If you are looking for an example of the unnecessary complexities that airlines and loyalty schemes can impose, you will struggle to beat the lounge access rules for Aer Lingus if you have British Airways status. The fact that the two airlines are owned by the same company just makes it even crazier.
In case you are heading off to Ireland for the Bank Holiday, I thought we’d run through it for you as we understand it. And it isn’t simple.
The rule here is that British Airways Silver or Gold cardholders can use the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow.
Your ticket does NOT need to be issued by BA 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. No guests are allowed.
In Dublin, Shannon or Cork:
Again, British Airways Executive Club Silver or Gold cardholders can use the Aer Lingus lounge in Dublin or Shannon. It doesn’t matter if your ticket has an Aer Lingus or British Airways flight number.
…. this only works if you are flying to Heathrow or Gatwick. If you fly from Dublin to, say, Manchester you will not get Aer Lingus lounge access in Ireland with a British Airways status card.
The comments below suggest that you can also use the Aspire lounge (the Aer Lingus contract lounge) in Cork with a British Airways Silver or Gold card if flying to London.
In Gatwick or Belfast:
And to confuse matters further …. Aer Lingus has no lounges in Gatwick or Belfast. However, if you have a British Airways Gold card, you can use the British Airways lounges. In Belfast, this means the Aspire contract lounge used by BA.
No guests are allowed. More importantly, your ticket must have a British Airways flight number AND have been issued by BA (the ticket number will start 125-). An Aer Lingus ticket with an EI flight number will not get you in.
British Airways Silver cardholders do not get into the Gatwick or Belfast lounges in any scenario, irrespective of who issued their Aer Lingus ticket.
Glad we got that cleared up …..
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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:
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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.
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.