Back in early August we published a long article about booking Aer Lingus flights using Avios.
What we showed was that – assuming you didn’t want to use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher which requires booking at ba.com – you would save a substantial amount of money by booking at avios.com.
This is no longer the case, and the gap between BA and partner airline surcharges on Aer Lingus has now become crazy. But we’ll come to that later ….
A quick reminder of how to book flights via avios.com
avios.com is the platform where members of Aer Lingus AerClub and Vueling Club go to book redemptions on other IAG airlines.
You can’t just go to avios.com and log in with your British Airways Executive Club account details. You need to open an Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club account (free, on their respective websites) and then use ‘Combine My Avios’ on avios.com to move your points across from British Airways Executive Club.
Moving Avios is free, instant and can be reversed if needed.
Comparing ba.com vs avios.com pricing for Aer Lingus
Here was the pricing we showed you in August for business class flights using Avios between Dublin and Philadelphia.
- Dublin to Philadelphia, return in Business: 100,000 Avios + £419
- Dublin to Philadelphia, one way in Business: 50,000 Avios + £221
- Philadelphia to Dublin, one way in Business: 50,000 Avios + £691, screenshot below
When we swapped over to the avios.com website to book exactly the same flights:
- Dublin to Philadelphia, return in Business: 100,000 Avios + £241 (save £178)
- Dublin to Philadelphia, one way in Business: 50,000 Avios + £132 (save £89)
- Philadelphia to Dublin, one way in Business: 50,000 Avios + £108 (screenshot below, save £583!)
The savings in taxes and charges were huge. The really scary saving was the one you got if booking a one way flight from Philadelphia to Dublin. The £691 taxes and charges bill dropped to £108 if you used the avios.com website.
This loophole has now been closed
The days of making big savings at avios.com seem to be over.
Pricing now matches the pricing you see at ba.com. A fat pile of surcharges have been added.
Here is the same one way Philadelphia to Dublin flight I screenshotted last month, but repriced last night:
The ticket which used to have £108 of taxes and charges now shows £791.
Yes, taxes and charges on this one way flight have risen by almost £700 in six weeks!
You’ll note that, back in early August, the taxes were £691. I actually expected to see it jump from £108 to £691 but, no, someone has decided to throw in an extra £100 of charges on top! The same applies if you book via ba.com.
The good news for UK readers is that charges for trips starting in Ireland have not increased. Dublin to Philadelphia had £419 return of charges last month via ba.com and £241 via avios.com. Both sites now show £419.
£791 …. or £4?
Here’s a little joke to end with. Remember the one way flight above from Philadelphia to Dublin with £791 of taxes and charges?
Here’s the EXACT same Aer Lingus flight booked via the United Airlines website using United Airlines miles:
Taxes and charges? £4 one way.
Where does the extra (£791 – £4) £787 go? Almost entirely into BA’s pocket. Here’s the proof:
To be totally fair, we should note that the Avios ticket only requires 50,000 Avios whilst the United booking requires 88,000 United MileagePlus miles. Not that a different of 38,000 miles justifies a £787 difference in taxes and charges ….
There is no longer any justification for booking Aer Lingus redemptions via avios.com, as the taxes and charges now match those shown at ba.com.
The only ‘good’ news is that anyone using a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher to book an Aer Lingus flight via ba.com will no longer feel they are overpaying on taxes and charges vs avios.com ….
How IAG can, with a straight face, justify the level of taxes and charges on Aer Lingus flights vs what United Airlines charges is another question.
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:
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.
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.