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Aer Lingus award tickets are now bookable on British Airways' website — with a catch

Feb. 21, 2022
5 min read
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Aer Lingus and British Airways have a close relationship. They're both owned by the same parent company (International Airlines Group) and both use Avios as their frequent flyer mileage currencies. What's more, you can transfer Avios between your British Airways Executive Club account and your Aer Lingus AerClub account.

Oddly though, it historically hasn't been possible to book Aer Lingus awards directly through British Airways' website. Instead, you had to find saver award space via another airline website and then go through a lengthy telephone process to book.

Well, that's no longer the case. British Airways now allows you to book Aer Lingus awards online. However, as discovered by Head for Points, there's a major catch.

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(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

Booking Aer Lingus awards through British Airways online

Aer Lingus award tickets are now bookable on the British Airways website and display alongside other partner awards. Simply search through the "book with Avios" page as you would for any other British Airways award ticket and you should see all flights with open award space.

The award rates are the same as for British Airways and Iberia flights. A one-way flight between 3,001 and 4,000 miles in distance, such as from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Dublin Airport (DUB), would cost 13,000 to 20,000 Avios in economy class and 50,000 to 60,000 Avios in business class, depending on the peak or off-peak date.

Related: Maximizing the British Airways distance-based award chart

(Screenshot from britishairways.com)

But here's where things get ugly. The surcharges are much higher than they used to be. A one-way transatlantic business-class award originating in the U.S. can now set you back over $700 in taxes, fees and carrier charges. Historically, these flights had much more reasonable surcharges of around $150. While not as drastic, economy and intra-Europe flights got a bit more expensive as well.

(Screenshot from britishairways.com)

There's a workaround

Interestingly, the higher surcharges only apply when booking through British Airways. You can still pay significantly lower surcharges when booking directly through Aer Lingus Aer Club. And remember, you can freely transfer Avios between the programs at a 1:1 ratio. Availability should be consistent between the sites, but that isn't always the case. So be sure to search on both sites before transferring any points.

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It's worth mentioning that this isn't unprecedented for British Airways. You may also find lower surcharges when booking a long-haul Iberia-operated flight with Avios in your Iberia Plus account instead of your British Airways Executive Club account.

(Screenshot from avios.com)

Related: Aer Lingus business class on the A321neo, Dublin to Philadelphia

Earning British Airways Avios

British Airways Avios are among the easiest miles to earn. You can boost your balance by transferring points from most major flexible points programs, including American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

If you're short on these types of rewards, you can quickly earn a large chunk with a welcome bonus from a new travel rewards credit card. Here are some of the top offers currently available:

Related: Save on taxes and fees: How to transfer British Airways Avios to Iberia

Bottom line

While it's great to see British Airways add Aer Lingus awards to its online booking engine, the higher surcharges are not welcome. Luckily, you can get around paying more by transferring your British Airways Avios to Aer Lingus and booking directly through its Aer Club program.

Featured image by Aer Lingus planes seen grounded at Dublin Airport (file picture December 5). From midnight all flights and passenger ferries from Britain to Ireland will be suspended for an initial period of 48 hours in an effort to stop the spread of a new coronavirus strain to Ireland. On Sunday, December 20, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023