American Airlines & Aer Lingus Partnership, Now With Mileage Earning

American Airlines & Aer Lingus Partnership, Now With Mileage Earning

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In early 2022, American Airlines and Aer Lingus formally launched a partnership. Now, almost two years later, the airlines have introduced reciprocal mileage earning, with more to come in the future (thanks to AwardWallet for flagging this).

Details of the American & Aer Lingus partnership

In late 2020, Aer Lingus was approved to join the oneworld transatlantic joint venture. This previously included just American, British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair. Aer Lingus is owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), though prior to that hadn’t been part of this agreement, and the airline also continues to not be part of the oneworld alliance.

With this joint venture, the airlines can share revenue and coordinate fares, schedules, and routes, across the Atlantic. Then in early 2022, American and Aer Lingus launched a codeshare agreement for flights between the United States and Ireland.

This primarily included American placing its code on Aer Lingus flights within Europe, and Aer Lingus placing its code on American flights within the United States. This is intended to create a more seamless experience for passengers, so that they can easily book itineraries involving both airlines through either carrier’s website.

What’s odd is that for nearly two years now, the airlines have had this agreement, but there has been no frequent flyer reciprocity between the two airlines. There has been no opportunity to earn and redeem miles, no opportunity to take advantage of elite perks, etc. Fortunately that’s finally starting to change.

American & Aer Lingus have a partnership

American & Aer Lingus add some frequent flyer reciprocity

As of December 2023, American AAdvantage and Aer Lingus AerClub have finally added reciprocal mileage earning opportunities.

American AAdvantage members can now earn redeemable miles and Loyalty Points for all flights that are marketed and operated by Aer Lingus. Miles are awarded based on revenue, which includes base fare and carrier imposed surcharges, but excludes government imposed taxes and fees.

Specifically, AAdvantage members can earn 5x miles per dollar spent on Aer Lingus flights (the same as the rate of earning on British Airways and Iberia), plus there are elite bonuses:

We’re told that reciprocal award redemptions should be coming in the future, though that’s not live yet, and there’s no timeline. There’s no indication of reciprocal elite perks, unfortunately.

Earn AAdvantage miles for travel on Aer Lingus

This partnership is really strange

I’m really confused by the execution of Aer Lingus’ integration into the oneworld transatlantic joint venture. Ordinarily, the whole point of these joint ventures is to create as much metal neutrality as possible, which means giving customers an incentive to also travel on partner airlines.

Typically when a joint venture launches (or an airline is added to an existing joint venture), we almost immediately see reciprocal perks between airlines. This includes the ability to earn and redeem miles, take advantage of elite perks, etc.

Now, almost three years after Aer Lingus joined the oneworld transatlantic joint venture, and nearly two years after American and Aer Lingus started codesharing, we’re seeing the first signs of any reciprocity. Finally it’s possible to earn miles on the other airline, but there are still no redemption opportunities or elite perks.

Interestingly Aer Lingus historically had a partnership with United. The two airlines finally recently ended their codeshare agreement, but they still offer reciprocal mileage earning.

I have to imagine there’s a reason for this lackluster integration, I’m just not sure what it is. Anyone have any insights?

This Aer Lingus situation is all very strange

Bottom line

American Airlines and Aer Lingus launched a codeshare agreement in early 2022, nearly a year after Aer Lingus was approved to join the oneworld transatlantic joint venture. Now we’re finally seeing the two airlines add reciprocal mileage earning, with reciprocal mileage redemptions expected at some point in the future (with no timeline). This is a step in the right direction, but mainly I’m just confused…

What do you make of the American & Aer Lingus partnership?

Conversations (12)
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  1. Nick C. Guest

    I think Aer Lingus should just rejoin Oneworld, now that it's part of the alliances Transatlantic Joint Venture. It makes perfect sense.

  2. Malcolm Guest

    I often wondered why the Aer Lingus lounge is in LHR T2 (the Queen's Terminal used exclusively by Star Alliance airlines) or do they have other lounges at Heathrow? Are they members of Star Alliance? Why haven't they joined Oneworld? As a long time Star Alliance user (Swiss Senator), I'm starting to think oneworld is the better deal.

  3. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    As a AA Loyalist, I won't fly with them unless I earn miles/status. Period. Now they need to FULLY rejoin OneWorld. It's actually ridiculous that they haven't already.

  4. Brianair Guest

    Why doesn’t Aer Lingus just return to Oneworld? They’re in the perfect situation for it. It’s not that hard.

  5. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    Has one looked at the redemption on the AS platform? 280K one way one person SEA - Dublin Business. I can tell you from experience that their transfer operation in Dublin to mainland EU is terrible. I happened to have caught that rare moment with a redemption of 60K per seat, we cancelled the return award tickets in favor of BA.

  6. cbchicago Guest

    Aer Lingus uses a 60 year old IBM resevations system called ASTRAL. They maybe are having an intergration problem with AA. This may be the reason behind it taking so long.

  7. Lee Guest

    I've given up on trying to find Aer Lingus business class award space . . . using Aer Lingus Avios. Nevermind partner availability.

  8. Markus Guest

    So as Aer Lingus is not part of OW, they most likely won't offer any status benefits to AA frequent flyers? At least there is no mention on either website. Hopefully they will be integrated again as a full member or at least as a OW connect member.

  9. Jim Guest

    I'm flying EI transatlantic in January. I have status with AA. Does this mean K can enter my AA FF number in the reservation and use my status for lounge access? Or it's just for miles earning?

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Read. You'll find out alot.

  10. Scudder Diamond

    Finally! BDL, here I come!

    Oh, nevermind. It’s going to be double the price of other routings…

  11. shoeguy Guest

    It's about time. IAG manages EI as a LCC but DUB airport is effectively LHR's third runway. Integrating EI further into OW makes sense. Aligning with AA on TATL even more.

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Brianair Guest

Why doesn’t Aer Lingus just return to Oneworld? They’re in the perfect situation for it. It’s not that hard.

1
Markus Guest

So as Aer Lingus is not part of OW, they most likely won't offer any status benefits to AA frequent flyers? At least there is no mention on either website. Hopefully they will be integrated again as a full member or at least as a OW connect member.

1
shoeguy Guest

It's about time. IAG manages EI as a LCC but DUB airport is effectively LHR's third runway. Integrating EI further into OW makes sense. Aligning with AA on TATL even more.

1
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