Joe Duffy presents a daily talk show on RTÉ Radio 1 in Ireland called Liveline where unhappy people call in to have a moan. It is quite popular among certain people and yesterday Aer Lingus and Avios were subject to 15 minutes of the show.

The problem appears to be when using your Avios for Aer Lingus flights, the cash component is actually higher than when not using Avios. Let’s have a look at the four callers and their supposed issues.

Unhappy Caller Number One

Sharon was using 15,600 Avios to go to Portugal and was being quoted €343 in taxes. When checking the same flights on the Aer Lingus web site, she saw a price of €273 which is clearly less.

The issue is that she had 18,000 Avios in her account and needed two tickets. This would be 13,000 Avios and €120.81 per person, so 26,000 Avios and €241. Cheaper than the online standard fare though not by much.

As her balance was 18,000 and she needed 26,000, she has chosen an option where you can use less Avios and spend more money. The less points and more money you use, the more chance of the reward flight costing you more than a normal ticket.

Redeeming for economy class flights is a terrible use of frequent flyer miles anyway. Economy class is usually very cheap, so you don’t really get much value doing it this way.

Unhappy Caller Number Two

John wanted to go on a one way flight to London and said it was €128.70 using Avios and €59.98 with Aer Lingus directly. I don’t know what this guy was doing, because reward seats are as low as 4,000 Avios and €17.95 online.

Using the least amount of points is 2,200 and €52.95 so the only way he could be quoted €128.70 is if he put in a return flight on the Avios site rather than a one way. He also mentioned he didn’t want a bag and award bookings always include a bag.

Unhappy Caller Number Three

Robert has 180,000 miles and he said he would have been better of collecting matchsticks and building a house out of them for all the use his points were. He wanted to go to Australia in Business Class and said he was quoted 120,000 Avios and €9,500 when to purchase the flights outright would have been €6,575.

This is quite frankly impossible. Taxes would be around €500 per ticket and the rest would be covered with his balance of frequent flyer points.

Unhappy Caller Number Four

Michael took the opportunity to have a moan about how unhappy he was with the AerClub. Apparently 50% of his flights have not credited to the account and after claiming online they still did not show up.

He wrote to Aer Lingus after this and has had no reply. This is something I have covered before and apparently it is still ongoing for some people which is interesting.

Overall Thoughts

AerClub has always worked for me apart from one time where I wasted an hour on the phone to find out it was not possible to select seats on bookings made through the AerClub with Avios.

A lot of the above seems to be a combination of things. Blatant errors in some cases and plain unfamiliarity with the programme. My advice is to always use Avios for business class flights, even on short flights like Dublin to London. Using them for economy class is a bit of a waste of time. I really don’t think most of the above issues are the fault of Aer Lingus, AerClub or Avios.

What is your experience with redeeming flights with AerClub and Avios? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by RHL images via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus tails by Maarten Visser via Wikimedia Commons.