EI134: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) – Shannon Airport (SNN)
This is the final trip report for my US East Coast tour in June 2012. The earlier ones can be found at the end of this report.
After leaving New York it was time to head up to Boston. Looking at flights a few months prior and considering our (my travelling companions’ and my) tight budgets, we agreed we would take the Megabus instead of fly. Normally I would be outraged at this but considering the amount of money we had already spent getting to/from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Washington and New York, we thought it best this way. The bus journey lasted just over four hours and there were no stops. We arrived into a rather chilly Boston (South Station) on a Thursday afternoon and we be staying about a week in Massachusetts, one day in Boston, six in Hyannis, Cape Cod – more on that later. At any rate, this would be my first time visiting this region.
Taken at South Station – didn’t know there was a “Londonderry” here!
Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox
After going out that night, we stayed at a friend of a friend’s near Northeastern University.
On the whole, my opinions of Boston can be summed up like this:
- Nice to look at, lots of interesting old and new world architecture
- Good nightlife
- Public transport (the “T”) not great for people with luggage (lack of elevators, needed to climb stairs on trains themselves)
- Not much else to see; one day and night was plenty.
The next day we headed back to South Station to take a bus to Hyannis. This is a big destination for Irish students to work during the summer months on J-1 visas. Since we knew a few people working here we decided to go down for a week of drinking, socialising and what have you. Wallets were lost, a few cuts and bruises here and there but ‘twas all in good fun…
I got very little pictures of Hyannis itself but it is a lovely tourist town on Cape Cod and even has its own JFK Memorial Museum. After six days it was time to say goodbye to Cape Cod and to conclude my three-week US tour (for another six weeks at least!). There are direct busses between and Boston Logan International Airport via Boston’s South Station. The journey takes about 2.5 hours.
The last time I flew Aer Lingus home from Boston was in 1993 on my way from Chicago with my parents. Of course I was only a tot so I don’t remember it. Anyway, the bus dropped me and my luggage directly outside Terminal E, the international terminal.
I got to the airport quite early on in the day as I wanted to explore this “new” airport for me and do some planespotting. My flight was not scheduled to depart until 19:25 and there was no one in the queue for check-in. It was a Thursday so EI had two flights leaving today; EI136 to Dublin at 18:25 and EI134 to Shannon at 19:25. On Sundays EI have three flights between Boston and Ireland; two to Dublin and one to Shannon.
Terminal E is quite impressive; lots of open spaces.
I cleared security in about 10 minutes. I noticed a few other EI boarding passes for the DUB flight.
American Airlines flight AA147 having recently arrived from Paris-De Gaulle
Post-security food court
An Aer Lingus A330-200 (EI-DAA) at Gate E3A which had earlier operated EI135 from Shannon. This would also operate the EI134 after sitting at the gate for nearly five hours
American Airlines flight AA109 after arriving from London-Heathrow
The tail of a British Airways 747 parked at the gate after operating flight BA213 from London-Heathrow
O’Brien’s pub incorrectly spelled as “O’Brian’s”
One of the AA 757s being towed over to Terminal B for departure
Air France flight AF332 arriving from Paris-De Gaulle
Virgin America flight VX360 arriving from Los Angeles
Aer Lingus flight EI137 arriving from Dublin
Iberia flight IB6165 arriving from Madrid
EI137’s A330-300 pulling into Gate E3B, right next to its shorter EI counterpart at E3A
I had planned on splashing out $40 to use the Aer Lingus Lounge but after losing my wallet a few days back during a wild night in Cape Cod, I thought it best not to.
Delta Air Lines flight DL623 earlier arrived from London-Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic Airways flight VS11 arriving from London-Heathrow
Alitalia flight AZ615 taxiing for departure to Rome-Da Vinci/Fiumicino
Lufthansa flight LH423 taxiing for departure to Frankfurt-Frankfurt Airport
The DL 767 being towed over to Terminal A
Lufthansa flight LH424 arriving from Munich
AF’s A340-300 heading back out to CDG as flight AF337
EI136 heading back to DUB after just over two hours on the ground
IB preparing to pushback to MAD as flight IB6166
Icelandair flight FI631 arriving from Reykjavik
Swiss branding appearing at Gate E4 after being vacated by IB
About 15 minutes after EI136 departed, the same EI representatives started preparing for the EI134 departure and began paging some passengers to come forward to the gate podium. Shortly after, boarding commenced for Business Class passengers, Gold Circle members and those needing special assistance.
Not long after, boarding commenced for passengers seated at the back of the aircraft, I got in the queue then as I was seated in 33K. After depositing our boarding stubs we were directed to descend an escalator down one level to the airbridge. Depending on which passport you showed, the agent issued a Landing Card to the relevant passengers.
Date Thursday, 14th June 2012
Airline Aer Lingus
Aircraft Airbus A330-202
Tail No. EI-DAA
Aircraft Name “St Keeva”/”Caoimhe”
Scheduled Departure 19:25 EDT
Actual Departure 19:23 EDT
Departure Terminal & Gate Terminal E, Gate E3A
Departure Taxi Route A1, B, C, M, RWY09
Weather at Departure Clear skies, winds light and variable
Scheduled Arrival 06:10 IST +1
Actual Arrival 06:27 IST +1
Arrival Terminal & Gate Gate 9
Arrival Taxi Route RWY06, C, D2, D1
Weather at Arrival Light rain, winds SE
Seat No. 33K
Captain John Naughton
First Officer (N/A)
Cabin Manager Amanda Gibbons
Actual Flight Time 6 hours, 4 minutes
We boarded through Door 1L which meant we passed through Business Class.
I was at my seat at 18:52. No one came to sit in 33H, the seat next to me, but all the seats around were filling up fast. At 19:13 the door was closed…I waited and waited and, could it be?! No one joined me! I had the two seats to myself! I was lucky as the flight was close to full capacity in Economy. Business Class had a 50%-60% load factor.
The captain introduced himself as John Naughton. Capt. Naughton also flew me home from Chicago to Shannon in 2007 on flight EI124 (trip report can be seen below), coincidentally on this very A330 – ‘AA. The cabin manager was Amanda Gibbons, a name I instantly recognised from past EI flights to/from SNN. On this flight there were two flight deck crew and six cabin crew. We departed from the stand at 19:23 EDT, some two minutes early.
The safety information video was played on the seat-back screens and the crew did their normal pre-departure checks.
We tookoff from Runway 09 at 19:39 after some slight congestion.
At 20:07, the captain came on again and gave more detailed information on our routing etc. His estimated arrival time was 06:25 IST blaming the slight delay on unusually strong headwinds.
The bar service came around and I had an orange juice. As usual, there was a charge for alcoholic drinks. I stretched out in my two seats to myself and watched some TV episodes on the AVOD system. Just before dinner, a member of the cabin crew approached: “ahem, there will be a gentleman joining you in a few minutes as his seat-back TV screen isn’t working”. She gave me a look as if to say “in you pop” because I was sitting in 33H with my legs up on the window seat. Her attitude could have been nicer. For one she could have said “would you mind” and maybe smiled. But look, it was no big deal and I made room for my new seatmate.
I passed on dinner which was the usual choice of chicken or beef (this can be seen in my previous EI trip reports below). I just wanted to sleep now. My seatmate didn’t really say anything other than hello. He was Irish but there were a few vocal American accents surrounding me. I figured out they were connecting onwards to London. While over the mid-Atlantic there was some moderate to severe turbulence at times with a few gasps heard from some people. It lasted about 20 minutes and it was mostly smooth from then on. Our primary cruising altitude was 39,000 feet.
I had a relatively good sleep for about an hour and a half and when I woke up again it was already bright outside. This being mid-June, it was a very short night.
About an hour from landing the crew handed out little tubs of Minute Maid orange juice for each passenger. This is in place of breakfast for all flights from JFK and BOS to Ireland due to the relatively short flights. There was also a collection for UNICEF which is EI’s preferred charity.
At 05:46 IST the captain briefed us for a final time on our arrival at SNN. His new estimated arrival time was 06:15. A few minutes after the announcement, descent began off the west coast of Ireland. The inflight entertainment system was then switched off and headsets were collected by cabin crew. Overall I was a bit disappointed with the crew. They seemed quite sour and cranky for most of the flight which, in my experience, is unusual for travelling on EI.
On final at 06:15
Touchdown on Runway 06 at 06:18
At this stage my seatmate began to talk and tell me his life story. He was a nice man originally from north Cork but living in Boston. He was on a visit home for the weekend. Pity the weather wasn’t great outside!
Just after clearing the runway at Taxiway C, a UPS 767-200F operated by Star Air landed from Cologne/Bonn. We had to stop briefly on taxiway to let a Ryanair 737-800 (operating flight FR102 to London-Stansted) start-up. We continued on after a few minutes and were at Gate 9 at 06:27.
We disembarked and on my way to the Garda National Immigration Bureau processing I noticed something of a substantial queue for flight connections. There were 30-40 people obviously connecting on Aer Lingus flights to London-Heathrow (flight EI380), Manchester (RE3600) and Birmingham (RE3630).
The queue for GNIB was very lengthly for non-EU passport holders but nice to see so many tourists visiting the Shannon and Midwest regions. I was through to baggage claim in under a minute and baggage wasn’t long being delivered. Out I popped through the customs Green Channel where my mother was waiting for me in the arrivals hall. After an hour’s drive I was home in west Limerick, my three weeks of travelling completed. I would be back to work for six weeks before heading back to Chicago again in July – trip report to follow.
Thanks for reading and I welcome any comments/questions.
Previous Trip Reports
54. & 55. AF (& WX) ‹‹Voyageur›› ORD-CDG-SNN (lots Of Pics) (by AmricanShamrok Sep 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
56. & 57. Aer Lingus Domestic (SNN-DUB-SNN) On The A330+pics (by AmricanShamrok Feb 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
58. & 59. London Baby! (SNN-LGW-SNN) With Ryanair+pics (by AmricanShamrok Mar 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
60. & 61. US Customs In Shannon, Ireland + CO To ORD (pics!) (by AmricanShamrok Aug 19 2010 in Trip Reports)
62. & 63. Delay With Continental: ORD-EWR-SNN (With Pics!) (by AmricanShamrok Aug 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
64. & 65. DUB Terminal 2 Trial + KIR-DUB Return On FR (pics) (by AmricanShamrok Oct 15 2010 in Trip Reports)
66., 67., 68. & 69. ¡Hola Barcelona! Flying Irish With FR, EI, RE-pics (by AmricanShamrok Jun 21 2011 in Trip Reports)
70., 71., 72. & 73. From Shannon To Berlin...and Back To Kerry! (pics) (by AmricanShamrok Jan 29 2012 in Trip Reports)
74. & 75. London For A Half-day (feat. LGW & LHR - Pics!) (by AmricanShamrok Feb 7 2012 in Trip Reports)
76. & 77. Kingdom County To Windy City KIR-DUB-ORD W/EI-pics (by AmricanShamrok Jun 17 2012 in Trip Reports)
78. & 79. Hello Sunshine State! FLL, MIA, MCO With WN & AA (by AmricanShamrok Jul 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
80. JettingBlue To DC (MCO-IAD) + A Visit To New York (by AmricanShamrok Aug 21 2012 in Trip Reports)
81. Aer Lingus EI134 Boston-Shannon (Economy)