I ran an extra article on HFP yesterday – which you won’t have seen if you are an email subscriber – to highlight the fact that the Aer Lingus Aer Club programme had launched. This article is an expanded version of that piece.
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.
Some redemptions are cheaper
Some rewards are down in price. Previously, 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. The list of peak dates does NOT match the British Airways list of peak dates. You will find dates when a BA Avios redemption to North America is ‘peak’ but an Aer Lingus redemption is ‘off peak’.
Aer Lingus peak dates for 2017 are:
- 1st – 4th January
- 7th – 23rd April
- 17th June – 10th September
- 16th – 31st December
Here is the Aer Lingus reward chart showing zones and mileage, which is identical to the general Avios reward chart (click to enlarge):
…. which means you need this many Avios:
However, Aer Lingus has been rather sneaky.
Dublin / Shannon to Boston SHOULD be in Zone 4. Last week, 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 which is how long the Dublin flight is.
Aer Lingus has now moved Boston 14 miles to the west. Dublin to Boston (and Shannon to Boston) have 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 cost of Dublin to Boston was just 50,000 Avios return before the April 2015 changes. It now costs 100,000 to 120,000 Avios return.
But taxes have gone up ….
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!
One way redemptions TO Dublin offer value …..
One way long haul flights to Dublin look very good value. A one-way business class flight from North America has taxes of around £90 whilst a one-way economy flight has taxes of around £70.
And no Reward Flight Saver on short haul …..
You pay full taxes on short haul Aer Lingus redemptions. There is no Reward Flight Saver cap.
An economy flight on Aer Lingus between London and Dublin comes with taxes of £116.85 return! This compares to £35 for a British Airways flight on the same route. It is also more than you pay, on most days, for a cash ticket on that route. I doubt those Aer Lingus redemptions are going to be very popular unless there is no BA availability and you need to ability to cancel for a full refund which comes with a redemption.
Note that short haul redemptions booked with Avios include 1 x 20kg checked bag.
Some oddities have appeared at ba.com …..
Historically long haul business class Avios redemptions made via the British Airways Executive Club call centre attracted taxes of around £75 return.
Based on HFP comments yesterday from readers, British Airways is STILL charging around £75 in taxes. This means that it makes no sense to book long-haul Aer Lingus redemptions on avios.com. You might as well look up availability on avios.com but then call BAEC to book and take advantage of the lower taxes.
More on AerClub
This article doesn’t touch on AerClub itself. I will return to that next week, but for now I wanted to highlight the more important changes – for UK based readers – and the opportunity to finally book Aer Lingus redemptions online.