Ultimate Guide to AER LINGUS A330 in Business Class: Dublin – Los Angeles

Aer Lingus in Business Class Canapes
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Aer Lingus is the long-established Irish national carrier, part of the IAG group of airlines. This is my Ultimate Guide to flying with Aer Lingus in Business Class from their hub in Dublin to Los Angeles, California.

AER LINGUS EI69

Airbus A330

Dublin to Los Angeles (DUB-LAX)

Seat: 5A (Business)

Duration: 11h20

Booking

The Aer Lingus website is one of the smoothest airline booking experiences to step through, not least because the font and font size is large and easy to read. In 2023, Aer Lingus started to show alternative indirect and code share options for your search. It will show the Aer Lingus direction option first, but will add any onward flights to routes it does not cover itself using a codeshare partner. I’ve yet to use this facility, but it could be a useful addition for the airline.

[Note: the Los Angeles route can be seasonal, flights are currently available Dublin to San Francisco].

Aer Lingus booking page
Aer Lingus offers no Premium Economy seating, just Economy or Business.

Aer Lingus Plusgrade Upgrade System

If you haven’t bought your business class ticket outright, it’s worth knowing that Aer Lingus uses the Plusgrade system, through which it offers paid-for upgrade “bids” from Economy seats to Business Class. I should say it *may* offer upgrades because if business class on your flight is already full with full-fare passengers, it’s full! If there is availability, Aer Lingus will email all eligible passengers and invite you to apply. If you make a successful bid, it’s because you made the highest acceptable bid for the upgrade.

Benefits of Aer Lingus Business Class

Business Class check-in

Fast-track security included

Access to Aer Lingus Lounge

Access to 51st & Green Lounge after US Pre-Clearance

Access to the Aer Lingus Revival Lounge on flights into Dublin Terminal 2

Aer Lingus on-board: Lie-flat seat; large entertainment screen; separate business-class cabin

Quality food and drink options

Aer Lingus Check-in

Aer Lingus is based at Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport and has a substantial check-in area on the ground level on the right as you enter the terminal. Anyone with a business-class ticket or who has AerClub status of silver or higher is able to use the Premium Check-in. I have seen this check-in area very quiet or with a long line, while economy has check-in screens which can move quickly.

Aer Lingus Premium check-in area

Aer Lingus ground staff are unfailingly polite and I was checked in for my Los Angeles flight quickly. Business class provides a fast track pass to get through security. Don’t forget that security is two levels up in Terminal 2! There are both escalators and lifts and fast track is positioned to the left of the security hall.

Gate & Boarding

The duty free area in Dublin Airport is huge. If you’re looking for anything, from Bushmills whiskey to Irish smoked salmon, you’ll get it there. However, watch your timing as it will take time to get to the gate. Here’s why…

Dublin Airport is one of the few outside the US which has a US Pre-clearance for immigration and customs. This means that passengers arrive in the US as if they were domestic passengers, with no wait time on arrival.

Ireland Excursions

Business-class passengers are able to short-cut the second security line at pre-clearance, saving quite a lot of time. Also, if you have Global Entry (or another known traveler pass), you can shortcut the pre-clearance line and get through quickly. Economy class passengers without Global Entry will have the longest wait to be processed.

For many people, this won’t matter at all. However, if you flying in business class to the US, you get access to a lounge AFTER pre-clearance.

Aer Lingus Lounge Options: Business Class Lounge and 51st & Green

Aer Lingus offers two lounge options to business class passengers. Once through fast-track security, you can use the main Aer Lingus Business Class Lounge in Terminal 2. I think it’s nicely done, though it could use some more/better food options. However, the real star is the 51st & Green Lounge, which is included in your ticket price and comes up after US Pre-clearance. It’s worth getting through pre-clearance as quickly as possible and enjoying the great apron views from 51st & Green. (Note: you can PAY to enter that lounge, so if you’re not in business class, you can still have a treat!)

Aer Lingus Business Class Cabin & Lie-Flat Seat – The Best Seats

Typically, Aer Lingus uses a wide-body Airbus A330-200 for its longer transatlantic flights, including to Los Angeles and San Francisco. On the Airbus A330, Seats 3A, 3K, 5A and 5K are the best, as these seats are positioned against the window with a wide arm rest to the aisle, meaning increased privacy and less risk of your gin and tonic getting bumped!

Aer Lingus uses Airbus A321neo aircraft for some shorter routes to the US East Coast (though the A330 does still feature at busier times into JFK). Typically, the layout is 5 rows of 2-2, 1-1, 2-2, 1-1, 2-2, and the best seat to get is in a 1-1 row, which are usually Seats 3A, 3K, 5A and 5K again. Check out Seatguru before your flight to check the seat numbering on your route.

Aer Lingus lie-flat seat

The lie-flat option on Aer Lingus is pretty comfortable. One downside is that no mattress pad is offered like Virgin in Upper Class. This simply lies flat, you lie flat on top of it with a warm blanket and a pillow and hope for sleep to come!

Aer Lingus Business Class cabin

Pre-Departure Champagne

A glass of champagne in the Aer Lingus Airbus

As you settle in to your comfortable seat, the cabin crew will bring you a pre-departure drink. On offer is a glass of Jean Pernet Champagne, cold water or orange juice. The perfect way to start your on-board experience!

Aer Lingus: Amenities & Service

It’s not just because I’m Irish, but I’ve never had bad food service on board an Aer Lingus transatlantic flight, whether in an Economy or Business seat. On this flight, the first drinks service was prompt and food was quite a bit later (it’s a long flight, after all). However, staff were present in the cabin if you did require anything.

Aer Lingus In-Flight Entertainment

In business class, the IFE screen is a generous size and is very clear. However, it did not appear to tilt, to adjust for shadows or sunshine. The headphones offered in the business cabin were of reasonable quality, although I prefer to use Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Aer Lingus entertainment screen

Wi-Fi can be purchased on board (vouchers for free usage are offered for business customers). On this occasion, the wi-fi worked perfectly and it was fast enough for general social media and blog reading.

Aer Lingus Business Class Amenity Kit

Aer Lingus does offer an amenity kit. To be frank, compared to the rest of the offering on this flight, this was the poorest quality item.

Aer Lingus business-class amenity kit

The Voya products ARE excellent. However, the bag itself isn’t great (you might not want to keep it) and the offering could be a bit more generous.

Aer Lingus business class amenities including Voya products

Aer Lingus Business Class Food & Drinks

I was quietly taken aback by the quality of the food offering on board. Certainly, the range of options is not as extensive as, say, a long-haul Turkish Airlines flight. However, I think there was something for everyone here.

Canapé

Starter

Aer Lingus food options - salmon first course

Main

Aer Lingus food options - beef main course with guinness and rosemary potatoes.

Read all about the Food & Drink offered in Aer Lingus Business Class in this separate article (opens in new tab)

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Aer Lingus: Arrival at Los Angeles LAX

The flight from Dublin to Los Angeles takes around 9h30m. I love a moving map and seeing the flight come in over Las Vegas means you’re almost there.

Aer Lingus moving map

The sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean as EI145 edged towards LAX.

Arriving into LAX with Aer Lingus

The familiar grid pattern of Los Angeles stretches out towards Santa Monica and the coast. Time to put my book into my hand luggage and prepare for ground transportation into the city.

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Aer Lingus Revival Lounge

When you are travelling from the US to Dublin Terminal 2, it’s seriously worth checking out the Aer Lingus Revival Lounge which is included in the ticket prices for business class passengers. Read my Aer Lingus Revival Lounge review here.

Aer Lingus in Business: Overall Impression

Aer Lingus in Business is enjoyable in a narrow body shorter transatlantic hop (such as JFK or Toronto to Dublin), but is particularly good on a wide-body aircraft. The quality of the food, drink and service is top notch and the overall experience from check-in to arrival makes you feel very special as a passenger. There isn’t much lets this product down, perhaps apart from the quality of the amenity kit.

Aer Lingus Frequently Asked Questions

Aer Lingus First Class versus Business Class

Aer Lingus does not offer First Class on any of its flights, whether in Europe or transatlantic. Some countries might call the Aer Lingus Business Class offering “first class”. If you are looking for the Aer Lingus lie-flat bed, premium food and drinks and lounge experience, then you’re on the right page to read the Aer Lingus business class review.

How much is Aer Lingus Business Class?

The cost to fly Aer Lingus Business Class varies depending on some factors: the time of year, when you book, and the route. There are also regular business (no changes) and business flex tickets. Typically, a return flight in early 2024 from Dublin to Boston in Business Class costs €1958.44. An Aer Lingus business flex ticket is three times more expensive at €6006.42. For comparison, an Economy Saver ticket for the same dates in 2024 costs €428.44.

What is Business Class on Aer Lingus?

Business class varies from airline to airline, so here is what Aer Lingus Business Class includes. Business class passengers get 3 checked bags (23kg/50lbs), dedicated check-in, fast-track security, lounge access, priority boarding, food & drink, a lie-flat seat, a separate business class cabin and free on-board wi-fi.

How much to upgrade to business on Aer Lingus?

Aer Lingus offers upgrades via the PlusGrade system. PlusGrade operates a bidding system for upgrades, but you should know it is only available if there are available business class seats on your flight. Qualifying Economy Class passengers will be invited to use the PlusGrade system via email if it’s expected that there will be availability. It’s a bit of a lottery as you put forward a best guess at the lowest offer that you think will buy you the upgrade and beat out other people who might make a bid. I’ve been successful more times than not, but rarely by offering the lowest possible bid.

Does Aer Lingus have Premium Economy on long haul US flights?

Aer Lingus does not have Premium Economy on any of its long haul services. The transatlantic flights offer either Business Class or Economy Class only. See the FAQ about AerSpace for European premium economy information.

Does Aer Lingus have Premium Economy on European flights?

Yes, Aer Lingus has a premium economy product on some short haul and European flights. They have branded this product AerSpace.

What is AerSpace on Aer Lingus?

AerSpace is the Premium Economy product on Aer Lingus. It offers a range of benefits, most notably a guaranteed middle seat free in a front row of the aircraft.

What is included in AerSpace on Aer Lingus?

AerSpace is equivalent to Premium Economy products on other airlines and includes a number of popular benefits: Fast Track Security, access to the lounge (where available), a forward row with a free middle seat, guaranteed overhead storage, a drink and snack. Passengers can also standby for earlier flights and get changes and refunds.

What is Aer Lingus Skytrax ranking?

Aer Lingus is rated as a 4-star airline on the Skytrax certified rating program. Skytrax assesses a range of factors from on the ground services like the US Pre-clearance lounge, through to the hard and soft product on long haul and short haul flights. In 2022, Aer Lingus ranked 54th in the Skytrax Top 100 Airlines in the World.

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I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.