible because up until now Aer Lingus hasn’t offered business class within Europe; that is changing soon, so hopefully Alaska also introduced business class redemptions within Europe

A few things to note:

  • Alaska allows stopovers even on one-way awards, so any of these awards you could have a stopover in Dublin enroute to your final destination (this even applies to intra-Europe flights — you could fly from London to Dublin to Frankfurt with a stopover, for example
  • There are no carrier imposed surcharges on these redemptions
  • Alaska has access to one fewer business class award seat per flight than Aer Lingus otherwise has available; Aer Lingus uses the “U” fare class for business class awards, so the flight needs to have two “U” seats for Alaska to see one seat

Aer Lingus A330 business class

Okay, now on to the big picture question — what the heck is going on with 280,000 mile one-way business class redemptions?!?!?!

Well, Alaska is doing something interesting here, and I’m not sure what to make of it. If Aer Lingus has award availability on a flight, then the lowest cost shown above applies. That means you’ll pay 30,000 miles in economy or 60,000 miles in business class for a one-way transatlantic award, or you’ll pay 8,000 miles for a one-way economy award within Europe.

However, Alaska also seems to have near last seat availability on Aer Lingus, and you can redeem 280,000 miles for a one-way ticket on just about any flight.

This is a very interesting precedent, as it’s the first time Alaska has what can only be described as revenue based redemptions on a partner.

My take is that:

  • Nothing is being taken away here, since saver awards are still pricing at a consistent level
  • There simply are no circumstances under which redeeming 560,000 miles for a roundtrip Aer Lingus business class ticket represents a good deal
  • So while seeing the 280,000 mile one-way pricing is jarring, I don’t take issue with it; I just ignore it

Aer Lingus business class catering

Earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles

If you’re looking to acquire Alaska Mileage Plan miles for redemptions on Aer Lingus, you have a couple of good options. First of all, Alaska often sells miles at a discount, which can be a great way to score a deal on premium travel.

On top of that, Alaska also has two great credit cards, which can earn you a lot of bonus miles:

Both offer welcome bonuses after completing a moderate minimum spend, along with Alaska’s famous Companion Fare, which lets you “buy one, get one for cheap” for economy flights on Alaska. This is one of the easiest companion tickets to use, and the main reason I keep the cards year after year.

Bottom line

I’m happy to see Alaska finally add award redemptions on Aer Lingus, which is long overdue. It’s disappointing how long it often takes Alaska to add partner redemptions, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s intentional, or what.

The entry level redemption rates are quite good — 60K miles one-way with a stopover and no carrier imposed surcharges for business class to Europe is excellent. My only real complaint is that they have access to one fewer award seat per flight than other programs, because Aer Lingus often only makes one business class award seat available.

Anyone plan on redeeming Alaska miles on Aer Lingus?

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. so they’re essentially doing what United and American do with their Everyday/AAnytime awards

  2. It looks like the ticket of 280000 miles each way is issued in I class, which earns more than 200% RDM with AS, so this is an award flight, that actually gives you miles back for flying… Well…

  3. Will you still get a free checked bag on the intra-Europe awards? That is what makes most Avios redemptions a good value on infra-Europe; if you will have a checked bag the surcharges are easier to accept.

  4. The days I have been fearing are approaching more rapidly than I thought: revenue based partner awards… ugh

  5. Where’s the credit to your friends over at Flyer Talk for your story!? You seem to H/T other blogs, but don’t seem to mention that here…

  6. I don’t think it’s intentional- since Alaska is effectively signing new contacts and agreements every time they find a partner. This is probably very unlike an alliance that an airline joins, where there are set rules already in place.

    Airlines want to announce ASAP for the sake of marketing, but work out the details of the agreement later.

  7. I just checked ~50 dates, mostly during unpleasant times of the year for SEA>DUB. Not a single seat offered at less than the 280k in J.

    Oh, but it shows you can fly BA in ‘business’ via LHR… Only to discover that the business portion is only from LHR>DUB. Thanks, Alaska.

  8. This is fine, but they need to improve their search engine. Now searching everything becomes wacky and even harder than before to find the actual saver level redemptions.

  9. I looked all the way out to EOS and cannot find any 60K business award space. Everything prices ar 280k. Dynamic pricing is a scam and Alaska is a sham.

    That also means your so called explanation of the variable pricing is just dishonest propaganda for Alaska.

    Shame on you too!

  10. @beyounged, I’m quite sure you don’t earn any miles for award redemptions of any kind, regardless of fare bucket.

  11. At 280 k for a decent but not great carrier its a complete rip off
    I’m losing faith in Alaska fast especially charging elites for premium coach seats
    I have words for this 280k award but don’t want to get banned from your blog 😉 🙂
    Will never book this award ever and think less of Alaska now
    may go back to the legacy carriers AA/UA where I came from

  12. @Thatguy
    Here is the thing, it is pretty much clear that for this price, AS is taking your miles and then buy a ticket with EI with cash, since it has absolutely nothing to do with award inventory… And those tickets book into a fare class that earns miles, “I” class… I am as confused as everyone else but I am very suspicious that it will earn miles… Well, given the fact that you just paid the price of a small family to fly Cathay first to Asia you might as well get a bit back!

  13. @ Dogtor — Our team saw it last night when ticketing an award for a client. If there’s a FlyerTalk thread, we haven’t seen it yet.

  14. It was at the top of the trending threads last night, now working it’s way down the list. I don’t blog and I see that list a few times a day…

  15. I am glad that Aer Lingus redemptions are available using Alaska Air miles. I had lost faith that this would ever happen. So I redeemed my miles for domestic flights on American. I don’t have any regrets about that.

  16. I was looking to book award tix for next May and saw 280k one way on Aer Lingus every single day. This was for May 15, as soon as the dates were available.

    2 connections from Europe to US west coast and 2 of them in economy, including the longest segment being in economy!

    May be a work in progress?

  17. Here’s another gotcha – I noticed booking an awards redemption within the next 7 days actually costs more – 80k vs 60k in coach from LAX to DUB. I guess it’s a good thing I am getting double-miles for all my cross-country travel this year since I’m going to need them!

  18. I will hold out hope that saver availability gets better in the future. Given that, yay to finally have a non-surcharge way to Europe from SEA. I will have to be backing off LH given my declining UA miles balance and the steady devaluation of business class in LH.
    We flew Aer Lingus back to SEA on our latest trip, using UA miles. It was ehh… but at least we could sit together and pick seats without extra charge. Having to fly tight seat pitch economy intra-europe in a business class ticket was not pleasant. Also not even a snack or bottled water for free… they went out of their way to get us a cup of tap water from the galley spigot… how nice…

  19. These are horrible redemptions! Why would I spend 30,000 Alaska miles when I can spend 13,000 Avios! Also 8,000 points DUB to LHR plus $32 taxes. No Bueno!

  20. Nothing is available from IAD to DUB for anything less than 280,000 miles and months go without even that. So in a word: worthless.

  21. @Grant~ Alaska has heaps of fake business awards on offer throughout their program all the time. Pads it out nicely I’m sure, and traps beginners and the unwary, who check-in and find that 90% of their supposed Business award is in Y ! Yikes! How to generate bucketloads of long-lasting ill will !

  22. When will Alaska honor the baggage agreement with AerLingus and visa versa! I just travelled from Sacramento to Seattle on Alaska and they would not check our bags through to Dublin! Same issue coming back on AerLingus , Dublin to Seattle, what a hassle checking in twice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *