Dublin-LGW Aer Lingus

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  SwissExPat 19 Nov 2017
at 23:29
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  • PatJordan
    Participant

    DUB – LGW – DUB (Economy )

    Booking and check in

    http://www.aerlingus.com is a very user friendly website, and selecting a flight for our preferred dates for our trip to LGW was no trouble. Three fare types are currently available: Fully flexible, Plus and Low. For this particular trip, we chose the Plus option, which includes complimentary seat selection (even premium seats!), and Aer Club points. There is another benefit of the Plus fare which we became aware of later.

    Because I had selected seats during the booking process, I was able to print our boarding cards 30 days pre-flight. Call me old fashioned, I prefer the paper boarding pass to the virtual one downloaded onto a mobile device.

    We arrived at Dublin Airport at 7am for our 8.45am flight. Being a Sunday morning, it was very quiet, and we deposited our bags at the Aer Lingus Aer Club check in area within a minute or two. There is an array of self service bag drop machines available for use, but during quiet times using the Aer Club desk is quicker.

    One of my favourite benefits of Aer Club membership is the use of the Fast track security lane. Dublin Airport Security staff are very efficient, very thorough yet very pleasant. We were airside within a couple of minutes.

    There is a good range of shops and restaurants airside, and we had a browse before making our way to the Aer Lingus Lounge.

    Lounge (Dublin)

    Aer Lingus’ Lounge in Dublin T2 is a large two storey area with large windows giving good views of the apron. I have written many times about this lounge, so suffice it to say that it was very quiet with only a handful of other leisure travelers there at that time. We had a very acceptable continental breakfast, and this fortified us for our walk to boarding gate 301 (formerly known as the “B” pier).

    Boarding & In Flight

    Boarding began shortly after we arrived at the gate. The “priority boarding” lane was clearly marked, and we were soon on board.

    Cabin crew warmly welcomed passengers on board

    All Aer Lingus short haul aircraft are economy class and seats are configured 3-3. The Airbus was immaculate, with seats upholstered dark blue leather with adjustable headrests.

    The Captain introduced himself, welcomed passengers on board, and outlined our and expected flight time. This was followed by a safety briefing. We departed a few minutes early, thus giving an earlier than expected arrival time.

    Once we had reached cruising altitude the inflight service began. Unfortunately pre-order meals are no longer available, but there is still a menu of drinks, food and snacks available to purchase. We had a toasted cheese & ham sandwich which was pretty good, and two small bottles of Prosecco which were even nicer!

    Arrivals

    We landed ahead of time at Gatwick, and advised that due to new regulations, we would be bussed to the terminal building.

    We deplaned via an airbridge, descended a few flights of stairs, and were guided outside to two buses. Surely it would have been simpler (and quicker) to wheel stairs to the front and rear doors to transfer passengers to the waiting buses?

    The arrivals area is less than welcoming, and nowhere near as pleasant as Gatwick’s competitor, London Heathrow. Perhaps LGW Management might consider improving the arrival experience for Dublin passengers. A wait of almost 15 minutes before baggage began to descend on to the belt was somewhat annoying.

    Many of those waiting for luggage needed to use the toilet facilities, however, the provision of facilities for only two (in both ladies & gents) is far from ideal.

    The Arrivals experience at Gatwick is not the most welcoming, and it is sad to note that we flew into Gatwick roughly a year ago, and had an almost identical experience. It makes us wonder whether we would consider using LGW in the future.

    Check in Gatwick

    We were travelling from London Victoria, and this was one of the Southern Railways strike days, with media predictions of long delays so we decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get to Gatwick. We got to Victoria shortly after 1.30pm and were amazed (and delighted!) to note a train was departing for Gatwick within a few minutes. We therefore arrived in Gatwick at 2.30pm. With our flight departing at 7.10pm this left quite a time to fill, but a spot of lunch and a spell in the lounge wouldn’t be too much hardship.

    So we approached the Aer Lingus desk with the intention of dropping off our bags and going airside. Menzies are Aer Lingus handling agents in Gatwick and in my experience are very friendly, helpful and efficient. When we presented our boarding cards, the agent noted how early we were, and went on to ask if we would like to change our flight to the earlier one @ 5.10pm. This was a benefit of selecting the PLUS fare which I had completely forgotten about. Needless to say, we gratefully took up the offer.

    My Aer Club status entitled us to fast track security at Gatwick, the self service scanner accepted our boarding passes, and we proceeded through security in a matter of minutes.

    As with the majority of airports, exiting security leads one to a shopping area, and in truth the duty free prices on fragrance were substantially less than high street shops. With the current Euro/Sterling exchange rates, this is even more favourable for Irish passengers.

    Lounge Gatwick:

    Aer Lingus Gold Circle passengers currently use No.1 Traveller lounge. This was a large bright room with good views of the runway, and lots of natural light. There was a very good range of newspapers and magazines, complimentary wi-fi, and a good range of seat types. There were also a couple of secluded areas for those wishing to have quiet time. Plenty of power points were provided.

    In keeping with other No.1 Traveller lounges, the bar is staffed, and most drinks are complimentary. Prosecco which was used to cost £4 a glass is now included in the complimentary drink selection . The self service food was limited to soup, rolls traybakes, cookies, nuts and fruit. There was a choice of prepared to order meals on the menu, but having had lunch already, we didn’t have anything.

    We duly proceeded to our gate, and as with Dublin airport, a clearly signed “priority boarding” lane was in operation.

    BOARDING

    As always, Aer Lingus cabin crew welcomed passengers on board. After the usual flight information and safety briefings, we were soon airborne and on our way to Dublin.

    When we deplaned in Dublin, I was pleased to find that we were at a gate close to the arrivals hall, thus reducing the time it takes to reach passport control.

    Our bags arrived after a few minutes, much more efficient than in Gatwick a few days previously.

    Conclusion

    This was a very pleasant flight, and as usual Aer Lingus service is exemplary.

    I was less pleased with the arrivals experience at Gatwick, however. In contrast, arriving at Dublin was much more efficient, particularly baggage collection.

    The service provided my Menzies in Gatwick is excellent, and set a standard to which other providers should aspire.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    Hi Pat

    From memory, the wine on EI is priced at €6 per miniature. Not sure what the prosecco is.

    This is very much in the rip off territory?

    I hope LX and LH don’t go down this route.

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