9th September 2011 at 11:29 #544936
Anonymous9th September 2011 at 11:29 #544937
Having just returned from a stay in Boston I can say I was most impressed with the Aer Lingus long haul service. I travel to the US every six months or so and they have never failed to impress.
From check in to baggage delivery the transition from ground to air and back to ground again was seamless thanks to the service from the excellent staff.
We checked in at DUB on August 25th for the EI137. The Q was quite lenghty, however all the EI desks where manned and so we moved along quite quickly. Once check in was complete I moved airside via a very quick and not unpleasent security screening. At this point the only draw back is that the EI GC lounge, whilst located airside, is situated before US customs and homeland security. Once you clear customs you have effectively entered the US and cannot return to the “public area” of the airside zone. Given that the wait times here can be long I did not get the oppertunity to test drive the new lounge.
Boarding was prompt and efficient and performed in the usual EI way, Gold Circle, Premium, special assitance and families first and then by row number from the rear.
Boarding our A330-300 EI-DUO was performed by warm, welcoming and pleasent cabin crew. Having found seat 33a I settled in quickly with plenty of leg space and a decent pillow and blanket.
We pushed back spot on time and where airbourne after a short taxi. The flight itself was mostly full but this did not deter the cabin crew from providing excellent inflight service. The meal served, roast chicken with fresh country veg, gravy and potatos with a side of crackers, cheese, cheesecake and a roll went down very well with a white wine. After the meal it was time to relax and enjoy the on demand IFE which was up to date, offered variety and done the job quite sufficiently.
The Westbound services no longer offer duty free service due to, as I mentioned above, you have clearded US customs in DUB before boarding. The flight itself was smooth and comfortable.
On landing in BOS we de boarded quite quickly at Terminal E. It was here that I noticed the massive benefit of clearing customs in DUB as I was treated as a domestic arrival, negating the required wait for passport control, customs and homeland security and proceeded directly to the baggage hall which is almost kerbside. Within minutes the bags where off loaded and I was well on my way downtown a good 15 minutes before we had been scheduled to land.
Having run into Hurricane Irene and felt the force of her wrath whilst in the Boston area I had some concern regarding my return flight as only the previous day my flight to JFK had been cancelled by another carrier. I need not have been concerned as EI kept me well up speed on developments by SMS and Email.
When August 31st arrived I headed back to Logan to checkin for my EI136 to DUB. The Aer Lingus desks where quite busy but there seemed to be an abundance of staff on hand to cope. The wait times where some what extended, but this was to be expected given that for the previous two days the twice daily services from BOS to DUB had been cancelled, in essence there was the equivalent of 5 flights checking in at one time. The Q none the less moved relatively quickly. Once my bags where gone I headed outside for a final nicotene fix before heading airside.
The TSA staff in BOS are to be commended, depsite dealing with tired, delayed, frustrated passengers (and me!) they executed there jobs in such a way that made everyone feel a little better. They where friendly, curtious and professional.
In the airside secition of Logan Terminal E there is the usual airport offering of cafés, bars, and eateries. Everything from a pub with full meals to Sbarro and S.bucks, in essence something for everyone.
Boarding of EI-DUZ was again on time, swift and efficient. The crew friendly and warm as ever. Its true what they say, when an Irish person boards and EI plane, no matter where in the world you are, you instantly feel like your home again. A very welcome feeling when you’ve been hiding from a hurricane!
There was a delay of about an hour at this point due to a technical problem which was quickly resolved and the long wait time for pushback clearence due to the increased volume of traffic and back log of flights passing through Logan.
The cabin crew despensed their duties in a friendly and professional way, having made a PA before hand advising anyone who wishes to sleep but also make duty free purchases or receive their meal to leave their tray table down with the boarding card stub visable to indicate to the crew of their wishes, otherwise the crew will pass them by and allow them to rest.
As the flight home essentially followed the trailing edge of Hurricane Irene accross the Atlantic and within a few hundred miles of the growing Hurricane Katia it did from time to time become quite turbulant. However having been previously warned by the captain to expect this no one was taken by surprise by the sudden drops and bouncy castle like motions of our Airbus.
The meal service was performed quickly and quietly with smiles and thank yous from the cabin crew. The aircraft was completely full with some passengers traveling in spare crew jump seats in order to relieve some of the pressure in clearing two days worth of stranded passengers. This this not detract from the professional level of service from the crew.
Despite the departing delay touch down in DUB was only 15 behind the scheduled time, for once we thank Hurricane Irene for her assitance, and passengers with connecting flights from DUB where off loaded first to ensure they where in plenty of time for their connections.
Shortly after we where all off and making our way to GNIB passport control. This was also quick with no Q as was baggage reclaim. I was landside and into a cab with in 30 minutes of landing.
Overall Aer Lingus have done their usual fantastic job and maintained their excellent levels of customer service that you expect from an airline even in the face of adversity.
Fanstic experience that I hope I will be lucky enough to repeat soon.9th September 2011 at 20:12 #544938
if you have booked online, you can select your seat, check in online and print boarding passes up to 30 days prior to departure.
The beauty of this is that if you have hand baggage, go directly to security. If you have checked in baggage, the queue for bag drop off is far shorter than the main check in queue.
That bit of extra time might be enough to try the new Gold Circle lounge, it really is very good.
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