After my Virgin Voyage, I needed to get back to Seattle. I was able to us Alaska Airlines miles to book a one way ticket from Nice, France to Dublin and then Dublin on to Seattle. The Nice to Dublin flight was in Economy (no Business Class offered) and the Dublin to Seattle was in Business Class.
The total cost of the two legs was 60,000 Alaska Airlines miles plus $82.25 in taxes and fees. To note, it is extremely hard to find Business Class awards for 60,000 miles; most price out to 240,000 miles which no one should even consider.
The A330-200 planes that Aer Lingus uses for long haul are on the old side. The plane I flew was from 2007. The Business Class seat is becoming less competitive but there are still a couple of good seats that can compete with other Europe-North America products.
I arrived at Dublin Airport about 2.5 hours before my flight. Aer Lingus has a dedicated Premium check in counter. I wasn’t checking any bags but wanted to get a paper boarding pass.
Upstairs at the security check there is a Fast Track lane for Business Class passengers.
Once through security, I headed down to the USA Pre-clearance section of the Dublin Airport. Flying from Dublin to the USA you go through US immigration in Dublin. This is great as you can then just walk off your plane when you get to your destination in the US. As I had Global Entry, I was able to quickly get through and for some reason didn’t have to go through security again while most other passengers did.
Once in the USA Pre-clearance area of the terminal, the Business Class lounge is 51st & Green. It is a shared Business Class lounge with Aer Lingus, Delta, United and American.
Boarding was delayed by about 30 minutes. Once onboard, only about half of the Business Class seats were filled.
Business Class takes up rows 2-6 of the A330-200. The seats are staggered; with rows 2, 4, and 6 each having five seats and rows 3 and 5 having four seats.
All of the A seats have direct aisle and window access. The rest of the seats are in pairs except for seats 3K and 5K which are the best seats on the plane. Traveling solo, your best seats are 3K and 5K, followed by 3A and 5A and then 2A, 4A, and 6A.
I was able to call in to Aer Lingus and reserve seat 3K. 3K and 5K are known as the “throne seats” as they take up the space of two seats. The seat is in the middle and there is room between the seat and the aisle and the seat and the window.
It is a strange layout and even though the seat takes up a lot of room, the actual seat width is the same as other seats in Business Class and feels surprisingly narrow. Most of the space really isn’t useful but it is nice to have.
The seat does recline into a fully flat position for sleeping. There is also a built in massage function for the seat (that really is more of a gimmick than actually beneficial).
Seat controls are located in two spots; both on the left hand side — one higher and one closer to where your hand would sit.
Below you can see the full left hand (aisle) side of the seat. You have the reading light, water bottle storage, universal power outlet and earphone outlet, seat controls, remote control storage, and second seat control. The tray table also folds out of the compartment on the left side.
Inside the fold up panel is where you can find the tethered remote for the inflight entertainment. The video screen is also touch sensitive if you would rather not use the remote.
Additionally to the left is a small storage locker space.
On the right hand (window) side you will find a desk area along with additional storage. There isn’t enough room for a suitcase; my roll on had to go above in an overhead bin.
The entertainment screen is located on the back of the seat ahead. Under the screen is a pocket that holds the headphones.
Each seat also has air vents that can be adjusted; I was able to stay cool on the entire flight which isn’t always the case.
In addition to a pillow at the seat, there was also a water bottle and amenity kit with standard items (toothbrush, paste, Voya lip balm, Voya lotion, ear plugs, socks, eye mask).
Once airborne duvets were passed out to each passenger. No slippers provided on the flight.
Service and Dining
Before take off I was offered champagne or orange juice.
Once airborne, the flight attendants passed out free wifi vouchers to the Business Class passengers that were good for the duration of the flight. While not fast internet, it was pretty consistent, and a nice included amenity.
We were then offered drink service along with some crackers and onion jelly. When I ordered sparkling water, I was given an entire bottle which was very nice as I tend to drink a lot of water on flights.
Our dinner orders were taken. I had the soup, beef, and mousse. The food was adequate but nothing was extraordinary.
Mid flight vanilla ice cream was served to those that were awake.
About 90 minutes before landing we were served a snack. it included a small chicken slider and three small desserts.
I found the flight attendants to be friendly and came through the cabin at various times even outside of meal service.
We ended up landing in Seattle almost exactly on time but ended up having to wait a few minutes for our gate to clear. We were then able to walk right off into the terminal as we had already cleared customs and immigration.
If you can find a US-Dublin flight for 60,000 Alaska Airlines miles, it is a decent deal especially if you can add on another flight either in the US or within Europe. However, I think that Condor offers a superior product for less miles so would encourage people to check them out first.
Have you flown Aer Lingus Business Class? Did you get one of the throne seats? What was your impression?