Aer Lingus – Book with Avios – A Step-by-Step Guide
With the possibility of obtaining significantly reduced taxes, the lure of using Avios points on Aer Lingus is a popular redemption option for many British Airways Executive Club members.
However, whether intentionally planned or not, there is no ability for Executive Club members to book an Avios Aer Lingus redemption flight directly through the BA.com website. This makes what should be a very straightforward booking a little bit more tricky. As such, this article will focus on booking Aer Lingus with Avios and why it could help save you a considerable amount of money in taxes.
British Airways and Aer Lingus are owned by IAG, and until recently both shared Avios.com as a loyalty points scheme. However in April last year it was announced that for existing members of the British Airways Executive Club, Avios.com and Executive Club accounts would be merged. Avios.com accounts however stayed open for Aer Lingus AerClub members whose points are automatically deposited at Avios.com.
Why Book Aer Lingus with British Airways Avios?
If you’re planning a route west to either the US or Canada, we’d strongly recommend trying to use Aer Lingus to reduce the taxes associated with an Avios redemption. That’s unless you have a 2-4-1 voucher, which unfortunately cannot be redeemed on Aer Lingus (BA only, I’m afraid!).
To demonstrate how this could be done let’s take a look at a worked example. Assuming you were planning on flying from say London to Boston, a British Airways operated return flight in economy would require a grand total of 26,000 Avios points and £263.82 in taxes!
However a flight booked with Aer Lingus and starting in Dublin would have cost just £91.80 in taxes and a similar number of Avios. Now you’d need to factor in the flight from London to Dublin which would be 8,000 Avios and £35 in taxes return. So for 8,000 Avios you’re saving £137.02 which works out at a very healthy 1.7p per point.
If you were to start your journey in London and hub through Dublin on one ticket, you’d have to pay the higher taxes unfortunately. As such you’ll need to buy or redeem the flight from London to Dublin separately. The possible risk here is that if your outbound flight from London to Dublin is delayed and you miss the next flight, Aer Lingus will not be obliged to book you onto another flight. They would however if it was all booked as one ticket. As such try to leave plenty of time between your flights in and out of Dublin.
There are also 2 further benefits of using Avios points on Aer Lingus. If you’re planning on booking a Business Class ticket, you may well be aware that the existing British Airways Club World seat is… well, tired to say the least.
The Aer Lingus fleet has been subject to heavy investment over the last couple of years and the Business Class product is head and shoulders above British Airways. This will of course change when British Airways launch their new Club Suite (pictured on the right hand side below) which is expected to be fitted on the new A350 being delivered in October.
One final point to mention is that when flying from Dublin you’ll also clear immigration before arriving in the US, which means that you’ll land as a domestic passenger. This tends to save time and avoids the massive queues on arrival into the US.
How to Book Aer Lingus with Avios
Ok, so let’s now take a look at how to book Aer Lingus with Avios. There are two options for using Avios points on Aer Lingus and these are as follows:
The first option is to use Avios.com. If your account was recently closed you can sign up for an Aer Lingus AerClub account here which will provide you with new Avios.com log-in details. You’ll then need to transfer Avios points from British Airways to Aer Lingus – we recently prepared a step-by-step guide, found here.
However! And it’s a big however. For some reason if you book Aer Lingus with Avios through Avios.com you’ll be hit with higher taxes than those charged by British Airways. As such the only time you may want to choose this option is if reward availability is showing on Avios.com but not with British Airways.
Through the British Airways Executive Club
The second way of Avios Aer Lingus redemption is through British Airways. Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier you cannot do this online and will have to call the Executive Club. Whilst this is frustrating, it means you don’t need to worry about the hassle of transferring points from BA.com to Avios.com and should also save you money on taxes.
Checking Avios Aer Lingus Availability?
Whilst BA.com and Avios.com availability is not identical, with the latter having more reward availability, you can use Avios.com to give you a good steer on whether there will be reward availability for a certain flight in the future.
This means that if you already have an Avios.com account you won’t need to call BA to check. Similarly you can also check availability on the United Airlines website.
Summary – Avios Aer Lingus Redemptions
As we’ve seen, you can save a considerable amount in taxes by repositioning to Dublin and then using Avios points on Aer Lingus to fly to either the US or Canada.
Booking Aer Lingus with BA Avios isn’t quite as simple as redeeming with another oneworld partner airline through the British Airways website. However by calling the British Airways Executive Club team you can still fly with Aer Lingus and book with Avios points!