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Last week, Aer Lingus announced that it will be flying to two new destinations in North America from Summer 2019: Montreal, Canada and Minneapolis-St. Paul, USA. For many readers, the most interesting thing about the news is that it means more transatlantic Avios award space – and I’ll come back to that in a minute, but first have a look at the flight details.
New Aer Lingus routes
The airline plans to fly 5 times a week between Dublin and Minneapolis (starting 8th July 2019), operating on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, at the following times:
EI89 Dublin to Minneapolis departing 2:10PM arriving 4:55PM
EI88 Minneapolis to Dublin departing 7:00PM arriving 8:40AM (+1 day)
Flights between Dublin and Montreal will be daily (from 8th August 2019) and are currently scheduled for the following times:
EI99 Dublin to Montreal departing 6:50PM arriving 8:50PM
EI98 Montreal to Dublin departing 10:20PM arriving 9:40AM (+1 day)
I particularly like the look of the 18:50 flight to Montreal, as it should be relatively easy to fly to Dublin same day from the UK, rather than having to stay over in Dublin, or worry about not making the connection because of a delay.
New Avios redemption details
Dublin to Montreal is currently pricing up on Avios.com at 12,500 Avios + £83.70 taxes/fees one way in Economy on a PEAK date:
This is great news, because that would seem to confirm that it’s (rightly) being seen as a Band 4 destination rather than being artificially shoved across into Band 5, like has happened with other Aer Lingus routes that should be Band 4 according to flight distance.
What that should mean is that Business Class will be available for 31,250 Avios off-peak and 37,500 peak one way. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any availability in order to confirm that 100% when I had a quick look last night.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can (probably) still save a good chunk of money on the taxes/fees too by ringing British Airways Executive Club to book, rather than using Avios.com. I haven’t personally tested that in a while though, so let me know in the comments if anything has changed there!
Assuming you can find availability and that BAEC are still charging lower fees, you should be able to book return Business Class flights from Dublin to Montreal for 62,500 + ~£80 in tax/fees. That’s a heck of deal – almost like the good old days of Avios!
Minneapolis-St. Paul is in Band 5, so would require 13,000 off peak or 20,000 peak for Economy, and 50,000 off peak or 60,000 peak for Business Class.
I don’t know much about Minneapolis (or St. Paul), but would love to visit Montreal. Given the Avios pricing above, I imagine I might find myself there relatively soon! Regardless, it’s always good to see new Avios redemption options, and new ways to earn Avios too of course.
Has anyone managed to snag a Biz Class seat to/from Montreal yet? – What did you pay?