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Anonymous2 Jan 2016
DUB –GLA- DUB (Economy )
Booking and check in
Aer Lingus’ new website is very user friendly and surprisingly easy to navigate.
Selecting flights for my trip to Glasgow was no trouble. Three fare types are currently available: Fully flexible, Plus and Low. For this particular trip, I chose the Plus fare option, which includes complimentary seat selection. I chose row 14 which is close to the rear door (which is used for boarding).
This route is operated by Stobart Air on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional.
As my flight was within the 30 day window, I used the advance check in option and it is now possible to print both outbound and return boarding passes in a single visit to “manage booking”. A small detail, to be sure, but a further example of Aer Lingus’ commitment to improving the customer experience. My boarding passes were clearly marked “Priority Boarding”.
I arrived at Dublin Airport Terminal 2 @ 0730am for my 10.05amflight. This being the last weekend before Christmas, I heeded the advice of Dublin Airport Authority to allow plenty of time for the additional passenger traffic……and found the departure area very quiet. As with the majority of my flights, this was HBO, and I proceeded to security.
One of my favourite benefits of Gold Circle membership is the use of the Fast track security lane. Security staff are very pleasant, and at the same time very thorough. There was only one other passenger in front of me, and I was airside within a couple of minutes.
The Gold Circle Lounge in Dublin T2 is a large two storey area with large windows giving good views of the apron
Lounge staff are very welcoming and friendly.
There is a water feature which extends over two floors, and is impressive. Upstairs is a quiet area, where shower suites are located.
Newspapers and magazines are available as well as internet access for those wishing to work. There are numerous power points for charging mobile devices.
Short Haul flights are not called from the lounge, but there are several flight information screens. My flight was due to depart from gate 335 which is a short walk from the lounge.
The food on offer consisted of:
• Fresh fruit
• Breads, scones, pastries
• Cheese, crackers
• Savoury nibbles
Aer Lingus now display allergen information beside all food products.
Full marks to Aer Lingus for providing high quality china, glassware and cutlery in the lounge.
A full range of soft & alcoholic drinks is available along with fruit juices, tea and coffee.
I was delighted to see the return of small bottles of sparkling water to the lounge. I always find that once the bottle is opened, the sparkle quickly disappears.
The flight information screens advised “go to gate” shortly after 9.30am. Fortified by an excellent espresso, a pastry (or even two!) we made my way to the gate 335, which is close to the lounge. It is one of a small cluster of departure gates sandwiched between Terminals 1 & 2, and for passengers not familiar with the location, easy to pass by.
Boarding & In Flight
Boarding had begun, and being a very light load was completed quickly. As passengers for Aer Lingus Regional flights are bussed to remote parking stands, there is little point is calling priority boarding.
Cabin crew warmly welcomed passengers on board and directed us to our allocated seats.
Aer Lingus Regional operate a fleet of ATR72 aircraft.This particular example was immaculate. The seats are configured 2-2, and upholstered in navy leather. At first glance, they appear very thin but are well padded and quite comfortable for a short flight. The seats are non-reclining, but this is not an issue, and there is a generous seat pitch, so there is never the problem of a seatback being too close to one’s face.
The Captain introduced himself, gave details of flight times, routing and wished us a pleasant flight. Cabin crew then gave a safety demonstration. We pushed back a few minutes early, and were airborne (20,000) feet was soon reached, and cabin crew then began inflight service. There is a small range of snacks for purchase, with a good range of hot, soft and alcoholic beverages.
Arrivals & Baggage collection
We landed on time at Glasgow, and were on stand quickly. We were bussed to the UK & Ireland arrivals area, and after a short walk, I was landside.
Return From Glasgow.
There is a fast track security lane in GLA, however I was unsure whether Gold Circle membership granted me access. I scanned my Boarding card as the electronic gate, and it opened for me. The security staff are efficient and very pleasant. There was a small number of passengers in front of me, and I was airside within a few minutes.
As with many airports, the route to the departure area takes one through a duty free shop. I bought a bottle of fragrance for Mrs. J, and made my way to the lounge.
There is a very good range of shops and restaurants in GLA, with something for almost all tastes.
Aer Lingus use the Upper Deck lounge in GLA. This is a large area with huge windows giving good views of the apron. There is a childrens’ play area and restrooms within the lounge. There is a seating area with tables near food counter, and a range of comfortable seats to choose from.
There is a reasonable range of magazines and newspapers. I didn’t have a mobile device with me, so cannot comment about wi-fi.
Staff were very friendly, made me very welcome. There is a good range of snacks, biscuits, cheese, crackers, soup, breads, and festive mince pies & custard. There is also a pasta dish alongside the soup tureen. Soft drinks, tea, coffee are self service, whilst the bar is attended.
After a decent lunch of soup, pasta (and mince pie!!), I sat in a comfy seat and had a couple of glasses of merlot which I enjoyed while reading my book.
It is a 10 minute walk to the Aer Lingus boarding gate, which took me past the BA lounge (formerly bmi, where I spent many a pleasant hour in times past). Boarding was about to begin, and Gold Circle members were invited to board first. It was a short walk to the aircraft, and I settled into my seat.
This aircraft was identical to that on the outbound flight, and the cabin crew equally welcoming.
Once airborne, I sampled a cup of coffee from Aer Lingus’ new supplier. It was hot, strong, and very good indeed.
This was a short, but very pleasant flight. Aer Lingus Regional operate a fleet of compact but perfectly comfortable aircraft. I was quite pleased with the Upper Deck lounge: better than expected catering and a very pleasant place to relax. If only Aer Lingus passengers could use the BA lounge, it would avoid the lengthy walk to departure gates.2 Jan 2016