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Aer Lingus redemptions are now bookable via avios.com – but it’s not that simple

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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.

aerclub-membership-cards

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, mileage and Avios cost:

Aer Lingus Avios reward flight prices (plus taxes, fees and carrier charges)
Zone Distance Economy Business Class
Offpeak Peak Offpeak Peak
1 1—650 miles 4,000 4,500 7,750 9,000
2 651—1,150 miles 6,500 7,500 12,750 15,000
3 1,150—2,000 miles 8,500 10,000 17,000 20,000
4 2001—3000 miles 10,000 12,500 31,250 37,500
5 3,001—4,000 miles 13,000 20,000 50,000 60,000
6 4,001—5,500 miles 16,250 25,000 62,500 75,000

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 to come

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios 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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (28)

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

  • MIM says:

    Glad I booked my DUB-BOS for Mrs MIM’s 50th next year a few months back.

    Haven’t booked the MAN-DUB leg yet (nor indeed DUS-MAN for the way back) but it sounds like I can rule out using Avoid for that.

  • ADS says:

    the fees on EI short haul redemptions (by telephoning BA) have always been crazily high – this is nothing new. so I fear there is nothing to “iron out”.

    • Alan says:

      Indeed – I think they base them off the BA flight number prices for those routes, which are themselves stupidly high! Certainly nothing new – I looked at make a short-haul redemption to position for a TP run a few years back and it was way cheaper to buy a cash ticket with EI.

  • BERNARD PELLER says:

    Talking about now being able to book another airline, anyone having a problem getting AA flights to show on BA trying to book using Avios? When I search MIA to JFK comes back we or partners do not fly that route, Any idea. Thanks

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

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