Do you get BA lounge access flying codeshares on Vueling, Aer Lingus, Loganair or airBaltic?
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Do you get British Airways lounge access on codeshare flights, such as with Vueling, Aer Lingus, Loganair or airBaltic?
British Airways lounge access policies are, on the face of it, straightforward. You get access if you are flying in Business or First Class or have a Silver or Gold card or equivalent oneworld status.
The devil is in the detail ….
Can you get lounge access in Edinburgh if flying economy to connect to a Club World flight? Does it make a difference if the Club World flight is tomorrow and not the same day? Do you get lounge access at Heathrow on the way to Edinburgh in economy if you just came off a Club World long haul? How about if you came off a Finnair Business Class short haul?
(I’m not going to answer these questions, but I might do a separate article!)
Today I wanted to look at whether you are allowed access to British Airways lounges if you are flying on a BA non-oneworld partner? This means an airline with whom BA has a codeshare relationship, such as – from the UK – Vueling, Loganair, Aer Lingus or airBaltic.
This is a situation which comes up frequently now that British Airways has moved to Gatwick South. Vueling, Aer Lingus and airBaltic also use that terminal and British Airways has its impressive lounge complex (click for our review) which is well worth a visit.
Note that if you are flying Vueling from Heathrow, you will be in Terminal 2 where British Airways does not have a lounge. You can stop reading now ….
Getting lounge access on British Airways codeshare flights
you book an economy flight on ba.com
…. with a British Airways flight number …..
…. but which in the small print says ‘operated by Vueling / airBaltic / Loganair / Aer Lingus’
…… should you get lounge access, assuming you have British Airways elite status and are departing from an airport where BA has a lounge?
Logically, you would think you should. In practice, it is complicated.
For reasons no-one really knows, these are the rules. Even some lounge agents don’t understand them.
A British Airways Gold cardholder DOES get BA lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus, when the flight has a BA flight number and was ticketed by British Airways. I believe that you can bring a guest if they are travelling on the same flight, except ….
A British Airways Gold cardholder does NOT get lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus if the lounge is not directly operated by British Airways. Remember that British Airways has no other lounges in England outside of London. In Scotland you have the lounges at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
A British Airways Gold cardholder does NOT get BA lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Lognair or Aer Lingus if the flight does not have a BA flight number or was not ticketed by British Airways
A British Airways Silver cardholder does NOT get BA lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus, even when the flight has a BA flight number and was ticketed by British Airways
Bottom line – forget lounge access on a British Airways codeshare flight if you are not a British Airways Gold card holder. If you are a BA Gold, be careful where you book your ticket and whether a BA flight number (eg BA1234) is shown on your booking.
Flying Aer Lingus from Heathrow Terminal 2
There is an extra quirk to this if you are flying Aer Lingus from Heathrow. As Aer Lingus is based in Terminal 2, there is not a British Airways lounge you can use.
Aer Lingus DOES have a very pleasant lounge of its own, however, as I reviewed here.
The rule is that British Airways Silver or Gold cardholders can use the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow when flying to Ireland.
Your ticket does NOT need to be issued by British Airways 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.
This does NOT include the Belfast route since this is Northern Ireland and not Ireland.
Flying from Ireland to the UK?
It gets even more complex. Inbound, this deal only applies to flights to London.
If you fly from Dublin to, say, Manchester you will not get Aer Lingus lounge access in Dublin with a British Airways Gold or Silver card.
Yes …. complicated, I know!
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 Mastercard
CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
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.