When Aer Lingus announced a partnership with JetBlue back in 2008, I was quite surprised. Aer Lingus at the time was trying to compete with Ryanair in Europe and offering extremely low fares.
At the same time, they were trying to keep their transatlantic operation very decent. Needless to say that strategy didn’t work out and now Aer Lingus is a self proclaimed hybrid carrier.
What Is A Hybrid Carrier?
For transatlantic flights, Aer Lingus offer two classes of service, business class and economy class. I’ve reviewed their business class on a day flight and an overnight flight. They use the exact same seat as JetBlue’s Mint class, which is really quite good.
On European flights a single class of service is offered and passengers can buy food and drinks on board. They also operate a frequent flyer programme called AerClub which uses the same Avios currency as other airlines such as British Airways and Iberia. So they are a hybrid between a full service carrier and a low cost carrier.
JetBlue and Aer Lingus Partnership
Thanks to the fact that Ireland has US Immigration Preclearance, Aer Lingus use JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at New York and Terminal C in Boston. This allows passengers to connect to and from flights with ease.
As the two airlines codeshare with each other, a single ticket can be purchased to travel from the USA to Europe covering flights on both airlines. It seems to work as over 500,000 passengers have been carried to date with the partnership.
What About Frequent Flyer Earning?
JetBlue and Aer Lingus don’t have reciprocal frequent flyer earning. You won’t earn Aer Lingus Avios while flying with JetBlue and you won’t earn TrueBlue points by flying with Aer Lingus.
That being the case, you’ll earn miles in each airlines programme when flying on a sector on that airline. I guess if you’re a regular traveller you’ll just have to join both AerClub and TrueBlue.
It will be interesting to see how much longer the partnership lasts. When searching for flights from Dublin to Denver with Aer Lingus now, you get all sorts of airlines popping up. The combination with JetBlue is way down the list after other routes using British Airways or United Airlines flights.
Still, business class passengers must find it interesting when they transfer from Mint to Aer Lingus Business Class as the seats are the same. Have you connected between JetBlue and Aer Lingus to Ireland or Europe? What was it like? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by John Marotta.
All images via the Aer Lingus Blog.