bmi A320-200 (all economy) Economy (short haul)

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  PatJordan 16 Apr 2012
at 01:27
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  • Anonymous

    PatJordan
    Participant

    DUB-LHR-DUB (Economy Flexible)

    Booking and check in

    Given the current uncertainty surrounding the future of the BMI Diamond Club, I decided to use some of my destination miles to get a reward flight. There was availability for the dates I wanted, and little trouble in making the booking. The total charges and fees were 63euro.

    I later tried to select my seats on line, which is a feature of economy flexible tickets, however this does not apply to redemption bookings, Not a problem, a quick call to the BMI call centre and my preferred seats were allocated. Unusually, the day following this call, I received an email from BMI requesting feedback on my experience of their call centre.

    On line check-in is available 24 hours prior to travel, and I used this facility to print my boarding passes the day before I travelled.

    I arrived at Dublin Terminal 1 just after 8.30am for my 10.50am flight and proceeded straight to security. Since Aer Lingus and transatlantic operators have migrated to Terminal 2, there is a lower number of passengers using T1 which makes it far less crowded than heretofore. BMI economy flexible includes use of the fast track security lane which is useful. I was airside within a minute.

    There is a good range of shops and cafes, and I was pleasantly surprised to find cooked breakfast available from 5euro, pretty good value.

    Lounge (Dublin)

    The Diamond Club lounge is adjacent to the main shopping area and is furnished in the usual BMI manner: bright colour sofas with a business section for those who wish to work. Restrooms are outside the lounge and are shared with the Dublin Airport Authority lounge.

    There is a limited range of food: biscuits, sweets and packaged pastries. The coffee is good and strong (perfect for early morning!) with a good range of soft and alcoholic drinks.

    The lounge is a short walk from gates 301-313 (the old B pier) and makes boarding quite easy.

    Boarding

    Boarding is through an airbridge and rearmost rows are called first to minimize delays. Diamond Club Gold holders and economy flexible passengers are invited to board at their leisure. Being in row 1 my hand baggage has to be stowed in the overhead bins, so if the flight is busy it can be worthwhile boarding early to ensure space is available close to the seat.

    A new addition was the provision of a separate entrance to the boarding desks for Gold/Silver Diamond club members and those traveling in flexible economy

    The Airbus 319 was immaculate and cabin crew warmly welcomed passengers.
    The aircraft was configured in full economy mode, all seats 3-3. The first rows were reserved for economy flexible. Seats were in the newer BMI brown colour, and very attractive.

    Inflight

    The Captain gave a brief welcome and details of flight times, followed by a safety announcement from the cabin crew. We pushed back shortly after 10.45am and were airborne shortly afterwards.

    Economy flexible passengers are offered a choice of snacks (crisps, muffin, chocolate bar and drink of choice. The usual hot wrap or cake slice would have been nice, and it is a reminder of how good the old business class service used to be.

    Return Check in and security

    Having my boarding pass already printed, I went directly to security at Heathrow T1 and was processed very quickly. I was airside within 5 minutes.

    Lounge Heathrow

    Being Diamond Club Gold, I visited the Star Alliance lounge. Once BMI leave the Star Alliance this facility will no longer be available so it was with some degree of sadness that I visite.d today

    This is a large, very comfortable facility with on site restrooms and excellent showers.

    The food consists of soup, rolls,salads, sandwiches, cold meats, hot savoury snacks, rice crackers. Additionally, there was a chicken dish with rice. I had a very pleasant lunch, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    As this lounge is quite a long walk from the BMI boarding area, I went to the BMI lounge shortly before boarding. The Great British Lounge is very big with plenty of natural light. Staff are very welcoming and tend to greet passengers by name, which is always a nice touch .

    The food is soup, rolls, cheese, crackers, biscuits, crisps, nuts, good quality cheesecake and gateaux. I particularly like the jars of old fashioned sweets, always brings me back to my childhood!! There is a full bar service.

    Boarding

    Dublin bound flight boarded at gate 8b, almost beside the lounge.

    Boarding was by rows, and was quite efficient, with the usual invitation to flexible economy and elite diamond club members to board at their leisure. The Cabin crew were very welcoming indeed.

    The Airbus 320 was configured in full economy mode, identical to the outbound aircraft.

    After a welcome announcement from the Captain, the cabin crew gave a safety demonstration.We pushed back shortly after our scheduled time of 7.35pm, and were airborne shortly afterwards.

    I was offered a hot wrap which was quite tasty, as was the merlot I had with it.

    Conclusion

    A very acceptable return flight. Good service, punctuality and pleasant lounges make BMI a very pleasure to travel with.

    I chatted with the flight supervisor on the homeward flight and complimented her and all her colleagues (in cabin crew and lounges) for remaining so positive during what has been a time of great uncertainty for them. She said that even though IAG have indicated that frontline jobs are mostly secure, there was a feeling of sadness amongst the staff at the demise of the “BMI family”, so close were the working relationships forged over the years. Only time will tell what the future holds for BMI staff and customers.

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