EI320 From Ireland, joined Dec 2007, 1436 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14913 times:
After a 14 month break, Aer Lingus resumed services between Shannon and London Heathrow on March 29th. The route will operate twice daily.
Back in February, a friend and I decided to book a day trip to LHR for the Easter holidays. The return fare was €65, pretty good considering it was during the Easter period.
Date : 07 April 2009 Flight : EI382 Route : SNN - LHR Aircraft : A320-214 Reg : EI-DVG Aircraft Name : St Flannan Seat : 28F Class : Economy Load Factor : 75% Scheduled Dept Time : 08:45 Actual Dept Time : 08:45 Scheduled Arrival Time : 10:15 Actual Arrival Time : 10:10
We arrived at SNN at 07:00 and collected our boarding cards from the check-in desk.
After a quick look in the Duty Free store, we proceeded straight to the boarding gates.
CO 757 preparing for departure to EWR
Quite ironic - EI-EWR parked next to CO bound for EWR
Gate 6 where the flight was departing from
A sorry sight, Sterling and Futura aircraft parked up
FR 738 and Cargo ramp
I spot an old shamrock
At 07:45, EI-DVG arrived in from LHR, one of the newer A320's in the EI fleet, delivered in November 2007
Aer Lingus A330 EI-EWR pushes back
A surprise visitor Air Nostrum CRJ-200ER
There was also a couple sitting at the gate who had arrived in from the US and were connecting onwards to LHR. Boarding commenced at 08:20 and we were greeted at the door by 2 friendly cabin crew.
Two Omni DC-10's preparing for another charter flight
During pushback the crew performed the safety demonstration and we taxied to RWY24 for take-off
The captain gave a brief description of our routing and informed us that the flight time would be 1 hour.
Shortly afterwards the crew began the service. I opted for the breakfast as usual.
A very tasty breakfast - bread, roll, fruit (new), 2 sausages, bacon, black and white pudding, tomato, sauteed potatoes, orange juice and a choice of hot drink
It was soon time to land in LHR. We were put into a holding pattern for over 10 mins and then began our approach to RWY 09L. There was great views of the city whilst on approach
BA line-up, including new oneworld logo jet
Touchdown RWY 09L
The taxi to Terminal 1 gave me a good opportunity to get some photos
No better place to be for spotting
Very nice, an AC 77W
BA 744 climbs out of LHR
On leaving the aircraft, I asked the captain could I come up to the cockpit, and there was no problem. I chatted to him for a few minutes about the flying and he was very friendly. He had been overnighting in LHR for the past three nights and he was returning to DUB that day. He also commented on the good loads both inbound to SNN and outbound and he said they were very happy to be back on the route. I thanked the crew and said goodbye to them.
The first place to visit was the Heathrow Academy, located just off the North perimeter road. We got the shuttle bus from the Central bus station to the Renaissance Hotel.
The visitor centre was very small, but interesting all the same. It's definitely worth a visit if you have time to spare and your near the airport.
There was also a stand located in the staff car park where it was possible to view the aircraft. It was OK.
It was then time to head to Myrtle Avenue, located just a short walk from Hatton Cross Tube station. There is a big green park there where it's possible to get some excellent shots. From the road, aircraft landing on 09L fly straight overhead too.
EK A380 in the distance
A320 Red Nose
At 15:00, it was time to head back to LHR. Before heading to T1, we took the Heathrow Express over to Terminal 5 to take a look
The photos speak for themselves
A FIRST passenger is parachuting in for check-in.........
It was then time to head back to Terminal 1 to check-in for our flight back to SNN
Date : 07 April 2009 Flight : EI388 Route : LHR-SNN Aircraft : A320-214 Reg : EI-DEF Aircraft Name : St Declan Seat : 28D Class : Economy Load Factor : 65% Scheduled Dept Time : 19:10 Actual Dept Time : 19:57 Scheduled Arrival Time : 20:30 Actual Arrival Time : 21:18
We checked-in using the Fastpass kiosks and got our boarding cards. We went for the dinner before heading to the gates.
There were four EI flights departing within 90 minutes of each other, one to DUB, ORK, SNN and BFS.
Kingfisher A330 landing RWY 09R
KLM F50, hardly the most effective use of a precious LHR slot!! Nice to see variety though.
Gold Circle lounge, which was pretty busy.
The Menzies staff working on behalf of EI are excellent, as good as any EI staff. 2 DUB passengers arrived at the gate late and missed their flight. They were put on standby for the next flight to DUB for £60.
Our aircraft, EI-DEF arriving on stand
At about 18:50, boarding commenced. Gold Circle members were invited to board at their leisure. On boarding, we were greeted at the door by 2 nice crew again. I recognised one of the crew from a LHR-DUB back in February. All was going to plan until after pushback. We remained on the taxiway at Terminal 1 for about 10 mins and then returned to the gate.
The usual announcement "Cabin Crew prepare doors for arrival and cross check" was made by the senior crew member, much to the surprise of some passengers.
The captain quickly informed us of a "minor" technical fault and apologised for the delay. Less than 30 mins later, the problem was sorted (not sure what the problem was) and we taxied to RWY 06L for departure. We joined the queue for take-off and just over 10 minutes later we were on our way, about 50 mins delayed, but nothing major.
The crew began the service and I managed to get hold of the last Calzone pizza which was a relief. It's very tasty and quite filling too.
Calzone meatball pizza - €5 (picture stolen from an older TR)
It was dark at this time so I just sat back and read some of the Cara in-flight magazine. About 45 minutes later we began our descent into SNN. The captain warned us that the approach to SNN would be "choppy" due to a strong south-westerly wind and it was indeed a pretty rough landing. Always adds a little excitement to landings I think, the reaction from passengers on touchdown was quite amusing as well as the pilot attempted to steady the aircraft.
We taxied to Gate 7 and I thanked the crew and said goodbye to them. Have to say the crew were great on both flights.
Can anyone spot the mistake with this photo?
Well that's the end of those short flights, and a very enjoyable day out. I'm delighted that EI have taken the decision to restore this important route, which I hope will be a success for them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this report, and as usual, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated!
Linglesou From Australia, joined Apr 2009, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 14828 times:
G'day! Awesome report - all I can say is; I want that breakfast! Fantastic pictures - that Heathrow Academy looks fascinating. What exactly is that VIP treatment poster all about? Do you pay to go through there and have your picture taken or something? Haha, sure 34 comes after 37...
OA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26854 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 14493 times:
Hi Colm ,
Excellent report and nice pics. What a great day out. You covered everything. Also something really personal to me !! You got a photo of my house where I spent my childhood!! Amazing. I will have to show my parents. Its the two pics as you approach LHR and you can see the glass house at Kew Gardens and the Thames river. Thanks for that .
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6321 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14031 times:
Great report, it's fantastic to see Aer Lingus return to the Shannon-Heathrow route and I hope it does well for them. I'm sure I'll use it in the near future, the last time I got to travel on the route was in August 2007, just after it was announced that the route would end and there were quite a few sad faces around.
Great photos of Shannon and Heathrow. The Aer Lingus adverts are nice to see, it's something they seem to be doing a lot more recently with adverts for their routes at LHR, SNN, ORK and now NOC.
Well all the other airlines already have a desk, so unless the airport authority are putting a desk there for something, I'm not sure. We'll just have to wait and see!
Quoting EISHN (Reply 13): It truly is great to see the LHR route back again, and it's great that it has been documented this early on.
It's definitely great to have the route back. People just need to put their money where their mouth is and support this route, instead of moaning about the past. A BA codeshare would give the route a boost too.
Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 14): Great report, it's fantastic to see Aer Lingus return to the Shannon-Heathrow route and I hope it does well for them. I'm sure I'll use it in the near future, the last time I got to travel on the route was in August 2007, just after it was announced that the route would end and there were quite a few sad faces around.
Hi Kevin, I was looking at that particular report earlier on. Staff moral was pretty low during those months for obvious reasons. Many SNN crew and ground staff have left since then (about 60 or so) which is a shame, but it had to be done to get the cost base down.
Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 14): The Aer Lingus adverts are nice to see, it's something they seem to be doing a lot more recently with adverts for their routes at LHR, SNN, ORK and now NOC.
The colour and simplicity of the adverts are pretty effective I think. People don't have the time in airports to be reading long detailed adverts regarding routes, so these adverts work well I think.
Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 15): I think the last picture was from an older trip as I think I can see an A330 winglet?
We have a winner.... . I was hoping someone would get it, the winglet of the A330 in the dark is the problem!
EI320 From Ireland, joined Dec 2007, 1436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12852 times:
Quoting DFW13L (Reply 19): Fantastic report with lots of pics. Enjoyed it very much. And you hit all my favorite places at Heathrow too. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
Quoting EICVD (Reply 20): I sure am but who on A.net isnt
Bit jealous of some of the a/c you saw
That's true, no better place than LHR for variety!
If it's possible, you should try and fly in when 27L is being used for landings. There's great views of the city on approach and a good long taxi to T1 after landing.
Quoting Davehammer (Reply 21): Thanks for the TR! Some excellent pics from LHR there. I particularly like the BA 744 headed straight for the camera.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. You should try and visit SNN sometime if you get a chance. It's not a very busy airport, but there's always a few widebodies around every day and there's often the odd surprise to be seen too.