[Note to moderators/EI787: The pics. should come out now and the end will probably be cut off so I will post the remainder as reply #1]
So my enjoyable three weeks in Chicago were over and it was time to head home. Aer Lingus are the only airline offering direct flights to Shannon (in western Ireland) however there is a stopover at Dublin Airport.
[Hopefully the pics will come out – I’ve had a bad history ]
Obviously I spent a day at ORD just looking around all the terminals etc. so I’ve included pics of that here:
^^^ Air One, the newest member of ORD’s international family offering flights to/from Milan
^^^ Taken from the airport transit system
^^^ Old control tower
^^^ United’s Terminal 1
^^^ Galway is one of Chicago’s sister cities, there is a display of these sister city flags in the corridor connecting terminals 1, 2 & 3
O’Hare International Airport (ORD) - Dublin Airport (DUB)
Date: Wednesday, 20th August 2008/Thursday, 21st August 2008
Airline: Aer Lingus (EI/EIN)
Flight Number: EI124/AA7976 [Codeshared with American Airlines]
Aircraft Type: Airbus Industrie A330-302
Aircraft Tail No: EI-DUZ (St. Aoife/Aoife)
Departure Gate: M9
Scheduled Departure: 18:50 CDT
Actual Departure: 18:47 CDT
Weather at Departure: Clear, hazy, winds NE
Taxi Route: INTL. TAXILINE, D2, D, D1, B
Scheduled Arrival: 08:15 UTC
Actual Arrival: 07:53 UTC
Arrival Gate: Gate B33
Weather at Arrival: Broken cloud, winds SW.
Approx. Routing: ORD-Quebec City-Newfoundland-South tip of Greenland-DUB
Seat No: 12A
Captain: Ross Kelly
Actual Flight Time: 7 hours, 6 minutes [pushback-touchdown]
My grandparents live only a few minutes from the airport so we left about 3.30pm. Aer Lingus operate from O’Hare’s International/Terminal 5 and usually Gate M9 which was the case again this evening. When we arrived the queue for the EI desk was literally stretched out the door. Good thing I had checked us in the night before online and we were first in this line.
Our bag-drop was done in a matter of minutes and the lady slapped heavy stickers on all the bags. We even had to weigh our carry-on luggage which I never had to do before. We got a bite to eat at McDonalds in the food court [which ain’t so bad Irish A.netters.] we then got in the long queue for security which took about 20 minutes. This was the busiest time of day for T5 so we expected it.
We arrived at Gate M9, the waiting area which we shared with Gate M8 also had KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight KL612 to Amsterdam going out one hour after us.
We had about an hour to kill so I strolled around the terminal with the camera:
^^^ ANA is the only airline on this sign which still flies to/from ORD…interesting
^^^ SK944 to Copenhagen would leave at 10.05pm
^^^ This is a pic of an Irish pub in Chicago on display in T5. Irish people are the second largest ethnic group living in Chicago after Germany. Pride…
^^^ This “Welcome to Chicago” bench is in the departures level but whatever…
^^^ Turkish Airlines TK6 to Istanbul seen rolling here on Runway 32R. It was an Airbus A340-300.
^^^ LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767-200 “City of Poznan” would depart as LO2 to Warsaw at 5.25pm
^^^ Royal Jordanian flight RJ263 from Amman just arriving at Gate M5
^^^ As mentioned before, the busiest time of day at T5 but you wouldn’t think it here…
^^^ Air France’s Airbus A340-300 would depart as AF51 back to Paris at 5.30pm. It was parked at M7
^^^ American Airlines Boeing 777-200
^^^ “City of Freeport” was the name of this KLM Asia 747. It doesn’t bear the crown of KLM on its tail nor the Dutch flag.
^^^ This reminds me of the film “Catch Me if you Can” where your man was walking in with all the flight attendants. By the way El Al no longer fly here – that sign needs to be updated
^^^ Love the new Air India livery with the design around all the windows
^^^ This flight would also serve Frankfurt and Mumbai
^^^ British Airways have three daily flights from London LHR; two 747s and a 777. How do they fill them with, I think 13 daily flights from Chicago to London in total?!
^^^ The airport transit system
^^^ Now you see it…
^^^ Now you don’t
^^^ Yes, the Irish flag is there too
^^^ This Asiana Airlines 747 took up residence at M7 shortly after Air France left. This aircraft would remain on the ground for SIX HOURS before turning around as flight OZ235 to Seoul
Unfortunately it was impossible to get a pic of EI-DUZ because of the design of this terminal.
Pre-Boarding was announced at 6.09pm and the general boarding from the back of the aircraft first, at 6.11pm. We were sitting at the front but we thought we’d chance boarding now anyway. It was a success and the boarding agent was the same woman who checked us in earlier. She worked for Swissport, the ground handling agent for EI here.
EI-DUZ is Aer Lingus’ newest widebody aircraft so it was fitted with Recaro seats and AVOD. It makes the flight seem much quicker.
^^^ No one sat in any of the 4 seats at the bulkhead so my mother and brother sat there for extra space
The doors closed at 6.34pm and the airbridge was retracted. I loved sitting near the top to see what was going on.
The head of cabin crew, Joan Farrell welcomed all passengers and informed us of an on-time departure. They were just waiting for cargo to be finished loading. The safety video was played then although halfway through it stopped and started playing from the start again.
Captain Ross Kelly introduced himself after this. His estimated flight time was 7 hours. He gave us the routing and said we would pass directly over Quebec City, Canada. He would inform us of our arrival again in a few hours. Pushback was at 6.47pm and we started taxiing at 6.53pm.
^^^ Love the way we have to go over the bridge of the highway to get to the runway
Once we reached Runway 32R we were cleared for immediate takeoff at 6.59pm. This is the 2nd busiest airport in the world and yet no runway congestion. It was a quick liftoff. We made a slight left right after takeoff and headed in that direction until just south or Racine, Wisconsin before turning more east onto Lake Michigan. I watched the sunset:
Being the aviation enthusiast that I am I had the Flightmap on the PTV most of the way. When I walked around later I found a lot of people watching it as well. At 7.19pm CDT the bar service started, soft drinks were free but alcoholic drinks had a charge and passengers were asked to buy them now if they wanted them with dinner later on. I had coke:
We climbed quickly and reached our cruising altitude of 35,196 feet at 7.20pm according to Flightmap [formerly Airshow]. Our estimated arrival in Dublin was 7.55am UTC – 20 minutes early. At 7.50pm CDT Captain Kelly came on again telling us more about our routing, altitude etc. and that some minor turbulence was expected over the Atlantic. Now he wasn’t anymore specific than that but I later figured out it was the whole ocean that contributed turbulence
AmricanShamrok From Ireland, joined May 2008, 2720 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 24787 times:
The remainder which was cut off:
Dinner began at 8.25pm CDT. The choice was, as usual, chicken or beef. I opted for the beef which was ok but not great:
SkyShopping came around at 9.39pm.
The one bad thing I’ll say about the new aircraft is this: I had two seats to myself and wanted to stretch out after dinner but couldn’t because that armrest dividing the two wouldn’t go up all the way. It was uncomfortable and in the older planes it will go up all the way. Bad engineering or whatever you’ll call it there lads.
The flight got quite turbulent once we reached the Atlantic coast of Canada and continued on and off until we landed at DUB. It was quite violent at times and it was annoying because when everyone was trying to sleep the captain kept turning on the seatbelt sign when we encountered turbulence which resulted in Ms. Farrell making loud announcements to ensure our seatbelts were fastened.
Cara Magazine featuring Sofia this month:
Safety Instruction card:
Cruising altitude increased to 38,000 feet as the flight went on and I tried my best to sleep but I never sleep on planes. Other than that the rest of the flight was uneventful. Other cabin crew included Eleanor O’Mahony and David Grogan.
Breakfast was served at 7.05am UTC. It consisted of a ham and cheese roll with orange juice and tea/coffee if you wished. I didn’t eat it.
We made landfall over the Irish coast [South Mayo coast/Aran Islands] at 7.27am. It was an overcast day in Ireland [nothing new there says you] so I couldn’t view the scenery. Just like our climb, our descent was quick too. At 7.31am UTC the captain came on a final time to inform us of our descent, routing [we would fly out into the Irish Sea and make a 180 degree turn to approach the “western facing runway at Dublin Airport”] and thanked us for flying Aer Lingus. I liked this captain he kept us informed the whole way. Interestingly though, the first officer didn’t speak at all before/during the flight so I couldn’t get his name. I know he performed the pre-flight checks outside the aircraft I saw him myself with that Aer Lingus fluorescent jacket and coming back onboard with it.
Now something new and very “cost-cuttingy” happened which I wasn’t too impressed with: the cabin manager announced that as a “safety measure” inflight entertainment incluing AVOD would now be switched off and all headsets would be collected. This didn’t happen before we landed at ORD three weeks previous. This happened at 7.43am.
Slats were deployed at 7.48am and final approach was at 7.50am.
^^^ View of Dublin and North Bull Island on our final approach
We landed smoothly on Runway 28 at 7.53am. We arrived on stand at 8.02am. It wasn’t that busy; a Ryanair 737 here and there and an Aer Arann ATR72. I also spotted an Air Canada 767-200 arriving to the D gates and American Airlines flight AA92 also from Chicago. We were parked next to a Delta Air Lines 767-300 from Atlanta in the new livery:
^^^ EI-JFK [St. Colmcille] parked next to us at B34 as EI132 from Boston and Shannon.
^^^ One engine running
The door was opened but there was a problem with the airbridge so the door had to be closed again so the bridge could be re-adjusted. A few passengers escaped before the door was closed again. I had a quick peek into the Premier cabin during this time: there were 15 seats filled.
Dublin Airport (DUB) – Shannon International Airport (SNN)
Date: Thursday, 21st July 2008
Airline: Aer Lingus (EI/EIN)
Flight Number: EI124/AA7976 [Codeshared with American Airlines]
Aircraft Type: Airbus Industrie A330-302
Aircraft Tail No: EI-DUZ (St. Aoife/Aoife)
Departure Gate: Gate B33
Scheduled Departure: 09:00 UTC
Actual Departure: 09:43 UTC
Weather at Departure: Overcast, winds SW.
Scheduled Arrival: 09:45 UTC
Actual Arrival: 10:13 UTC
Arrival Gate: Gate 6
Weather at Arrival: Scattered cloud, winds SW.
Taxi Route: A
Approx. Routing: DUB-Irish Midlands-SNN
Seat No: 12A
Captain: Tom Cunningham
Actual Flight Time: 28 minutes
Some flight engineers came on board and I overheard them telling crew that there was an oil problem with Engine 2 and that it would take about half an hour to fix it. Sure enough our new captain, Tom Cunningham announced our plan for today. He also announced that “routine maintenance that was taking longer than expected” being carrier out on the left engine and we would be delayed about 30 minutes. Well the moaning and groaning out of some passengers as if it would be of any real inconvenience to them. 50 people got on in Dublin and were travelling to Shannon, mostly connections. That left 130 pax for this sector in total. As part of the maintenance the engine had to be started, left running for a while and then shut down again.
Some cabin crew left in Dublin including Joan Farrell and some new crew came on including our own Keith D’Arcy – fellow Irish A.netter Bx737! He was our new head of cabin crew but I didn’t know he was Bx737 at the time though.
Again there were problems with the safety video, it was played about five times, four times stopping halfway through. Pushback was at 9.43am and takeoff at 9.54 on Runway 28 after waiting for one aircraft to land on Runway 34. The AVOD was kept off for this flight.
Then, for the 3rd time in 4 flights with EI someone noticed me taking notes. It was a steward called Paul Markham and was very interested in my aviation interests etc. so I gave him my book so he could see all the flights I’ve recorded. He told me to make myself known to him when I get a job with EI because he might have forgotten about me :-P He was sound out though.
Descent began at 10.02am and slats were deployed at 10.08. Touchdown in Shannon was at 10.13am and we arrived on stand at 10.21am. Two Ryanair aircraft were on the ground, EI-DCN and EI-DWO.
^^^ Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-200 from New York City and our aircraft, EI-DUZ
^^^ Baggage Hall
The lack of pics for this sector is because I was too tired.
And so concludes my report. Nothing special about these flights, not as good as my three previous flights with EI in summer 2007. This winter most EI widebody aircraft will be reconfigured with new cabins, seats and AVOD and then next summer there will be nonstop flights to/from Shannon/Chicago with Aer Lingus – Can’t wait!
Comments and questions are welcome and I will get back to you ASAP.
Oa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26028 posts, RR: 58 Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 24695 times:
Hey great report and you got so many great photos in ORD. Loved all of them and expecially the Air India one. I agree with you the ''Palace'' windows are great and Im glad they retained
them in the new livery.
Also nice to see Swiss lol....I still have never done longhaul with them and really want to .
EI seemed ok and the AVOD is nice but that meal I would have to say I would pass it back to the crew. Cheap plastic and those flimsy cups and salad that wouldnt feed a rabbit. They really need to improve catering for me to give them my business on longhaul Y class.
Anyway great read and lots of details. Thanks for a wonderful report.
AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 1): I had two seats to myself and wanted to stretch out after dinner but couldn’t because that armrest dividing the two wouldn’t go up all the way. It was uncomfortable and in the older planes it will go up all the way. Bad engineering or whatever you’ll call it there lads.
I've noticed this too. The armrests on -DUZ seem wider than the older a/c so maybe thats the problem.
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter): Breakfast was served at 7.05am UTC. It consisted of a ham and cheese roll with orange juice and tea/coffee if you wished. I didn’t eat it.
More than you get ex JFK/BOS but still a pretty dismal breakfast. If they served the tasty breakfast served on s/h flights it would be a decent improvement, at least you'd arrive with a nice taste in your mouth!
I've never known the crew to collect headsets before. Is this some new policy? Maybe one of our EI crew members on here could enlighten us? After paying your T/A fare, collecting headphones seems very cheap.
COEI2007 From Vanuatu, joined Jan 2007, 1912 posts, RR: 6 Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 24688 times:
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter): Now something new and very “cost-cuttingy” happened which I wasn’t too impressed with: the cabin manager announced that as a “safety measure” inflight entertainment incluing AVOD would now be switched off and all headsets would be collected. This didn’t happen before we landed at ORD three weeks previous. This happened at 7.43am.
Its actually for safety reasons, because people always leave them on the floor and people trip over them really easily!
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6203 posts, RR: 15 Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 24688 times:
Very nice report and photos. Always good to see a report on Aer Lingus but it's a shame the flights were not up to the same standard as your previous flights last year. The new cabins are a huge improvement but they need to improve the meals and their presentation, hopefully it will be included in some of the new improvements coming next year.
AmricanShamrok From Ireland, joined May 2008, 2720 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 24480 times:
Thanks for the comments!
Quoting Oa260 (Reply 2): Also nice to see Swiss lol....I still have never done longhaul with them and really want to .
Swiss - surprise surprise They have just upgraded their ORD service from A332 to A343.
Quoting Oa260 (Reply 2): EI seemed ok and the AVOD is nice but that meal I would have to say I would pass it back to the crew. Cheap plastic and those flimsy cups and salad that wouldnt feed a rabbit. They really need to improve catering for me to give them my business on longhaul Y class.
You're right there. It turns you off eating completely on the plane then...
Quoting EI320 (Reply 3): I've never been in ORD, but the terminals there seem very pleasant and well organised.
Well T1 & T5 are, T2 & T3 is a different story!
Quoting EI320 (Reply 3): Great shot, has to be my favourite!
On my day at ORD I could have sat there for hours watching the planes going over that bridge!
Quoting EI320 (Reply 3): I've never known the crew to collect headsets before. Is this some new policy? Maybe one of our EI crew members on here could enlighten us? After paying your T/A fare, collecting headphones seems very cheap.
Quoting COEI2007 (Reply 4): Its actually for safety reasons, because people always leave them on the floor and people trip over them really easily!
Exactly, cheap and I feel they're doing it to save money, even though COEI seays its as a safety measure I'm not convinced...
Quoting EI320 (Reply 3): hopefully EI will keep it year-round though.
Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 5): The new cabins are a huge improvement but they need to improve the meals and their presentation, hopefully it will be included in some of the new improvements coming next year.
There should be more choice on the AVOD too I think. Theres only a small selection when compared to others like JetBlue.
Quoting N272WA (Reply 6): I am going to ORD in April and I think I will chose AA over EI.
Have you been to Chicago before? Do you think AA is better than EI on DUB-ORD?
EICVD From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2106 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 24377 times:
Was well worth the wait for this excellent trip report. Loved reading it. Some great photos especially the ones from ORD. I'll be expecting more reports from you in the future mate.
Thanks for posting.
Dublin, where Sam Maguire will be coming home to in mid September
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6203 posts, RR: 15 Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 24357 times:
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 7): There should be more choice on the AVOD too I think. Theres only a small selection when compared to others like JetBlue.
Yeah it has the capability to increase the number of shows, movies and music but I don't think they've done it yet. A number of other airlines have the same system including SQ on their A380s. I think Finnair has the exact same cabins as Aer Lingus in both classes, the only difference is that AY have blue seats and EI have green!
DFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 23508 times:
Loved all the pics! And the funny thing is how similar it is to my current situation. Yesterday I was planning to nonrev on EI124 ORD-DUB but it ended up not working out because a meeting at work ended some 2-3 hours later than expected, so I didn't get to check-in in time. So I ended up spending the night at the ORD Hilton, which is great. I'm typing this from the my room on the top floor.
You really made Terminal 5 at ORD look good. I don't have the highest opinion of that terminal, although I do have a great respect for the amount of international traffic that flies there. I just think the terminal is a bit cramped and outdated. You made it look great!
I loved all the details you provided on the flight. Now it feels like I was there and I didn't have to spend all the money to do it!
CallBell From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 216 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 22338 times:
It is as far as i know an IAA requirement that crew collect in the headphones. They consider leaving them strewn around the cabin hazardous in the event of an evacuation on landing. Crew used to collect headphones prior to 9/11 for recycling purposes but this was dropped when yje number of crew on flight was reduced. As far as it being a cost cutting measure I dont see how it would save money.