Whilst it has now been forgotten amongst the Avios devaluation discussions, one positive change unveiled last week was the opening up of Aer Lingus and Iberia Avios redemptions to American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher redemptions. Full details are here.
Whilst Iberia Avios availability is not bad, it is fair to say that Aer Lingus availability in Business Class (there is no Premium Economy or First Class) is weak on ‘prime’ routes.
You will be in more luck to Cleveland etc but New York etc has very little available whenever I have looked, either from Manchester, Dublin or Shannon.
This may now change from Manchester.
Aer Lingus has announced that it is swapping its Manchester to New York flights from a single-aisle A321LR aircraft to a twin-aisle A330.
This will add 72% more seats per flight, a further 133 in total.
Importantly, Business Class capacity will jump from 16 seats per flights on the A321LR to 30 on the A330.
There is no guarantee that any of these will be made available for Avios redemption, unfortunately, but the odds are certainly much improved.
The Barbados service is continuing but is seasonal, running between November and April. The third Manchester route, which is year round, is Orlando.
We will do a full article on the Aer Lingus long haul network over the weekend, just in case you can find any premium cabin Avios availability. SeatSpy does not yet cover Aer Lingus so there is no easy way of keeping an eye out for seats.
The capacity increase between Manchester and New York kicks in from 1st May.
PS. We’ve had a few emails from readers were confused about how to book Aer Lingus redemptions using an American Express 2-4-1 voucher.
It is exactly the same process as booking a BA flight, via the same booking page of ba.com. Choose to use a voucher and do a standard Avios search for an Aer Lingus route, eg Manchester to New York. If you are not seeing Aer Lingus flights appear, you are not doing anything wrong – it is simply that very few premium seats are made available.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
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.