As there are four separate Avios airline schemes – British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, Aer Lingus AerClub and Vueling Club – which each have their own partners, you would expect some oddities to turn up.
This is one of the biggest ones. Bizarrely, Aer Lingus AerClub lets you earn Avios when flying United Airlines, which is a member of the competing Star Alliance.
United Airlines of the US is a long-standing Aer Lingus partner. Under the old Gold Circle loyalty programme – before Aer Lingus was bought by IAG – it was possible to credit United Airlines flights to Aer Lingus.
To be honest, I was expecting this feature to go away when Aer Lingus was taken over, closed the Gold Circle scheme and adopted Avios. I was wrong!
As you can see from this page of the Aer Lingus website, United Airlines remains a partner. You can earn Avios points in AerClub when you credit United Airlines flights at the following rates (click to enlarge):
The % figures are based on the number of miles flown.
What is interesting about this chart is that it is very generous for discounted economy tickets:
If you fly British Airways to the US in a cheap economy seat, you will earn either 25% or 50% of miles flown, irrespective of whether you credit the flight to BAEC or AerClub
If you fly United Airlines to the US in a cheap economy seat, you will earn either 50% or 75% of miles flown when you credit to AerClub
If you have British Airways status then these numbers will change. However, if you have no BA status and are flying to North America on a non-refundable economy ticket, you will be better off flying on United and taking Avios in AerClub.
You cannot use a BAEC number. You need to join AerClub and move the Avios across to British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’.
PS. It is no longer possible to redeem Aer Lingus miles for United flights. That would have been very interesting indeed!
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