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.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (July 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a 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.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.