Aer Lingus is the Irish flag-carrier airline. Headquartered in Dublin and owned by the International Airlines Group (IAG), it flies to 80 destinations in Europe and North America. At Dublin Airport, it operates from Terminal 2.
The airline is known for its friendly service and comfortable business class cabins on transatlantic flights between Ireland and North America. Business class passengers can expect lie-flat seats, a menu with seasonal Irish produce, lounge access, and good in-flight entertainment.
Flying from North America to Ireland with Aer Lingus also has the benefit of the airline’s hub connections onwards to UK and European destinations. Flying to the US from Dublin or Shannon, passengers can go through US Customs and Border Preclearance before leaving Ireland, to save time at the other end on landing
What to know about Aer Lingus business class
Aer Lingus has business class cabins on its newish A330 and A321 LR fleet to North America. There is business class on flights between Dublin and New York (JFK); Newark (EWR); Boston (BOS); Chicago (ORD); Washington DC (IAD); Philadelphia (PHL); Hartford (BDL); Cleveland, Ohio (CLE); Orlando (MCO); Seattle (SEA); Los Angeles (LAX); San Francisco (SFO); Toronto (YYZ); and Miami (MIA) (seasonal winter route).
It also operates business class between Shannon and Boston, Shannon and JFK New York, Manchester and JFK New York, Manchester and Orlando, and Manchester and Barbados (seasonal winter route).
On European routes, there is a more pared back offering called Aer Space. Seats are standard size but the middle seat is kept free. Aer Space passengers get lounge access, fast-track airport security, and a complimentary drink and snack from the flight’s standard snack menu. On the A321neo Aircraft between Dublin and London Heathrow, Aer Space passengers get an exclusive cabin with lie-flat seats.
Examples of previous deals found by Going in Aer Lingus business class
- Orlando to Manchester for $2,246 roundtrip
- DC to Milan for $2,599 roundtrip
- New York to Dublin for $2,115 roundtrip
The Aer Lingus business class experience at the airport
Aer Lingus business class lounge access
Aer Lingus business class passengers get free lounge access. To access the lounge, you present your boarding card. Aer Lingus has a dedicated lounge at Dublin Airport and business class passengers can also use the 51st and Green lounge which is after US Preclearance at Dublin Airport. Aer Lingus also has dedicated lounges at London Heathrow (Terminal 2) and JFK New York.
The Aer Lingus Lounge in Dublin Terminal 2 is open from 4:15am to 9pm. It’s a bright lounge with large windows, open-plan seating, and privacy pods. There are charging outlets and complimentary Wi-Fi. Instead of print newspapers and magazines, there is free access to the PressReader app with more than 7,000 newspapers and magazines, while connected to the lounge Wi-Fi. There are also showers. Food includes a choice of soups, salad, wraps, and cakes and there’s barista coffee plus wine, beer, spirits, and sodas. If you are short on time, you can take a ‘to-go’ breakfast—a pastry and coffee, from 4:15am to 11am.
The 51st and Green Lounge at Dublin Airport after US Preclearance (beside the pier at gate 406) is open from 7:15am to 4pm. There’s a barista bar, fresh food all day, beverages, charging outlets, free Wi-Fi, printing facilities, and showers, and the lounge also has an entertainment area with TV sports channels.
The Aer Lingus Lounge in the main departures area at Terminal 2 at London Heathrow is open from 7am to 10pm. New York (JFK) Terminal 5 is open from 12:45pm until the last departure and is across from Gate 26 in Terminal 5.
Business Class passengers can use partner lounges at other airports where available. Business class passengers can use United Airlines lounges in the US if connecting from an Aer Lingus flight into Chicago.
Transatlantic Business class customers can also use the Aer Lingus Revival Lounge in the arrivals area at Dublin Airport Terminal 2. There are showers, fresh towels and amenity kits, and shirts or suits can be collected and steam pressed. There’s also coffee, juice and pastries, plus access to newspapers and magazines via the press reader app.
Aer Lingus business class check-in
Business class has dedicated check-in desks at all airports. Business class passengers get advanced seat selection, fast-track security, and priority boarding, and also standby for an earlier flight.
You can check in three bags with a combined total of 69kg (150lb) and bring a carry-on: one 10kg (22lb) bag (55cm x 40cm x 24cm or 21.5” x 15.5” x 9.5”) plus one small bag (small handbag, laptop bag, baby changing bag, 25cm x 33cm x 20cm or 10” x 13” x 8”).
The Aer Lingus business class experience in the air
Aer Lingus business class seats
- On the Airbus A330, twin-aisle, there are three types of business class seat layouts and 90% of the seats have aisle access. The A330-200 has 23 seats, and the A330-300 has 30 seats. Seat layouts alternate between 1-2-2 and 1-2-1 configurations. Two A330 aircraft have 30 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. Storage space is good and the single seats (throne seats) nearest the window have storage and consoles either side so feel more private. Some single seats have storage on just one side and an armrest on the other.
- On the Airbus A321neoLR (single aisle), there are five rows (row 2-6) with two types of seats, alternating between a 2-2 layout (rows 2, 4 and 6) and 1-1 throne seats (rows 3 and 5). 60% of the seats have aisle access. As with the A330, the single seats (throne seats) nearest the window have storage and consoles either side so feel more private and roomy. Some single seats have storage on just one side and an armrest on the other.
Seats have charging points with a universal plug socket and USB-A charge outlets, plus a water bottle holder and reading light. They have a width of 22” and have storage space as well as small compartments for shoes and a laptop. Seat controls are easy to use and the seats have a massage option, recline, and lie back with a fully flat 6’5” bed. The tables for dining or working on are fully retractable.
Benefits of flying Aer Lingus business class
Business class passengers get an amenity kit with flight socks, eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and paste, mints, and Voya toiletries (such as lip balm and hand cream), plus a pillow and blanket.
Business class passengers also get complimentary Wi-Fi on most aircraft; most A330s offer Wi-Fi, texts and data, while the A321neoLR aircraft offer Wi-Fi only. Wi-Fi is available around 20 minutes into the flight and stays connected until around 20 minutes before landing.
Each business class seat has a 16-inch HD touch screen and noise-reducing headphones. There are more than 120 hours of movies (including new releases) and TV series, comedies, and documentaries, plus interactive games, music albums, and an audio library of podcasts and world music.
Aer Lingus has a Play App which you can download before the flight, to see the latest list of movies and tv shows and personalize your entertainment (for example you can create a playlist). When you get on board, you connect your device with the in-flight entertainment screen and you can use your device to control your touch screen. Using the app allows you to catch up from where you left off on your movie on your next flight. Aer Lingus also has a partnership with LinkedIn Learning so you can take courses and tutorials to upskill during the flight.
Meals in Aer Lingus business class
Business class passengers get two meals—a three-course dinner and pre-landing meal or breakfast. Service is restaurant-style; meals are prepared individually and are well presented with white linen tablecloths and napkins.
The food is based around Irish produce and has more of a ‘Sunday dinner’ vibe rather than fancy Michelin-star style. There’s usually a meat or fish dish like salmon and a vegetarian option, and produce like local cheeses. Meals start with a selection of small canapes.
Dishes for evening flights are created to be naturally high in melatonin, to help with sleep. Main courses/entrees come with a seasonal salad and a sample dish might be roast filet of pollock with steamed potatoes, shaved fennel, and lightly-blanched samphire, or five-hour braised beef in in a herby red wine jus, served with smoked mashed potato, sweet roast celery, and whole-roasted heritage beetroot. There’s also a dessert or Irish cheeses.
Before landing, passengers can choose from a light menu, with a selection of brioche sliders, plus sweet treats, and tea or coffee – and if they’re on the menu, pre-landing scones with jam and cream will set you up for the day. There are also snacks in the galley for passengers during the flight.
You can order a special meal in advance to meet dietary requirements. These include a child’s meal, diabetic meal, gluten-intolerant meal, kosher meal (for business class, request this meal 48 hours prior to flight departure), low-fat meal, low-lactose, low-salt, Muslim meal, vegetarian lacto-ovo meal or vegetarian vegan meal.
If you are flying from New York JFK, you can pre-dine in the lounge, with the same cuisine and restaurant service on board the flight, and this leaves you free to sleep on board. You can also choose to have a lighter meal on board so that you have more time to sleep on the journey.
Business class passengers have a choice of champagne, wines, and spirits at no extra charge. Red wines might be Château Bonnet Reserve Red, 2016, Bordeaux AC from France or
Care Garnacha Tinto Nativa’, 2020, DO Cariñena from Spain. White wines on offer might include Three Wooly Sheep Sauvignon Blanc, 2022, Marlborough, New Zealand or Gavi di Gavi DOCG Fossili, 2021/22, San Silvestro, Italy. Champagne sample might be Jean Pernet Tradition Brut NV Champagne, France. There is also whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy, rum, port, beer, cider, a signature cocktail, and soft drinks/sodas.
How to book Aer Lingus business class
Business class can be selected online or booked by a travel agent. There is an option for business class, which allows refund vouchers or a cash refund minus 15%, or a more expensive ‘business flex’ (often twice the price of business), which allows free changes and is fully refundable.
How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Aer Lingus?
Roundtrip fares from the US in business class range from $3,000-$4,500. Seasonal sales like Black Flyday and Cyber Monday in November can see offers like $100 or $200 off business class fares. At Going, we’ve frequently found our members cheap flights under $2,200 roundtrip.
How to upgrade to business class of Aer Lingus for free
Upgrades are not usual but if passengers are being upgraded for operational reasons, the airline would upgrade any eligible AerClub members on board first.
How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Aer Lingus?
The amount required to upgrade varies by route and date of travel. You pay the fare difference and change fees apply. The Aer Lingus frequent flyer program is called AerClub and uses Avois. You can upgrade using AerClub Avios points.
Passengers traveling between North America to Ireland who have an economy ticket, can also bid for an upgrade. If your flight is eligible and there are business class seats available, you will get an email with the offer and link. You make an offer and enter your payment information. If your bid is successful, you will be notified and assigned the upgrade. There’s an ‘offer strength’ gauge on the page, and you may be bidding against other passengers on the flight, so the higher the offer, the greater the chance of success.
How many miles to upgrade to Aer Lingus business class?
The amount of Avios required to upgrade an existing booking varies by route and date of travel. Avios one-way upgrades start at 37,000 points and go up to 55,000. You can only use Aer Lingus Avios to upgrade rather than Avios from another program, but you can buy a business class flight using Avios from another program.
Overall, business class is comfortable, and while it may not have the frills of a luxury airline, it’s worth it for a long-haul flight from Ireland to North America, especially on a night flight, if you need space for working, or to take advantage of the lie-flat bed for sleep. Many flights from North America are overnight flights landing in Ireland early in the morning. Amenities like the Revival lounge at Dublin airport are useful for someone going straight to a meeting.