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Aer Lingus moves Manchester-New York to an A330 – may lead to more Avios availability

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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.

Aer Lingus A330 Manchester New York flights

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.

Rhys flew an Aer Lingus A330 from Manchester to Barbados this year, in Business Class. You can see his review flight here.

Aer Lingus moves Manchester-New York to an A330

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 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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 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

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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 (31)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    There really needs to be status benefits across the IAG companies (with the possible exceptions of Level/Vueling but then it’d be nice to get something from them).

    • Will in SJC says:

      EI really needs to be part of OW for a starter. Or OWC with BA and IB being sponsors (due to the associated benefits of being sponsors for its own frequent flyers).

  • Will in SJC says:

    Hey Rob- what’s with the Portland reference above? Have I missed EI starting service to Portland, ME? Or, even better, Portland, OR?

    • Rob says:

      Mistake, sorry.

    • Jonathan says:

      Don’t BA do a seasonal route to the latter?

      Or is that idea just a past memory…

      • Mark says:

        No, it’s very much a current memory. It’s obviously started well as I believe they are ramping it up to a daily 777. The city is worth a day-or-two’s stop at most though – it was one of those moments at Seattle immigration interrogation – “Oh, you’re visiting Portland – why would anyone go there, you must be up to no good”… 🙂

        IHG Hotel Vintage was good though, even had a free wine and music evening in reception area.

        • Jonathan says:

          Oregon has some spectacular natural beauty to see

        • Tariq says:

          Well Oregon has 0% retail sales tax as well so that’s a good reason for many people.

          • Jonathan says:

            Unless you’re there anyway or you’re in a neighbouring state, and wish to buy something like a MacBook, the costs of getting yourself there in the first place quickly wipes out any savings you’ll make by paying 0% sales tax

            Montana is also the only other sales tax at 0%, although I’ve used a forwarding address based in Florida that uses a zip code which doesn’t have any sales tax, although some online shops (Apple included) will cancel an order when they see a forwarding address as the shipping address

        • Alex Sm says:

          People who ask such questions only deserve pity tbh

          • Mark says:

            I know, we had much the same in Atlanta from a border agent who also tried to trick us by asking us to confirm incorrect dates of birth….

  • PGW says:

    This also good news for couples who are happy to fly in Economy direct to and from MAN to avoid the hassle and additional journey time with BA LHR connections. For us the drawback has always been the 321 3-3 seat layout but this means there are now plenty of seat pairs for what is a pretty short TATL flight.

  • Stevek1 says:

    EI don’t fly to Portland ….

    • Rob says:

      All these little cities merge into one in my head!

      • CamFlyer says:

        Not so little—by population, Portland is bigger than every city in the UK except London, Birmingham and Leeds!

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          Depends if you mean the one in Maine or Oregon!

          • CamFlyer says:

            Portland, ME is almost likely reach on a regular short haul aircraft!

            According to the 2022 census, Liverpool and Sheffield have also have exceeded Portland, OR in population. Still, that helps to illustrate why so-called ‘secondary’ US cities are still appealing destinations for BA and EI.

        • Andrew. says:

          Population of 68,000?

          Portland’s about the same size as Tunbridge Wells.

          • Mikeact says:

            You must be joking..Portland Oregon was way over 600k last time I was there..Sept 21.

          • dougzz99 says:

            Population figures for a given city often misleading, depends on surrounding areas and how the city is defined.

          • Alex Sm says:

            @camflyer there was no census in 2022… Get your facts right in the first place when you correct others…

  • Alan says:

    Given the changes to allow 2 for 1 vouchers to be used on Aer Lingus I am suddenly interested in how they release seats for the popular destinations. Do they follow the 355 day rule and do they alway release at least two seats in Business?
    Given Seat spy doesn’t support it (yet?) then when should I start looking for flights?

    • Rhys says:

      Aer Lingus don’t guarantee seats are made available

      • No longer Entitled says:

        Do Iberia follow BA’s (IAG’s?) 355 rules and allocation?

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          IAG dosen’t have any rules on when seats get put on sale or when rewards are made available,

          That’s down to the individual airlines in the group.

  • ADroyd says:

    This would be useful, but IE refuse to allow me to join Aer Club, because my email address is already in use for my BAEC account. And Google won’t let me have a second account. Stuffed!

  • Relaxo says:

    Absolutely horrendous flying those EI Neo’s long haul….

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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