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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 (May 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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 £12,000 Read our full review

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

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

  • Mike79 says:

    Good that it is now online but the new charges amounts are terrible. Phoning and booking with BA always gave lower charges than now its a lot more. I flew JFK-DUB-GLA earlier this year for 57750 Avios plus £80ish in business now it’s the same amount of Avios but over £300!

    • Jeff77 says:

      Transfers to nectar are even more attractive now if you shop in any of the relevant outlets. Much better being able to spend money on something you want rather than being restricted by availability of reward flights or having to pay silly amounts of “taxes and fees”

  • Marcw says:

    Still waiting for afiji Airways Avios redemptions…

  • PGW says:

    Speaking of price differentials, cash fares on Aer Lingus have been available on for a long time. I was looking at MAN-MCO direct in May in Economy on the EI site which come out at a very decent £455. Identical flights on are £687. The only direct competition is with Virgin who want £713.

  • Phillip says:

    BA has made a business out of extra surcharges on partner redemptions! It would be interesting to see how much that take in annually on such charges, separate to their charges imposed on their own flights! Where there is no shame, there is no embarrassment!

  • Rob M says:

    Is there any ‘trick’ to finding Aer Lingus availability? I had a quick look at MCO and NYC 355 days out and couldn’t see any J. I’d quite like to use this with the family… but suspect 4 tickets in J is looking unlikely!

    • Rob M says:

      (I am aware Aer Lingus don’t guarantee availability like BA. I’m kind of thinking ExEU T355 with the new 241 voucher is the only way to get decent value from avios)

    • Rob says:

      Aer Lingus does not guarantee reward seats. There are only a handful of business class seats on the A321LR fleet.

  • Mouse says:

    Can anyone advise on whether it is possible, and if so how, to book United flights via AerClub?

  • Declan says:

    Strange that they have the old AL logo on At lest they get it right on

  • Damian says:

    Thanks for the article Rob. Interesting about the taxes and charges on BA v Avios.

    On a positive note some of the charges have come down. I booked LHR to ORK on Aer Lingus last Christmas using and paid peak 9000 avios return and £106 in charges. I searched similar flights today and on Avios it’s now 9000 peak (8000 off peak) and £44.42 return. If you book on B.A £86.22.

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

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