Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Aer Lingus applies to join the BA, AA, Iberia and Finnair transatlantic joint venture

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Aer Lingus submitted its legal application this week for anti-trust immunity to allow it to join the transatlantic joint venture led by IAG.

This would allow you to earn British Airways Executive Club tier points on Aer Lingus flights to the US.  You can already earn Avios, but not tier points.

At present, British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair operate their flights to and from North America as one company.  All of the money, irrespective of which airline is flown, goes into a pot and is then distributed to the four airlines under a complex formula.

Aer Lingus has now applied to join this joint venture.  This does not automatically mean that Aer Lingus will also join the oneworld alliance.  Interestingly, the application states that Aer Lingus can continue its current codeshares with JetBlue and United and in theory can add further deals on top.

Aer Lingus applies to join the transatlantic joint venture

There will be some changes.  Whilst you currently earn Avios flying with Aer Lingus, British Airways does not currently offer tier points in the Executive Club unless it is on a BA codeshare.  This would change if the joint venture is approved.

The full legal submission is here if you want to read it.  Don’t expect this to be approved rapidly, however.

(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 (77)

  • Andrew says:

    The IHG Open Table offer has been around for a year or so. I did it when it first launched and the 500 bonus points posted quickly.

  • Harry says:

    I still reckon it’s better to use OpenTable directly especially if you look out for 1,000 point tables.

    • Matt says:

      What points can you earn booking directly?

      • Crafty says:

        Adds up to restaurant discounts

      • flyforfun says:

        2000 Points (20 normal visits) gives you a dining reward of a £10 to £20 voucher depending on the restaurant. Some restaurants have 1000 point visits, but these tend to be pricey ones. Did Rowleys in Piccadilly on a whim and was very disappointed.Not worth the price we paid, but I suppose it worked out cheaper than going to 10 restaurants to get 1000 points that way.

        • Lumma says:

          For the bonus points, restaurants pay OpenTable more money for these bookings, to try and get more business that way. If anyone is interested in how it works, it tends to be something like 25p per person for bookings made through the restaurant’s own website, £2 per person if booked directing through OpenTable and then £5 plus for the bonus point bookings or special featured deals (3 courses for £30 and the like)

          Obviously if you’re Gordon Ramsay or similar you’ll likely pay less than the above.

  • EwanG says:

    Just to add that the OpenTable points are elite qualifying for IHG status.

  • Alan says:

    Interesting, I was wondering if there was going to be a lounge in the new bit of the airport that was opening up! Looks like it could mean Aspire is no-go for PP over the next month though, as it is they often have to turn people away and assuming they start getting all the airline premium cabin pax from No 1 for the short term (which would seem a definite possibility) I can’t see them coping with many more people!

  • Andrew says:

    On the topics of Lounges, is there a comprehensive list of LHR T5 lounges (ideally with reviews) and access requirements?

    • Matt says:

      Third party wise it’s Plaza or Aspire. Unless you pay outright, Plaza you need Amex Plat or DragonPass and Aspire you need PP or Lounge Club I believe. I haven’t used either but every single third party lounge I’ve been to I’ve always thought they’re crap compared to airline lounges IMHO. People say Plaza is better than Galleries though.

      • Alan says:

        Aspire in T5 is dreadful – rammed full with hardly a seat and pretty uninspiring food options. Plaza is excellent, TBH I prefer it to Galleries Club North as I find it quieter and with hot food options all day.
        Often use it when departing for a domestic flight as they’re normally from gates A1-5 anyway, so right next to it.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        I’d say Plaza has better food, Galleries has better booze.

  • jc says:

    O/T: PSA – I didn’t have the £200 off £600 Amex Travel offer showing in my Amex (Platinum) offers last week when lots of people did, but looked this morning and I now do. So it’s worth re-checking

    • Alan says:

      Result! Now to check your additional card (and if you don’t have one apply for it :D) – I’ve found about half my offers appear on the additional card, including this one.

    • Doug M says:

      Maybe someone knows better but my guess is if uptake slows they make it available to more people. But it maybe more complex, or less controlled. I got an email from Amex about offers, two of which I wanted. Logged in, not there. Phoned up and agent claimed they’d been fully subscribed which is why I couldn’t see them. Said what was point of email which I’d received a few minutes before login, normal BS from someone that really didn’t know much about the subject. Two days later both offers, amongst others, appeared in my account.

    • Fiona says:

      I just checked amex and found a new offer. £25 back on £100 spend at Bloomingdales. Strangely you do have to pay in “Great British pounds.”

      • RussellH says:

        Got that too!
        It also talks about being aware of the exchange rate, so I would guess that paying in GBP refers to us paying Amex?
        A singularly useless offer for many of us, I would guess.

        The one I like is my 10% off at Morrissons througout the month. Must have used it 6 or 7 times by now…

        • Alan says:

          Ditto for Morrisons, best Amex offer ever – on course to pay my Plat fee for the year! Love how it was on all transactions rather than just one (and that I’ve found a store that has a self checkout that doesn’t use scales – makes gift card purchases way easier!)

        • Polly says:

          Plus sale and return at majestic, 100, 25 back, not bad this time of year…

  • Degsy says:

    Help please! I have managed to book 4 CW tickets for our family to Bangkok in August on the dates we need but we would like to go on to Danang Vietnam and Koh Samui can anyone let me know if we can book onward flights with Avios and if so how we find the flights as I can’t find them through BA or is it best to pay cash? Any help much appreciated.
    Thanks to this site for achieving this in the first place.

    • Fiona says:

      Degsy I wouldn’t waste miles on these flights, particularly Vietnam , where there are more flight options. Flights are very cheap.
      Bangkok Airways can also give incredible flight/ hotel packages.

    • Rob mc says:

      For Koh Samui it’s cheaper to fly to Surat Thani and get the ferry over.. actually quite a good way to travel and didn’t take that long.

    • Memesweeper says:

      If you can, routing via HKG gives better Avios connection options into Vietnam.

  • Sam says:

    O/T, comparing a weekend European break on Amex Travel against BA holidays, the price is coming out at least £100 more on Amex Travel than BA holidays. I have the spend £200 get £50 Amex travel offer but even with that Amex travel is expensive compared against BA holidays. Is that normal as in Amex Travel is on the pricier side?

    • TM says:

      Amex Travel will always have extra fees, but shouldn’t be that expensive. Find out which bit of the trip is adding on the most. Typically I might pay £10 extra for a hotel booking £100+ or £10 per flight booking.