Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Aer Lingus launches flights to Barbados, Boston, New York and Orlando from Manchester

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

Aer Lingus has finally confirmed its first three routes from Manchester Airport – and they are not fully what we were expecting.

Aer Lingus is launching the following flights:

  • New York, daily from 29th July
  • Orlando, 5x weekly (Thu-Mon) from 29th July
  • Barbados, 3x weekly (Wed/Fri/Sun) from 20th October

Boston has also been announced but will not launch until Summer 2022.

Aer Lingus launces New York, Orlando and Barbados from Manchester

Barbados is a surprise. There was some rumour about Antigua but no-one had mentioned Barbados.

These are non-stop routes and do not go via Ireland. They use aircraft which are currently not required for the reduced Aer Lingus long-haul schedule being operated from Dublin.

What aircraft are being used?

From a few random searches:

  • New York is on a single-aisle A321neo
  • Orlando is on a standard two-aisle A330-300
  • Barbados is on a standard two-aisle A330-300

Boston is also reported to be using an A321neo when it launches in 2022.

Business Class on the A321neo is an alternating 1-1 / 2-2 configuration with a fully flat bed seat, so it works for both couples and solo travellers.

The A330 is an alternating 1-2-2 / 1-2-1 configuration. Both should be well above British Airways Club World, although not Club Suite.

Here is the A321LR business class cabin – the A330 is very similar:

Aer Lingus A321LR business class cabin

The New York flight has a sensible 12.05 departure time from Manchester, arriving into JFK at 15.25. This means that a connection from elsewhere in the UK may be possible if timed right.

Interestingly, due to regulatory reasons, tickets may not be purchased for departures FROM the United States. Only UK-originating passengers are allowed to travel.

Which terminal will Aer Lingus use?

It isn’t clear. At the moment, all flights are departing from Terminal 1 but this may have changed by July.

In the long term I would expect them to use the new pier in Terminal 2. A new Escape and 1903 lounge will be in the extension – it isn’t clear if there will also be a oneworld lounge alongside the confirmed Virgin Clubhouse.

What will these flights cost with Avios?

At the moment, I cannot see any Avios availability for these flights. We will keep an eye out and let you know, which could be later today or it could be in a few weeks.

There are two ways of booking Aer Lingus flights with Avios. You can either:

  • book on, transferring Avios from British Airways Executive Club, which gets you the best availability but higher taxes, or
  • call British Airways Executive Club (no online booking) which anecdotally has worse availability but lower taxes – out of Dublin you would pay under £100 but obviously you now need to add Air Passenger Duty
Aer Lingus new livery

Aer Lingus has its own peak and off-peak calendar which is different to the British Airways one. You can see the 2021 BA, Iberia and Aer Lingus peak and off-peak Avios calendars in this HfP article.

For clarity, you cannot use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher or a Lloyds Avios Rewards upgrade voucher on Aer Lingus.

The article in our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series explains everything you need to know about redeeming Avios on Aer Lingus.

Will these flights earn Avios or British Airways tier points?

Once Aer Lingus joins the BA / AA / Iberia / Finnair transatlantic joint venture then, yes, the New York, Boston and Orlando services will earn Avios and tier points. It isn’t clear about Barbados although I consider it likely as I expect all Aer Lingus flights to become ‘earning’.

You will earn Avios irrespective. You need to weigh up whether you get a better deal crediting to Aer Lingus AerClub, where the Avios earned is based on the price of your ticket, or into British Airways Executive Club where you earn via the standard partner table, based on miles flown.


This is an exciting opportunity for travellers outside the Heathrow catchment area. If the taxes on redemptions are low, it may also persuade some London residents to head up to Manchester too.

You can see full details of these new services on the Aer Lingus website here.

You can book on the Aer Lingus site here.

We look forward to reviewing these new services in Business Class, especially the A321LR which we haven’t tried yet on any airline, over the Summer.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (72)

  • Jimmy Mac says:

    I cant see any avios availability appearing on

  • Kevin D says:

    Dublin to Barbados is going via JFK. Unless you do separate bookings of course.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.