Related post (Read this first!): Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
British Airways Avios are awesome for short-haul domestic flights which have no fuel surcharges. Flights that cross the Atlantic usually have fuel surcharges, but notable exceptions are flights on Air Berlin and Aer Lingus.
The Boston to Dublin and Boston to Shannon routes on Aer Lingus fall into the same zone as a flight from NYC to LA and therefore cost just 12.5K Avios each way in coach or 25K Avios each way in business class. Those are incredible bargains, especially as they aren’t slammed with heavy fuel surcharges.
The JFK to Dublin route on Aer Lingus is 20K Avios each way in coach or 40K Avios each way in business class.
You can also use 4.5K Avios to fly from JFK or LGA to Boston, saving 3K Avios each way on a coach ticket or 10.5K Avios each way on a business class ticket versus flying nonstop from JFK.
Of course you can also use Avios to get to Boston or NYC:
It’s precisely these flights that British Airways is attacking in their upcoming devaluation on 04/28. The Boston to Dublin route will increase to 37.5K Avios each way and the JFK to Dublin route will increase to 60K Avios each way. Coach rates aren’t changing next month and neither are short-haul business class rates on popular routes like NYC-Toronto.
Aer Lingus flights don’t show up on BA.com, however Aer Lingus does partner with United and the availability generally matches what most BA agents have access to. When calling BA to book travel on Aer Lingus be sure to have them waive the phone booking fee as you can’t book Aer Lingus flights online.
United charges 30K each way in coach and 70K each way in business, making this a great use of 12.5K or 25K Avios.
I searched for 4 seats on United.com from Boston to Dublin and from JFK to Dublin and availability was incredible. In order to force the United.com award calendar to only display Aer Lingus flights just check the “nonstop flights only” button.
Note that the “nonstop flights only” button only works if there is nonstop availability on the date that you are searching, so just search for any of the dates in blue or green in the calendar below and then scroll to an earlier or later month as needed.
Dates in blue means business class only, while dates in green mean that both coach and business is available.
Boston-Dublin 4 passenger nonstop award calendar:
JFK-Dublin 4 passenger nonstop award calendar:
Of course you can fly from Dublin to elsewhere in Europe or to Israel with Avios on the cheap as well. Just remember that the Aer Lingus options won’t show up on BA.com. In order to save on fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights on carriers besides Aer Lingus and Air Berlin you have to have earned at least 1 Avios in the previous 12 months. A transfer of at least 1 Avios into your account will unlock those savings.
You can also use just 25,000 Singapore miles (transferable from all of the major currencies) to fly in business class between Europe and Israel. You’ll have to call Singapore to book, but you can search award space on United.com for that as well. A routing via Zurich will yield lie-flat business class between Zurich and Tel Aviv.