Aer Lingus is the flag carrier of Ireland and the country’s second-largest airline after Ryanair. It flies to 80 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, where it serves Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.
The airline’s frequent flyer program, Gold Circle, has a simple award chart that divides the world into three regions. You can fly roundtrip between Ireland and:
- Anywhere in the U.K. for 3,000 points
- Europe for 4,500 points
- The U.S. for 6,000 points in economy and 12,000 points in business
Aer Lingus flights in Europe do not have business class, but some flights have premium economy seats available as an upgrade.
Since Aer Lingus left the oneworld alliance in 2007, earning options with the carrier have been rather limited. It has only two airline partners, no co-branded credit cards, and no hotel and car rental partners. You can’t even buy points from the program, so there are no ways to earn other than flying.
Hopefully this will change if the carrier becomes a oneworld member again. That may happen if IAG, the company that also owns British Airways, follows through with its plan to take over ownership of airline from the Irish government.
The terms for joining Gold Circle are different from those of most airlines. When you apply for membership, you only become an applicant. Your account is not fully functional until you earn 2,400 points in the first year.
When Should You Use Gold Circle Awards?
The simplicity of Gold Circle’s award chart means that it’s hard to find any redemption sweet spots. However, destinations as far away as the Spanish island of Tenerife, off the West African coast, are considered to be part of Europe. Flights within Europe cost only 4,500 points and flights between Ireland and North Africa are also only 4,500 points.
Partners Bookable Online:
Partners Bookable by Phone:
- British Airways
- United Airlines
When to Book by Phone:
- For flights on partner airlines
- Creating itineraries with connections
- To make changes to an existing itinerary
See below for our phone booking tips.
How to Search for Gold Circle Award Seats Online:
Go to the Gold Circle website and click “member log in/log out” on the top right.
Fill in your membership information, and click “member login.”
If you have enough points in your account, you can continue by clicking “book flight with Gold Circle points.”
On the next page, fill in your destination and dates of travel and search for award seats.
How to Confirm and Book Aer Lingus Award Flights Online
After you build and confirm your itinerary is available, you’ll be asked to provide your billing information to pay for the taxes and fees. Follow the prompts to complete your booking.
Phone Booking Tips
Aer Lingus has four Gold Circle booking numbers:
- Ireland: 0818-365-900
- United Kingdom: 44-871-718-5555
- United States: 1-800-474-7424
- The rest of world: 00-353-818-365-900
You have to call to book either of the airline’s partners, United or British Airways. The process is a bit complicated. First you have to contact the partner airline directly, advising them that you’re making a Gold Circle reward booking. After confirming availability, they will give you a booking reference number. You must call and give that number to a Gold Circle agent at least 14 days before the flight. That person will then issue you a voucher.
Important Award Booking Considerations
- One-way redemptions cost the same as round-trip tickets
- Points are not available for purchase
- Only date and time changes are allowed
- Change fee is 50 euros
- Must earn 2,400 points in the first year to establish a fully functional frequent flyer account