Reply To: Aer Lingus woes (PatJordan avert your eyes!)

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I flew DUB to NCE one way with EI to attend a conference. I try to avoid EI where I can but the convenience of a direct flight at 1030 hrs was compelling.

Unfortunately I needed to check in 1 bag and this was the problem. I was not sure of its weight but thought to buy in advance the full one bag at up to 20kg for €20. There were options for 15kg and 25kg at a supplement of €15 and €30 respectively.

I arrived at DUB T2 at 0915 on the Sunday morning. The queue to check bags in at the “Bag Drop” was snaking back through all the available space and overflowing. I though there must be a problem but this was in fact that EI had only 4 of the 12 available desks staffed. There was also a “late” desk for closing flights.

During the lengthy queuing, there was no announcement as to the reason for the delays nor did there appear to be any EI personnel looking to “manage” the situation by getting more desks operational. It all seemed to be business as usual.

I joined the queue and then at a few minutes before 100hrs, an announcement was made that anyone booked for NCE in the queue should go to the “late Desk. This I did and handed over my bag. It weighed 14 kgs so I had overpaid by €5. I guess that this was much better than me being 1kg overweight (say 21kg) as I assume I would have been hit by an excessive “at the airport” charge for not having “pre-purchased” the 20kg option. I decided not even to try to get a refund of the over -paid for 5kg of bag weight! I would bet that the highly stratified pricing of bags by weight by EI contributes significantly to the time it takes to check bags onto flights.
Security in DUB was no problem.

The flight was fine but I could not understand how it took the trolley operating from the front of the plane to take 40 minutes to get to row 13 to sell the food/drinks. It commenced its service 30mins into the flight so the flight was nearly starting its descent when I was able to get some food.

All told I was unimpressed with EI and what seemed to be a general lack of customer focus in respect of bag check in. Hopefully the BA acquisition will improve this. By comparison, I regularly check in bags with SWISS at DUB (in T1) and never had a wait of more than 2-3 minutes.

I would consider using EI again at the right price but would definitely avoid checking in a bag at DUB and also bring my own food on board. There are indeed plenty of deli options at DUB.

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