Should I still book with Aer Lingus in light of takeover talks?

The Irish carrier is in good shape and will remain so, whether or not the proposed takeover goes ahead

Q. At the moment Aer Lingus is offering the best flights from Manchester to New York this summer at £682. All the others are at least £100 more. Given the current takeover bid, is it risky to book with Aer Lingus, or would you suggest paying the extra? Kim Mortiboy, Shropshire

A. There is only one thing that would prevent me booking a good-value flight with Aer Lingus, and it has nothing to do with concerns about the airline. The Irish carrier is in good shape and will remain so, whether or not the proposed takeover by British Airways’ parent company, IAG, goes ahead.

Aer Lingus capitalises on its favourable location  to offer a wide range of flights from airports  across Britain to the US, with connections at its Dublin hub.

It also offers the considerable advantage of pre-clearance of American immigration and customs before you board the transatlantic flight – meaning that you are treated as a domestic passenger when you touch down in the US. This could save an hour or two at the more congested gateways such as New York JFK.

So what would stop me booking? The intensification of low-cost/few-frills transatlantic flying this summer. Icelandair offers a wide range of flights at good prices via its hub in Reykjavik.

If you are prepared to travel to Glasgow you could get an even better deal on WestJet, which launches a service from Scotland’s largest city to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in May. I already have my flight booked at a fare significantly lower  than traditional airlines. From Halifax, there is a wide range of onward budget flights to New York and beyond.

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