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.
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 (October 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.