Flight-Report

Review of Aer Lingus flight Manchester Dublin in Economy

Airline Aer Lingus
Flight EI203
Class Economy
Seat 28A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 00:31
Take-off 19 Feb 19, 08:14
Arrival at 19 Feb 19, 08:45
EI   #125 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 69 reviews
TheWindowSeat
Published on 15th March 2019

About Aer Lingus



A foreword that I am going to start this set of 4 flights with the passion and enthusiasm I had for the Aer Lingus brand before booking then flying with them for the first time. I also take a moment to pray for all those lives lost in the Christchurch Mosque Attacks today.


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Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. The Skytrax 4 star rated airline provides award winning customer service at great value and offers frequent and competitively priced flights from the UK to Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast City Airport. Aer Lingus carries over 12 million passengers per annum to destinations in the UK, Europe and North America.

Aer Lingus Teoranta was registered as an airline on 22nd May 1936. Teoranta means ‘limited company’. The word ‘Lingus’ is derived from the Irish ‘Loingeas’ meaning ‘fleet’.

Aer Lingus has a rich heritage that spans eight decades. Since the Iolar’s first flight in May 1936, the airline has grown from carrying five passengers to eleven million guests today with a worldwide reputation for friendly staff, high-quality service, value for money and innovation.

In 1971, Aer Lingus took delivery of two new Boeing 747 jumbo jets for use on the transatlantic routes and in 1974, unveiled a revamped livery featuring two new green and blue colours. A new white shamrock appeared on the fin, provoking outrage among purists. However a Green Shamrock still appeared on the lower forward fuselage after the Aer Lingus titles.

The airline excelled in connecting all of the UK to Ireland to better serve the large Irish expat community settled in mainland United Kingdom. This is an older Aer Arran map which now operates as Aer Lingus Regional.

In 2007 Aer Lingus opened a Belfast base and in 2009 began a base at London Gatwick to serve,amongst others, leisure destinations in Spain, Holland, Lithuania and Poland ( all since discontinued ).

In Manchester, Aer Lingus traditionally served the large Irish community in the North West of England.
From Manchester, Aer Lingus also used to operate regular schedules to Amsterdam,Frankfurt,Copenhagen,Zurich and Dusseldorf. Since discontinued and Aer Lingus now operates Manchester to Dublin,Cork and Shannon ( some services are with Aer Lingus Regional).


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AerClub is Aer Lingus' Frequent Flyer Programme. It launched in November 2016, taking over from the airline's previous programme, Gold Circle. AerClub consists of four tiers: the entry-level Green, Silver, Platinum, and Concierge.The club uses Avios points as its member currency.


75 years
Aer Lingus celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2011. On 26 March, the company presented its latest aircraft which has been painted in the 1960s livery and the crew was wearing a selection of historical uniforms



In 1979, Pope John Paul II flew from Rome to Dublin, and later from Shannon to Boston, on a specially modified Aer Lingus Boeing 747.

Aer Lingus was the first airline other than Alitalia that Pope John Paul II ever left Italy on.
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The Aer Lingus 747 had a very Irish feel - each seating zone was named after an Irish province.
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On 2nd October 1995, the last Aer Lingus Boeing 747 flight took place, after 25 years of service. By that time, over eight million people had travelled across the Atlantic in Aer Lingus ‘Jumbo Jets’.

In 2005, the last Boeing 737-500 aircraft was withdrawn from service, making Aer Lingus an all Airbus airline. The following year, Aer Lingus launched its first scheduled service to the Middle East, with direct flights from Dublin to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and later that year became a publicly quoted company when it was floated on the Irish and London Stock exchanges.

Aer Lingus moved to its new home at Dublin Airport’s new Terminal 2 in early 2011.
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In March 2011, Aer Lingus took delivery of a new A320 aircraft, St Coleman, in a specially commissioned retro 1960s ‘Irish International’ livery ahead of the 75th Birthday celebrations on 27th May.

The celebrations also included the ‘Iolar’, the first Aer Lingus first aircraft, fully restored and ready to fly once again.





Aer Lingus - Ireland in the sky



Aer Lingus is deeply tied to it's Motherland and has often created a buzz about being Ireland's national carrier

This video shows how…
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1XWfRWNj9ms our seat to yours


You're home advert
https://youtu.be/o1QwgNXvN-A
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Celtic Gypsy - this music makes me think of Ireland and it's greenery. I honestly feel that EI should use this as their boarding music
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The Irish are known for their wit and humour ( think of Father Ted ,Mrs Brown's Boys and now The Derry Girls! ) and this extends to Aer Lingus

EI parody

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Aepril Fools - another reference to Irish humour !



Keeping to humour, In 2017, it was pointed out to Icelandair ( one of Aer Lingus' major competitors ) that Aer Lingus had left the whole nation of Iceland off an inflight map.
Not sure the Icelanders found this funny !

An Irish Twitter user, Patrick Flaherty called Aer Lingus out on this, notifying Icelandair that Iceland had been wiped off the map, or that they didn't actually believe in the existence of Iceland.


Icelandair responded by pointing out that a more likely explanation was that their Irish competitors realized Iceland and Greenland are "out of this world".
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Icelandair was quick to hit back in another way too !

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We don't want to see anyone grounded - a Twitter dig at Ryanair strikes !
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Archive Posters showing the Global reach of Aer Lingus
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Irish Rugby Sponsorship

Aer Lingus are very proud to be the official airline of the Irish Rugby Team and love nothing more than getting behind the boys in green. Aer Lingus has the privilege and pleasure to play it's part by not only flying the team to matches, but also the legions of Irish fans, who will go wherever it takes to cheer on the team.

The three year deal will see Aer Lingus support the IRFU by flying players, management and support staff around Europe as they compete in the RBS 6 Nations Championships and in other high profile international tournaments.

As part of the sponsorship agreement Aer Lingus has painted 2 aircraft with Irish rugby livery. These planes are called #GreenSpirit. In addition, a player from each of the four Irish provinces act as 'Aer Lingus Brand Ambassadors', and take part in sponsorship activity.

The 2018 renewal of the sponsorship will see Aer Lingus and the IRFU teaming up for a further three years, until 2021.

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In 1996, Aer Lingus reintroduced the now iconic Green Shamrock livery as well as Irish poetry across it's cabins.

Poetry you ask ?!

The excerpts were woven into the fabrics of seat covers, blankets and carpets and were also printed on items such as menu cards and ticket holders.
Some passages were chosen because of their suitability for certain elements within the Aer Lingus range of products.

Menu cards for example were inscribed with Oscar Wilde's famous line "I can resist every thing except temptation".

Ireland's literary heritage also contributed to the airline's new identity. Twenty four passages of prose and poetry from 14 Irish writers featured heavily in the redesign.
Eventually the short haul fleet moved to a single class all leather seats operation and the longhaul cabins moved to plain fabric upholstered Jade Green seating in Economy and leather in Business Class.

A330 Economy Seats with Irish poetry verses..look closely !
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Another Irish touch but shortlived were onboard Crisp sandwiches ( chargeable) to celebrate Ireland's love affair with crisp sarnies !

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Fleet

Aer Lingus magazine has no fleet details but the website has a great section where you can discover the fleet.
https://www.aerlingus.com/about-us/fleet/airbus-a330-300/#/tab-0-airbus-a330-economy-cabin

Past Aer Lingus fleet members have included the 737,747,Bae 146 the Fokker 27 and
temporarily the 767.

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Livery
The ‘Irish International’ title was replaced with a plain bold ‘Aer Lingus’.
Whilst the 90s livery was nice (albeit with a white Shamrock ) it was the 1996 rebrand which really made me fall on love.
Green is my favourite colour and seeing an aircraft bathed in warm emerald green was really something. I continued to admire the Aer Lingus green after my one time favourite airline PIA,ditched it's bright greens for blackened green and cream and other crazy concoctions.

Rather than write what the liveries looked like from when I became interested in Aer Lingus, I will simply post photos which show the liveries

upto 1996
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1996 onwards
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In 2001, the dot.com revolution hit Aer Lingus as it became a budget airline in Europe and at least 3 x 737s were painted accordingly in varying colours
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Green Spirit Triplets at Cork !
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A brief look at the 1996 rebrand

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A new look from 2019



In 2019 Aer Lingus introduced a brand new corporate identity and soon a new crew uniform will follow by Louise Kennedy, who designed the current 1996 version
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Also,there will be a free 20mb WiFi allowance for passengers on Smart Fares.


A sneak of the livery before, 2 days before it was officially unveiled. Talk about keeping things under wraps. Who had access to the hangar other than the airline's personnel and paintshop staff ?

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Apart from the titles, the new livery is not too different to the temporary livery worn on a previously leased 767

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The new look reflects Aer Lingus' position as a modern international airline, whilst at the same time supposedly maintaining a rich Irish heritage. Let's take a closer look at the key design elements of the new livery.



Aircraft Doors

A shamrock on the door of the aircraft to give guests a warm Irish welcome as they board.



Brand Logo

The font in the new logo is bold and modern with a nod to Are Lingus' Irish heritage in the Celtic 'g'.
A shamrock now accompanies the logo on the side of the aircraft to add colour and strength, and to reinforce EI's identity. I am very underwhelmed by the small fuselage titles. I feel for a more dramatic impact they should have been billboard style like so

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Engines


The engine is painted in a new teal colour to bring colour to the aircraft.



Winglets


The Instagram worthy shamrock on the wingtip - visible only from inside the aircraft - or if watching the aircraft from certain angles on the ground !



Swoosh


The new colour palette consists of two contrasting shades of green. The rich teal represents strength and confidence. The light green stripe modernises the design and reflects Aer Lingus proposition as a value carrier.



Tailfin


The contrasting teal and light green of the shamrock combines strength, confidence and modernity. The shamrock sits proudly as the hero of the new livery, with a new tilt to add movement and has heart shaped leaves to reflect Aer Lingus'warmth.


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Cara Inflight magazine

The cover that needs no words !
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Proudly published in Ireland, Cara is stated to be the perfect travel companion for Aer Lingus guests, showcasing the very best travel and lifestyle writers, photographers and illustrators worldwide, while championing Irish talent at home and abroad.

Cara is great for planning your next holiday, work trip or big night out. Sit back, relax and let the team introduce you to some of the hottest Irish talent - big-
name interviews to date include Saoirse Ronan, Cillian Murphy, Ruth Negga, Graham Norton and the Irish Rugby team - as well as the country's finest artisans, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, playwrights, curators, fashion designers and tech stars. I have to say I find the Cara magazine covers bland as they mainly and often feature cover stars of Irish personalities that no one has heard of outside Ireland.

Sweet like Irish honey !
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Evening Before Check in (FAST)


Evening Before Check in (FAST) If your flight departs Dublin Airport between 05:30-08:00 in the morning, you can check in at the airport between 17:00-20:00 the evening before. This great service is available for both Aer Lingus and Aer Lingus Regional flights.
o avoid queues and save time, use our 'Evening before' facility at Dublin and Cork Airports. Read the details below on the applicable times for this in each airport.

If your flight departs Dublin Airport between 06:00-08:00 in the morning, you can check in at the airport between 17:00-20:00 the evening before.

If your flight departs Cork Airport between 06:00-08:00 in the morning, you can check in at the airport between 16:00-19:30 the evening before.

This great service is available for both Aer Lingus and Aer Lingus Regional flights.

Each passenger needs to present themselves to check in and drop off bags but if you are travelling with immediate family, one member of the family can check in and drop bags for the group the evening before. Passports/ID cards are required for all passengers travelling, and must be presented the evening before.

While this facility will save you time by avoiding check in the following morning, all passengers will still need to leave adequate time in the morning to get through security and to get to their gate. EI would recommend that passengers come to the airport 90 minutes before the flight is due to depart.

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Aer Lingus at JFK and in the USA



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Aer Lingus began serving New York JFK in 1958 to connect Irish expats and countless families who had settled across the Atlantic. The idea being that when you step onboard Aer Lingus, You're Home.

With Aer Lingus’ move of its New York flight operations from Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport into jetBlue's acclaimed Terminal 5 in 2013 , customers connecting to one of jetBlue's many destinations across the US began to benefit from same terminal connections and one stop ticketing and baggage check-in for travel on both airlines .

Effective April 14th 2013, the minimum connection time from European arrivals to US departures was be reduced to approximately 60 minutes. Customers travelling to Ireland enjoy connections in as fast as 40 minutes.

Aer Lingus flies to/from the following North American cities with Minneapolis commencing in 2019 as well as Montreal in Canada

Boston

Chicago

Hartford, Connecticut

Los Angeles

Miami

Newark

New York (JFK)

Orlando

Philadelphia

San Francisco

Seattle

Washington, D.C.

Toronto


Aer Lingus operated an A330 Washington-Madrid-Washington service on behalf of United Airlines from 2010-2012.


It is interesting to note that as my journey with Aer Lingus will commence in Manchester, that Manchester is home to a decades long and hard working Irish community. They even have a Manchester Irish Festival each year.

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Whilst on Irish influence in the world,no one can ever forget that Eurovision has been won by Ireland on 7 occassions and has also been the homeground U2,Sinead O'Conner, The Cranberries, The Nolan Sisters, B*Witched and Globally famous boybands Boyzone and Westlife. And who will ever forget the legend that is Riverdance ?!

TV shows like Mrs Brown's Boys,Father Ted, Derry Girls have put Ireland on the TV landscape whilst the Movie world enjoys leading roles by Irishmen Pierce Brosnan Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell.




Aer Lingus around the world

Aer Lingus used to lease aircraft to various airlines…the stunning Emerald Green has often been an interesting hybrid mix of colours/logos - a bit like when Garuda Indonesia leases aircraft during Hajj season.



Operating for US lowcost airline Southwest - who knew that one day Aer Lingus would also become a budget airline, albeit in Europe
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This Aer Lingus 747 must have brightened up the Jamaican skies whilst operating for Air Jamaica !
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This Aer Lingus A330 EI-JFK was re-registered as AP-BKN for Shaheen Air of Pakistan for their ( no longer operated )Manchester service as well as Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur ( also no longer operated) flights.
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Tristar transformation - from Aer Lingus to Caledonian !

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Little Red

Virgin Atlantic announced in 2013 that they would set up Little Red as a subsidiary to use ex British Midland slots to cover domestic UK mainland routes.

Little Red was later revealed to be operated on a wet lease by Aer Lingus whereby the planes would be operated by Aer Lingus but would bear Virgin Atlantic livery.

The pilots would be employed by Aer Lingus, with cabin crew supplied by McGinley Aviation.

The cabin crew would wear Virgin Little Red uniforms and had training from Virgin, despite the fact that airline having previously operated narrowbody A321 aircrafts to Athens. The operation ended in 2015 with the cabin crew being transferred into mainline Virgin Atlantic.

It is funny when we think of the story of Little Red Riding Hood and how a wolf pretended to be her Grandma….then we had Little Red which was Aer Lingus pretending to be Virgin Atlantic !


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Aer Lingus and Me



Growing up in Scotland, I first heard of Aer Lingus when some mutual friends came over from Dublin.

Airports I have seen Aer Lingus in are Edinburgh,Manchester,London Heathrow and Glasgow.

Aer Lingus Timetable - I used to visit Aer Lingus' ticket desk at Manchester Airport Terminal 1 every 6 months to pickup a new printed timetable. This happened frequently until the printed timetables were sadly phased out. I would visit whilst not yet employed at MAN and well after I became an employee.



A look at a 1997 Timetable which was more than just schedules but an A-Z of Aer Lingus

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My small but exclusive Aer Lingus memorabilia collection gathered from the last 12 or so years.

Just a note on the Teddy Bear and A321 aircraft model and to show how caring Aer Lingus used to be. In 2011 I was going through a very bad period of unemployment and wrote to Aer Lingus to ask for any memorabilia just to lift my spirits. I will never forget how they cared and sent me these items.

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Aer Lingus Transatlantic Economy Class


Membership of Aerclub
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Earn full Avios points
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Economy Class passengers briefly received Amenity Kits on San Francisco flights. I would recommend Aer Lingus bring these back to have an edge over competitors.
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Aer Lingus 1st impressions



I booked my ticket on the Aer Lingus website on 1st September 2018 and added Aer Lingus lounge access in JFK( stay with me on this one ) .

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The fare including the lounge access was great especially when you get free seat selection and 1 x 23kg case included.
Not to mention the main selling point - US Immigration pre-clearance - Dublin and Shannon Airports are the only two airports in Europe to currently offer this time saving service !

A new addition to the passenger experience in 2019 will be free Wifi. The free wifi will be a 20MB package.
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Whilst you are able to choose free seats whilst booking, any changes to the seat allocation, can only be done by calling the contact centre or at checkin. The app isn't compatible with my Samsung Mobile
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As my booking didn't come through on email ,I called Aer Lingus and heard nice Irish instrumental hold music
Whilst holding,the booking confirmation came through so I cut the call.

I had to google how to add an MOML as the website didn't show this simplest of functions.
Please note this information on the Aer Lingus website - by the time you complete the reading of all 4 reviews, it will come in useful

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I wanted to change my seats so I called and quickly got through to a lady in Dublin.

She was helpful to the bare minimum but didn't acknowledge I am flying EI for the first time or during my 40th year and just did the call with no passion.
She changed my seats for me and checked that my MOML had been booked. I won't mention her name as those much higher in the airline above her would equally

The call cut off - I called back and a gentleman promptly transferred me back to the lady upon my request.

I was advised that 75 minutes is the minimum connection time in Dublin and is enough for US pre clearance . Bags ,as expected are through checked from Manchester to JFK.

The Aer Lingus app was not compatible with my smartphone at the time and the website appeared as a full website on the mobile phone ; the text is ultra small. Amazing that a mobile friendly site isn't available on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Smart Flies but not Smart Phone.

Upon checking my Lounge Pass email I noted that it stated the lounge was the AirSpace lounge at Terminal 5. Please note that this third party lounge closed down for good the day before I made my booking. Several days of silliness ensued with the Aer Lingus Social media team initially claiming they had no email address for the lounge, let alone knowledge that it had closed down altogether.

So, in summary, I had booked the Aer Lingus lounge which was confirmed as the Airspace lounge. It took several emails and Social Media posts to find out that the Aer Lingus JFK lounge in Terminal 5 is after all the Aer Lingus lounge. Which is what I booked to begin with.. What a wild goosechase.

Following this craziness,I came across youtube videos and online posts about indifference by Aer Lingus crew towards Asian passengers. I found this sad to read as Aer Lingus has cabin crew of ethnic origin and the Irish people themselves are known for being very warm and hospitable.

In 2006 Aer Lingus did for a period fly from Dublin to Dubai and I don't think we need to elaborate on how multicultural Dubai is. Despite a large Irish expat community the route consistently performed poorly leading to it's eventual end. The Dubai assigned aircrafts were used for increased frequency for the Dublin - San Francisco route.

Any contact I had with Aer Lingus from booking on 1st September 2018 until late in September,seemed to be an effort for Aer Lingus staff. Not the best of impressions and I actually regretted making my booking with Aer Lingus.

From the head of catering sending me a link for disability assistance ( when requesting information on the MOML) as he didn't "have" the details of which dessert is served on an MOML, to staff seeing everything as a chore, I was really fed up with the poor service.

Turns out I could have had a full refund within 24 hours of booking my flight if I had known before. How I will wish I had.

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That is until after much "going around the houses" ( British saying meaning you have had to go a long way round until you have got to where you need to be), I got in touch with a Sales Manager in the UK who single handedly helped with all my queries and gave me that much needed positive impression of Aer Lingus. He also confirmed I wouldn't ( Hallelujah) be served fruit as a dessert with my MOML ( Muslim Meal).

2 weeks before travel, during a routine enquiry with the head of the Social Media Team for something else, I was really dissappointed to be told that I will in fact get fruit as a dessert as part of the MOML.

My seats were changed in my morning break on the 22nd October 2018. A lady called Kara was nice and said " enjoy your holiday". The first time anyone I had spoken to had shown any interest anot treated me as just a revenue generating bum on a seat.


Some screenshots from the Aer Lingus staff newsletter Aertime which supposedly show how great Aer Lingus attitude is to customer service.


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Aer Lingus Hand Luggage Gauge at MAN during my December 2018 trip to Amsterdam.
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The original booking in September 2018 came with loads of old Ryanair style bombardment of information

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In January 2019, not a week after the rebrand, I received this much more customer friendly email showing my itinerary !

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The App has also had a makeover with the new branding
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Aer Lingus is planning to reintroduce business class services on its busiest short haul routes in Europe next year, having removed Premier ( Business Class ) in 2002.
On shorthaul flights, Premier class was essentially just a blocked middle seat and curtain divider/ partition between Business and Economy Class.

This is tied to the introduction of new long range (LR) single aisle A321 aircraft that will be introduced on its long-haul services to the east coast of the United States from late 2019. These 186 seat aircraft will accommodate 16 business class passengers across the Atlantic, and the airline plans to also use them on certain routes from Dublin to other European destinations.

At the moment, passengers getting a Business class experience across the Atlantic transfer on to an all Economy Class aircraft [when travelling onwards to a European destination] and vice versa.

When the LRs fly onwards to Europe, they will now have a dedicated business cabin with full lie flat seat. Therefore Premium passengers will get get consistent service from all of the gateways in North America to the principal gateways in Europe. The inflight catering will be the same as the buy on board,but it will be complimentary in European Business Class.

Aer Lingus’ Dublin to Hartford service looks set to be the carrier’s first transatlantic route served by the next generation Airbus A321LR aircraft.

Industry website routesonline.com reports that the aircraft will be rostered onto the route from July 1st 2019, and the Aer Lingus website now shows the A321LR listed against flights from that date.

Now removed from Cara magazine but was a nice touch to help you embrace your Ireland visit !

Learn the Lingo with Lingus !
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Aer Lingus - starting 2019 in the headlines



Rebrand - already covered above

Azealia Banks - not a week after the rebrand, the singer accused the Aer Lingus crew on a Gatwick - Dublin service of being racist

Aer Lingus is however not new to racism allegations

See here

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/aer-lingus-disowns-racist-remark-on-harlem-1.27774

and

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/man-may-not-sue-aer-lingus-1.873735

The world's most expensive drink - a hot chocolate scalding case cost the airline EUR70,000 in compensation

Although not from 2019, A youtuber of Far East Asian descent had stated he felt the crew were different towards him on a Dublin-JFK flight as opposed to with other passengers.





EI 203 MANDUB



A320
EI-EDP
"St Albert"



3 days before my flight I phoned one evening to add my emergency contact details. Something you cannot do on the Aer Lingus website. I was speaking to a guy in The Philippines who sounded very very unsure of what I was asking. After 3 attempts he said he understood then told me that he was unable to add emergency contact details but will add to the booking notes.

And so the day came to fly Aer Lingus to Dublin and onto New York. My head was spinning with visions of racist crew and all the poor service I had had from the day I booked. But I am a firm believer in second and even third chances if necessary.


Please note that this would be my first trip of 2019 and all trips would be to celebrate my 40th birthday in August.


I have been wanting to visit New York for 19 years and it is a dream holiday destination by a long shot !

Shoecam moment - A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - my new shoes ready for travelling to New York in style !
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I left home at 0530am and arrived at the bus stop at 0545am just as the Airport bus pulled up.

The bus driver whilst moody,did stop on seeing me running with my case !


The bus was full of Manchester Airport staff, all in uniform and most of them asleep !


There was no traffic enroute and I arrived at MAN at 0620am. I walked through the Skylink tunnel ( modelled on a widebody cabin ) for the short walk to Terminal 1.


I had presumed the terminal would be packed out but it was very empty.

And so the day came to fly Aer Lingus to Dublin and onto New York. My head was spinning with visions of racist crew and all the poor service I had had from the day I booked. But I am a firm believer in second and even third chances if necessary.


Please note that this would be my first trip of 2019 and all trips would be to celebrate my 40th birthday in August.


I have been wanting to visit New York for 19 years and it is a dream holiday destination by a long shot !


I left home at 0530am and arrived at the bus stop at 0545am just as the Airport bus pulled up.

The bus driver whilst moody,did stop on seeing me running with my case !


The bus was full of Manchester Airport staff, all in uniform and most of them asleep !


There was no traffic enroute and I arrived at MAN at 0620am. I walked through the Skylink tunnel ( modelled on a widebody cabin ) for the short walk to Terminal 1.


I had presumed the terminal would be packed out but it was very empty.


Check in was done immediately and there was no queue, in fact there was only me !

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I got Priority Lane security ( prearranged ) / Priority boarding and security staff were very efficient.


From Travelex I picked up my Dollars from a lovely friendly lady from Mauritius.

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So from arriving at MAN at 0620am to being "done" with the boring stuff by 0640am ( I had checked in my case,cleared security and collected my currency) .

So this took only 20 minutes but felt a lot lot shorter. Well done Manchester Airport - you really are upping your game !

I headed to the Aspire Lounge and there was a long queue for the lounge and a very tight double doorway. I noted people constantly coming out to use washrooms.


The staff were friendly and welcoming especially the lovely Manager John.


I had a total of barely 30 minutes in the lounge so just had an orange juice and pastry although many food and drink options were on offer.
I then had to sort some emails, WhatsApp messages and also make notes for my Flight Report :)


The lounge was very busy this morning but what stood out was that it had premium furnishings and very nice views of the tarmac.


A very nice lady collected my glass and plate just as I was leaving.


I bade farewell to the staff after I saw on my phone that the inbound EI 202 from Dublin had landed at 0742am.


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As I walked through to the gate and pier, I noted passengers facing the aircraft on the steps of the aircraft. For a moment I thought that boarding had already begun.


But the two passengers facing the aircraft were actually inbound pax coming off who had simply turned around ! The passengers were being bussed and I thought this was really inconvenient. But I would be proven very wrong on landing back into Manchester !

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Boarding commenced at 0745am ; initially for Aer Club upper level passengers and Priority Passengers ( like me ! )

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St Albert/Ailbhe was the name of today's A320 - Albert of Cashel was an eighth century saint and Patron of Cashel, Ireland. All Aer Lingus aircraft are named after Saints.


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I stopped by the tail to have a selfie - two guys gave me weird stares but I genuinely didn't care ! My passion,my smartphone - deal with it !


I went up the stairs and was warmly greeted with a nice Good Morning from an Airhostess called Grace. I stowed my hand luggage and had time for some cabin shots as general boarding was yet to commence ( the joys of being first )


Vocal music was playing - similar to The Script's "Where's the Good in Goodbye".

The seats were Blue Leather Spaceflex seats with high seat pockets and fixed recline.
The cabin looked nice and fresh and the legroom was reasonable for such a short flight.
The coathook is very useful !


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The seat pocket was very tight and a central screw in it's fittings ,damaged my journal cover when I pulled the journal out.

I don't recommend putting anything thicker than a magazine in the seatpocket unless you want it damaged.
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My now "screwed up " and damaged Journal
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The seatpocket content

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When I boarded in the very early stages of boarding, I felt the seatbelt was very comfortable however this was due to a seatbelt mixup with the next passenger who laughingly told me I had half of her seatbelt !

There was a welcome announcement as boarding got into full swing to not block aisles whilst stowing baggage and highlighted that the space under the seat in front could be used to stow baggage.


At 0755am there was a "boarding complete" announcement and doors were promptly closed.


At 0758am there was a Gaelic welcome and the engines started up. I was on my way to New York ! Woohoo ! I had let one of the crew know that it's my first ever Aer Lingus flight during boarding. I boarded at the rear so didn't yet meet the Inflight Manager who boarded from the front door.


Well..to Dublin at least to connect to New York !


The scheduled flying time was announced as being 35 minutes.


The safety demo took place at 0800am and we began taxying to runway 2.

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24 hours before this photo, my Brother had arrived from Pakistan via Dubai on this EK21 flight from Dubai. The day he flew out to Dubai he had mentioned that whilst sat in his A380, he could see this very A380 parked up at MAN.


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At 0814am, EI-EDP lined up on runway two and began her take off roll !

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Hi Liverpool !

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As we levelled off near Liverpool, there was an announcement which promoted the Bia,the buy onboard service.

The Bia and Boutique Skyshop brochure is the same brochure if you just flip it over !

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I asked an Airhostess for a Froosh smoothie however they had none. I bought a Jaffo Orange juice instead. The little green cup that change is kept in was cute ! Top marks for not touching the rim of my cup wither, a pet hate of mine as most readers will know.

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Barely anyone bought anything as I watched the cabin crew pass through with a trolley.

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There was then a " Boutique inflight shopping announcement.It was advised that shopping is only available in certain EU destinations and that the crew are unable to bring out the cart cart due to short flight time. Interested passengers were asked to speak to the crew.


Rubbish was collected and descent started at 0830am.


I could hear the crew discussing that they had flown MAN/BRU/BHX and ORD..what a roster !


At 0835am there was an announcement advising there are 10 mins to touchdown


Siobhan the Cabin Services Manager came over and gave me a handshake. She said my first name and that "you are very welcome aboard Aer Lingus".


Siobhan was pleased I am flying Aer Lingus for my USA trip and that although this flight was short, the crew on the next one would make it great ! Would she be right ? Read the review of EI 105 !


Landing Views

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At 0845am we landed in Dublin - it didn't seem very busy on the tarmac.

Vocal music played throughout the cabin and we were on stand at 0855am.

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EI - CJX - a 757 operated by ASL - Wonder when we will meet again ?!
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Funny story about this Delta flight. Upon arrival in JFK I would actually share a Super Shuttle with a lady who had travelled on this flight and was full of praise for Delta's inflight service !

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The new Aer Lingus livery on A330 EI-EDY
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I had a quick photo with the First Officer and when I asked to have one with the all female cabin crew, initially I was told they are not allowed due to the airline's social media policy but soon warmed to me and had a nice photo as a souvenier.


We were bussed to flight connections - on the bus some dude kept pressing his arm on me as if to make his territory. I mean come on, get a life . We are on this bus for like 2 minutes so why be difficult ? Some people - seriously…

We stopped opposite the newly painted A330 EI-EDY. I wondered if this would be operating my JFK flight…I wouldn't need to wait too long to find out !
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I took escalators up and had to get my DUBJFK Boarding Pass reprinted as I couldn't find it ( it later turned up in my file ! ).

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I then proceeded to get a lift down and head into US Pre Clearance, the jewel in Dublin Airport's crown.

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The staff are all American - they seemed to be processing passengers reasonably quickly. I was listening to an Irish lady telling another Irish lady and all those listening, the address details of who they were going to stay with. One girl seemed uneasy as she was waiting for her partner to connect from a flight. When she saw him there was brief romancing etc…I guess it helped pass the time in the queue.


The Immigration lady was very pleasant - smiling and friendly unlike the one who interviewed me last year in Houston. Manners cost nothing and it is ridiculous to welcome visitors to your country with such abruptness.


I got questioned as to the purpose of my trip ( I made her laugh by saying it was to feed my Instagram account ! )

I also got asked if I had meetings ( no doubt due to my business suit ! ) ,where I work, date of last USA visit.

At other counters,agents had screens showing images of bags to passengers and asking if this was their bag. This didn't happen with me and nor did I have to fill out a landing card.

US Immigration was cleared by 0950am.


By the way, it is worth mentioning that despite being in Dublin in Ireland, once you clear US Immigration, you are classed as having entered the United States. It was really strange to see a young boy therefore being asked to bin some apples he had on his person !


Right…thank you for reading and see you at EI 105 !

p.s.

EI-FCC - Have you liked us yet ? #socialjet


As my reports go on, you will see exactly how "social" Aer Lingus are

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See more

Verdict

Aer Lingus

6.8/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Aspire Lounge (T1)

8.0/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering10.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services7.0

Manchester - MAN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Dublin - DUB

7.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Despite poor customer service from booking until boarding, the crew really made a great first impression on me !

Whilst I am no stranger to the friendly Irish people, as I live in Manchester, home to a massive Irish community, my first impressions of Ireland were strong due to the lovely crew.

But would my impression of the airline also become strong ? Join me on flight EI 105 to find out...

Information on the route Manchester (MAN) Dublin (DUB)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Manchester (MAN) → Dublin (DUB).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Aer Lingus with 6.1/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 50 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 493271 by
    Brett1 1 Comments

    Love your reviews the depth of information means I can start reading and go back to it at any time, are you on social media?

  • Comment 493427 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4732 Comments

    Hi The WindowSeat,

    An appropriate read and series for the week of St. Patrick's day! 🍀

    I've only flown EI in J recently, so I can't comment too much on their Y service, but their J service was outstanding.

    Turns out I could have had a full refund within 24 hours of my flight if I had known before. How I will wish I had.

    That's not exactly accurate...For flights to/from the U.S. you can cancel your reservation for a full refund within 24 hours of booking the reservation, not within 24 hours of the flight.

    Something you cannot do on the Aer Lingus website.

    The EI app and website are surprisingly bad and not very intuitive or functional. So I'm not surprised that this wasn't working in addition to the lack of option to reserve an SPML online.

    She was helpful to the bare minimum but didn't acknowledge I am flying EI for the first time or during my 40th year

    Hmm....it doesn't quite seem reasonable to expect that of an agent. We can't really expect airline personnel to share in or understand our aviation enthusiasm or "AvGeekiness"

    Thanks for sharing this series!

    • Comment 493478 by
      TheWindowSeat AUTHOR 102 Comments

      Hi Kevin,
      Thanks so much for your feedback ; your time and appreciation always means to much to me.
      I have corrected my typo regarding to show "within 24 hours of booking the flight".
      I would never expect anyone to share my enthusiasm for aviation,but surely if you tell an airline staff member you are flying with them for the first time, they can at least wish you a nice flight ?

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