It is almost two years since the application by Aer Lingus to join the transatlantic joint venture with British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair gained regulatory approval.
No-one told IAG’s IT department, however, and the move was grounded because of, I believe, IT integration issues.
These seem to be over. According to a LinkedIn post on Friday morning from a British Airways employee, which may have been leaked by mistake, Aer Lingus is now a full partner in the transatlantic joint venture.
The post was accompanied by this image, which implies that it is official:
The post states:
“We’re delighted to welcome Aer Lingus as our new Atlantic Joint Business partner ….. To you and your business this means greater connectivity options and seamless travel between Europe and US.”
Assuming this is true, it means that all five airlines will be able to co-ordinate scheduling and pricing on flights between Europe and the US.
In such a joint venture, all revenues are pooled and re-distributed based on an internally agreed formula. When you buy a flight to New York on British Airways, part of your fare goes to Iberia, American Airlines, Finnair and now Aer Lingus.
This is good news for those of us in the UK. As part of the joint venture, transatlantic Aer Lingus flights will now give full Avios and tier points. Aer Lingus flights previously did not earn British Airways Executive Club tier points so this is a big improvement.
This will be particularly good news for readers in the Manchester area, with the direct Aer Lingus services to New York and Orlando now earning British Airways tier points.
If you collect American Airlines, Iberia or Finnair miles or status points, this announcement will also benefit you. Aer Lingus flights, at least the transatlantic ones, will now earn in these programmes too.
As of the time of writing (10am) none of this is reflected on ba.com. The tier point calculator still shows zero tier points in British Airways Executive Club for flying from Dublin to New York on Aer Lingus:
The Aer Lingus page of the partner airlines section of ba.com hasn’t been updated either – but then that page still talks about Stobart Air as an Aer Lingus franchise partner, which went bust over a year ago. The bankrupt Air Italy is also still listed as an airline partner!
You need to assume that the Aer Lingus partnership with United Airlines is now on the way out. This will remove one of quirks of the Avios programme – you were able to earn Avios by flying to the USA with Star Alliance member United, as long as you credited them to Aer Lingus AerClub.
We will update this article if/when we get the official announcement (EDIT: nothing had turned up by Friday evening, if you’re reading this via email on Saturday). Don’t rush off to book anything until we have more details.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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.
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.
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.