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Aer Lingus introduces US immigration pre-clearance at Dublin for ALL flights

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Aer Lingus redemptions to the United States are very popular amongst Head for Points readers.  There are two reasons for this.

The first is that they charge SUBSTANTIALLY less tax than British Airways when redeeming Avios.

The second is that, if you fly to Boston, the flight is under 3,000 miles which means it falls into the cheaper Avios pricing zone!  A business class return from Dublin to Boston is just 50,000 Avios rather than 80,000 from London.

You can learn more about Aer Lingus redemptions in this Avios Redemption University post of mine here.

A further benefit of Aer Lingus is US customs and immigration pre-clearance.  US immigration can be a painfully slow process, often taking well over an hour.  Dublin has its own branch of US immigration, however, which allows you to clear your formalities before leaving Ireland.  On arriving in the US, you are treated as a domestic arrival and can walk straight out of the airport!

The following has now been posted on the Aer Lingus website:

From 27 October 2013 all flights to the US will pre-clear US Customs and Immigration in Terminal 2 (Dublin) or Shannon airport before departure.

At the moment, these Dublin flights do NOT have US preclearance:

EI 125 – Dublin to Chicago

EI 137 – Dublin to Boston

EI 139 – Dublin to Boston

The following Dublin flights already have US preclearance and will continue to have it:

EI 105 – Dublin to New York

EI 109 – Dublin to New York

EI 121 – Dublin to Orlando

EI 123 – Dublin to Chicago

The Shannon flights which retain preclearance are:

EI 111 – Shannon to New York

EI 135 – Shannon to Boston

All in all, this in another good reason to keep Aer Lingus in mind when planning redemptions.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • kipto says:

    on a separate note.all the aer lingus sales staff I have spoken to( including supervisors) have had no knowledge about Avios at all. It was as if I was talking to them in a foreign language. What are the lounges like in Dublin ? I have the Amex gold charge card which has given me two free visits. If there is more than one lounge, which lounge can/should I use ?

  • Gill says:

    Looking at the Aer Lingus website a one way DUB – ORD has £169 tax. Has this gone up recently?

    • Rob says:

      Ignore that. BA charges about £75 although I’m not sure why.

      • Milton says:

        I paid £58 per person for taxes DUB to SFO via an Avios booking. £253 with BA

        • Milton says:

          That was one way though

          • Gill says:

            Thanks for your replies, I’m trying to get a skiing trip together (with northern lights). No availability in CW on BA direct so looking to save some cash and be a bit more creative with the routing – we live in MAN and have enough Avios.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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