First time using Belfast City Airport. I entered through into the departures area which is quite bright with a number of amenities and moderately sized check-in area. Having checked in online and carrying only hand luggage, I made my way to security. Security took less than 5 minutes and I was soon in the departure lounge. There are a few but limited number of shops and restaurants as well as a small seating area providing views of the airport. At the time I visited all the food and drink outlets had closed, but this wasn't a problem as I had paid to use the Aspire Lounge at the airport which is situated just beyond the British Airways Lounge. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the lounge, but there is a link below. http://www.executivelounges.com/lounges/belfast-city-aspire-lounge
Aer Lingus A319 EI-EPR arriving at Belfast City BHD/EGAC
EI-EPR pulling onto its stand.
The Lounge itself is quite normal. There was a selection of food (mostly snacks) and drink, Comfy Seating, Newspapers, a quiet area and plugs for laptops and chargers. I had a Coffee, a Beer and a number of biscuits and crisps while I was there. Free Wifi is provided but is awful, but the airport provides its own free wifi which is perfectly fine and reaches the lounge. The lounge was clean and had a very civilised feel to it. One of the main reasons for choosing the lounge was that it had a view over the apron and part of the runway. I found myself a seat by the window and spent about an hour and half doing some planespotting. The cost of the lounge was only £15 which was quite reasonable.
Flybe DHC-8-Q400 G-ECOA taxiing at Belfast City. Taken from the Aspire Lounge
There are a number of screens showing departures and it was soon time for myself to begin boarding (17:00 GMT). We were boarding from Gate 2 which requires walking down from the departure lounge and boarding the plane via stairs - there is an airbridge but our flight wasn't using it. The aircraft flying the route was one of the few A319's in Aer Lingus's fleet, EI-EPR. I found my seat next to the engine, 9F. Boarding was relatively quick. We pushed back at 17:22 and soon we were backtracking down Runway 22. Takeoff was relatively smooth and we banked left heading SW. Cruising altitude was 33,000ft. The service onboard was basic with a drinks and snacks service. The seats were quite comfortable. Cabin Crew were quite friendly. Our route took us across the Irish Sea, Wales before joining the approach pattern for London Heathrow. We banked right just over Central London and lined up for landing on Runway 27L. Touchdown was hard. We taxied off 27L and a short taxi later we pulled onto our stand at Terminal 2. Airbridge attached we quickly disembarked. Very little hassle otherwise arriving at Terminal 2.
Taxiing at Belfast City Airport
Flying over Wales
Pulling onto our stand at Terminal 2 London Heathrow
Below is the takeoff from Belfast City Airport onboard EI-EPR
Belfast - BHD
London - LHR
The lounge was nice but the main use for me was being able to do some spotting in comfort, which it did. Belfast City Airport is compact but it is functional and pretty convenient to get to Belfast City Centre. I would certainly use it again.
Aer Lingus was very good. The crew were friendly and the cabin was quite comfortable. The cost was not to bad at around £40 including allocated seating. There were very few issues and overall it was a good trip.
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