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Bits: Aer Lingus COO makes interesting claims re Avios, new Vueling redemptions from Luton

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News in brief:

Aer Lingus COO makes interesting statements re Avios redemptions in Aer Club

Business Traveller ran an interview last month with Mike Rutter, Chief Operating Officer of Aer Lingus.  I have already written about their new loyalty scheme Aer Club, launching in 2016.

Rutter makes some claims about Avios redemptions which give the impression that we may continue to see some excellent opportunities for travel on Aer Lingus:

Aer Lingus outside of Vueling is one of the more aggressive in terms of market share aspirations and pricing platforms which will be equally reflected through our Avios reward scheme levels for redemption.”


“Our position as a business — which is reflected in the way we will seek to redeem Avios — is to be the lowest cost platform across the Atlantic.”

This means that we may not see the end of the excellent Avios redemption opportunities currently offered by Aer Lingus which I outline in this Avios Redemption University article.


New Vueling routes from Luton to Spain

Vueling is the little known sister of British Airways and Iberia.  International Airlines Group, the parent of BA and Iberia, took full control of the Spanish low cost carrier in 2013.

The company has been expanding rapidly, with IAG using it to scoop up market share in the low cost carrier market whilst keeping BA focussed on Heathrow and Gatwick and Iberia focussed on Madrid.

In October I wrote about some new route announcements for 2016:

From Birmingham, Alicante will be launched on 17th June.

From Manchester, Rome and Alicante will be launched in June 2016.

From Edinburgh, Rome Fiumicino, Paris Orly and Alicante will be added.  Paris will start from 29th March.  Alicante will launch on 16th June.  Rome is currently pencilled in for 25th June.  More details can be found here although the Rome date quoted seems to have changed.

Two new routes from London Luton have also now been announced:

From Luton, Amsterdam will be launched on 18th March.  Barcelona will be launched on 16th June.

It is difficult to keep track of Vueling routes, especially as some are seasonal, but I think the others are:

  • Belfast – Barcelona
  • Birmingham – Barcelona
  • Cardiff – Alicante, Barcelona, Majorca, Malaga, Barcelona
  • Edinburgh – Barcelona
  • Leeds Bradford – Barcelona (starts March 2016)
  • Liverpool – Barcelona (starts March 2016)
  • Manchester – Barcelona
  • Newcastle – Barcelona (starts March 2016)

When it comes to earning and spending Avios with Vueling, this is how it works:

If you book your flights on, you will not earn anything if you buy their cheapest ‘Basic’ ticket.  The flight will be cheaper here because you are buying a ‘no frills’ ticket.  More expensive ‘Optima’ tickets do earn Avios in Iberia Plus.

If you book your flights on, you will earn Avios in Iberia Plus.  Your ticket will come with a baggage allowance of one suitcase.  You can use ‘part pay with Avios’.  You can only book routes which are Iberia codeshares.

If you book your flights on (only some routes – including all UK departures – are available, and they will carry a BA flight codeshare flight number), you will earn Avios and tier points.  Your ticket will come with a baggage allowance of one suitcase.

You may see a different price for the same flight across each of the three channels above.

When it comes to redeeming on Vueling, you can ONLY redeem via Iberia Plus.  You will need to have an ‘active’ Iberia Plus account (90 days old and having earned 1 Avios point) in order to be able to use ‘Combine My Avios‘ to move the required number of Avios across from BA or to Iberia.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (37)

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

  • Danksy says:

    Interesting stance on Aer Lingus!

    I see Willie Walsh using this to pile on pressure re: Heathrow pricing and expansion!

    It will be interesting if we’ll be able to book to long haul destinations Ex Dub using one ticket from provincial UK airports (BRS for example). Now that would be interesting for me!

    • Rob says:

      Not with the APD added on, it wouldn’t!

      • Mike says:

        I wonder if there is room for a specific “missed ex eu connection” insurance policy, in the same way that third parties offer car hire excess protection.
        The insurance companies could then negotiate with the airlines for a wholesale flight change fee.

        • rad says:

          If I recall correctly, the insurance policy that comes with the gold Amex covers connecting flights as long as you have 4 hours between them.

          • Mike says:

            Agreed – but this could still be major hassle – how much for a walk up Business Class TATL for a couple or family from DUB?

            Even if it could be claimed back later the thought of putting >10k onto a credit card only for it to be reclaimed later would put many off (although might cause others great excitement at the thought of all those points!)

            I’m thinking of a product where if the preconditions are filled the airline will re-issue the ticket and then deal with the hassle for you. In the same way that easyjet offer a rescue fare if you miss your flight.

            The pricing could then be differential to encourage your UK – DUB ticket onto a preferred airline.

        • Callum says:

          Why would BA negotiate a bulk deal for change fees?

          • Mike says:

            BA might not. And EI might not as part of IAG, but an independent or autonomous EI could easily add on missed departure insurance in the same way the LCCs bundle in everything under the sun.
            For an extra €xx. , and subject to your scheduled transport to Dublin failing to transport you there on time it could be a good commercial decision if the remedy was automatic care and rerouting.

      • Danksy says:

        Yes – Good point :P.. good old UK legislation.

        IMHO – The unntended consquence is ridiculous; by avoiding APD folks travel further, increase pollution and in many cases end up travelling on from what would have been their starting point.

        I accept we are in the minority as informed (thanks Raffles) Frequent Flyers but nevertheless it’s crackers!

        • James67 says:

          No Danksy, I must disagree, they only significantly increase pollution if they have a problem with flatulence, snore louder than the engines, miss the toilet bowl due to turbulence, wear too much fragrance or deodorant, vomit after the inflight meal, scream at the inflight movies, sing along with the audio selection, talk on mobile phones, or shout at the cabin crew or their fellow passengers. Otherwise the aircraft generates pretty much the same pollution with or without them.

          • Danksy says:

            @James67 hahaha, that made me laugh out loud!

            You’ll be pleased I do all of those things, except vomit….
            ….However take my trip to LAX in Feb.

            Rather than doing LHR-LAX I’m doing BRS-CPH-LHR-LAX. Clearly I’ll have an extra 2 legs during which to perform all of those listed bodily functions haha (along with my two kids and trouble&strife); and the same on the way back!

            😀 😀

          • Worzel says:

            Danksy, I hope for your sake that February here will be mild and bright as it appears that you’re only taking two kids plus Mrs Danksy with you!! 🙂 .

          • Danksy says:

            Worzel… Don’t worry I will be ‘adjusting’ the central heating before I go!

    • rich says:

      Its all based on the starting point. I you started your journey in the UK then uk apd would apply

  • Sarah Murray says:

    OT. Re Mileage runs for Miles&More.
    If i search for London to Cologne on Germanwings, there are some options with a change in Hamburg or Stuttgart. Is that 2 legs or 1, for the purposes of retaining Miles&More status? thanks

  • Lucy says:

    Hi all,
    Can anyone of you help me?! As a silver BA Exec member, can I bring in a guest to the Heathrow T.2 Aer Lingus gold circle lounge when flying with AL to Cork?


  • Hamza says:


    Thank you so much for all the updates you provide. You are an amazing guy. I am officially addicted to HFP

    I want to ask you please if you did notice that the redemption scheme with BA for air miles tickets has changed very recently? I used to upgrade from Premium to Business class to most countries for 10,000 Avios one way. I noticed last week, they increased the required Avios to 25.000 one way.
    Can you go through that please.

  • Simon says:

    250 avios credited to my Avios account today – Aerclub Welcome Bonus

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

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