Searching for Aer Lingus Award Flights for British Airways Avios Redemptions
Since my “Falling in Love With British Airways Avios” post last week, I received a s#@% load of emails asking me about how I searched for award availability for my Aer Lingus flights to Dublin. Like whoa.
[Lucky was the first to break this early last year]
Good question. I explained how I called into British Airways to book the flight, but I didn’t go into detail about how I did the basic searching.
If you’re a member of ExpertFlyer, you can search for award availability there. However, I did my searching on the Qantas website. Qantas is an Australian airline that isn’t in the same alliance as Aer Lingus, but they are partners. Qantas is a OneWorld alliance member, and their award search engine is worth getting to know.
You can also search United.com for Aer Lingus availability, but I choose to stay away.
You must have a Qantas membership to search for award flights on their site. You can sign up here for a Qantas account. Easy. Now, it’s time to search.
After signing into your Qantas account – scroll down the page, and you will see the “Award Bookings” search function.
Just enter your dates, destination, and click, “go.”
The little shamrock clover is Aer Lingus’ moniker thats helps you quickly identify an Aer Lingus flight. As you can see, there are economy seats available, but not business class seats.
I did a couple more searches, and couldn’t find any business class availability for Aer Lingus on the dates I was searching. But, there was plenty of availability in economy.
However, when I booked our Boston – Dublin flights, there wasn’t any business class availability showing on the Qantas website. When I called British Airways (1-800-452-1201), the agent was able to see business class availability for both of the Aer Lingus flights for that day.
I instantly booked a one-way ticket for Jordan and myself in business class for only 50,000 Avios and $61.14 in taxes. It would’ve only cost us 25,000 Avios if we wanted to rough-it-out in economy for 6 hours. Ehh, Avios are too easy to earn, so I burn ‘em.
And when the agent told me there was a phone booking fee, I politely told him that it wasn’t available to book on the British Airways website. He put me on a brief hold and came back with, “you’re right,” and then proceeded to waive the fee. Winning.
This is a great deal, because normally you wouldn’t be able to use Avios to cross the transatlantic without a hefty surcharge and fee. Going through Aer Lingus negates the annoying British Airways fees. Many people route through Dublin on their way to Europe to avoid London and their hefty airport fees as well.
Since I’m flying out of Boston, I will have to find a positioning flight, but that shouldn’t be an issue – I have options.
Avios isn’t my favorite subject, but I certainly have a very soft spot for them. I’ve flown cheaply domestically many times, and they are just so darn easy to accumulate. Here are the easiest:
British Airways and Chase have their co-branded British Airways Visa Signature® Card. British Airways is also a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards programs. There are usually transfer bonuses when you transfer Membership Rewards out to British Airways, currently there’s a 35% promo.
The best public card offers to earn Membership Rewards points are The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN. Also, the Mercedes-Benz card has an offer of 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months, but the $475 annual fee isn’t waived.
I hope this helps and best of luck as you search!
(Disclaimer: I receive a referral credit for most of the cards mentioned in the post. Thank you for the support if apply through the blog!)
— Noob Master