One fascinating change to Avios last year was the opening up of Aer Lingus and Iberia for American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher redemptions.
The Aer Lingus option is especially interesting for anyone living outside London who is planning a trip to the US, since you may be able to use your 2-4-1 voucher and still depart from your local airport.
Full details of how it works are here. Note that Aer Lingus does not guarantee to open up a specific number of Avios seats per flight and availability, especially in Business Class to their core US destinations, can be thin.
We did two two in-depth Aer Lingus Business Class reviews last year, covering their two core long-haul aircraft types. These are:
- the single-aisle A321LR (here is my Dublin – New York Aer Lingus A321LR review)
- the twic-aisle, larger, A330 (here is Rhys’s Manchester – Barbados Aer Lingus A330 review)
The reviews talk you through the best business class seats, although the top pick is the ‘throne’ seat where you only get one seat to a row with a console on either side of you.
Even if you travelling with someone, as I was on my A321LR review trip, you may prefer two ‘throne’ seats if you can get them rather than sitting side by side.
If you are flying from Dublin or Shannon, you complete US Customs and Immigration in Ireland. My A321LR review looks at this here. It means that you land in the US as a domestic passenger and can be out of the terminal in minutes, with no risk of a lengthy queue at immigration.
Where does Aer Lingus fly long-haul?
I want to use this article to look at the Aer Lingus route network. It is NOT an article discussing the costs, in Avios and taxes, of Aer Lingus redemptions – we will do that another day.
Here is the current route network:
- Manchester – New York JFK
- Manchester – Orlando
- Manchester – Barbados (seasonally from November to April)
- Dublin – Boston
- Dublin – Chicago
- Dublin – Cleveland
- Dublin – Denver (launches May 2024)
- Dublin – Hartford
- Dublin – Los Angeles
- Dublin – Miami (seasonally from November to April)
- Dublin – Minneapolis St Paul (launches April 2024)
- Dublin – New York JFK
- Dublin – Newark
- Dublin – Orlando
- Dublin – Philadelphia
- Dublin – San Francisco
- Dublin – Seattle
- Dublin – Toronto
- Dublin – Washington DC
- Shannon – Boston
- Shannon – New York JFK
Flights tend to operate between 4-7 days per week on most routes, with the core US routes having multiple daily flights.
How do you connect to Aer Lingus flights from the UK?
Aer Lingus has an excellent range of connections to Dublin from across the UK.
If you are looking for Avios seats I would initially search for the long-haul flight on its own and then see what connections can be added later. You don’t want to risk not seeing long-haul availability simply because the most convenient short-haul connecting flight isn’t available.
You will make a substantial saving by booking your UK-Ireland flight on a separate ticket, as this avoids long haul Air Passenger Duty. The downside is that your baggage may not be checked through and Aer Lingus is not obliged to help you if you miss your connection.
Here is the Aer Lingus UK network to Dublin:
Operated by Aer Lingus mainline:
- London Heathrow
- London Gatwick
Operated by a mix of Aer Lingus mainline and Aer Lingus Regional:
Operated by Aer Lingus Regional:
- Isle of Man
- Leeds Bradford
Aer Lingus Regional flights are operated under franchise by Emerald Airlines and use small turbo-prop aircraft. You can still earn and redeem Avios on these services.
‘Mainline’ short haul flights use BA-style Airbus jet aircraft. If you’re lucky you will get an A321LR with flat beds in Business Class, as these do short haul during the morning before heading back to the US in the afternoon.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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.