2nd November 2011 at 10:10 #544939
Anonymous2nd November 2011 at 10:10 #544940
DUB-CDG-DUB (Economy )
Booking and check in
http://www.aerlingus.com is an easy site to navigate and selecting flights for my preferred dates and times was no trouble. Aer Lingus offer an advance check-in facility up to 30 days before travel. This, however is available only if one has availed of seat selection. This costs 5euro for the majority of seats. Front rows are 10euro, and exit rows 15euro.
I chose 1D for both flights and duly paid 20euro. I proceeded to use advance check-in for my outbound flight and printed my boarding pass. I then tried to repeat the process for my outbound flight……but http://www.aerlingus.com wouldn’t allow me to do so. I tried to call the Aer Lingus internet help desk but after 20 minutes on hold grew weary of the growing call charges and disconnected.
I made several subsequent attempts to use the advance check in for my return flight but the system steadfastly refused to allow it. I was only able to check in the day before travel when I used the normal on-line check in facility. I was a little annoyed at being induced to pay the cost of seat selection for the privilege of using advance check in only to find that the aer lingus website would not allow me to do so. My email to Aer Lingus remains unanswered.
I arrived at Dublin Terminal 2 just after 5.00am for my 7.00am flight and proceeded straight to security.There was a small number of passengers and I was airside within a minute.
There is a good range of shops and cafes, most of which open around 5.00am to cater for the early birds.
The new Gold Circle Lounge in Dublin T2 is open to non members for 25euro, which can be booked on line or paid at the lounge. It is a large two storey area with good views of the apron. Upstairs is a quiet area and has shower suites, which is a vast improvement on the previous lounge in T1.
The food on offer early morning consists of:
• Fresh fruit salad
• Breads, scones, pastries
• Cheese, crackers
A full range of soft & alcoholic drinks is available along with decent orange juice and coffee. All in all there is a good continental breakfast on offer.
Newspapers and magazines are available as well as internet access for those wishing to work.
It is a short walk from the lounge to the boarding area. There are many flight information screens throughout the lounge, and as soon as I saw my flight show “boarding” I proceeded to the gate, a walk of 2/3 minutes.
Boarding is through an airbridge and rearmost rows are called first to minimize delays.
As I got to the gate, I was amazed to find that my flight had become “last call” and my name was amongst three being called for “immediate boarding”. This surely indicates a communication problem as only a couple of minutes separated “boarding” and “last call”.
The Airbus 320 was immaculate and cabin crew warmly welcomed passengers. All Aer Lingus short haul aircraft are economy class and seats are configured 3-3. The seats are dark blue leather with adjustable headrests. Having selected row 1 there was no seatback in front of me, which I particularly like.
The Captain gave a brief welcome and details of flight times, followed by a safety announcement from the cabin crew. We pushed back on time and were airborne quickly.
Aer Lingus offer a “Skycafe” which offers a good range of snacks and drinks. I had a breakfast, which for 9euro consisted of:
• Black & white pudding
• Hash brown potato
We landed in Paris CDG T1 at 0940am . After a short taxi we were on stand and deplaned into T1 through an airbridge.
Return Check in and security
Having my boarding pass already printed, I went directly to security at CDG T1 and was processed very quickly. I was airside within 5 minutes.
Not being a Gold Circle member I had the option to access the Salon Icare Lounge for a fee (30euro). This cannot be booked through Aer Lingus and is paid at lounge reception.
Only a small range of food is on offer:
• Sandwiches (very small amount)
• Beer and soft drinks are self service, however wines, spirits are served by staff.
• I enjoyed a couple of glasses of champagne whilst reading some of the many newspapers on offer.
There is a short walk from the lounge to the Aer Lingus boarding area. Here there is a small duty free shop and café.
The 9.35pm flight began to board shortly after 9.00pm. Boarding was by rows, and was quite efficient.
This Airbus 320 was configured in full economy mode, all seats 3-3 and identical to that of the outbound flight.
After a welcome announcement from the Captain, the cabin crew gave a safety demonstration which was repeated in French.
We pushed back shortly after our scheduled time, and were airborne shortly afterwards.
I availed of a well filled toasted ham and cheese sandwich which was a reasonable 5 euro.
A very impressive return flight. Excellent service on board, which is the norm for Aer Lingus. However, I remain concerned at the failure of Aer Lingus to address the issues I raised regarding my being induced to pay for seat selection in order to use the advance check-in facility only to find this denied to me.
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