If you are looking for an example of the unnecessary complexities that airlines and loyalty schemes can impose, you will struggle to beat the lounge access rules for Aer Lingus if you have British Airways status. The fact that the two airlines are owned by the same company just makes it even crazier.
In case you are heading off to Ireland this half term, I thought I’d run through it for you. And it isn’t simple!
Aer Lingus has a pleasant lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2. Anika reviewed it here.
The rule here is that British Airways Silver or Gold cardholders can use the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow. Your ticket does NOT need to be issued by BA and it does NOT need to be a BA codeshare. If you have BA status, even a super-cheap ticket booked on aerlingus.com will do the job.
In Dublin or Shannon:
Again, BA Silver or Gold cardholders can use the Aer Lingus lounge in Dublin or Shannon. It doesn’t matter if your ticket has an Aer Lingus or British Airways flight number.
This only works if you are flying to Heathrow or Gatwick. If you fly from Dublin to, say, Manchester you will not get Aer Lingus lounge access in Ireland with a British Airways shiny card.
In Gatwick or Belfast:
And to confuse matters further …. Aer Lingus has no lounges in Gatwick or Belfast. However, if you have a British Airways Gold card, you can use the British Airways lounges.
No guests are allowed. More importantly, your ticket must have a British Airways flight number. An Aer Lingus ticket with an EI flight number will not get you in.
British Airways Silver cardholders do not get into the Gatwick or Belfast lounge in any scenario, irrespective of who issued their Aer Lingus ticket.
Glad we got that cleared up …..
Want to know more about redeeming Avios on Aer Lingus?
This HFP article shows you everything you need to know about how to redeem Avios points on Aer Lingus, which can lead to substantial tax savings when flying to North America!
Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here. You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. Our American Express Platinum review is here.
You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here. The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much. Additional visits are charged at £20 per person. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. No annual fee in Year 1. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course). The card has an annual fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.