A low cost alternative to transatlantic flying to Europe: Aer Lingus
I’m always looking for a bargain. Ever since the days of Freddie Laker, I’ve hunted bargains in flights crossing the Atlantic. Lately it has seemed rather challenging to find anything truly considered a bargain.
So while playing with city pairs and all sorts of dates to get to somewhere – anywhere – across the Atlantic – I discovered a flight that only worked out of Tampa (TPA) to Dublin in late April and it was USD639. I was thrilled that it actually booked too! That was the all-in price too.
Having got across the Atlantic it was a matter of putting the rest of our trip together. We knew we had a cruise to catch in Rome and wanted to visit family in Scotland and then Amsterdam was a must-do. So we booked all that – most of it on Aer Lingus though we booked a RyanAir flight also – that was a Rome (CIA) to Manchester (MAN) flight and another story!
Aer Lingus now have a code share agreement not only with United but also Jet Blue. And quite frankly, their Airbus 330 aircraft were excellent and comfortable as well as quick. We traveled to Chicago to connect to the Aer Lingus flight.
The international departures terminal that was used in Chicago was dismal but was under construction – sadly there was nothing to eat except one of the little grab and go places and the only bar (this was the international departures area and I am not making this up) was a trolley. I had assumed Chicago, being a relatively big and important airport, would actually have services or be nice.
Dublin is quite a nice stopover and there are plenty of hotels in the airport area as well as in the city centre. On our way to Europe we spent a few hours in the city and used the AirLink bus for Euros 10 return. It was quick and frequent and stopped at all the major places in the city centre you would want to visit.
There is a left luggage facility at terminal 2 where we left our luggage so if your flight hasn’t opened up for check in this is quite handy. We managed to fly to Europe and back via Rome and Glasgow and the internal European flights were quite cost effective.
The meals were excellent and we didn’t feel we needed to upgrade our meals though that was an option. The in-flight entertainment was excellent and the seats comfortable. The price was excellent and I would most definitely try this route again. They key is being flexible and trying various city pairs on a site such as Kayak or Fly.
So even if you aren’t living in a city served by Aer Lingus, check it out. You’ll find excellent service, modern and fast aircraft and a potentially great fare. But test out various airports because we saved several hundred dollars flying out of Tampa instead of Orlando. Happy travels!