New – use your Avios for low tax redemptions to Miami with Aer Lingus

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Aer Lingus announced a new route from Dublin to Miami yesterday.  This offers a new way to spend your Avios points and a new way of getting to the US without paying heavy taxes and charges.

The Miami service will start on 1st September 2017 and operate three times per week.  It will use an Airbus A330 which will feature the impressive new Aer Lingus business class seating with a 1-2-1 layout that you can see below:

Aer Lingus new business class

Extra flights have also been announced for Summer 2017 on three existing US routes:

Dublin to Los Angeles will move to a daily service

Dublin to Chicago will move to twice daily

Dublin to Orlando will move to four flights per week

Miami flights are already available for purchase at

Avios redemptions can only be made by telephone via British Airways Executive Club.  There is no way of checking availability in advance unfortunately – whilst United Airlines and Qantas both partner with Aer Lingus and do shown online reward availability, this is NOT the same as Aer Lingus makes available to BAEC members.

You should expect to pay around £75 return in taxes and charges for a Business Class Avios redemption.  This is based on ticketing from Dublin to Miami.  If you add a connecting flight from the UK to the same ticket then you will need to pay c £150 in long-haul Air Passenger Duty on top.

All Avios partner redemptions are charged at peak day pricing.  It will cost 150,000 Avios per person return for Business Class.  Economy Class would be 50,000 Avios points.

You will probably want to buy a separate connecting ticket to Dublin, although you should try to stick with Aer Lingus as they will be more inclined to help if your inbound flight is delayed.  The only way to make Aer Lingus be legally liable to get you to Miami if your connection is late is to have both flights on one ticket and therefore incur the APD.

You can learn more about redeeming Avios for Aer Lingus flights in this ‘Avios Redemption University’ article.

(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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  1. Highland Traveller says:

    For those in Scotland consider booking through INV-DUB and avoid the APD?

    • I have booked a R/T LHR-INV return for next week and was surprised to see that BA is charging £13 APD for the return segment. As I thought Highlands & Islands flights were exempt from APD, do you know if this is correct please?

  2. And of course the added advantage of US pre-clearance in Dublin, landing as a domestic passenger in Miami.

  3. Can AAdvantage miles be used to redeem on Aer Lingus? I know it used to be possible a few years ago and I have a stash of AA miles looking for a home.

    • Will we be able to accrue tier points/Avios eventually with Aer Lingus?

      • Avios – you’ve always been able to do this. Tier points (on a non codeshare) – not clear. You can’t get TP on Vueling for example despite the IAG ownership.

        • Thanks Rob, I checked the calculator and it said no tier points Thought with them coming into IAG properly that might change.

    • Not yet PGW. They haven’t announced when EI will join Oneworld or when they’ll switch from UA to AA. Eventually, yes.

  4. Personally I’d go for a BA redemption with a 2for1 or Lloyds upgrade vouchers in preference, especially for BA off peak dates. Considerably more in taxes and fees of course but a 170-175k avios saving for two and a direct flight trumps an £800 taxes and fees saving in my book.

    All depends on how avios rich you are, and whether you have the vouchers to use of course but I’d also look at Iberia redemptions via Madrid first which are likely to offer considerably better redemption value to Iberia Plus account holders (albeit without the US preclerance).

    • It’s nice to see from the picture above they don’t pack you in on a business flight like CW. 7 across versus 4; I know which I would take.

      • Isn’t CW 8 across? It is on the BKK route.

        • 7 across on a 787, 8 across on the rest (4 across upstairs on a 747!).

          Yes, it is ironic that IAG is positioning Aer Lingus as a ‘value carrier’ (to quote the Capital Markets presentation) to NA and then putting in a better J seat than BA!

          I am keen to give this a go and get a full review up.

      • Difficult to make a direct comparison since the layouts are quite different. Aer Lingus is 4 or 5 abreast (half the rows are actually 1-2-2) on the A330’s narrower overall cabin width. BA uses 747s and A380s on the Miami route which are either 2-4-2 (main deck), 2-3-2 (A380 upper deck) or 2-2 (747 upper deck). However what that doesn’t reflect is that Aer Lingus’s rows overlap, with the bed extending out into the space between or next to the seats in front.

        A more useful comparison is that Club World seats are 20″ wide vs 21″ for Aer Lingus, less difference than you might think albeit that the latter has direct aisle access to most (not all) seats and more storage space, the two main aspects of the Club World seat that really lag in my opinion.

        I’d be interested to try it, though I suspect sale cash fares might end up being more attractive to us than avios redemptions.

        • And the single seat for us solo travellers is brilliant.

          Catering and wi-fi is excellent too. Service not that dissimilar from BA.

        • …oh and under deal with government to waive through takeover, there should be another transatlantic route announcement to come

    • That’s exactly what I have just done for May – using my companion voucher . Also used the BA Amex £100 credit for spending over £500 with BA. Too much hassle to fly to Dublin . Only booked a couple of weeks ago – guess was very lucky to get to use to companion voucher which expires in June

  5. And free seat selection in business class with Aer Lingus saving you 100s of £ compared to BA.

  6. Jason Hindle says:

    Sound good. With split tickets I’d probably take a belt and braces approach, traveling to Dublin the day before (or maybe two – I’ve never been to Dublin).

  7. Slightly but not completely OT – and perhaps something Rob may want to cover one day –

    Does travel insurance cover you in cases of 2 flights on 2 separate tickets, say LON-DUB & DUB-MIA? Will you be ‘looked after’ even if it’s 2 separate airlines?

    • Having looked into this previously it depends on the policy.

      Most will not cover you for missed connections. Some will, but you’ll likely need to pay more.

      • This is a big can of worms and not the sort of thing that can be covered fairly in an article. If you have ‘travel delay insurance’ or whatever then – as long as you arrive within the Minimum Connecting Time specified by that particular airport (data which exists but is often hidden away) – you should in theory have a claim.

    • It depends on your travel insurance policy – the Missed Connection cover on a Post Office Money policy covers you when booked on separate PNRs.

  8. mark1980 says:

    Out of interest, if a family of 3 booked 2 redemptions in J and a redemption or cash ticket in Y, could the parents swap seats halfway through? i.e. spend half the time in Y and half in J or would cabin crew not allow that?

    • Crew are fine, this happens more often than you think.

      • Is this how a family of 4 gets best use of 2 x companion vouchers to go on holiday?

        I was wondering how you would manage to get 4 seats in business, when only 2 reward seats are released per flight.

        • At least 2J and 4Y seats. There are often many more.

        • Thanks,
          Any Tips for destinations during school holiday weeks?

        • We have total flexibility but I guess booking at T-355 helps. Depends also where you want to go. Going to popular holiday destinations such as Orlando are harder to find than going to Tokyo for instance.

        • 2 are released at 355 days out. More, often lots more, get released nearer the time but it varies by route.

          We got 4J to Abu Dhabi and 4F back from Dubai over both Easter and October half term this year.

        • Thanks again.
          This planning holidays a year in advance is a whole new experience for me.
          If I book 2 J seats and 2Y seats at T355 on companion vouchers, would I be able to upgrade the Y seats if additional seats become available later.

        • Yes, £35 per person change fee though.

    • Supposedly this is fine as long as you don’t keep swapping around. Doing it once would probably be fine but you’d probably need to communicate to them so they don’t wonder why a man has changed into a woman!

  9. Why are people flying to America via Dublin?
    A 5 minute Radio 4 program worth a quick listen.

  10. I have flown Aer Lingus on their old J and the service is way better than BA J. Actually feels like something special. WithBA J, it is all about the seat with service that is not much different to economy (allbeit with a better meal of course).

    My last BA J flight, they didn’t serve us wine with our meal and failed to answer the call bell twice as we could hear them eating their own meal and gossiping in the galley(seemed odd that they were eating at the same time as passengers).

  11. O/T but is anyone having problems accessing BA award availability to North America? I’m getting errors on both and for LON-NYC, MIA, JFK etc

  12. Dougie Forde says:

    If we did fly from Dublin, if you check in online the day before, how early can you drop bags for an Aer Lingus flight to the USA?

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