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Aer Lingus Premier/J ORD-DUB  
User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3901 posts, RR: 9
Posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 14976 times:


DATE : 04JUN2009
FLIGHT : EI 122

ROUTE: ORD-DUB
AIRLINE : AER LINGUS

A/C: AIRBUS A330-200

REG: EI- EAV

NAME : St Ronan
SEAT : 2A

CLASS: PREMIER / BUSINESS CLASS

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Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages
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Photo © Ronald J Stella


On return from my US adventure I decided to treat myself to a little luxury. EI were offering upgrades to Premier for 500EUR one way, I decided to buy-up, knowing that this one journey would also give me enough tier points to become ‘Gold elite’ with the EI FFP, “gold circle”. Although the programme is pretty primitive by most standards, EI conveniently serves the MAN-ORK route non-stop, by far my most travelled route so membership of this programme makes sense for me.

Check-In
EI are handled by Swissport at ORD. There was no queue at the dedicated Premier/Gold Circle/Web check-In desks and I was quickly seen to. As seat 2A had already been assigned to me the boarding card was quickly printed, but the agent insisted that my carry-on was overweight and that it had to be checked-in. Fortunately, after checking, she was able to check my bag through to ORK. With that completed I was told where to find the lounge and wished a pleasant flight.

Lounge & Boarding
The lounge is poorly signposted, there is a door with a tiny sign on it. I had gone past it before I realised. The lounge is operated by a third party and is shared with TK and MX, among others. There is a decent selection of snacks, but no Currys, Soups or Sandwiches like one might fins in an LX or LH lounge. The drinks selection is good and there is free Wi-Fi. The inbound DUB flight must bring some Irish newspapers with it for the lounge, as they appeared a few minutes after my arrival.
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http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx207/lsbdcrk/IMG_0023.jpg
The only really poor aspect of the lounge were the toilets. While there was nothing physicially wrong with them, being bright spacious, clean and well equipped they were a bit on the messy side, with papers strewn about. More frequent checking would probably iron this problem out.
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx207/lsbdcrk/IMG_0024.jpg
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx207/lsbdcrk/IMG_0025.jpg
Shortly after general boarding had commenced the Lounge staff advised each of us, in person, that DUB was now boarding – we should make our way to the gate, which was pretty close. By the time I had arrived at the gate boarding was well underway, with only a short queue of passengers remaining to board.

I was met at the door by two friendly, smiling crew and directed to my seat. The cabin was a bit chaotic as the SNN and DUB flights had been combined into a single service, ensuring that every seat in the house was taken and slowing the process a little bit. As I was making myself comfortable the crew introduced themselves and brought pre-take off drinks. The choice was OJ or Champagne, prior to push-back there was time for refills and newspapers to be handed out, Irish Independent, Irish Times and the FT, IIRC, I think the Irish Examiner was available too. Prior to take-off the usual safety demo was played and service wear collected.
On-board, IFE & Food
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The seats EI use in Premier are manufactured by Recaro and although they offer a flat sleeping surface, they do not lie-flat, parallel to the floor, but they are comfortable, both as a seat and a bed. The seat controls are excellent, there are two control pads, one easily accessible one with pre-set options, like bed, seat, take-off, etc underneath the armrest is another pad with allows almost infinite adjustment for the back-rest, leg-rest, seat angle, lumbar support and massage.


My only criticism of the seats is that they are a bit high in relation to the windows, I felt like I was sitting on the seat as opposed to sitting in it. The sleeping surface can be increased in width by lowering the armrest, but even in the fully upright position the armrest is still slightly below the level of the armrest on the console, which is a bit odd when using the seat as a bed.

Prior to service commencing the crew came round with a L’occtane amenity kit, which featured the usual lotions, potions, toothbrushes, razors, etc. The amenity kits were followed by a selection of warm finger-food and a bar service. Service was from a lovely silver platter with crisp white linen, very nice!
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For the main meal service I choose the fillet steak, which was truly delicious. The portion was generous and the meal was served piping hot. The steak itself was both moist and tender, neither was it overcooked. Perfect!
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx207/lsbdcrk/IMG_0031.jpg
Again there was several rounds of wine, etc my Waterford crystal goblet was constantly being topped-up. A very large portion of apple crumble, served with cream or warm custard finished off a very nice meal (there was also a cheese/fruit plate, as an alternative). Washed down with a grad cup of Irish tea!
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx207/lsbdcrk/IMG_0032.jpg

After the meal service the cabin lights were dimmed, I surfed trough the AVOD selection, which was comprehensive. Despite the lie-flat seat, sleep eluded me, but I was made to feel very welcome in the galley where the Senior cabin crew offered me juices and suggested Peppermint tea to settle my tummy after the heavy meal!

Just over an hour out of DUB the breakfast service began, which consisted of a continental breakfast with warm pastries.
http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx207/lsbdcrk/IMG_0033.jpg
I think the breakfast service was just right, given the relatively short flight-time and that dinner was only completed a few hours before.

Arrival into DUB was about 50 minutes ahead of schedule, to one of the B gates where we were quickly docked and had arrived into the baggage hall in a matter of minutes. The crew bid us all good-day and fond farewell as we disembarked.

Overall I feel the EI Premier offering is certainly as good as, and probably better than other J class products out of Ireland. The cabins are modern and well maintained, the IFE offers a wide selection of TV’s, new-release and classic movies, music, games and flight-maps. The crews are thoughtful and provide attentive service without being ‘in your face’. The service wear and meal service has a very Irish feel to it, which I enjoyed. Passengers expecting fancy culinary works of art will be disappointed, but those who value good, fuss-free, traditional Irish fare will be delighted – as was I.

As always, all questions, comments, etc are more than welcome.

Brian.


Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePhen From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 14748 times:

Wonderful report Brian! Very rare that we see a report on EI J service - thanks for posting!

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
The only really poor aspect of the lounge were the toilets.

They do look to be quite untidy there - disappointing. A kind word to one of the staff couldn't go amiss in a situation like that...

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
almost infinite adjustment for the back-rest, leg-rest, seat angle, lumbar support and massage

Impressive! Never heard of in-flight massage before!

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
For the main meal service I choose the fillet steak, which was truly delicious.

Looks great - much better than some other J offerings reported on here recently!

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
but those who value good, fuss-free, traditional Irish fare will be delighted – as was I.

Agreed - nothing like wholesome Irish food - not yer fancy tosh! The breakfast looked tasty too - I wonder did the Y pax get just a tub of OJ?    The little pot of jam reminds me of a time when my brother returned home after a European Y flight with EI (about 16 years ago), and he had brought a similar pot of strawberry jam home that he hadn't used! How times change! (At the time, it would have been complimentary I assume...)

EI J looking quite good there I must say. The staff seemed to be most helpful and professional. They are a credit to EI. Again great report and a pleasant read - well done!

Phen

[Edited 2009-08-30 18:54:44]

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26480 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 14178 times:

Great report Brian, I thought you had given up on writing it, Glad you didnt. I think thats the first EI Premier report in the new seats?

Food looked good although Id prefer ice cream to Apple Crumble! Just personal preference.

Nice delt and glasses. Not bad.

Philip



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8426 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13886 times:
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Hi Brian,

Nice report & pictures, did enjoy the trip.

EI J looks pretty reasonable based on your flight.

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
my Waterford crystal goblet

- I thought they looked a decent quaility glass, nice touch.

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
Passengers expecting fancy culinary works of art will be disappointed, but those who value good, fuss-free, traditional Irish fare will be delighted – as was I.

- I know what you mean, whne flying J I just want honest food, not worried about anything too fancy, if I want fancy food I head off to Mr Ramseys or something similar.

Thanks again Brian, look forward to the next trip.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineEI320 From Ireland, joined Dec 2007, 1426 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13781 times:

Great Report Brian, and congrats on reaching Elite level! Didn't realise points were awarded on upgrades.

EI J seems very nice, the food looks as good if not better than other carriers. Seats seem adequate for a relatively short long-haul flight.

My only complaint with the cabin is that it lacks warmth. A few pictures would be nice.

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
The steak itself was both moist and tender, neither was it overcooked. Perfect!

Looks delicious, would certainly be my first choice!

Thanks for posting,

Colm


User currently offlineAerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2755 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 13712 times:

Good pictures, j looks good. Wish I could fly on that!


Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4598 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13077 times:



Quoting Phen (Reply 1):
Impressive! Never heard of in-flight massage before!

I didn't know the EI seats had it... the Qantas Skybeds do, it's quite wonderful  Smile

Nice report, thanks for sharing - I think the Waterford crystal is really classy, the rest of the service looks relatively adequate, though possibly overpriced out of Ireland...



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineMANmatt From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 969 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 12451 times:

Nice report and good timing! Will sample these seats myself on my upcoming EI flight DUB-AGP so these pics have certainly wetted my appetite even more!

Matt


User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6272 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 12403 times:

Very nice report Brian, thanks for posting!

Premier Class never really had a problem service wise, it was always the hard product which let it down so the new seat and entertainment have given it a much needed boost. Now if only Aer Lingus would do it justice by telling people about it with a new advertising campaign!

Quoting EI320 (Reply 4):
My only complaint with the cabin is that it lacks warmth. A few pictures would be nice.

Completely agree with that. Some airlines put framed photos or paintings on the walls and they just add warmth that is often missing from aircraft cabins.

Kevin


User currently offlineAsiaflyer From Singapore, joined May 2007, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12039 times:

Thanks for a nice trip report.
I hope I can fly with EI one day.

The meal looks great. They for sure filled up your wine glass well.

Quoting Phen (Reply 1):
Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
The only really poor aspect of the lounge were the toilets.

They do look to be quite untidy there - disappointing. A kind word to one of the staff couldn't go amiss in a situation like that...

Always makes me wonder how someone can leave the toilets like that?
How does it looks at that persons home?

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
There is a decent selection of snacks, but no Currys, Soups or Sandwiches like one might fins in an LX or LH lounge.

Unfortunately it is the usual standard in the US.
On the other hand, free WiFi is common in most places, except at LHs lounges in FRA and MUC.



SQ,MI,MH,CX,KA,CA,CZ,MU,KE,OZ,QF,NZ,FD,JQ,3K,5J,IT,AI,IC,QR,SK,LF,KL,AF,LH,LX,OS,SR,BA,SN,FR,WF,1I,5T,VZ,VX,AC,NW,UA,US,
User currently offlineCamiloa380 From Sweden, joined Feb 2008, 486 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12030 times:

Great TR! i really like the Aer Lingus livery!

CamiloA380



Flying4Ever!
User currently offlineAerecosse From UK - Scotland, joined Mar 2009, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 11660 times:



Quoting Phen (Reply 1):
Impressive! Never heard of in-flight massage before!

Emirates offer this on their flat beds too - very nice.

Quoting Phen (Reply 1):
Looks great - much better than some other J offerings reported on here recently!

Agree the food does look very nice & good portions. Why don't they advertise it more?



Flown: BA,BD,BY,AMM,DA,MON,LC,BE,EI,FR,EZY,NW,CO,US,HP,F9,AC,QF,AN,NZ,TN,GZ,MH,EK,EY,PG,IB,JK,FH,BV,LH,SA
User currently offlineAsiaflyer From Singapore, joined May 2007, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11340 times:



Quoting Aerecosse (Reply 11):
Quoting Phen (Reply 1):
Impressive! Never heard of in-flight massage before!

Emirates offer this on their flat beds too - very nice.

I have discovered that on both KL and LH.
J class on 744 on both carriers.
Not as good as a real massage in Bangkok, but it feels good after sitting for 5-10 hours.  Big grin



SQ,MI,MH,CX,KA,CA,CZ,MU,KE,OZ,QF,NZ,FD,JQ,3K,5J,IT,AI,IC,QR,SK,LF,KL,AF,LH,LX,OS,SR,BA,SN,FR,WF,1I,5T,VZ,VX,AC,NW,UA,US,
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