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Aer Lingus confirms Philadelphia route – and how to redeem Avios with minimal taxes

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Aer Lingus announced a new route from Dublin to Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia service will start in late March with the Summer timetable and operate four times per week.

Services will operate on a Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The outbound will leave Dublin at 13.50, arriving 16.15.  The return leaves Philadelphia at 17.30, arriving at 05.10 the following day.


Unfortunately the service will not use an Airbus A330 with the impressive new Aer Lingus 1-2-1 business class seating.  It will use one of the chartered single aisle Boeing 757 aircraft which have only 12 business class seats.

This is not a bad product, however.  Business class looks like this:

Aer Lingus Philadelphia

…. with decent options for both solo travellers and couples.  What I don’t know is how much reward availability is released, given the 12-seat premium cabin.

Aer Lingus has also confirmed that the following long-haul services will operate next Summer from Dublin:

  • Miami (3 per week)
  • New York (21 per week)
  • Boston (14 per week)
  • Chicago (14 per week)
  • San Francisco (7 per week)
  • Orlando (4 per week)
  • Toronto (7 per week)
  • Washington (7 per week)
  • Los Angeles (7 per week)
  • Hartford (7 per week)

Philadelphia flights are already available for purchase at


How to redeem Avios for Aer Lingus

It used to be the case that Aer Lingus seats could only be booked with Avios via a telephone call to British Airways Executive Club, with no way of checking availability online.

This changed in December 2016, when Aer Lingus reward availability was loaded into

At the same time, Aer Lingus introduced peak and off-peak pricing.  The list of peak dates does NOT match the British Airways list of peak dates.  You can see the Aer Lingus 2018 peak and off-peak calendar here (the BA and Iberia calendars are here).

Taxes are very low when redeeming Avios for Aer Lingus long-haul flights.   Avios has still found a way to make it confusing, however.

There are now TWO ways of booking a redemption on Aer Lingus:

Option 1 is to use  You can book online and you get the widest choice of dates.  You will pay around £200 in taxes and charges for a long-haul flight from Dublin to North America.


Option 2 is to use  You cannot book online, only by telephone.  Anecdotally, there is less availability than you see via, and you cannot check availability online before you ring.  However, you will only pay around £75 in taxes and charges for a long-haul flight from Dublin to North America.

Remember that these taxes figures assume you start your trip from Dublin.  If you add in a connection from the UK on the same ticket then you will be hit for long-haul Air Passenger Duty of over £100.  You will probably want to buy or redeem for 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.

Coming soon …. a series of Aer Lingus flight reviews

At the end of month we will be running a series of Aer Lingus flight reviews, including the Heathrow lounge, the short haul service, the Aer Lingus Dublin lounge, the new independent US pre-clearance Dublin lounge and the A330 business class seat and service.  Keep an eye out for it.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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 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 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – 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

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.

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.

Comments (45)

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

  • The_real_a says:

    I assume you also get US president clearance and arrive as a domestic?

  • Mikeact says:

    And does Shannon put Boston back in the lower zone ?

  • Gomigo says:

    OT, can someone shed some light on this please. For Avios reward booking does the 1 year validity starts from ticket issue date or flight date? I had an arrogant agent who authoritatively said T&Cs state 1 year validity is from ticket issue date and not actual outbound date which is very unusual. She refused to give which clause / section of T&Cs as such rule. I would like to get some insights before I escalate this matter with Avios.

    • Nick says:

      1 year validity of what exactly?

    • the real harry1 says:


      You need to book AND fly the outbound leg before the expiry date of the voucher. You can fly back at any point. There are no tricks you can use to extend the validity of the voucher.

      also see Part 2

      • Gomigo says:

        Avios agent says 1 year validity for the ticket issued by them and validity starts from issue date and not the actual flight date (outbound). Many Airlines including BA has rule on validity which is 1 year from outbound flight date.

        • the real harry1 says:

          you’d better explain a bit more at length what your issue is

          first are we talking 241s?

          second by ‘validity’ what do you mean? it could be various things

          are you talking about the flexibility to change flight dates, for example?

        • Gomigo says:

          It’s an Avios redemption on Avios site. It’s a normal booking and not through any voucher. I had a booking for May 19, 2018 but the ticket was booked on June 1, 2017. I called Avios customer service to change date of this booking to 31 July and I was told NO since the ticket issued by Avios are valid only for 1 year from issue date and not travel date. Hope this is clear now…..

        • the real harry1 says:

          I see

          it’s not really an issue since cancellation fee = £35 & change fee = £35 so you might as well cancel then re-book

        • the real harry1 says:

          G.5.11. All Reward travel must be completed within 12 months of the original date of ticket issue.

        • Mikeact says:

          Must check my maths, but…..isn’t July 31st more than 12 months from original date of travel required May 19th ? So it wouldn’t be valid in any event….as you say, easy enough to cancel and rebook.

        • gomigo says:

          Thanks Harry, that clarifies. Cancel & rebook is the only option i guess. The agent couldn’t even point me to the rule in T&Cs. She was just blunt hence this confusion.

  • Jaspr says:

    I’ve been looking at Aer LIngus for AVIOS redemptions back from US to Dublin. They do however fly to my local Airport, LBA. If I book a flight from the US stopping in Dublin and ending in Leeds do I pay the “additional” UK tax or is it as advertised on Avios (I’ve yet to call BA to ask the Redemption ££ cost).

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

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