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Booking Aer Lingus "Business" Class using QF points

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brebbles

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I was looking to fly from London to Dublin close to Christmas and an option I noticed was to use my QF points to book an Aer Lingus flight. Now the only seats available on EI flights on the day I want come up as business class, but after all the searching I've done online the only true business class that EI offers are on the transatlantic flights to/from the US to Ireland. It appears you can only buy economy seats on all intra-European services, so I'm not really sure what the story is with them being listed as business on the QF FF search.

Now seeing as these business class seats from LON -> DUB are costing twice the points as economy seats (on other days) my question is - what sort of business class experience could I expect if I bought these tickets? Lounge Access? Fast tracking? Anything at all?
 
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brebbles

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Many thanks travellerqff - yes all EI short-haul seat maps I've seen seem to be economy-only configuration. Contradicting that is this section on their website which says they do indeed offer business class on within-Europe flights (but no indication which flights these might be) - see the "Premium" column on this page http://www.aerlingus.com/inflight-experience/comfort-and-entertainment/shorthaul/

When I click through the QF FF booking for LON -> DUB, it says I have 1x 20kg baggage allocation, no matter if I choose the 'business' class option or economy. Interestingly on the trans-atlantic business class fares they offer up to 3 bags @ 23kgs each so I wonder what the ruling will be on this ticket. Will be interesting when I fire off a query to Aer Lingus and/or Qantas to see what they say my benefits are.

The annoying thing is if I hadn't procrastinated on this then I could have used points to grab a BA Cityflyer business class seat with 2x bags each out of the much-more convenient London City. Now I can't even pay for a seat on this flight!
 
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BD1959

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Hi brebbles,

If you do a dummy LHR-DUB booking on the EI website, you'll see there are three types of Y fare offered: Low; Plus; Flex. My *guess* is that a Business Class booking on the QF website would give you Flex (20kg baggage allowance, seat selection, lounge access) - however that is only a guess.

I strongly suggest you phone QFF and ask them; afterall, QF are acting as the TA in this instance and should know the product that they're selling (despite the fact you're purchasing with points).

Let us know what they come back with.

Regards,

BD
 

BAM1748

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Many thanks travellerqff - yes all EI short-haul seat maps I've seen seem to be economy-only configuration. Contradicting that is this section on their website which says they do indeed offer business class on within-Europe flights (but no indication which flights these might be). I can't link but it is on the Inflight Experience -> Comfort and Entertainment -> Shorthaul section.
Hmm, a contridiction on an Irish web site.

Matt
 
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brebbles

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Thanks everyone, I'll call QFF and see what they say. I must say booking partner flights through the QFF is extremely underwhelming - I still haven't received the itinerary, and even when you log into QFF and request the itinerary to be emailed it still doesn't come through (funnily enough when I called them to ask for an itinerary, they could tell how many times I'd tried to have it emailed through the website).

Further when you try and select a seat through QFF it only comes up with an aisle/window preference, rather than a seat map to choose from. Hardly a typical business class seat-selection process. And nowhere on the manage booking page does it actually say the class of the fare I have.
 

brebbles

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Do you have to use points for this flight? There are 30+ flights a day London-Dublin and its a cheap flight too. You could be better off paying for a flight you can credit to QF and keep your points while earning a few more for something more valuable like a long haul upgrade.

http://www.skyscanner.com.au/routes/lond/dub/london-to-dublin.html
Well we are looking to fly on the 23rd Dec mid-afternoon (our itinerary at either end necessitates this), and we need to take 2x 20kgs bags each, so using points compared to paying 100% for this is quite a saving against the cheapest flight out of any of Heathrow/Gatwick/London City in our time range, and moreso if we further exclude Ryannair. TBH we rarely fly QF these days, I'm just using points that have been sitting in my account for years, so the perk of an upgrade down the track doesn't really come into play.
 
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brebbles

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I've just found my booking class on my QFF manage booking as Business (U). According to QF there are no U booking classes since June 30th, and likewise on EI the U booking class doesn't exist. I can't see this ending in my favour lol.
 

moa999

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U is a Qantas Award Booking class.
Unsure where you are searching for U on EI, but ExpertFlyer et al often doesn't show Award classes
 

BD1959

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U is a Qantas Award Booking class.
Unsure where you are searching for U on EI, but ExpertFlyer et al often doesn't show Award classes
EF does indeed show U availability on EI on Dec-23 - less encouraging is that it classes it as economy whereas J is class as Business:

EI Expertflyer.jpg

Regards,

BD
 

brebbles

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Well I have spoken to a QFF rep, who to her credit was very friendly and helpful given this odd situation.

She agreed that on her end the booking is a business class booking but could see on the seat map that it is economy-only, she wasn't able to allocate seating herself so went to the effort of calling Aer Lingus - they then explained to her that it would cost 20 Euro + $60 to select seats (seemingly disagreeing with this sentiment Aer Lingus - Fees). Not surprisingly I declined the opportunity to pay that much for seat selection on a 1-hour flight on my supposedly business-class ticket.

Further, she said I was stuck with the 20kgs luggage (which is also offered when redeemed for an economy ticket). She wasn't able to tell if I would have lounge access, priority check-in etc, I don't hold my breath expecting this.

So effectively Qantas have sold me the exact same product as they offer on an economy ticket, but dressing it as business class and charging me the points as such. I honestly don't know how they can do this. I have seen on other routes (typically multi-city) they flag when a particular sector is going to be flown in economy instead of business, but that didn't happen here.

I've sent them my thoughts on a feedback form and ask how they can offer economy and charge as business, here's hoping I get a useful explanation.
 
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brebbles

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Did you look at BA awards before booking Aer Lingus?
I did, neither the CityFlyer out of London City or flights out of Heathrow were available on the date (must be a lot of folks heading home to Ireland for Christmas as there are many, many award seats available on the same day in the other direction).

BA was strongly preferred, none-the-least because when redeeming my QFF points for business class on BA I would have actually received a business class product, not the economy-offering-for-a-business-class-cost I now have on Aer Lingus.
 

BD1959

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BA was strongly preferred, none-the-least because when redeeming my QFF points for business class on BA I would have actually received a business class product, not the economy-offering-for-a-business-class-cost I now have on Aer Lingus.
Have you read the BA FT Board lately? Lot's of disquiet about BA charging Premiums for Club Euro seats but providing an effectively Y product. You would, of course, have had baggage and lounge access confirmed.

Regards,

BD
 

brebbles

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Have you read the BA FT Board lately? Lot's of disquiet about BA charging Premiums for Club Euro seats but providing an effectively Y product. You would, of course, have had baggage and lounge access confirmed.

Regards,

BD
Thanks BD, I'm just having a read of that board now. I did notice that BA Club Europe seating on the E190 and E170 out of LCY looks no different to Y seating, whereas on the A320 variants out of Heathrow are at least is different to Y. But as you say at least I would have received the other business-class services like extra baggage, on-board dining and seat selection (as opposed to being asked to spend ~ $90 to choose seats on my Aer Lingus flight). To be honest I would have been happy with a Y seat had I still been offered extra baggage and lounge access.
 

brebbles

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I've been able to access the seat selection portion of the EI website using the QFF booking reference, and it was there I discovered the my fare class (according to EI) is not only economy, but base economy - see the screenshots below. How could QFF justify selling this - unless they value their business class product equivalent to Aer Lingus' base economy ;)

AL1.jpg AL2.jpg
 

dmitri

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"So effectively Qantas have sold me the exact same product as they offer on an economy ticket, but dressing it as business class and charging me the points as such. I honestly don't know how they can do this. I have seen on other routes (typically multi-city) they flag when a particular sector is going to be flown in economy instead of business, but that didn't happen here.

I've sent them my thoughts on a feedback form and ask how they can offer economy and charge as business, here's hoping I get a useful explanation."

I would PM red roo about this for some extra
assistance. That could help
 
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