My wife and I will be taking a transatlantic cruise from Florida to Southampton in April, touring Great Britain and Ireland, then flying back to the US from Shannon. Is Aer Lingus the best option for one-way flights? Do they ever run specials? Thanks for your help.
Dan, just by reading your headline (without even knowing which European area you're touring in) I would have said Aer Lingus. And yes, subscribe to their newsletter and you'll learn about their specials... You may not get the best air fares from Shannon but definitely from Dublin. The train ride from Limmerick to Dublin is very comfortable and easy to book on Irish Rail's website.
Aer Lingus is your best option from Ireland. But when my parents took a repositioning cruise like yours, the cruise line had a partnership with an airline that gave them a better price on the flight back. Of course, that might not be an option for you since you traveling after the cruise, not coming straight back. But you might check with the cruise line to see what they offer.
Cruise lines often operate as consolidators, buying wholesale directly from airlines. They can be very favorable priced.
And don't hesitate to look to a round trip ticket from Europe to the U.S.; Just abandon the second leg. Sometimes round trips are cheaper than a one way ticket.
Be careful if you buy a round trip and only use one leg - especially if you will be using the return leg - there could be penalties from the airline. The chances of them actually doing something are fairly small from what I've read but just be aware. The practice you're referring to is known as "throwaway ticketing." Most of the major airlines, including Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, and US Airways, prohibit throwaway ticketing (or "the purchase and use of round-trip tickets for the purpose of one-way travel only," according to Continental's website) in their conditions of carriage. United is the only major carrier that does not explicitly prohibit throwaway ticketing.
My wife and I bought round-trip tickets through a budget carrier for intra-Europe travel. The price was much cheaper than one-way tickets and we used the first leg, tossing the return tickets. No problem.