Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Do you get BA lounge access flying codeshares on Vueling, Aer Lingus, Loganair or airBaltic?

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

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 ….

British Airways codeshare lounge access

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

Imagine ….

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.

Air Baltic

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.

British Airways lounge access on an Aer Lingus flight

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa 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 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 sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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 (85)

  • Richard Gordon says:

    The reality is that the same flight we booked to Spain via Vueling was significantly more expensive booked via BA as a codeshare. Therefore we would be paying for lounge access and avios TP I suspect. So on this one flight we decided just to fly on a Vueling ticket.

  • Alex W says:

    Unless rules have changed or weren’t followed, I have had a few exceptions to the rules as listed in the article.

    – A few weeks ago I got into the Aberdeen lounge on my silver card, flying on Loganair.

    – Mrs W (silver) got lounge access when flying on Vueling.

    – I got into the Aer Lingus Dublin lounge, I think it was DUB to LHR on BA. But I could not bring a guest as they said you had to be Gold to bring a guest. The lounge was rubbish anyway.

  • John says:

    Does anybody know if Aer Lingus Silver get fast track security at LHR T2 when travelling in economy on an Avios redemption ticket? (In my experience these are usually ticketed as 125- and baggage allowances etc are not properly encoded if you do online checkin)

  • Chris S says:

    For those wondering if you can bring a guest as a Silver card holder in DUB when flying BA, operated by EI – you cannot.

    I had the pleasure of being denied entry on my other half’s silver card. Fortunately she didn’t go in without me!

  • Paul Winter says:

    My partner and I just flew from LGW to Barcelona. We are both Silver and had BA issued tickets, flying on a Vueling operated flight. We were both allowed into the BA lounge on a simple scan of our Vueling boarding cards.

    I had previously asked LGW lounge staff about this (on a previous visit). I was told categorically, that if I had a BA issued ticket I could use the lounge.

    I fly back from Barcelona to LGW today, so will see if it works in reverse!

    • Paul Winter says:

      And the answer is ‘no it didn’t’. We could not enter the lounge on our BA Silver cards. It was explained that this is possible at LGW as BA owns the lounge but at Barcelona the lounge is independent and there is no agreement for access.

      However we did get in with our Priority Pass cards so all happy here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

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.