Aer Lingus Business Class DUB-MCOBack to Forum
DUB-MCO (Business Class)
This was our long awaited holiday, and where better to visit than Orlando, with the possibility of calling to see Mr. M. Mouse and friends!
Aer Lingus offer an excellent transatlantic service, and once we had chosen our preferred dates, booking our flights on their website was a simple process, even for a technophobe like yours truly. Dublin Airport offers US Customs Pre-clearance which is a great time saver when landing in the USA.
We booked the Dublin Airport surface car park for our trip. It is located almost beside the Aer Lingus check in area at Terminal 2, and when arriving is very easy to access from the arrivals hall: very important when arriving from a lengthy transatlantic flight tired out and laden with luggage. The fee for 17 days was euro 248 which I felt worthwhile for this convenience.
Our flight was scheduled to depart at 3.30pm, and we arrived at Dublin Airport at 11am, so as to allow plenty of time to complete the various procedures before flying. Having pre-booked the car park, it was simply a matter of driving to the barrier which opened automatically on recognising my car registration number.
Aer Lingus Aer Club members & Business Class passengers have a separate check-in area, surrounded by frosted glass allowing some privacy which might please some passengers, but certainly not those of the DYKWIA club! There were a couple of parties in front of us, but it took only a few minutes to get to the counter and our bags were swiftly checked in by very friendly staff.
We proceeded to security. Business Class passengers and Aer Club members use the Fast Track security lane, and as usual, the process took only a few minutes. The security staff in Dublin Airport are very thorough and yet very friendly at the same time thus making the security check stress free.
After a browse around the shopping area, we made our way to the US Pre-area . It was quite busy, but a dedicated lane for Business Class passengers (for secondary security screening) took us to the head of a large queue for the Pre-Clearance where we waited for over half an hour before being dealt with. There appeared to be a number of TransAtlantic flights departing around that time as DAA staff made several calls for passengers on flights with imminent departures to make themselves known. There was a smaller number of people behind us, so maybe arriving a little later would have meant a shorter wait time.
51st & GREEN LOUNGE
After Pre-Clearance Aer Lingus Business Class passengers are invited to use the 51st & Green Lounge. Technically this is on US soil, and is a very pleasant spot to wait for a flight. The lounge is very close to boarding gates, and with unparalled views of the apron. There is a wide variety of seat types with plenty of charging points for the many devices one carries today. There was a good selection of newspapers and magazines available.
The food on offer is a selection of salads, cheeses, crackers, biscuits, soup, rolls and a hot dish (on this occasion a beef stew). We sampled mushroom soup which was nice, and the beef stew which was a little bland.
Alcoholic drinks, tea & coffee are served from a tended bar. Included in the complimentary drinks are Prosecco and a selection of cocktails. In keeping with the holiday mode, we sampled a glass of prosecco and a (very enjoyable) Cosmopolitan, which hit the spot nicely! I also sampled an espresso which was very good too. The bar staff were very friendly and efficient.
It had been two years since we last visited the 51st & Green lounge. At that time it was newly opened and had a number of teething issues. This time round, our experience was of a high quality Lounge with excellent facilities and service. It is open to all passengers for a very reasonable 35euro if pre-booked on line, or 39euro at reception.
One of the many information screens showed our flight as boarding, and we made the short journey to the gate. We were warmly welcomed on board the Airbus A330, and shown to our seats (4H & 4K). There is ample stowage space overhead and the seat has a number of storage spaces for books, shoes, etc.
Shortly after boarding we were offered a pre-flight drink, and continuing in holiday mode, we both chose a glass of champagne.
After the usual safety briefing and flight information, including a warning of some turbulence, from the Captain, we taxied and were on our way.
This is where Aer Lingus Business Class really shines: the seats, in-flight entertainment, high quality catering are beyond reproach. The service from the cabin crew is equally good: pleasant, efficient and very professional.
Shortly after reaching cruising speed, the Cabin crew began drinks service. There is a good choice of drinks:
• Jameson 12yo
• Scotch Teachers
• Jack Daniels
• Bombay Sapphire Gin
• CDC Gin
• Tanquery Gin
• Gordons Gin
• Smirnoff Vodka
• Hennessy Brandy
• Magners Cider
• Barbera Appassimento (from San Silvestro in Piedmont Italy)
• Tannat Reserve RPF (from Bodega Pisano in Progreso,Uruguay)
• Blind River Sauvignon Blanc (from Awatere Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand)
• Riesling Reserve (from Gustave Lorentz in Alsace, France)
• Jean Pernet Tradition Brut NV Champagne, France
We opted for champagne (again!) which was served with a selection of canapes.
This was the Lunch menu:
• Feta and yellow tomato salad
• Fishcake, sweet chilli noodles, selection of roast vegetables.
• Roast Parmesan chicken, steamed spinach, baby potatoes and cream sauce.
• Medallions of beef fillet, champ potatoes and rich gravy.
• Raspberry and white chocolate cheese cake
• Cheeseboard: Cashel Blue and Dubliner, plum and apple chutney.
The meals are served on quality chinaware with crisp linen, and are individually prepared by the cabin crew. The meal service was first class, and our glasses topped up regularly during the meal.
My wife chose the beef: this was very tender, flavoursome and very well presented. I opted for the fish cake. This too was very enjoyable, with the fusion of fishcake and chilli noodles working very well indeed.
After our repast, it was time to take advantage of the in-flight entertainment, and some reading. There was a good choice of movies, and I was impressed with the choice of music available.
It was at this point that the turbulence (predicted by the Captain) began to manifest itself, and continued for a couple of hours. It was quite unpleasant, and at one point the Captain climbed an additional 5,000 feet to minimise the effects. During this time, the cabin crew made a point of providing reassurance to some passengers who were a little disconcerted by the turbulence. This was very much appreciated, and a further example of Aer Lingus’ commitment to customer service.
About 90 minutes before landing, Afternoon Tea was served. This again was served on crisp white linen with elegant crockery, and comprised sandwiches, scones with clotted cream & jam, and excellent tea & coffee.
Landing in Orlando, there was a lengthy taxi to our stand. On deplaning, there was a short walk to the shuttle train leading to the main terminal building. Having already cleared US Customs, we went to the baggage hall where our bags were delivered after a very short time.
This was a very enjoyable flight. From the moment we checked in to collecting our bags, every aspect of Aer Lingus service delivery was faultless, making our journey very enjoyable and represents excellent value for money.
Dublin Airport Terminal 2 surface car park is particularly convenient for Aer Lingus passengers, both departing and arriving. The 51st & Green Lounge is a very pleasant lounge and well worth a visit.6 Dec 2018
Pat, how is the new terminal getting on at MCO. I haven’t been there for over a year, but imagine it must be well underway?
Also, if you are using the south exit from the airport, are the roads in a mess / being modified…. ?
Great report….7 Dec 2018
DKB, many thanks for your kind words.
Martyn, leaving MCO I followed the signs for INternational Drive, but not sure which exit that was! There was no road work there, unlike Sand Lake Road near International Drive and also JohnYoung Parkway.
SJNI1961 there are cheaper car parks in Dublin Airport, but these are reached by a shuttle bus. I was happy to pay a premium to avoid humping several cases onto and off a shuttle bus.7 Dec 2018
Excellent review as ever and great to hear you enjoyed you flight.
I flew DUB-YYZ a year or two back and was equally impressed by the service on board.7 Dec 2018