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Bits: Aer Lingus Avios taxes fall, Mail Rail bookable!, Hilton Avios offer update

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News in brief:

Aer Lingus showing reduced taxes on Avios redemptions

Back in December 2016, Aer Lingus reward availability finally appeared on avios.com.  (It is still not available via ba.com – you need to call the Executive Club.)

AerClub, the Aer Lingus Avios scheme, has been beset with IT problems since the launch.  It’s got so bad that CEO Stephen Cavanagh has had to start defending the scheme to the press.

There were two problems with Aer Lingus redemption bookings:

long-haul, the taxes in Business Class were just over £200 (Boston is £214 return).  Whilst cheaper than the £500 BA wants for London to Boston, it was triple the £75 or so that you get charged if you book via British Airways Executive Club.   Oddly, this has not changed – book Dublin to Boston on avios.com and pay £214 of tax, or ring BA and book it using BA Executive Club Avios and pay £75ish of tax.

short-haul, the taxes were ludicrous.  With no Reward Flight Saver, an economy flight on Aer Lingus between London and Dublin came with taxes of £116.85 return!  This compares to £35 for a British Airways flight on the same route.  It was also more than you pay, on most days, for a cash ticket on that route.

The short-haul problems seem to have been fixed over the last couple of months.

A return Economy flight between Heathrow and Dublin now costs £54.70 in taxes and charges, a reduction of £62.  This is still more than the £35 Reward Flight Saver fee for a British Airways flight but you’re getting closer.  You may prefer Aer Lingus if you have Plaza Premium lounge access at Heathrow Terminal 2, for example.

Aer Lingus 350

Tickets for London’s Mail Rail now bookable

This has nothing to do with flying, but I know the mindset of our readers!

The new Postal Museum in London opens on 28th July.  It will soon be getting a fantastic new attraction as the old Post Office underground railway opens for tourist trips.

From September, visitors can take a train ride back in time, exploring the stalactite-filled tunnels, Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant sorting office and see the largely unchanged station platforms.

Tickets went on sale this week and can be booked on the Postal Museum website.  If you want to be among the first to try it out I would pre-book now as demand is likely to be high.

mail rail mount pleasant

Quick addendum to the Hilton / Avios offer

I did an article yesterday reminding readers about the generous ‘2000 Avios per stay’ promo currently being run by Hilton.

I forgot to mention that there is one condition attached to that promotion – hotels in Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are excluded.  If you have any of these stays due, switch back to ‘Points and Points’ for those which will be more rewarding.

(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.)

Comments (60)

  • jude says:

    Looking to book Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to New York for points. Does anyone know how many days in advance the redemption seats are released?

  • Ben says:

    Thanks Rob so much for the Mail Rail link. Did some “urban exploration” beneath the old sorting office a few years ago – right down to a partially-flooded floor – but couldn’t access the tunnels themselves. Already booked!

  • Matt Smith says:

    Just booked DUB-BDL 22/8/17 OW 20k +£65 tax by calling BA. Avios online was quoting 20k +£103, an easy saving just by calling. No phone booking fee either.
    Will use a RFS LCY-DUB for 4.5k to get to DUB

    Anything to avoid the high UK APD 🙂

    I wonder when they finally standardise their taxes and fees will the telephone booking taxes go up or will the online taxes come down?

    • Polly says:

      Matt, that’s superb…that’s the problem really using our 241 vouchers. We are well and truly stung with that £500 plus taxes and fees pp whether we like it or not. However, if we manage to bag F to Asia, then we feel the fees and taxes can be justified. However it’s by. O means a free flight either, those avios are still hard earned. But we would def look at ex Dub stateside again, we did J for JFK last year. Very good value.

      • BrianDT says:

        Sept 11rh onwards, Off Peak and 13000 Avios.

      • BrianDT says:

        Polly. Depends whether you feel £500 +, Is still better value than actually paying for a ticket.

        • JamesB says:

          IMO, it’s not a question of feeling Brian, it comes down to cold hard cash. What are the avios worth in terms of the redemption (cost of revenue flight – redemption tax and fees/avios redeemed), taking into account also what those avios cost us to collect and the value of the avios or other miles we forego by not booking the revenue flight.

          • BrianDT says:

            Regardless, at the and of the day, it is still a worthwhile bonus/discount.

          • JamesB says:

            @Brian, not worthwhile if you can redeem those avios for for higher value against hotels, or if many of them come via clubcard or MR, for better value clubcard or MR deals.

          • Polly says:

            Brian, James,
            Yes agree with both points. As we have discussed before, when a really good QR J ex EU sale comes along, then yes, we have actually cancelled our BA F 241 to KUL or HKG. Those prices Are very good, plus of course you are earning avios and TPs back. So yes in hard cash terms, we can justify the luxury of F with a 241, but would never actually pay F prices.
            Brian, that’s a topping price from DUB off peak sept 11th onwards btw. Must look…
            Avios are v valuable tho, when you need last min trips to Dub. If planning, then sometimes we can get really good ow back to LGW on FR. But still like departing out of T5 if l can.

      • JamesB says:

        Our BA bookings with Lloyds vouchers now exINV just to make it more justifiable, increasingly difficult with exEDI revenue fares to Asia readily available at under £1500 return in J. Going forward I expect we will just save those avios for some destination we would never pay cash for.

        • Polly says:

          James, do you have v low departure APD from INV then? Also your choices for Asia are so much better now from Scotland. Know you are a fan of AY too for their direct routing.

  • HarryS says:

    Does anyone know how long the approval process for the Lloyds Avios cards typically take?

    • Lev441 says:

      Around a week or so for the pins and cards to arrive

    • Cuchlainn says:

      7-10 days HarryS but then they plague you with “survey” emails, as to how good the application process was. Plus point : Avios miles effortlessly linked by by Lloyds – well done, no hassle.

  • Steve Blower says:

    Thanks for the postal museum alert, Rob.
    The first 2 weeks are booked solid already……………..