Fares ex-EU to USA destinations

Old Jan 16, 2024, 12:34 pm
  #1  
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Fares ex-EU to USA destinations

I'm based BRS and fly to various places in North America. As Lufty have decided to dump BRS *yet again* , I'm giving EI a go.

I can see from the website that ex-DUB there are fares to a lot of US destinations, including all the ones I need to go to. But if I switch to ex-BRS, I can only see the destinations served directly by EI from DUB.

I just finished a trip where I took the risk of ticketing BRS-DUB and DUB-LAS as separate tickets, and luckily everything was punctual so I made all the connections. But, I couldn't check a bag through, and I'm going to need to do that on my next US trip.

Why don't EI publish the same range of fares ex-UK? (I see that MAN and BHD have fares published to all those places, but they seem to be the only places that do). Surely it's not because their ticketing platform can't handle more than 4 segments in ticket?
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 1:16 pm
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Website only shows 1 stop itineraries

Need to call or use a TA to get access
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 12:59 am
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I called EI sales and was told that it wasn't possible, and looking in Expertflyer, there's no BRS- fares published for non-direct destinations.
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Was I misled by the person I spoke to? Do I need to go to an independent travel agent to do this (which is probably going to cost me 75 in ticketing fees)?
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 2:57 am
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Originally Posted by BristolTraveller
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Was I misled by the person I spoke to?
No.

Aer Lingus does not offer tickets involving travel on jetblue and United for sale to customers originating on mainland Europe or the UK. Similarly, customers originating at US ports not directly served by EI are not offered tickets to anywhere other than DUB/SNN (or, where codeshares on BA are in place, BHD/ORK). You might find one or two other places (MAN?) on offer from some of these "offline" US origins [and probably using only BA flights], but the point stands - Aer Lingus doesn't itself offer multi-stop connections.

Whether rightly or wrongly, Aer Lingus is not interested in competing for customers where more than one transfer is needed; but as you rightly point out, you can use any third-party travel agent to issue such tickets.

(the same range of destinations is offered by EI to customers starting in LHR as to those starting in BRS)

Last edited by irishguy28; Jan 17, 2024 at 3:03 am
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by BristolTraveller
I called EI sales and was told that it wasn't possible, and looking in Expertflyer, there's no BRS- fares published for non-direct destinations.
​​​​​​
Was I misled by the person I spoke to? Do I need to go to an independent travel agent to do this (which is probably going to cost me 75 in ticketing fees)?
You could try Trailfinders in Bristol they might be able to do an IATA fare with connections.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 8:35 am
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Thanks all. I'll talk to my TA (Flight Centre in Bristol!) and see if they can end-on tickets into a single PNR, so then I can check a bag through.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 10:14 am
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Why not just drive or take the train to LHR?

It’s only about two hours from Bristol to LHR by either method and I would imagine you would be able to get to 90% of the North American destinations nonstop. It would almost certainly be cheaper and would save you time vs connecting, even if you could have a single connection in DUB. I suppose LHR is a bit more of a headache than BRS, but you could compensate for that by leaving an extra hour early and STILL come out ahead on the time front.

What am I missing here?
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by rcurry01
Why not just drive or take the train to LHR?

It’s only about two hours from Bristol to LHR by either method and I would imagine you would be able to get to 90% of the North American destinations nonstop. It would almost certainly be cheaper and would save you time vs connecting, even if you could have a single connection in DUB. I suppose LHR is a bit more of a headache than BRS, but you could compensate for that by leaving an extra hour early and STILL come out ahead on the time front.

What am I missing here?
The OP wants to depart from BRS. This is for comfort and convenience ("only about two hours" still involves additional time and expense, and I'm not sure I'd want to rely on the train services to make a flight on time).
The OP wants to fly on Aer Lingus (albeit to destinations that will require a short hop on a partner such as UA or B6 when the final destination is not served by EI). The OP, who used to fly LH from BRS (LH is abandoning BRS from next month), wants a "new" primary carrier that flies direct from BRS; EI is being investigated as a possible replacement, at least for TATL journeys.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
The OP wants to depart from BRS. This is for comfort and convenience ("only about two hours" still involves additional time and expense, and I'm not sure I'd want to rely on the train services to make a flight on time).
The OP wants to fly on Aer Lingus (albeit to destinations that will require a short hop on a partner such as UA or B6 when the final destination is not served by EI). The OP, who used to fly LH from BRS (LH is abandoning BRS from next month), wants a "new" primary carrier that flies direct from BRS; EI is being investigated as a possible replacement, at least for TATL journeys.
I guess I am not missing much. I get the comfort argument, but I dont buy the convenience argument. A two stop itinerary is already 6, 7, 8 hrs+ longer than a nonstop from LHR would be. Each of those connections is a chance for a delay or canceled flight. Sure, you could get stuck in traffic, or a train could be delayed, but for the most part you have greater control over that than you do delays when flying you can just leave earlier.

So few people want to do what OP is looking to do that EI dont even bother to file fares or sell tickets to do it. I think 99 out of 100 people would just drive to Heathrow.

Im just curious why OP hasnt mentioned that as an option; it seems the obvious choice to me.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by rcurry01
I guess I am not missing much. I get the comfort argument, but I dont buy the convenience argument.
A small airport on your doorstep, which you know intimately and can navigate in seconds, is definitely more convenient than a mega-airport hours away (and for which you're unlikely to be as good at estimating the time needed for each of: parking, check-in; security), but only if you can access the destinations you want from that airport.

The OP has raised a very valid point - there doesn't appear to be much logic behind EI's witholding of partner destinations from UK/EU pax.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by rcurry01
Im just curious why OP hasnt mentioned that as an option; it seems the obvious choice to me.
I think this is a common issue, and almost certainly part of the assumption that LH made when deciding which UK routes to cut. But apparent physical proximity does not translate into effective use.

For context, I can reliably get from my front door to the gate at BRS in an hour, using public transport that runs every 10-12 minutes, and costs 7.50 each way. And it takes roughly 45 minutes coming home.

By comparison, my transport options to LHR are:
  • Drive - an extremely variable and unpredictable time, during which I can't do anything. Then I have to pay a fortune for parking at LHR, and more waiting and unproductive time for car park shuttles and so on.
  • Coach - also extremely variable, unpredictable and reasonably infrequent. You can't do much work on a coach.
  • Train via Paddington - frequent, but long (have to go all the way into Paddington and come back out again) and very expensive. I can work on the train to Paddington.
  • Train via Hayes & Harlington - reasonably frequent, and cheaper, but's a faff with changes at Reading and Hayes & Harlington. I can work on the train to Reading.
On my last trip to the USA from BRS via DUB, I had a 20 minute wait for security and US Customs in DUB. Then I could sit down, have a coffee and work for 2.5 hours. When I got to IAD, I went to the United Club, got a coffee, and worked for 2 hours. I could work on all flights, as they had power and wifi (well, not, as it happens the ORD-DUB flight, as EI-EIK turned up with no wifi and no power, but it was a night flight thankfully).

So by my metric of productivity, it's clear that going BRS-DUB-IAD-XXX is no less problematic than d**king about going to LHR. As long as I get to my destination for my target time, I don't care that much about how long it takes or how many changes I make, I just want productive time. (And also - have you seen the fares for direct flights on BA/UA from LHR?? It's often much cheaper to fly EI, particularly for mid-week flights).

I appreciate from a distance, there might be confusion about why not use LHR. But living and experiencing travel here, there's a lot of very good reasons not to use LHR, and use BRS instead.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
The OP has raised a very valid point - there doesn't appear to be much logic behind EI's witholding of partner destinations from UK/EU pax.
This, very much this. I'd love to understand why the constraint exists, as it seems to suppress a lot of potential business? Maybe it's some pact with AA/UA/B6 not to compete outside of IE? Or some wild constraint from the reservation platform?
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 5:12 pm
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I suspect ASTRAL being 50+ years old is the limiting factor here, and there just doesn't appear to be either the appetite or drive to make a better job of integrating EI into existing partners, loyalty programs or indeed Oneworld.
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Old Jan 18, 2024, 2:30 am
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For B6 historically they did not operate outside NA so wasn't a factor
For UA it might be an issue

Astral is more than capable of this
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Old Jan 18, 2024, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by BristolTraveller
This, very much this. I'd love to understand why the constraint exists, as it seems to suppress a lot of potential business? Maybe it's some pact with AA/UA/B6 not to compete outside of IE? Or some wild constraint from the reservation platform?
Filing fares and maintaining them is work and costs the airline money. EI just are not going to do it when there is basically no demand.

For the very, very, very, very few people that want to take a double connection and add 8 hrs to their trip, these people will find a way just like OP did. (Separate tickets, travel agent, etc.) Its the same reason LH canceled their flight.

OP, you are rare in wanting to do this. Most people do not.

PS. I flew FRA-BRS on LH once around 2017. It was super convenient for my needs, but there could not have been more than 10 people on the flight.
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