The Aer Lingus Aer Club programme launched this morning.
At the same time, Aer Lingus reward availability has been loaded into avios.com.
You do NOT need to be an AerClub member to book these. You can log in with your usual avios.com UK account details and book.
This is the first time ever that Aer Lingus awards have been bookable online with Avios.
The good news ….
Some rewards are down in price. Before yesterday, all Aer Lingus rewards were treated as ‘peak date’ pricing in the same way as any other BA partner airline.
Aer Lingus now has peak and off-peak pricing. Apart from Easter, Christmas and the summer, the rest of the year is off-peak.
The bad news …..
Taxes have gone up. A return flight in Business Class from Dublin to New York used to have taxes of around £75 return. It will now cost you £200.
However, if you travel off peak, the reduction in the Avios required would mean you are no worse off.
It is also £300 cheaper than a British Airways Club World redemption from London!
The worse news …..
Dublin to Boston SHOULD be in Zone 4. Until yesterday, it cost 75,000 Avios for a return business class flight from Dublin to Boston – which is what you expect to pay for a partner airline flight of 2,986 miles.
Aer Lingus has now moved Boston 14 miles to the west. Dublin to Boston has been moved into Zone 5 which means it now costs 100,000 Avios off-peak and 120,000 Avios peak – the same price as Dublin to New York.
The real win would be if Avios allowed you to use Lloyds Avios Rewards upgrade vouchers on Aer Lingus. That would be an exceptional result as you could get their excellent new business class seat for the Avios of economy, as Aer Lingus does not have premium economy. We need to see if this happens or not.
More on this story tomorrow …..
PS. For clarity, Aer Lingus flights are NOT bookable on ba.com online. You still need to call.