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Alaska Airlines has expanded its partnership with Ireland’s national airline Aer Lingus, giving the carrier’s frequent flyers even more ways to earn and redeem miles with flights to the Emerald Isle and beyond. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members are now able to redeem miles for both economy and business class seats on nonstop transatlantic and intra-Europe flights.
» Learn More: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your Complete Guide
Here’s what you need to know about flying Aer Lingus with your Alaska miles.
Economy award flights to Europe
Alaska Airlines still publishes an award chart, so you have some idea of how many miles you need to save for your trip to Europe. One-way flights in economy class from the contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe start at 30,000 miles and could go up to 80,000 miles each way, depending on demand. To compare, American Airlines, one of the few legacy carriers still using an award chart, offers award flights to Europe for 22,500 to 65,000 miles each way.
» Learn more: A European vacation you can afford
Business award flights to Europe
The range of miles needed for an award flight in business class is even greater. A business class ticket on Aer Lingus between the U.S. and Europe could cost you as few as 60,000 Alaska miles, but the most expensive business class ticket could be more than four times that at 280,000 miles.
Economy award flights around Europe
Ireland could serve as your gateway to the rest of Europe. Aer Lingus flies to 141 different cities in Germany, Spain, Portugal, the U.K., Italy, France, Hungary, and the rest of Europe when you connect through Dublin. Intra-Europe award flights in economy class will require between 8,000 and 30,000 Alaska miles.
NerdWallet values Alaska miles at 1 cent each.
Nonstop flights to Dublin from North America
Aer Lingus offers service to Dublin from 13 cities in North America, including from the Alaska Airlines hub cities of Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
How to earn Alaska miles
Flying Alaska Airlines or any of their global partners like Aer Lingus is one way to earn Alaska miles. To accelerate your miles accumulation, you might want to consider applying for an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, which comes with the following sign-up bonus: Get a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. You’ll earn 3 miles per $1 spent on eligible Alaska purchases and 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
The card comes with some valuable perks as well, including the Companion Fare, which is a big reason why we named this card the best airline card of 2019. Recently, the card’s issuer added new benefits that gives cardholders discounts on Alaska Airlines lounge access and in-flight purchases.
The bottom line
Adding the ability to book award travel with Aer Lingus makes the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program even more valuable for travelers. Members of Alaska’s loyalty program now have more ways to redeem their miles for flights to and around Europe, including some nonstop flights from West Coast hubs to Dublin. With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card’s sign-up bonus, you could get the 30,000 miles needed for the cheapest one-way award flight to any European city Aer Lingus serves.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card review: Well worth $75 a year Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies