Cityjet DUB-LCYBack to Forum
London City Airport is close to relatives we planned to visit, and therefore was more convenient than either LGW or LHR. Currently the route is served by BA, & Cityjet.
Cityjet’s schedule suited our needs, and we made our booking on their website which is quite easy to navigate. Economy fares include one checked in bag and complimentary drinks and snacks.
On-line check in and seat selection is available 48 hours pre-flight, and I took advantage of this. I was pleased to find our preferred seats on the aircraft (Rows 16 A & C) were available, and selected them. The Avro RJ85 has good legroom & seat pitch, but limited shoulder room. Owing to the narrowing of the cabin towards the rear of the aircraft, the 3-3 seating becomes 2-3, and the rearmost three rows are ideal for couples travelling together.
Through the Dublin Airport Authority website, I arranged (6 days) car parking close to Terminal 1, lounge access and fast track security for a very reasonable 115Euro.
Our car park booking was for a 10am arrival, and literally a minute or two before this, we arrived at the car park barrier which should have admitted us on recognition of the car registration plate. It did not do so, and I therefore pressed the “assistance” button on the barrier and waited to speak to an operator. It took several minutes for somebody to speak to us, and once the registration was verified, we were admitted. Thankfully no other cars were waiting behind us to enter, otherwise there might well have been some impatient honking!
Cityjet check in opens two hours pre-flight, so we had a bit of time to kill in the Terminal 1 building. Commendably, the desk opened a few minutes before 11am, and a very friendly agent checked in our luggage.
We then proceeded to security, and using Fast track, we were airside within a couple of minutes.
The Dublin Airport Authority lounge is very close to the Fast Track security lane, which is convenient. This lounge is the result of the former BMI Diamond Club and original DAA lounges being merged. One side of the lounge is for food service, the other for bar service.
It is a very large area, with lots of natural light. However, the views are very restricted. There is a range of Irish, European and USA newspapers, with a small range of magazines. There are many seats, and a business centre for those needing to work. There is complimentary wi-fi for all lounge guests.
The food on offer consisted of:
• Fresh fruit
• Soup (spicy tomato)
• Brown bread
• Salad bowl
The bar is staffed, and even though it was quite busy in the lounge, one lady was clearing tables and serving drinks at the same time. It was obvious that this was a huge workload for one person, and because nobody can be in two places at once, there were inevitable delays in both serving and clearing tables. It was very unfair to have a staff member in this position, and equally unfair to passengers, many of whom had paid for the lounge. I also noticed that the food was very slow to be replenished, so perhaps Dublin Airport Authority need to examine their staffing.
Restrooms are in the lounge, beside the entrance.
Despite these issues we found the lounge to be very relaxing and well worth the entrance fee (currently 25euro per person).
Our flight was boarding from gate 204, and is a few minutes walk from the lounge.
The aircraft was parked close to the gate, and boarded via stairs through front and rear doors.
CityJet operate a fleet of Avro RJ 85 Jets (formerly known as BAE 146). The cabin was impressive with navy leather seats and dark blue carpets. Cabin crew were at both doors, and welcomed passengers on board.
Because the wings are attached to the top of the fuselage, the bins above rows 6-9 are shallower than others. Depending on the size of cabin bags, this is something to be aware of.
After announcements for route information, safety, we were airborne quickly, and settled into our seats.
There are complimentary drinks and snacks on offer, and we enjoyed a glass of wine and packet of bread sticks.
We landed in London City Airport on time. There is a very short taxi to arrivals, and using both doors, passengers deplaned quickly. The baggage hall is literally a few feet from the aircraft. Within a few minutes, bags were on the belt, and it is another short walk to the exit. London Bus services are directly outside, and the Docklands Light Railway to the right of the airport entrance.
Barely 15 minutes after landing, we were on the DLR. In this regard, London City Airport is unbeatable.
London City Airport Check in and security
I was anxious to secure the sameseats for our return flight, and 48 hours pre-flight, I visited Cityjet’s website, and once again selected 16A & 16C.
We arrived at London City at 1.45pm for our 3.30pm flight. Self service machines in place for weighing and tagging bags which are then placed on the baggage belt. Friendly and helpful staff are on hand, and the entire process took literally a couple of minutes.
The security area is quite small compared to other London airports, and was quite busy. However due to efficient management, passengers were quickly dealt with. After a very short time we were airside. The departures area was very quiet and we had a very pleasant lunch in the restaurant, followed by a browse in the shopping area to pick up some gifts. Though small there is a good range and reasonable prices
Our flight was showing a 15 minute delay, and this was not really an issue. We walked to gate 3 where a number of passengers had already assembled. Cityjet crew made a number of announcements asking passengers with carry on bags to have them tagged and checked into the hold due to the flight being very full. Quite a few passengers did this.
The aircraft was identical to that used on the outbound flight. Once boarding began, it was swiftly completed due to both front and rear doors being used. There was ample storage space overhead, due to the checking in of several small cases.. Once boarding was complete, the Captain welcomed passengers, apologised for and explained the reason for the delayed departure.
There was a safety briefing from the cabin crew, and after a short taxi, we were airborne.
In flight service
As well as tea/coffee and water/juice, there was a choice of Red or White wine with a savoury or sweet snack. I opted for a red wine, which was quite pleasant. The cabin crew were friendly and efficient at serving and clearing rubbish. Our landing was smooth, and we parked beside the old “A” Pier, and embarked on a long walk to passport control.
Dublin Airport Terminal 1 Arrivals
When we arrived at passport control there was a large number of people being funneled into a small area with a small number of staff trying to guide those over 18 to the e-gates (electronic passport readers) and under 18’s to the other side of the area.
It was a chaotic process, with many finding difficulty in using the e-gates, thus adding to the delays. Whatever must visitors to Dublin think following this welcome to the city??
Our baggage was on the belt by the time we cleared passport control, and we made our way to the car park. Crossing the road outside the building leads one to the car park. Having pre-paid we avoided the pay station and entered the car park near the car rental area. On opening the door we walked into a stairwell littered with empty drink cups and other rubbish. Once again, what dreadful way for Dublin Airport to welcome to visitors.
Having loaded bags into our car, we made our way to the car park exit……where the barrier once again failed to recognise our registration. Thankfully on this occasion our call for assistance was swiftly answered.
London City Airport has a great arrivals experience, with excellent transport connections to Central London: from aircraft to DLR is barely a couple of minutes walk. Equally impressive was the departure experience.
Cityjet’ s Cabin service is excellent, as is their ground service. The full flights are a testament to this.
Would I fly into London City Airport again? Most definitely, due in no small way to excellent transport links with Central London
I am very concerned at the service delivered by Dublin Airport Authority: there were issues with the car park (entering and leaving), the lounge, the passport control and the litter in the car park entrance. These are all basic issues, none of which should have arisen, let alone the entire catalogue which we experienced.2 Apr 2018
Nice review Pat,
Alas, I remember the days when EI operated this route for maybe 1-2 years. They pulled it even though every flight I was on was nearly 100% full!
I expect that if the still did the route (recognizing that BA does) you might have saved yourself a bit of the Euro 115 in that you would have had EI lounge access.
I often use the lounge in the old T1. I used to get in on a Swiss Sliver FTL card until the LH group killed off access to these ‘3rd party’ lounges for Silvers. [ a reason I have significantly reduced my patrinage of Swiss and LH] I believe it is a joke to have different level of service to customers depending on the route the fly [MXP for example allows access to Sliver, DUB and many others does not]. Now I get in usually via a Swiss C ticket [paid for by the extremely generous upgrade fee of Euro 50 sometimes available ex Dublin… I have 2 future trips booked with this supplement]
Alternatively, if you have a Bank of Ireland debit card [the black ‘Premier’ one which I got recently at no extra cost] you get 2 free visits to the DUblin lounge per annum (and unlim free in SNN and ORK]
I note this lounge has a nice ‘Barista’ coffee bar which serves an excellent coffee.
All points on LCY I agree with. if only they had a lounge for departures then this would be a real deal sealer! If I get hungry/thirsty on departure from LCY it usually costs me GBP15-20 for a bit to eat or a drink which would always be covered in LHR or LGW with lounge access.
Agree also with the DUB airport experience. The airport is a hotch-potch of ageing buildings. T1 feels a bit grimey and and I get the feeling that the DAA will not invest in it as it is essentially a Ryanair terminal.12 Apr 2018