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Do you get BA lounge access flying codeshares on Vueling, Aer Lingus, Loganair or airBaltic?

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Do you get British Airways lounge access on codeshare flights, such as with Vueling, Aer Lingus, Loganair or airBaltic?

British Airways lounge access policies are, on the face of it, straightforward.  You get access if you are flying in Business or First Class or have a Silver or Gold card or equivalent oneworld status.

The devil is in the detail ….

British Airways codeshare lounge access

Can you get lounge access in Edinburgh if flying economy to connect to a Club World flight?  Does it make a difference if the Club World flight is tomorrow and not the same day?  Do you get lounge access at Heathrow on the way to Edinburgh in economy if you just came off a Club World long haul?  How about if you came off a Finnair Business Class short haul?

(I’m not going to answer these questions, but I might do a separate article!)

Today I wanted to look at whether you are allowed access to British Airways lounges if you are flying on a BA non-oneworld partner?  This means an airline with whom BA has a codeshare relationship, such as – from the UK – Vueling, Loganair, Aer Lingus or airBaltic.

This is a situation which comes up frequently ever since British Airways moved to Gatwick South from Gatwick North.  Vueling and airBaltic (to Riga) also use that terminal and British Airways has its impressive lounge complex (click for our review) which is well worth a visit. Aer Lingus no longer flies from Gatwick.

Note that if you are flying Vueling from Heathrow, you will be in Terminal 4 where British Airways does not have a lounge.  The same goes for Loganair which uses Terminal 2. You can stop reading now ….

Getting lounge access on British Airways codeshare flights

Imagine ….

  • you book an economy flight on ba.com
  • …. with a British Airways flight number …..
  • …. but which in the small print says ‘operated by Vueling / airBaltic / Loganair / Aer Lingus’

…… should you get lounge access, assuming you have British Airways elite status and are departing from an airport where BA has a lounge?

Logically, you would think you should.  In practice, it is complicated.

Air Baltic

For reasons no-one really knows, these are the rules.  Even some lounge agents don’t understand them.

  • A British Airways Gold cardholder DOES get access to a British Airways-branded lounge when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus, when the flight has a BA flight number and was ticketed by British Airways.  No guests are allowed.
  • A British Airways Gold cardholder does NOT get lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus if the lounge is not directly operated by British Airways.  Remember that British Airways has no other lounges in England outside of Heathrow and Gatwick.  In Scotland you have lounges at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
  • A British Airways Gold cardholder does NOT get BA lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus if the flight does not have a BA flight number or was not ticketed by British Airways
  • A British Airways Silver cardholder does NOT get BA lounge access when flying Vueling, airBaltic, Loganair or Aer Lingus, even when the flight has a BA flight number and was ticketed by British Airways

Bottom line – forget lounge access on a British Airways codeshare flight if you are not a British Airways Gold card holder. Even then, you need to be at an airport where there is a BA-branded lounge.

If you are a BA Gold, be careful where you book your ticket (the number needs to start 125-) and whether a BA flight number (eg BA1234) is shown on your booking.

British Airways lounge access on an Aer Lingus flight

Flying Aer Lingus from Heathrow Terminal 2

There is an extra quirk to this if you are flying Aer Lingus from Heathrow.  As Aer Lingus is based in Terminal 2, there is not a British Airways lounge you can use.

Aer Lingus DOES have a very pleasant lounge of its own, however, as I reviewed here.

The rule is that British Airways Silver or Gold cardholders can use the Aer Lingus lounge at Heathrow when flying to Ireland.

Your ticket does NOT need to be issued by British Airways 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.

Aer Lingus no longer flies to Belfast from Heathrow due to licensing issues post-Brexit.

Flying Aer Lingus from Ireland

It gets even more complex.  Inbound, the arrangement above – letting a BA Gold or Silver member use Aer Lingus lounges – only applies to flights from Dublin to London Heathrow.

If you fly from Dublin to, say, Manchester you will not get Aer Lingus lounge access in Dublin with a British Airways Gold or Silver card.

Similarly, if you fly from Shannon or Cork to London Heathrow, you will not get Aer Lingus lounge access in Shannon or Cork with a British Airways Gold or Silver card.

Yes …. complicated, I know!


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (38)

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

  • Clemente says:

    As a BAEC Silver and flying to FLR/FCO using Vueling from LGW, I’ve been able to access the BA lounge when I’ve bought the ticket with BA & Iberia (not Vueling).
    From the article it seems it’s against the rules, but the BA staff at LGW have never had an issue with it and always let me in.

  • Marion says:

    Im flying from Cork to Vancouver via Heathrow next month.
    Im silver with BA and our Vancouver flight is in BC..
    I emailed the Aspire Lounge head office about using the lounge in Cork airport and she assured me I could as long as I was flying Aer Lingus.
    Should be interesting 🤔

  • Stuart says:

    As an FYI- perhaps not officially, but I always get Aer Lingus lounge access in T2 when flying to Belfast. They seem happy so long as you are a GCH.

  • daveinitalia says:

    Time has gone so quickly I almost forgot that tomorrow is the last day you can use your BA Prepaid Mastercard if you’re still holding onto it. Maybe one final top-up to send money to Ernie!

    It’s worth a reminder because you need to close the card by app or by phone tomorrow should you have any unused money on the card which you want back. Apparently if you do this after that date then they may charge a small fee (although I would definitely argue against this should it happen to you)

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

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