You would be forgiven for thinking the only way to find your Aer Lingus fare class is by checking the e-mail confirmation after you have booked. What if I told you this information was available before handing over your hard earned cash?
Yes, it’s true and I’m here to tell you how to do exactly that. Those of you who are currently reading this in complete bewilderment, never fear, I will try to explain what I am on about.
What Do You Mean By Fare Class?
Everyone knows that airlines have up to four classes, namely economy, premium economy, business and first. Regular frequent flyers will know that there are variations within each of these classes, denoted by a letter.
Using the oneworld alliance airlines as an example, their first class is usually F, A and Z. Business class is generally J, C, D, I, and U while premium economy is W, E and T. Economy usually has many of the rest of the alphabet. What does it all mean?
Airlines will set different prices and attach them to each letter class or fare bucket. For business class, I class is usually the cheapest with the most restrictions, such as being non-refundable, then D and C, with J being the highest price with the least restrictions. U is usually reserved for frequent flyer award space.
It is similar in first class (F being full fare, A the discounted version and Z the award space) and the others. This allows the airline to sell say 10 tickets at a low price, then another 10 at a higher price once the cheap tickets are sold and so on. That is the general concept, though there is more nuance to it than that.
Why Would I Care?
Frequent flyer points earning is generally attached to the fare class of your booking. For example, if you want to earn British Airways Executive Club Avios by flying Aer Lingus, the following is true.
Therefore, in this example, you would want to know the Aer Lingus fare class before you booked. Since you can pay for a Saver, Plus or Advantage fare on the Irish airline, each one would assign you to a different letter, changing the Avios earned.
Find Your Aer Lingus Fare Class Here
Okay, now we have that out of the way, where do you find the fare basis letter for your flights on Aer Lingus? Well, when you make a booking and have selected your flights from the list, you will come to this page.
At the bottom, you can see there is a heading “About your fare”. In the text there, you can see a link underneath in blue, which says, “Fare Rules”. You click that and a pop up appears on the right of a laptop screen like so.
Scroll all the way to the end of that pop up and you will see the heading “Fare basis codes”. The very first letter – Z in the example above on the outbound flight, and T on the return – are what you are looking for. This is the class this ticket will book into and what your Avios earning will be based on.
Frequent flyers are generally au fait with all this mumbo jumbo. I understand it all without much thought as I have been flying regularly for years. It’s all in my head now and really, you only need it if you want to ensure you are maximising your Avios earning on flights.
Many other airlines will display the letters in a much more obvious place in the booking flow, but this is how it is for Aer Lingus. Easy enough to find when you know where it is, right?
Did you know where the Aer Lingus fare class information was? Is it useful for you to know before booking? Which airline displays it best? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Clement Alloing on Planespotters.net.