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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)

Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club

(65 ratings)


This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in May 2013. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Gold from the Emerald Isle n Aer Lingus, at one time belonged to the oneworld alliance but through the years the carrier changed and no longer belongs to any global alliance. The airline celebrated its 75th birthday in 2011 and is currently the largest carrier of passengers in and out of Ireland.

It is the second largest Irish airline after rival Ryanair, which does not offer a frequent flyer program. The Gold Circle Club offers members lounge access and award flights on Aer Lingus and a smattering of airline partners along with other benefits, but the program does not offer many ways to earn and burn points.



Members earn points for Aer Lingus flights depending on route and class of service flown. Aer Lingus offers three price options including Low, Plus and Flex. The following booking classes automatically qualify to earn points regardless of fare option: J, C, D, Y, B, L, H, K, M, V, N, X, S and R. Fare classes A, Z and W are eligible for points if passengers choose the Plus fare option when booking. Economy class flights within Ireland/U.K. earn 100 points, economy class flights within Europe earn 150 points and economy class flights between Ireland and the U.S. earn 300 points. If you fly business class between Ireland and the U.S., you’ll earn 1,000 points; and in addition to the 1,000 base points, you’ll earn 200 bonus points that do not count toward tier status. Aer Lingus only offers business class on transatlantic flights.

Members also earn points with Gold Circle partner airlines British Airways, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.



Aer Lingus flies to destinations in Europe, North America, North Africa and Australia, and through codeshare agreements and frequent flyer partnerships, members can travel the world with their Gold Circle points.

A roundtrip economy class ticket within Ireland/U.K. is 3,000 points; within Europe 4,500 points and between Ireland and the U.S. is 6,000 points in economy or 12,000 points in business class. One-way award tickets can be claimed, but at the same redemption levels as the roundtrip awards. Part cash, part points awards are not available and members cannot purchase Gold Circle points.

One-way business class upgrade awards are available for Aer Lingus flights to the U.S. for 4,000 points and members traveling on selected flights to Malaga can upgrade to premium seating for 750 points.

Gold Circle Club members can shop The Gift Zone offering members a small selection of electronic products such as a digital camera or BluRay player and members can also use their points at Appleby Jewellers Dublin.



Gold Circle Club has very few partners. There are no hotel partners in which to earn points, no co-branded credit cards, no financial or wireless partners and there’s no longer a car rental partner for the Gold Circle Club even though Aer Lingus customers are offered a discount with Hertz.

Aer Lingus partners with British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, members of the former alliance Aer Lingus belonged to, oneworld. The website stipulates the fare codes that are eligible to earn points. United Airlines is also a partner as of 2008 and Gold Circle members can earn points on codeshare trans-Atlantic flights as well as flights operated by United on select U.S. domestic routes. Eligible partner flights also count towards the maintenance and advancement of tier status. Aer Lingus has a codeshare agreement with JetBlue, but at this time, there is no reciprocal frequent flyer program points offered. Members of JetBlue can only earn TrueBlue points on the JetBlue portion of the trip, and the same is true for Gold Circle members, they can earn Gold Circle points only for Aer Lingus flights.

There are no other ways to earn Gold Circle points other than through flying. Although the program does not offer a co-branded credit card, if you have the Bank of Ireland Gold Visa Business Card (120 euros annual fee), you will have unlimited free access to the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounges in Dublin, Cork and Shannon as well as more than 30 affiliated lounges worldwide along with priority check-in facilities on long-haul routes, wherever these are provided by Aer Lingus.



There are three membership tiers: Gold, Prestige and Elite. Gold members are welcomed after earning 2,400 points in the previous 12 months when traveling Aer Lingus and airline partners. This first level offers the ability to redeem points for award tickets, access to Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club Lounges at all Aer Lingus departure points when traveling on an Aer Lingus scheduled flight; priority check-in, boarding and baggage delivery on business class transatlantic flights, meal preference recorded on transatlantic flights and personalized luggage tags.

For members who earn 4,800 points in a year, along with the benefits of Gold status, they will have access to the British Airways lounge in London Heathrow when traveling onwards on a through-ticket with British Airways as well as special deals with selected partners.

The top tier, Elite, is obtained by earning 8,400 points in the previous 12 months. These members get a dedicated reservations and customer service telephone line, four one-way complimentary upgrades, one free roundtrip companion ticket when the member is flying on a full-fare ticket and a nominated partner of the member is offered Gold level membership. Elite members also have guaranteed flight booking as long as the full-fare reservation is made 24 hours before the flight and there are no more than two facilitated within 24 hours on the flight. Gold Circle does not offer lifetime tier status.



Missing miles can be claimed online for up to three months from the date of transaction and retroactive credit as a new member is not allowed. Membership is free and available to all passengers aged 12 and over; however, you must accumulate at least 2,400 points in a continuous 12-month period to become a qualified member of Gold Circle Club at the Gold level where you can redeem points for awards and receive a membership card. In order to remain a member of the Gold Circle Club you must earn a minimum of 2,400 points in each membership year. If your activity falls below this level, you can renew membership for another year by redeeming 2,400 points from your account. If you do not renew your Gold Circle membership, all outstanding points in your account will remain valid but you will not be able to redeem your points and you will no longer have access to lounges until your account returns to Gold status. All Gold Circle points credited to a member’s account are redeemable for a period not exceeding three years from the date of transaction.

You cannot pool or transfer your points with others. A Gold Circle member can use their points to book award flights for anyone they choose.



Gold Circle Club has service centers in Ireland, the U.K., the U.S. and for Europe and the rest of the world. Our enquiries to the U.S. service center were answered promptly and correctly. Members can also email with their enquiries.

In general, regular flyers of Aer Lingus are quite pleased with the customer service they receive.



Members can access their account information online, book Aer Lingus award flights and claim missing flight credit. To redeem points for Gift Zone purchases, members must email their name, address, phone number and Gold Circle number along with their gift choice to goldcircle@tnsdistribution.com—a rather low-tech way to shop, but effective. To book flights on partner airlines, members must call.

Lounge access for the lowest elite tier is a real plus. And the fact that the program exists at all is an improvement over the other major airline of Ireland. Top level members of the program seem well taken care of.

There are very few partnerships and the program seems to be on hold as the airline continues to have financial woes. The fact that you have to earn at least 2,400 points per year to be able to keep your membership active and there are no means to earn points through credit card spend means that this is not a program for the occasional flyer.

Aer Lingus Gold Circle
Ground Floor
Aer Lingus Head Office
Dublin Airport
Co. Dublin PA 06-39
0818 365900

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
6.00 7.00 6.50 8.00 6.50 7.50 6.50 6.86
2.87 3.36 3.53 4.01 3.41 4.12 3.50 3.54

(65 ratings)


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