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A Trip Home With Aer Lingus (Pics/Videos)  
User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6339 posts, RR: 14
Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8262 times:

The Christmas holidays were getting closer so I thought it would nice to fly home to Ireland for a few days. I was looking for flights to Cork on the 16th of December and returning to London on the 19th so I checked Ryanair from LGW and the fare was over £130, Aer Arann was similar for LTN-WAT. I finally checked Aer Lingus and was expecting an even higher fare but was pleased to see that it was £70 including all taxes and charges so I booked the flights with Aer Lingus, IMO the perfect way to go to Ireland for Christmas.



FLIGHT : EI 711
ROUTE : LHR-ORK
DATE: 16/DEC/07
A/C: A321-211
REG: EI-CPG "Saint Aidan"
SEAT: 5F



I got to Heathrow Terminal One early so it was quiet with very few people around. I checked in with one of the Aer Lingus FastPass machines. It was very easy to check in and took about 30 seconds. I walked around the terminal for a while, there were a few posters saying "Heathrow, an airport in transformation" and they had images of T5 and Heathrow East. A friend of mine from college was flying out to CAI with her family and it was first flight with BD. I walked up to Costa Coffee and sat by the window looking down on the BA check in area. It didn't take long for the terminal to get busy and for the ques to start forming.
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492712.jpg
Just before security there was quite a few people trying to bring on more than one piece of hand luggage and the member of staff telling them they couldn't was quite rude and this didn't make the situation any better. I think it could have been people hearing the news that the one bag rule was to be lifted in January and getting confused. The small group was taken aside so the rest of us could carry on through to security. I noticed that the Aer Lingus advert with the taxi A320s had gone which was disappointing. Once I got to security it was very quick and efficient which isnt always something associated with LHR but I think they did well and there were no problems. As I walked towards the duty free area I was greeted by four Aer Lingus adverts, three adverts with the Aer Lingus A320s lined up like taxis and one with the Aer Lingus A320 merging into the Heathrow Express which said "The Ireland Express. No other airline flies 22 times a day from Heathrow to Ireland" It was too big to get a full photo of it but I got the interesting part.
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492714.jpg
Just as I took the photo a man ran past and dropped his boarding card for a Bmi flight, I picked it up and went to hand it to him but he had gone. I just went in the same direction he was running and handed it to the first Bmi gate agent I saw. As I walked back to my own gate an announcement was made and he ran past me in the opposite direction to the gate and collected his boarding card.

I got to my gate and the only Aer Lingus aircraft I could see was EI-CVA, an A320 going to Dublin. It wasn't long before more Aer Lingus aircraft appeared but it was quite hard to get many photos because almost every seat was taken. I think a Bmi flight to Dublin had been delayed there were quite a few apologies and the Aer Lingus flight to Dublin was also delayed slightly.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492716.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492718.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492722.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492720.jpg

I sat down and waited for the flight to be called but as it closer to the scheduled boarding time there was no sign of our flight being called. There was a woman sitting opposite me with her three children, they had arrived earlier from SIN and she was obviously tired. As more people arrived for different flights, quite a few us started chatting and every few minutes one of her boys would come over and say "lets get on the plane mammy, look it's waiting" he was driving her mad but then the announcement finally came for passengers with young children or special needs to make their way to gate 84. Soon after everyone else was called but as we lined up and got our photo identification ready someone started picking people out of the line and searching them, even people who were about to hand over their boarding cards and ID were picked and searched which did not go down well. This meant the passenger then lost their place and had to walk to the back which made people even more agitated and comments were made. I have never seen people being searched at the moment of boarding, I'm sure it was new to the other passengers as they seemed very surprised. It delayed boarding by a few minutes as we waited for the final passengers get on.
There was Christmas music being played in the cabin and we were welcomed by two very nice cabin crew, both from Cork. There were about three welcome announcements as we boarded in both English and Irish, I was quite pleased to hear the amount of Irish because there had been very little on my previous EI flights this year. The cabin was clean and there was plenty of room in the overhead lockers and the aircraft was about 80% full with most of the empty seats being towards the front. We pushed back about five minutes late and started out taxi to runway 09R.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492726.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492729.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492730.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492734.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492738.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492741.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492742.jpg

Take Off:



We continued to climb and as we did so we past a few aircraft, mainly BA A320s that were on approach to Heathrow runway 09L. The two women sitting next to me were laughing about the noise of engines, one of them said "what a noisy old bird" and because I was taking photos, they asked me if the noise was always like that and I told them it would get quieter after a few minutes which it did.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492746.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492750.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492753.jpg

The Sky Cafe service commenced, I didn't want anything but most passengers purchased snacks and I saw about three Irish breakfasts being handed out, the service was fast and with a smile. Soon after the Sky Cafe service finished, Sky Shopping started and the two women sitting next to me started off just looking through the magazine but then started buying and before I knew it they had three FAs around them all discussing what was best and how much they were going to spend. In the end they spent about £120 on Sky Shopping, the cabin crew were really helpful and it was like they were all out on a shopping trip.

The captain informed us of our route about 20 minutes before our arrival into Cork and he told us about the weather in Cork which was going to be cold and cloudy. I watched out shadow get closer to the clouds before we disappeared into a grey darkness.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492755.jpg



http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492762.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492763.jpg

It was a bumpy approach and the lights were dimmed for landing, the flaps were set and the gear was lowered. We landed smoothly on runway 17 in a gloomy Cork, the woman next to me was watching it on my camera as I filmed it and as we slowed down and started to turn at the top of the runway the aircraft shuddered and stopped suddenly. The engines whined slightly and we started moving again, we were welcomed by the crew and the Christmas music was played as we taxied to the Gate 5.



http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492767.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492771.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492772.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492774.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492776.jpg
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492777.jpg

The aircraft was connected to the only air bridge at Cork and the cabin crew said goodbye and wished us a merry Christmas. Cork Airport was very festive, much more so than Heathrow. There was Christmas music playing and decorations.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg116/Shamrock350/Picture492779.jpg


Overall I think Aer Lingus did a good job as usual and I did "enjoy my flight". Heathrow wasn't bad and I hate all the bad press it gets but I'm looking forward to seeing T5 and Heathrow East. Cork is a nice airport, the new terminal lacked character when it first opened but I think I'm getting used to it now and it's definately my favourite airport in Ireland.


Thanks for reading!

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27035 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8243 times:

Hey there nice TR and pics. Glad you had a good trip. Nice to see ORK terminal again!!! Its a nice airport.

Happy Xmas / Nollaig Shona

OA260


User currently offlineJrfspa320 From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 251 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8243 times:



Quoting Shamrock350 (Thread starter):
We landed smoothly

I dont i've ever had a smooth landing at Cork. Hows the new tower coming along? Nice to hear to Irish being spoken on the landing vid. I like the new terminal too but i think it sort of lacks the character of the old one.


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17067 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8215 times:

Great TR.

The pics are really good.

Really nice that you "saved" the man that lost his boarding card.

Quoting Shamrock350 (Thread starter):
and one with the Aer Lingus A320 merging into the Heathrow Express which said "The Ireland Express. No other airline flies 22 times a day from Heathrow to Ireland"

Really like that ad!!!



Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineEI350 From Ireland, joined Nov 2007, 34 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 8078 times:

Hey Shamrock350!
Great TR, you certainly did EI justice! Hope you enjoyed your stay.

Merry Christmas!
EI350



Airports: DUB, SNN, JFK, LHR, STN, MIA, CRL, FCO, FAO, PMI, BCN, AMS, MAH, PHL, MSP, GFK, DTW, ATW, IBZ, TLS, OSH
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 609 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7624 times:

This is why I prefer Aer Lingus. It is low cost, and has no hidden charges like other airlines . . . ahem . . .we know of. It is really a great carrier to fly on, and I would never hesitate to fly them. Gotta love 'em! Thanks for sharing your pics with us! It's really nice! Nice to go home too!


J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineAY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7545 times:

Thanks for the interesting TR! I did my first and only flight on Aer Lingus in Sept 2006, from AMS-ORK. I was very impressed with the service for such a short flight, and as you say everything was done with a sincere smile. We had the Breakfast, Sandwiches and Duty Free also. The crew was wonderful. It was also my first visit to Ireland, stayed with a best friend who lives in Ballyduff, County Waterford, and had a great time. I hope to return to Ireland soon, I just wish it could be on Aer Lingus, but from Vancouver, BC it's just not practical.
Cheers,
AY104



The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6339 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 7470 times:

Thanks for all the comments!

Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 2):
I dont i've ever had a smooth landing at Cork.

I was expecting a rough landing because of how bumpy the approach was but everything seemed to calm down as we past over the hill.

Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 2):
Hows the new tower coming along?

The new tower in Cork is scheduled for structural completion by May 2008 and hopefully in full operation later that year.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 3):
Really like that ad!!!

Yeah, lots of people were looking up at it, you cant really miss them. There was a little girl who pointed at them and asked her parents if they were flying "de green planes" and I later saw them board the Dublin flight.

Quoting AY104 (Reply 6):

I hope you can return to Ireland sometime and get to fly Aer Lingus again. You never know, the Shamrock could turn up in Vancouver on their next expansion!

Thanks again for all the comments and Merry Christmas  santahat 


User currently onlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1694 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 7435 times:

Hi Shamrock,

Thanks for your great report!
It is really strange to search passenger who are about to board an airplane. Never heard of that before actually!
22 flights is really a lot! Amazing!!!  eyepopping 

Visiting Ireland is very high on my priority list, hopefully 2008 will be the year!

Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!
Joost ( D-ALCE )



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4271 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7328 times:

Shamrock,
thanks for also this good report on EI. Various reports lately show that this airline is doing pretty well! Your writing and pics are very nice, just giving the right info and a bit extra  Smile
Merry x-mas, cheers,
Eric  wave 



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 609 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7312 times:



Quoting AY104 (Reply 6):

Yeah, it's kinda hard on the West Coast as a majority of flights are transpacific. Vancouver is poised to become a premier gateway to Asia. Europe has so little flights. YVR has BA, KL, LH, AC. Zoom and Air Transat and other charters go I believe. However, if you wanted to go, and you had lots of time, take QuickCoach directly to SEA-TAC, and then fly SEA-LAX on whatever low-cost carrier, and then fly LAX-DUB on Aer Lingus.

I still wish they will add YYZ. However, even that is not practical since even Air Canada has to do seasonal.
For me, I drove to Buffalo at 3:00 a.m., caught JetBlue to JFK, and then waited for the flight from JFK to DUB. This was before they started the BUF-BOS flight on JetBlue, otherwise I would have loved to try BOS.

End of may next year, i used my points to go Toronto-London using AA and Aer Lingus. That's how much I like Aer Lingus! I could fly AA straight, or I could fly BA nonstop. I chose to fly Aer Lingus!



J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17067 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7311 times:



Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 7):
Yeah, lots of people were looking up at it, you cant really miss them.

That is a excellent way for EI to ad!!!



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

Really good TR. I love EI's colours. BTW, the first picture reminds me why I hate LHR so much.

User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6339 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 7028 times:



Quoting DALCE (Reply 8):
22 flights is really a lot! Amazing!!!

After my flight departed there was about three other EI aircraft waiting to depart and one had just arrived to fill the space my aircraft had just left. It's no surprise that Aer Lingus is one of the biggest slot holders at Heathrow!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 9):
Shamrock,
thanks for also this good report on EI. Various reports lately show that this airline is doing pretty well! Your writing and pics are very nice, just giving the right info and a bit extra

Thanks! I think Aer Lingus have been doing very well in the past few years, they have got a nice mix of low fares and good service.

Quoting Kiramakora (Reply 12):
I love EI's colours. BTW, the first picture reminds me why I hate LHR so much.

I hope EI keep their livery for the A350s, I think it could be one of the best looking liveries on the XWB!

It's hard to believe that LHR was basically empty about an hour before that photo, it like was the calm before the storm Big grin


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6975 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, nice to see consistent EI service. Hopefully they keep it this way and don't stoop to FR & EZY levels in extras for pretty much everything.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6339 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6801 times:

Thanks for the comments Mark.

I agree, Aer Lingus have got the right mix of low fares and good service so I hope it stays that way.


User currently offlineWexCan From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6760 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
Hopefully they keep it this way and don't stoop to FR & EZY levels in extras for pretty much everything.

The only thing that U2 charges for that EI doesn't, as far as I know, is "speedy boarding". Of course EI charge for advance seat selection so it balances out a bit.

Both airlines:
- Charge for hold bags.
- Charge for flight changes.
- Charge excess baggage for over 20kg.
- Charge for sports equipment.
- Charge for food on board
- Charge you for insurance unless you opt out.
- etc

In all reality, EI and U2 charging is near identical, so nobody has to do any "stooping".


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