bmi A320-200 (config 2) Economy (short haul)

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  PatJordan 16 Nov 2011
at 21:50
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  • Anonymous

    PatJordan
    Participant

    DUB-LHR-DUB Economy Flexible

    Booking and check in

    http://www.flybmi.com is an easy site to navigate and selecting flights for my preferred dates and times was no trouble. BMI do not charge for checked in baggage which gives them an edge over their rivals on this route.

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

    I arrived at Dublin Terminal 1 just after 7.00am for my 8.40am 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. One of the benefits of BMI economy flexible is use of the fast track security queue. The entrance leads directly to the xray machines and I was airside within a minute: the main queue was not terribly long, but the ability to by pass it is a valuable benefit for those in a hurry.

    There is a good range of shops and cafes, most of which open around 5.00am to cater for the early birds.

    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 section for those who wish to work.

    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 range of newspapers and magazines is particularly good.

    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.The gate was quite close the lounge, so I didn’t have far to walk. Servisair are BMI’s handling agents and are quite efficient. Boarding was delayed by 15 minutes due to late arrival of the incoming aircraft.

    As I got to the gate, I was told that due to an aircraft change, my seat had been changed (from 1D to 4D). I had selected row 1 as I prefer not to have a seatback too close to my face. However, I was pleased to find that the new aircraft was a two class configuration.

    The Airbus 320 was immaculate and cabin crew warmly welcomed passengers. This particular aircraft is used for mid-haul flights, and the first 8 rows are configured 2-2 and are large business class type which partly recline but perfectly comfortable for the short flight. There is ample storage for books, etc. The seat is upholstered in brown leather, with carpets a grey pattern. The seat pitch is circa 52inches, so space was not an issue. I noticed that the division between the economy and business cabins was decorated in a black flock effect: very nice touch.

    .

    Inflight

    The Captain gave a brief welcome and details of flight times, followed by a safety announcement from the cabin crew. We pushed back at 08.55 and were airborne quickly.

    Economy Flexible passengers are offered a hot wrap (mine was scrambled egg, sausage & bacon), a muffin and drink.

    We landed in Heathrow at 10.10am after some minutes in a holding pattern, but this was barely past the scheduled time so not an issue. 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 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. This is a large very comfortable facility with on site restrooms and excellent showers.

    Unusually on this occasion I had an issue with a partially blocked drain resulting in the cubicle floor awash with water. I spoke to a manager (Anna) who was most helpful. Her approach was whether there was anything she could do for me? I asked if it would be possible to visit the First Class area and this was no problem whatever. Other service providers would do well to emulate this approach.

    The First Class area is very much quieter than Business Class with more comfortable seating. PCs with complimentary internet access are provided along with printing and fax facilities.

    The food consists of salads, sandwiches, cold meats, hot savoury snacks, rice crackers. A full bar service is available including Pannier champagne, a couple of glasses I enjoyed whilst reading the latest Lee Child thriller.

    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.

    The food is 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

    Unusually the Dublin bound flight boarded at gate 8, almost beside the lounge. Heretofore it used to be gates 72-78, adjacent to the Aer Lingus departure area and quite a walk from the lounge.

    Boarding was by rows, and was quite efficient.

    This Airbus 320 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. As I had chosen row 1, the bulkhead ensured that I didn’t have a seatback close to my face.

    After a welcome announcement from the Captain, the cabin crew gave a safety demonstration.

    We pushed back shortly after our scheduled time of 6.40pm, and were airborne shortly afterwards.

    I was offered a steak and ale wrap which was quite tasty, along with Pringles and a cold lager which was most welcome.

    Conclusion

    A very impressive return flight. Excellent service, punctuality and pleasant lounges make BMI a very pleasant airline to travel on the Dublin-London route. The unexpected visit to the Star Alliance First Class lounge was a much appreciated and unexpected surprise and was thoroughly enjoyable.

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