CityJet DUB-LCYBack to Forum
Anonymous24 Jun 2016
Booking & Check in
Dublin – London City is a route we hadn’t flown for some time, however as it was close to relatives we planned to visit it was far more convenient than either LGW or LHR.
Cityjet’s schedule served our needs, and we made our booking on-line. The website is quite easy to navigate, and making the booking was simplicity itself. On foot of a number of issues which had arisen on our last Cityjet flight, we were offered a complimentary return flight, which equates to 50% discount. This is service recovery at it’s best, and to the airline’s credit, when I made contact to arrange the discount, it was a pleasure to deal with their team.
On line check in is available 30 hours before departure, and I selected seats, checked in online and printed boarding passes. The three rearmost rows of Cityjet’s Avro fleet are configured 2-3: the pairs of seats are ideal for couples travelling together. There is the added bonus of extra elbow room too.
We arrived at Dublin Airport @ 06.30am for the 08.40am departure. This is earlier than normally required for Cityjet, but as there were a large number of flights departing for the Euro matches, I decided to err on the side of caution and allow plenty of time.
This proved to be a good idea as there were large numbers of fans waiting to clear security. Cityjet had a number of check-in desks, and a dedicated bag drop desk, which we approached. We were greeted by a very friendly agent, who processed our luggage swiftly. Noticing that we had printed on-line check-in boarding passes, she mentioned that the airport systems sometimes could not read the barcodes, and printed new boarding passes to avoid any delays going through the airport. What a nice gesture, and an example of excellent customer service.
I had booked Fast Track security (5.95euro each), which was money well spent: we were airside within a couple of minutes. Dublin Airport security staff were very friendly and efficient.
The Dublin Airport Authority lounge is very close to the Fast Track security lane, which is convenient.
This lounge is the result of the former BMI Diamond Club and original DAA lounges being merged. It is a very large area, with lots of natural light. However, the views are very restricted. There is a range of Irish, European and USA newspapers, with a small range of magazines. There are many seats, and a business centre for those needing to work. There is complimentary wi-fi for all lounge guests.
There is a limited range of food on offer:
• Fresh fruit
There is a full bar service.
Restrooms are in the lounge, beside the entrance.
The DAA lounge is open to all passengers who do not have access on foot of FFP programmes for 20euro. As the airport was very busy airside with football fans (albeit very well behaved and in great spirits) having a quiet spot to relax was very welcome indeed.
Our flight was boarding from gate 211, formerly known as “A” Pier, and is a few minutes walk from the lounge.
The aircraft was parked close to the gate, and boarded via stairs through front and rear doors.
CityJet operate a fleet of Avro RJ 85 Jets (formerly known as BAE 146). The cabin was impressive with navy leather seats and dark blue carpets. Cabin crew were at both doors, and welcomed passengers on board.
The aircraft is configured 3-3 with the exception of rows 1 &2 (business class) and the rearmost rows which are 2-3 (to take account of the narrower body at the rear). There is good pitch and legroom, but the seats are quite narrow. For this reason, we felt the pair of rear seats the best choice.
Because the wings are attached to the top of the fuselage, the bins above rows 6-9 are shallower than others. Depending on the size of cabin bags, this is something to be aware of.
After announcements for route information, safety, we were airborne quickly, and settled into our seats.
There is a complimentary tea/coffee service with juice/water and a cereal bar. The coffee was strong and better than that served in many cafes, and the cereal bar of good quality too.
We landed in London City Airport on time. There is a very short taxi to arrivals, and using both doors, passengers deplaned quickly. The baggage hall is literally a few feet from the aircraft. Surprisingly it took almost 15 minutes for bags to reach the belt. From there, it is a very short walk to the exit which leads directly to the Docklands Light Railway.
London City Airport Check in and security
Visiting Cityjet’s website 30 hours pre-flight, I was delighted to find seats 16A & 16C available. I selected these seats, and printed our boarding passes, which came with a barcode (for use at bag drop off and to access security).
We arrived at London City at 5.30pm for our 7.30pm flight. This time there was an internet bag drop off facility. Staff are close by to assist, and it was a very efficient system: place bag on the machine, scan barcode, affix the printed label on the case, and put it on the belt. Swift, painless and efficient.
The security area is quite small compared to other London airports, and was very busy. During our last visit, we experienced a number of problems, and as a goodwill gesture, LCY management offered us fast track security. Kerry Anderson met us and guided us through security, which took only a few minutes.
However we were totally unprepared for what we next encountered……an exact replication of our last experience at LCY: A very crowded departure area. I initially put this down to it being a busy period, but as time progressed it became apparent that the crowding was due to a large number of delayed flights; just like our last visit.
Despite being escorted by Kerry, it took some time to find two spare seats. Once seated, we were offered complimentary tea/coffee, which we gratefully accepted.
The area was uncomfortably warm, and it was at least half an hour before the air conditioning began to cool the departures area.
There is a limited selection of places to eat airside, and each had lengthy queues. We settled for a chicken salad (in a plastic box), bacon roll (in a plastic bag) and two bottled drinks….this average fare cost almost £20: a premium price for average food.
Our flight was scheduled for departure @ 7.25pm, and as this time approached we saw that it joined the list of delayed flights, with a revised departure time of 7.45pm.
Flight information screens indicated that our flight was ready for boarding, and we joined a number of other passengers and proceeded towards our gate. This resulted in a queue snaking down a flight of stairs leading to a room beside the runway where we were corralled for a further 15 minutes while the aircraft was being prepared.
The aircraft was identical to that used on the outbound flight. Once boarding began, it was swiftly completed due to both front and rear doors being used. There was ample storage space overhead, despite the flight being almost completely full. Once boarding was complete, the Captain welcomed passengers, apologised for the delayed departure.
There was a safety briefing from the cabin crew, and after a short taxi, we were airborne.
In flight service
As well as tea/coffee and water/juice, there was a choice of Red or White wine with a savoury or sweet snack. I opted for a red wine, which was quite pleasant. The cabin crew were friendly and efficient at serving and clearing rubbish. Our landing was smooth, and we parked beside the old “A” Pier.
Baggage was swiftly delivered, and we were landside with minimal delay. Interestingly, Dublin Airport T1 now has automated passport control machines which read new biometric passports. My wife’s worked perfectly, mine did not, and I needed to present myself to an official who checked my passport. A fellow passenger remarked to us that these machines fail intermittently, possibly the new technology needs some time to bed it.
London City Airport has a great arrivals experience, with excellent transport connections to Central London: from aircraft to DLR is barely a couple of minutes walk. I was less impressed with the departure experience, which on two separate occasions was underwhelming.
Cityjet’s product is excellent. Checked baggage is complimentary, and the inflight service is very good indeed. Ground staff were equally impressive.24 Jun 2016