Business class travel out of the UK is usually very expensive. Typical quotes I was getting for flights to Vegas were around £7,000 for two. We ended up paying half this amount by starting in Dublin instead of Manchester or London.
Now that’s still quite expensive when an economy fare comes out at c£500 return, but I’m at a stage where long economy flights hurt me. And I can afford to seek out bargain fares in my immense spare time. The key issue with these fares is making sure you get to/from the weird and wonderful location that marks the start of the journey.
Dublin to Heathrow to Vegas doesn’t allow you to start in London first. Just because you’re on exactly the same plane a Londoner will pay twice as much for you still need to start in Dublin.
Outbound we flew Ryanair to Dublin and booked a hotel room. Around £100 each. The overnight stay an insurance because if we miss our flight expensive change fees kick in. Get there early, a day early, is my motto.
Coming home I took a different approach. Two hours between the AA flight from the USA landing in Dublin and our planned flight home on Ryanair. This is tight. If anything goes wrong the Ryanair fare is lost. But I didn’t fancy a six hour wait until my final flight, so I risked the early booking.
Land from the USA at 8.30am. Bag reclaim, passport control, change terminal, bag drop, security and fly at 10.35am. No problem.
Until your flight out of Chicago leaves 75 minutes late. And spends 15 minutes circling Dublin before landing. And then another 20 minutes taxiing for a gate. And the baggage reclaim wasn’t exactly swift.
We were done for even before Ryanair refused our bags. A further 20 minute security queue and a ridiculously long walk to the gate would have defeated us too.
We refused Ryanair’s offer to charge us 2 X €100 missed flight fee if they rebooked us on the next flight and €142 for the next flight itself. A bit of online ability saving us €200 or a walk to the Aer Lingus desk.
I’m out of pocket for taking a calculated risk. It didn’t pay off. But €142 is still a lot cheaper than paying full price UK business class fares. Being tired and bored for hours in Dublin needs to be factored in though. At least we had a lounge pass!