The Irish carrier Aer Lingus is adding a new product to its portfolio of short haul fares called AerSpace. The reason for this is to provide a seamless experience for those crossing the Atlantic in business class.
For all intents and purposes, it is a European business class product. It features the middle seat free, complimentary food and drink, fast-track security, priority boarding, lounge access and is fully flexible.
Thoughts on the name AerSpace
AerSpace was first floated a long time ago, with reports surfacing as early as July 2015. That’s not a typo, it has actually taken almost four years to get it launched. I’ll not pass remark though, I am sure there is a good reason for it.
When it comes to the name, didn’t like it in 2015, still don’t like it. I understand it’s cohesive with the name Aer Lingus and the frequent flyer programme AerClub, but even so AerSpace makes me wrinkle my nose.
Thoughts on Seating
Did you know there will be exactly four seats available in AerSpace on standard Airbus A320 services? This means that all passengers will be seated in row 1. Happy days, you might think, as this is a coveted row on most airlines. Not on Aer Lingus though, because the bulkhead is pretty close to the seat, so you won’t exactly be able to stretch out.
It’s one reason why I actively choose other rows when flying Aer Lingus, row three or six being my first choices as these have a good window position to see out. With AerSpace being literally one single row of four seats, you really have no other option to sit elsewhere. Tall people beware!
And What Does This Mean?
In a communication to AerClub members, Aer Lingus explained the frequent flyer earning of AerSpace. Booking a flight from say Chicago to London in business class automatically puts you in AerSpace on the Dublin to London portion of the ticket. In the e-mail, the last line in the below is a little bit opaque, to say the least. I originally thought it meant you’d get business class tier points on the short haul sector, but that’s not right.
Does this mean that if I book a Chicago to Dublin in business class, then book a separate ticket Dublin to London, that I will be eligible to be put in AerSpace even though the tickets are separate? That’s what it seems to be alluding to, that you’d earn your standard Saver, Plus or Advantage tier points based on that ticket even though you are being upgraded to AerSpace. But who would book a separate ticket when it’s one airline and a through booking. Really weird!
Obviously once the new Airbus A321LR arrives at Aer Lingus and does European flights, some AerSpace seating will be actual transatlantic business class seating. I still wonder why it is restricted just to row one on the Airbus A320 as you’d think Aer Lingus would get more than four passengers per flight. When I have flown British Airways, Lufthansa and SAS out of Dublin, they always have a bunch of people in their premium short haul cabins.
Not being allowed to select a seat in row two for example is quite unfortunate as the leg room in row one is not great. Also, the bulkheads are austere enough plus close to you, so it is the very antithesis of the space part of AerSpace.
Regardless of some of the choices made for the initial roll out, it has the potential to be quite successful. I’m sure the numbers have been crunched and four seats per flight is appropriate. Hopefully though it will increase just a little more so those tall people have a bit of a place to stretch their legs in row two.
What are your thoughts on AerSpace? Will you be giving it a try? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
All images via Aer Lingus.