Man- Dub: great service on board, not so great on the ground.

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 24 Jan 2018
at 15:12
.

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  • PatJordan
    Participant

    I arrived at Manchester T1 at 3.30pm for 5.20pm flight. My boarding card granted me access to fast track security, and I was pleased to find no queue whatever. I was airside within a couple of minutes.

    Lounge (Manchester)

    Aer Lingus use the Aspire Lounge (formerly known as “the Wilmslow”),whhich has always been a pleasant area to relax while awaiting one’s flight.
    I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist, and alongside her desk was a poor selection of magazines, with barely a handful of 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, and this was regularly replenished, even though the lounge was quite busy.

    Boarding

    The information screens in the lounge indicated that passengers should go to gate 8 for the Aer Lingus flight, and I duly made my way towards the departure gates. As I approached the gate, there was a “final call” for boarding, but boarding had not yet commenced. After a few minutes, Priority Boarding began, and very quickly passengers were standing on the steps waiting for the doors to the apron to open so as to allow the actual boarding to begin. During this time, a queue had formed behind me also, thus adding to the congestion. Once the doors were opened, the actual boarding (front and rear aircraft doors were open) was completed swiftly.
    My experience of boarding Aer Lingus flights at Manchester Terminal 1 is that such a haphazard approach is the norm, and reflects poorly on the (otherwise efficient) ground handling agents.
    The Airbus 320 was immaculate as always, and cabin crew were very welcoming.
    All Aer Lingus short haul aircraft are economy class and seats are configured 3-3. The seats are dark blue leather with adjustable headrests.

    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.
    We landed on time and had a short taxi to the stand, which was very close passport control. The newly installed automated passport readers are very efficient and at this time there was no waiting whatever. A very welcome initiative.

    Conclusion

    A very impressive in-flight experience. Very good punctuality, welcoming, professional crew members. The boarding at Manchester Terminal 1 needs serious attention as the practice of holding groups of passengers on a stairway is unpleasant.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    Hi Pat

    I recently had a poor experience on landing at Dublin with EI.

    The plane taxied after landing to Terminal 1. I thought this was a mistake but no, it seems that there is an airside walkway connection so that PAX on EI flights can be undocked at the old Terminal 1 and then walk the 1km or so it felt like, so that they can be processed (incl luggage) in the new terminal 2). Thankfully I had my walking legs with me that day.

    Annoying then to see Ethiad and Emirates planes docked at T2 (obviously the reason for us lowly EI PAX having to walk from T1).

    This certainly affected my decision to use EI into Dublin and have chosen LX for my next flights (as is more usual)


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Not entirely relevant, but I flew into DUB on KL from AMS a few weeks ago and had the misfortune go through immigration with a bunch of loud and ill-mannered USAmericans, who may have over-indulged in the hooch on their flight. I was right behind one guy who continued bellowing into his phone whilst he walked up to the immigration booth and as he handed the officer his passport. She handed it back to him without looking at it and told him to get back into the queue and come back when he’d learned some manners.

    This was such a marked contrast to the normal easy-going and pleasant manner of the Irish that I was surprised, but he richly deserved to be chastised and she did just that.

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