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NEW: Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on – but there’s a £50 surcharge

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To give it credit, the Avios IT infrastructure on isn’t bad. Anyone who has experience of booking awards – especially on partner airlines – via other frequent flyer schemes will know that what BA offers (online booking for all oneworld partners) is virtually unheard of.

There was always one big hole, however.

Yes, you could book Royal Air Maroc redemptions on You couldn’t, however, book Aer Lingus, even though it is a sister airline.

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

Those days are now gone.

You can now book Aer Lingus redemptions online at I’m not sure when this went live, but no-one had flagged it to me before yesterday.

This includes the flights from Manchester to New York, Orlando and Barbados operated by Aer Lingus UK.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that you are being ripped off on taxes and charges for the privilege.

What are charges like when booking Aer Lingus on

Here is Manchester to Dublin:

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

Whilst you can’t see the pricing in the screenshot, a return off-peak flight is 8,000 Avios plus £98.77 in Economy.

This clearly isn’t a bargain compared to a cash ticket, but it does include a 20kg checked suitcase. I’m not sure about seat allocation.

Here is Dublin to Philadelphia:

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

A return off-peak flight in Business Class costs 100,000 Avios plus £276. This is around £500 cheaper than booking a British Airways flight from London, although you need to make your own way to Dublin.

(You don’t want to have London – Dublin – USA on the same ticket, because it would trigger the £170 Air Passenger Duty charge.)

Here is Manchester to Orlando, direct:

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

I struggled to find Business Class seats from Manchester on any of the three direct routes (New York, Orlando, Barbados). An off-peak Economy redemption from Manchester to Orlando is 32,500 Avios plus £325.

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

But here’s the catch ….

You will pay more in taxes and charges if you book these flights at vs

If you’ve never been to, it is the website used by Aer Lingus AerClub and Vueling Club members to book Avios redemptions. It doesn’t show oneworld partner redemptions – only airlines inside the IAG family.

You can use to book flight redemptions even if all of your Avios currently sit in a British Airways account.

This is a bit more of a faff, of course:

  • you would need to open an Aer Lingus AerClub account at
  • you would need to log in at using these details and use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move your Avios from British Airways Executive Club to (this is free and instant)
  • you can then make the booking via and pay less in taxes and charges

I’d flag one thing: historically, availability has been different between the BA telephone booking service and I don’t know if this is still the case now that BA lets you book online. Check both sites because it might be that the flight you see over at BA is not available at, meaning that you have to pay the extra.

Dublin to Philadelphia – save £49

For example, here is the identical Dublin to Philadelphia flight that I looked at above, when booked on

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

As you can see, you are paying £49 less (£227 vs £276) per person than booking it on

Manchester to Dublin – save £54 (over 50%!)

What is even more shocking is that the same £50 difference applies to short-haul redemptions.

Here’s Manchester to Dublin, return, booked at

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on

Yes, only wants £45 of surcharges, whilst wants £99.

Manchester to Orlando – save £16

The saving is smaller on an Economy redemption, but there is still a saving.

The Manchester to Orlando flight has £325 of taxes and charges when booked at but only £309 when booked on

Book Aer Lingus flights with Avios on


It is a major improvement to finally see Aer Lingus flights available for booking on

It is just a shame, and slightly embarrassing, that British Airways has decided to add additional surcharges (which it pockets) when you book, compared to what you will pay if you book on

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (23)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Lev441 says:

    Does this mean the low cost taxes/surcharge via the executive club phone line no longer exist?

    • Rob says:

      Reader comments for the last few months suggested they had already gone. We’d have dug into before if it wasn’t for the inability to actually speak to the call centre ….

      • Lev441 says:

        Shame.. last one I booked was in October
        Dublin – Toronto economy one way with £30.20 of taxes.. was a steal! Now 88.90 via BA online or 82.20 via

  • ADS says:

    On routes that both BA and EI fly – on they dump the EI flights at the end (rather than putting them all in time order)

    Looking at DUB to London on Wednesday – offer just two EI flights, whilst offer six EI flights

    4,000 avios + £18.50 on
    4,000 avios + £6.50 on

    Biggest percentage saving from using (plus three times the number of flights)

  • Kevin says:

    Can someone explain to me why IAG group charge different amounts for the same seat on the same aircraft flying to the same destination? I understand EI flying from DUB incurs different taxers and charges, but with the power of computers nowadays, why isn’t everything linked together with the same information, same price etc? Is it just BA trying to eek more money out of us?

  • ADS says:

    I happened to phone up BA to check price for a LHR-DUB redemption a couple of weeks ago … can now compare the three options £27.82 £39.82
    BA telephone £40.33

  • Nick says:

    BA shares YQ with EI. Agree entirely with the spirit of your post, but don’t like factual errors.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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