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

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With the Christmas break approaching (even HFP will be taking two days off!) I am trying to empty out my inbox today:

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.”

and

“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.

Vueling

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.  More details can be found here.

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 vueling.com, 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 iberia.com, 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 ba.com (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 avios.com to Iberia.

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

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Comments

  1. Hi,

    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.

  2. 250 avios credited to my Avios account today – Aerclub Welcome Bonus

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