Aer Lingus have announced they are introducing a short haul business class for their intra-Europe flights. Dubbed ‘AerSpace’ the product is similar to BA’s Club Europe offering in that passengers get a bit more space, propriety boarding and a few other benefits.
Finally, Aer Lingus are bringing back business class amenities on their short haul flights. The Irish carrier has operated short-haul business class in the past, but not since 2002, so it’s been a long time coming back to the party.
With demand for better-than-economy-travel at something of a peak, this is a great move by Aer Lingus. Although travelers shouldn’t expect it to be up to the standard of international business class, it’s a good way to get some extra space and additional perks over flying cattle class.
We think it’s going to be particularly popular with those flying transatlantic who have onward tickets into Europe. Now, instead of having to deal with an economy final leg, long haulers can enjoy a bit more space and some free food and drink on the final segment of their trip.
What can we expect from the Aer Lingus short haul business class?
Don’t get too excited now, because this is no top of the range business class package. According to the Aer Lingus website, with AerSpace you get:
- Middle seat free
- Private overhead storage
- Complimentary food and drink from our Bia menu
- Lounge access
- Priority boarding
- Fast Track security
- Automatic standby for earlier flights
- Free changes and refunds
It’s business class, but not as we know it, Jim. While the seating will be more spacious, it’s not going to be a ‘business class seat’ as such. Rather, it’s an economy seat with nobody sitting next to you. Similarly, there’s no dedicated business class catering either, instead you can just have whatever the economy travelers can have, but for free.
But, let’s not knock it, this is short haul premium travel, so it’s good to see something a bit better than standard. The reserved overhead bin space, lounge access and Fast Track security make it a good package of benefits for busy business travelers.
If all this sounds somewhat familiar, you’d be right. As AusBT pointed out, it’s the same product as British Airways offer with their Club Europe – an economy class seat with a vacant middle seat and some additional perks. However, it’s nothing compared to the airline’s forthcoming international grade business class.
The A321LR business class
Aer Lingus will shortly be taking delivery of the first of their A321LR aircraft. According to One Mile At A Time, the first A321LR flights will be between Dublin and Hartford from August 2nd 2019. For those lucky enough to be flying on the new Aer Lingus A321LRs, it will be a proper business class experience.
On these jets, they’ve gone for the Thompson Aero Vantage seat, giving real business class comfort and superb legroom. As you might expect, the 16 business class seats are fully lie flat and well equipped for the transatlantic routes they’ll be running.
However, that’s not the only place you can fly them. As the aircraft have a bit of a long stopover at Dublin between long haul flights, Aer Lingus plan to use them for a handful of intra-European routes too. That means some lucky travelers will get to go fully flat on popular business routes such as Dublin to Paris, London and Amsterdam.
For the rest of us, we’ll have to be content with AerSpace.
Where can you fly AerSpace?
AerSpace is available to book right away, on travel from September 1st onwards. The routes which will have the business class short haul experience include:
- Dublin only to Birmingham, Manchester, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Geneva, Zurich, Brussels and Madrid.
- Dublin and Cork to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, Munich and Paris.
- Dublin and Knock to London Gatwick
- Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast to London Heathrow
Looking at the Aer Lingus website, the fares are already visible and ready for purchase. While the AerSpace comes in at a fair bit more, it’s not horrifically expensive for a business class flight.
What do you think? Will you be flying AerSpace with Aer Lingus?