pexels photo 723240
pexels photo 723240

Getting the Best Fares to Ireland

You’ve always dreamed of going to the Emerald Isle, the birthplace of your ancestors. But you have no idea how much it will cost to get there, including how to get the best airfares to Ireland.

You’re not alone.

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Thousands of people who would love to visit Ireland ask themselves that question every year as they contemplate the cost of airfare to Ireland from the United States and other places around the world so that they can begin to plan their trip of a lifetime.

Here is a rundown of the choices available as you plan your budget trip to the Emerald Isle.

Hopefully, it will also give you some ideas on how to get the best airfares to Ireland.

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus is the choice for many Irish-Americans who frequently fly to Ireland.

Many of them like the onboard friendliness of the Aer Lingus flight crew, plus the airline has an excellent safety record.
A couple on an Aer Lingus flight. Photo courtesy of Aer Lingus.

Its service includes non-stop flights from Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Hartford, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York/JFK, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington Dulles.

In May 2024, it will begin a Denver to Dublin service.

Aer Lingus also operates a service into Ireland from the U.K. and mainland Europe.

Aer Lingus also offers package deals to Ireland and they may, in some cases, be cheaper than booking flights and accommodation separately.

What Type of Fares Does Aer Lingus Offer?

Aer Lingus typically offers a number of different airfares to Ireland. They include the Saver, Smart, Flex, Business, and Business Flex fares.
Photo: Stock Film Studio.

Saver fares, which are the cheapest, include a complimentary meal and allow passengers to bring onboard one cabin bag.

The Smart fare includes the complimentary meal, a cabin bag, a checked bag, advance seat selection, free headphones, and a blanket.

Flex fares offer all of the above, as well as being able to make changes to your flight and get a refund, all without being charged.

Below is a handy graphic to remind you of what is and isn't included in the Saver and Smart fares from Aer Lingus.

two boxes with pictures and words how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Saver and Smart fare benefit comparisons at a glance. Courtesy: Aer Lingus.

Travelers going with Aer Lingus to Ireland on any of those fares can earn tier credits and Avios points (the Aer Lingus frequent flier program).
Photo: jchizhe

Aer Lingus allows its passengers to bring one piece of cabin luggage with a weight limit of 10 kg (22 pounds) and measuring 21.65 x 15.75 x 9.05, along with one piece of hand luggage, such as a laptop, measuring 10 13 8 inches.

If you purchase the Smart and Flex airfare tickets to Ireland, you can bring luggage weighing up to 23 kg (50 pounds).

More information on the baggage rules can be found here.

United Airlines

Flights from the U.S. to Ireland on United Airlines have been ongoing since 1998.

The airline current flies to Ireland from Chicago and Newark to both to Dublin and Shannon and from San Francisco to Dublin.

What Type of Fares Does United Airlines Offer?

The airline's Basic Economy airfares to Ireland are the best value.

These airfare tickets provide most of the services that the airline's standard fares provide, excluding complimentary seating and upgrades, group and family seating, and full-size carry-on bags.
Photo: mstandret

Basic Economy passengers are limited to something like a backpack measuring 9x10x17 inches that must fit under the seat in front of them, with no personal bag allowed.

You won’t be able to change your flight once you book your economy ticket and refunds are not allowed past the 24-hour flexible booking window. If you must cancel after the 24-hour period, you may be eligible for a travel credit.
Photo: Anna Stills.

If you check in a bag with the Basic Economy fare, you will have to pay extra for it. To find out more about United's checked baggage policies, go here.

The airline also has a number of special vacation package deals.

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Delta Airlines

The airline flies to Dublin from New York (JFK), Dallas and Atlanta. It also flies to Shannon from New York.

It operates non-stop flights from Atlanta and New York JFK only.

All other flights connect in either Atlanta, Boston, New York JFK, Amsterdam, or Paris.

an airplane
Delta Airbus A321, Courtesy of Delta Airlines.

What Type of Fares Does Delta Airlines Offer?

It normally has three types of economy fares. They include Comfort+, Main Cabin, and Basic Economy.

The cheapest airfare to Ireland with Delta is the Basic Economy fare.

With this fare, you won't get a seat assignment until check-in, and you won't be able to take more than a carry-on bag and a personal bag with you (unless you pay for a checked bag).

seats on an airplane how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: twenty20photos

You will, however, have access to complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as free WiFi and access to Delta's entertainment system.

Ticket changes or upgrades are not allowed with this fare.

Note that certain items (beyond the personal item that is allowed with the Basic Economy fare) can be brought on the plane without being charged.
Photo: Juan Monino, Getty Images Signature.

They include a jacket and/or umbrella, duty-free merchandise, and special items like strollers, car seats, and crutches.

Main Cabin fares, otherwise known as its standard economy fares, give you a little bit more, including more seating space.

The Comfort+ fare also gives passengers more room, dedicated bin space, priority boarding, a pillow and a blanket, complimentary headsets, and an amenity kit.

a woman touching a screen in a plane how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: leungchopan

Passengers purchasing this fare have a large selection of movies and other entertainment to choose from, and you can also stream entertainment on your personal device.

Delta's baggage policy includes carry-on bags that must be no bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches. There are no weight restrictions with carry-on luggage.

If you purchase a Basic Economy airfare to Ireland and you go beyond your baggage allowance, meaning you check in a bag, you will be charged $60 for the first checked bag and $100 for the second one.

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American Airlines

an airplane how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

American Airlines has been operating a service from the U.S. to Ireland since 2013.

The airlines flies from Austin, Charlotte, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles; Miami, Memphis, New York JFK, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, and San Francisco airports.

Not all of the above routes are direct, however.

Hopper is a popular travel booking app that tracks the cost of airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel rooms. The app will give you a better insight into whether current prices are above or below the usual fare/hotel room cost/car rental fee for a given timeline or date. To get $25 off your first hotel stay, click on the link below.

Save with Hopper

What Type of Fares Does American Airlines Offer?

Like Delta and United, American offers a lower-priced airfare to Ireland called the “Basic Economy” fare, claiming that it is their lowest, around-the-world main cabin fare.

a man trying to close a suitcase how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: davidpereiras

It allows for one personal bag and one carry-on bag, as well as the ability to choose a seat at the time of booking.

The carry-on item must fit in the overhead bin and be no bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 in.  The personal item, such as a purse or small handbag, must fit under the seat in front of you and be no larger than 18x14x8 inches.

Using a Search Service to Find Flights to Ireland

Using a search service can, at times, be a better option than going to the airlines direct and give you more options on how to get the best airfares to Ireland.

a man on a laptop how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: rawf8

If you're the kind of traveler who doesn't mind a layover, then this option is for you. You can find direct flights this way too.

Read More: How Much Does a Trip to Ireland Cost?

There are plenty to choose from, including Skyscanner, Priceline, Momondo, Kayak, Hopper, Google Flights, and more.

I suggest setting up email alerts with several airlines as well as with airfare alert websites.

Let me know in the comments below if you have found a way to consistently get good airfares to Ireland.

And if you want to get the latest updates from Ireland on a Budget, please consider signing up for my regular newsletter below.


Colette is a County Sligo native who created Ireland on a Budget to provide her readers with money-saving tips on how to get to Ireland and then save even more when they're there. She's a professional copywriter who lives in the New York area with her husband and two children.

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