DUB-MAN-DUB Economy

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This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  PatJordan 30 Aug 2017
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  • PatJordan
    Participant

    DUB -MAN-DUB (Economy)

    Booking and check in
    Using the Aer Lingus website to book my trip to Manchester was no trouble, even for a technophobe like me.
    There are three fare types to chose from: Fully flexible, Lowest and Plus. The Plus fare includes one free checked bag, seat selection (including premium seats) and earns Aer Club points. Plus fares (on UK routes) currently cost an additional 35euro over the Lowest fare: this was the option I chose, mainly because (complimentary) seat selection is available at time of booking. This includes the premium seats, and those with extra legroom. An added bonus of these particular seats is Priority Boarding, irrespective of Aer Club membership tier.

    This route is operated jointly by Aer Lingus Regional and Aer Lingus. Their flights can be distinguished by flight numbers: Aer Lingus Regional use four digits, whereas all Aer Lingus flights have three digits.

    Taking advantage of the advance check in option, I printed my boarding passes (for outbound and return flights) within minutes of booking: a very useful facility.

    I arrived at Dublin Airport Terminal 2 @ 12 noon for EI 208, scheduled departure time of 2.30pm.
    My Aer Club membership allows access to the Fast track security lane. Security staff in Dublin Airport are very pleasant, and at the same time very thorough. I was airside within a few minutes, and had a browse around a couple of shops before going to the lounge.

    Lounge (Dublin)

    Aer Lingus’ Aer Club 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 this warm attitude extends to the staff who restock supplies and clear tables.

    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.

    Full marks to Aer Lingus for providing high quality china, glassware and cutlery in the lounge: much more pleasant to use than disposables.

    BOARDING:

    When I arrived at the gate boarding had already commenced. The Priority Boarding lane is clearly marked, and is
    We were warmly welcomed by the cabin crew, and the Airbus A320 was very well presented as always.
    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 after a short taxi. Cruising altitude (20,000) feet was soon reached, and cabin crew then began inflight service.

    Aer Lingus recently introduced an improved range of food and drink, developed in conjunction with Irish celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna. On this particular flight, I didn’t avail of the service, but on previous occasions it has been very enjoyable and good value.
    Landing in Manchester was on schedule and were on stand shortly after. Passengers are bussed to the UK & Ireland arrivals hall.

    DEPARTURE MANCHESTER T1

    On foot of previous experience, I arrived at Manchester T1 just before 6.00pm for my 8.55pm flight, and made my way directly to fast track security. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that despite it being quite busy, I was airside within 12 minutes. The last time I flew from Manchester T1, it took 90 minutes. Thankfully whatever issues caused that dreadful experience were resolved.

    Lounge (Manchester)

    Aer Lingus use Aspire Lounge (formerly known as “the Wilmslow”), and has almost always been a pleasant area to relax while awaiting one’s flight. My last visit to this lounge was a very poor experience, and I was interested to see whether or not standards had improved since then. At the time, I raised my concerns with Swissport, and was very impressed with their response: a personal reply from the Director of Marketing, Mr Nick Ames. This is an excellent example of service recovery which other service providers could do well to follow.

    I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist, and alongside her desk was a good selection of magazines and newspapers.

    The lounge has large windows which combined with skylights, make the area very bright and provide great views of the apron.

    A full range of soft drinks is available along with decent coffee. Sadly all the soft drinks and mixers are now served from large plastic bottles. Whilst I understand the need to reduce their cost base, sparkling water soon loses its “fizz” once a bottle is opened. This leads to multiple bottles being opened to meet the need of discerning passengers. KLM have a good compromise in their Crown Room in Schipol: a soda fountain. As well as being an eye catching feature, it guarantees drinks with a real sparkle every time, and is both cost effective and kinder to the environment than disposing of several large plastic bottles.

    There was a good range of food available:
    • Pasta
    • Salad bar with cold cuts (and a particularly nice Coronation Chicken!)
    • Hot soup with bread rolls
    • Cakes
    • Biscuits
    • Nuts
    • Savoury nibbles
    • Cheese & crackers
    • Fruit
    The food was regularly replenished and was very enjoyable.
    This was a very pleasant lounge visit, and on principle, I contacted Swissports’ Nick Ames to let him know this.

    Boarding

    This was an Aer Lingus Regional Fight and the ATR is boarded from the rear door. I was seated in Row 1D. I like the extra space of a bulkhead seat, something I am quite happy to pay extra for.

    Inflight

    The Captain gave a brief welcome and details of flight times, followed by a safety announcement from the cabin crew. We pushed back a few minutes early and were airborne quickly.
    There is a limited menu on Aer Lingus Regional flights, however a beer was all I wanted, and there was enough to meet my needs……just the one this time!
    I was a little puzzled that there was apparently no table attached to the seat, but the cabin crew took a neat little thingy from the storage area which fitted into the side of my seat to make a good solid table.

    We landed on time and had a short taxi to the stand, which was a short walk from passport control.

    Conclusion

    A very impressive in-flight experience. Very good punctuality, welcoming, professional crew members.

    Aer Lingus have struck a good match between a low cost carrier model and offering a consistently good level of service in my experience. Given the high numbers on board, it seems that the travelling public agree.
    I was pleased to find great improvement in the Security and Lounge experiences at Manchester T1.

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