Toulouse From Ireland, joined Apr 2005, 2718 posts, RR: 59 Posted (3 years 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7131 times:
So here’s my first TR in a while, and once again for Aer Lingus. In the past week and a half I have so far taken 3 Aer Lingus flights. I will briefly describe the first two sectors, but as I was travelling with my wife and son on those flights, I took no photos, so I will give you a more detailed TR for the third sector further down.
August 7th 2009
Route: TLS (Toulouse Blagnac Airport, France, to Dublin, Ireland).
Flight: EI 533
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Registration: EI-CPH "Saint Dervilla" delivered to EI on 21/11/1999.
Scheduled departure time: 16:35
Actual departure time: 17:10
Scheduled arrival time: 17:40
Actual arrival time: 18:00
Seats: 2 D, E, F
Before leaving home on this hot Toulouse day, I already saw the flight had departed DUB late, and aerlingus.com was giving an estimated new departure time of 17:30, nevertheless, the flight arrived a bit earlier than expected, the turnaround was the fastest I’ve ever seen with EI, as soon as the last inbound pax were off boarding was called, but then we were kept waiting at the top of the jet bridge for a further 15 minutes before allowed on the plane.
Both flight crew and cabin crew were highly apologetic for delay, saying it was due to the previous flight operated by our a/c being late back into DUB. Pilot said we would have a short flying time today on the route of only 1 hour and 40 minutes so we would gain a bit of time on the delay.
As usual with EI, the service was as consistent as ever. Cabin crew were all friendly, and the BOB service started very quickly after departure. The plane seemed quite full, and I have noticed this year the EI has been sending their larger A321's down to TLS quite often instead of the scheduled smaller A320's.
We landed only 20 minutes late, and disembarked through the awful Pier A at Dublin. The airport was very quiet at this time, and within about 20 minutes of disembarking, we had cleared passport control, collected our baggage and were waiting for our shuttle bus to the Carlton Dublin Airport Hotel (my favourite airport hotel at DUB as it’s nice, classy yet modern, clean, two good restaurants, and many rooms offer great viewing of the runway at DUB… a delight for myself and my 3 and a half year-old already plane mad son.
Friday, August 14th 2009
Route: DUB (Dublin, Ireland) to MAD (Madrid Barajas, Spain).
Flight: EI 594
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Registration: EI-CVB "Saint Mobhi" delivered to EI on 08/01/2001.
Scheduled departure time: 16:00
Actual departure time: 16:05
Scheduled arrival time: 19:35
Actual arrival time: 19:05
Seats: 3 A, B, C
Here begins my marathon trip which would involve me being outside Ireland for just 20 hours. As my wife is approaching her 7th month of pregnancy, I didn’t want her travelling alone with my son, so basically I took off from DUB at 16:05, landed in MAD at 19:05, got an AVE high-speed train and travelled 200 km arriving at the destination for Mrs. Toulouse and Toulouse Junior at 22:30, where my father-in-law picked them up, at 23:02 I boarded another AVE to return to Madrid were I grabbed a quick dinner, tried to sleep in an awfully hot apartment without air-conditioning and was back at MAD at about 08:00 for the 10:35 departure to DUB.
So here’s the Friday flight. Got to a relatively busy DUB. Checked-in my wife and son’s suitcase, and with only about an hour to spare, headed straight through security as we were boarding from the new Pier D, which is quite a walk, and I knew would take long with a pregnant wife and young child. Security line was very long, but was processed very quickly and we cleared it in about 15 minutes. Passed the nice new connection between “The Street” (the main landside shopping area at DUB) connecting Pier B & C area to Piers A and D. Wife stopped for a rest just before the long walkway to Pier D started. There was a DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) chap in one of those little cars things parked beside us, kept looking at us, and as soon as we stood up he offered to bring us as my wife was pregnant! This was my first time departing from Pier D, and while slightly sterile, it is so much nicer than Pier A where I usually depart from on my frequent TLS flights.
Sat at the gate area. There was a bit of commotion as a very elderly Spanish lade had obviously had a fall in the airport and her head was in pain. An EI lady noticed this, chatted to her (her daughter seemed to want no fuss), but soon enough three members of the Dublin airport fire brigade medical team arrived, who spent about 20 minutes with here, treated her with great affection, and finally decided she was fit to fly.
Boarding started promptly, and doors were shut at about 15:50. Load seemed to be around 95%.
We took of at 16:05 on the dot. Crew and service, as usually, was consistent, friendly and efficient. Three female f/a’s and one male Spaniard who did all the Spanish announcements. He spent a large amount of time chatting to a group of elderly Spanish ladies in row 2 who were asking him lots about his job and seemed intrigued he lived in Ireland instead of Spain. I eavesdropped. He loves EI and said they are a great airline to work for, and mentioned there are a number of Spanish F/A’s. He also said he’d never return to Spain as he found the quality and standard of living in Ireland to be far superior to Spain!
As usual in the Madrid area in summer, our approach was very bumpy given the high temperatures, and there were a lot of nasty looking storm clouds around.
We landed on one of the new runways at MAD early, yet given the very long taxi times from the T4 area runways at MAD to T1, despite our early arrival, we were only about 5 minutes ahead of schedule by the time we reached our gate.
MAD were VERY quiet. No other flights at the luggage area, and so it took about 15 minutes from getting off the plane to exiting the airport.
Saturday, August 15th 2009
Route: MAD (Madrid Barajas, Spain) to DUB (Dublin, Ireland).
Flight: EI 593
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Registration: EI-DEE "Saint Ultan" delivered to EI on 27/08/2004.
Scheduled departure time: 10:35
Actual departure time: 11:35
Scheduled arrival time: 12:10
Actual arrival time: 12:45
Seats: 3 F
Very tired after all my rail/plane travelling the previous day, I hopped in a taxi for MAD on a quite, sunny and pleasant Madrid Saturday morning. Taxi to MAD took only about 15 minutes. MAD T1 was packed! I headed straight for security which was fast enough. Bought some cigarettes for the family which means about a 50% saving compared to prices in Dublin and then proceeded to the Cibeles Lounge in T1 which Aer Lingus Gold Circle (FF) members can use. Stayed for a while, had breakfast (a pretty poor selection, so got coffee, OJ and a couple of mini breakfast pastries). Despite this their magazine selection is amazing! Also some nice views of the apron.
We were departing from the A gates, which was the newest addition to T1 before T4 was built, always a nice area to depart from in T1. Our plane landed just a few minutes late, but we boarded about 50 minutes late. The two Swissport girls at the check-in desk, while both pretty, gave NO information whatsoever despite the delay, and that a line had formed very early. Whenever anyone asked about the delay, they’d just respond like machines “boarding in 5 minutes”, Which turned out to be about 55 minutes after the published boarding time.
I was second on, greeted by a very cheerful crew (2 senior female F/A’s up front, and 2 younger female F/A’s down the back). I took my seat in row 3F and was delighted to see that when the doors were closed, seats 3 A,B,C,D and E all remained empty! In fact there were only of us in rows 1 to 5, and the rest of the plane seemed full.
Pilot apologised for delay, and we got more detailed than usual briefings on the flight and routing prior to departure and during the flight.
This was my first morning flight with EI in about a year, so was eager to try the Irish breakfast, and it was as good as ever, and still excellent value at €9.
Weather was beautiful for all the flight, with cloud only covering the views as we approached the southern English coast, and only cleared as we got close to the Irish coast (well, didn’t clear, but there were good breaks in the clouds).
Arrived late, but didn’t mind as I was exhausted. Parked at Pier D which meant a long walk, but didn’t bother me as I had no luggage.
So that’s it. Next week I’ll be flying EI again to MAD then a few days later EZY to TLS.
Hope you enjoyed. Photos and videos from the MAD-DUB flight below. As always, I can only commend the “consistency” of EI’s s/h service. Any comments welcome.
Photos and videos of MAD and EI flight from MAD to DUB on August 15th 2009:
Couple of shots of the "Sala Cibeles" lounge in T1:
Two shots of the apron from the lounge:
Boarding area A at MAD T1 where my flight departed from:
The Shamrock has landed in the Madrid morning sun, and is seen here on the way to her parking position:
I have all of row 3 to myself!!!!
Some photos during pushback and the loooooong taxi to the northern runways at MAD:
Take off from MAD
Photos of the very dry Castilian summer landscape just north of MAD after take off for DUB:
Looking towards the front of the cabin:
Aer Lingus A320 Safety Instruction Cards:
The EI Sky Café Menu:
"Cara", the Aer Lingus inflight magazine:
At last, my cooked Irish breakfast has been served, comprising for €9: 2 sausages, 1 slice of bacon, cooked tomatoe, fried potatoes, black and white pudding, 2 slices of Irish soda bread, butter and marmalade, Orange Juice and an oftion of tea or coffee, I took the coffee:
¡Hasta pronto España! Reaching the northern Spanish coast en-route to Dublin.
Inflight information from our First Officer
An airport somewhere near the eastern French coast
On approach to runway 28 at Dublin. There are some lovely photos here, as the sunlight and reflection of the clouds on the Irish sea just off the Irish coast were quite stunning that morning.
HOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 420 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7118 times:
Nice, thanks for the report on an airline that many Americans would love to fly. At least I would love to fly (hee). I especially liked the pic of your breakfast, it looked delicious! Beautiful terminal shots as well! Thank you.
AmricanShamrok From Ireland, joined May 2008, 2608 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7105 times:
Quoting Toulouse (Thread starter): At last, my cooked Irish breakfast has been served, comprising for €9: 2 sausages, 1 slice of bacon, cooked tomatoe, fried potatoes, black and white pudding, 2 slices of Irish soda bread, butter and marmalade, Orange Juice and an oftion of tea or coffee, I took the coffee:
That looks fair nice. I hate the way EI call it a "full breakfast" as opposed to "full Irish breakfast" before they opened bases outside the Republic. EI are still an Irish airline, like it or lump it I say.
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6099 posts, RR: 15 Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7052 times:
Nice to hear you had good flights with Aer Lingus once again, I'm flying LHR-ORK on Saturday for the usual summer trip home so hopefully I can expect the same consistent service that Aer Lingus seem to have perfected on short-haul. I should start booking more morning flights as I'm missing out on the breakfast, I'm more than happy with their calzone pizza or chicken and stuffing sandwich but the breakfast would be a nice change!
Toulouse From Ireland, joined Apr 2005, 2718 posts, RR: 59 Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6526 times:
First of all, a minor edit qs it's too late for me to edit, just want to excuse my geographical blunder, don' t worry, my geography isn't that bad and France's position hasn't suddenly changed... I refer to one of the photos as being near the "eastern" French coastline which would be a bit difficult as France has no eastern coastline... it is of course the western coastline.
Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 1): thanks for the report on an airline that many Americans would love to fly. At least I would love to fly (hee).
Many thanks HOOB747. I sure hope you get to try out EI some day and visit our beautiful island of Ireland.
Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 1): I especially liked the pic of your breakfast, it looked delicious!
Yes, it is actually quite delicious!
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 2): I hate the way EI call it a "full breakfast" as opposed to "full Irish breakfast" before they opened bases outside the Republic. EI are still an Irish airline, like it or lump it I say.
Hadn't noticed they'd changed it from "Irish" to "Full" breakfast AmericanShamrock... however I totally agree wit you, EI is an IRISH airline, so just because we've opened oversea bases that shouldn't be changed! An Irish breakfast is wellknown in many places. It would be a bit like Iberia changing "Spanish Paella" to "International or Full" Paella! Pure stupidity, and totally unwaranted political-correctness imho if that is indeed the case.
Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 3): Nice to hear you had good flights with Aer Lingus once again
Of course... I have no idea how many times I've flown Aer Lingus, it's well into the hundreds and I have honestly never had an EI flight with disappointing service, despite all the changes and difficult times EI has faced since I started flying them in the 70's.
Of course! And of course no brainwashing by me LOL. He's always talking about "the Aer Lingus planes" as he says, and knozs one when he sees one. By liveries, he can also recognise Easyjet, Iberia, Air France, and KLM. And after the last visit to DUB, Ryanair, and he's quicklyy learning that they're the "bad airline" LOL (only kidding if Pe@rson is reading this...)
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6099 posts, RR: 15 Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6497 times:
Quoting Toulouse (Reply 5): I didn't notice the calzone pizza on the menu anymore... they must have got rid of it??
They probably have which is a shame as it was once of the nicest things on the menu, the photo in the menu wasn't very good so I wouldn't be surprised if sold poorly. I only got to try it because they were out of paninis on one flight.
Quoting Toulouse (Reply 5): Of course! And of course no brainwashing by me LOL. He's always talking about "the Aer Lingus planes" as he says, and knozs one when he sees one. By liveries, he can also recognise Easyjet, Iberia, Air France, and KLM. And after the last visit to DUB, Ryanair, and he's quicklyy learning that they're the "bad airline" LOL (only kidding if Pe@rson is reading this...)
Good stuff! The only airline I knew at that age was probably Aer Lingus or "the green one" as I put it.
EI320 From Ireland, joined Dec 2007, 1415 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6479 times:
Great Report Toulouse, glad to see that your recent EI experiences have been enjoyable. The breakfast looks as good as usual, always my first choice on morning flights.
Must compliment you on going to such rounds to accompany your wife and son, a pretty tiring journey!
Quoting Toulouse (Thread starter): Carlton Dublin Airport Hotel (my favourite airport hotel at DUB as it’s nice, classy yet modern, clean, two good restaurants, and many rooms offer great viewing of the runway at DUB… a delight for myself and my 3 and a half year-old already plane mad s
I've been thinking of booking a night there recently, is it possible to book a room with a runway view without having to book a penthouse suite? (which are way out of my budget)
Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 3): I'm more than happy with their calzone pizza or chicken and stuffing sandwich but the breakfast would be a nice change!
The calzone pizza has been taken off the menu. I was very disappointed to see it gone on my last flight, it was very filling. They did have a new chicken wrap though which was very tasty.
Quoting EI320 (Reply 7): Must compliment you on going to such rounds to accompany your wife and son, a pretty tiring journey!
Yeah... some think I'm mad, others' say I'm great. In fairness to her, it was because she's nearly 7 month's pregnant.
Quoting EI320 (Reply 7): is it possible to book a room with a runway view without having to book a penthouse suite? (which are way out of my budget)
Yes it is... all rooms on the eastern side have great views. I wanted a room for the 3 of us, and on their site all I got was a family room for about €169 for the night. I actually emailed them, saying I loved their hotel and would prefer to stay there, but all other hotels around the airport were offering me much cheaper rates, and was they're a cheaper rate available. A lovely girl immediately responded offering a Family room (very comfy, balcony also!) for €99. I accepted it, then sent her another email saying that my little son loves airplanes (didn't say it was just as much for me... lol) and could we have a room with an airport view, and she responded within an hour saying no problem with a confirmation of "1 airport view Family room for 3 at €99".
Quoting EI320 (Reply 7): Nice. 3A across the way is my usual!
EIASJ From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 35 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5866 times:
Excellent report Toulouse, I envy you having the option of purchasing the "Irish breakfast" I can never get it on the EI transatlantic flights, does anyone know why its not avaliable on the T/A flights ?