Normally I would not post a trip report about such an ordinary trip. The only reason I decided to do it today was because of the rumours that Kerry-Dublin flights may end in January. This would be very very sad . Kerry people have supported the flight since it started. Losing it would cause a serious negative impact on business and tourism!
Late last night (very late actually), I decided that I wanted to go to Dublin to a bit of Christmas shopping since I would not have another opportunity due to the Christmas tests all next week.
Kerry-Dublin Bae 146 300 EI021
Left home at 05:30 and got to Kerry airport at 05:50. Noticed the really nice Christmas decoration both inside and outside the terminal. Got seat 3A. One of my favourite seats on the Bae 146 300. Just in front of the engines. As usual I paid the £5 airport development fee before entering the waiting room. There was the usual choice of complimentary tea and coffee. 2 Televisions were showing the end of the CBS Evening News (the 05:30 replay shown on Sky News). Boarding was just before 06:00.
We sat on the ground for about 10 minutes without explanation. Took off on the usual runway (sorry, I don't know the exact number right now) Cruising altitude was 17000 feet. Beutiful view of Limerick city. The drink service was a choice of orange juice or nothing (what happened to the water?) Landed on time and had to wait about 5 minutes for a parking stand. Took a walk around the terminal and caught a bus to town at 07:40 or something.
There were only about 30 passengers on this flight!
Dublin-Kerry Fokker 50 EI022
Caught the 11:20 bus from town. Arrived at the airport at 12:10 or something like that. Went to the standby desk at 12:20 (I had already put my name on the list after arriving from Kerry earlier) We got our boarding cards at around 12:25. I got seat 10 D. Walked to the gate. Saw the usual planes including a British Regional ERJ 145 and a Ryanair B737 800 (thought they did not come to DUB). When we arrived at the gate we were asked to wait a while. About 3 or 4 minutes later, a woman in a red uniform (also a standby) walked up to the gate. We were then told we could board (my guess is that it was an issue with priority in case another full payer would turn up) . I heard that she would get the jump seat. I went up to the gate agent and said that I would be more than willing to take the jump seat since I am a huge aviation enthusiast if she did not mind.
It was my lucky day (well it was not the first time) The Captain (I am not sure of his name. I think it was O'Leary or something like that) and Co-pilot (He was Dutch) were both really nice and friendly to me. The cruising altitude was 14000 feet. On Aer Lingus Fokker 50 flights, you actually get a choice of drinks. I had a coke with the usual mini time out bar . I discussed quite a few interesting things about Aer Lingus with the crew. They expect Aer Lingus to continue the Kerry route. The Captain turned out to be a big Boeing supporter. They also told me about how Kerry Airport was one of the more dangerous Irish Airports because of the hills and mountains surrounding it.
We landed a few minutes ahead of schedule on runaway 26 in Kerry. Perfectly smooth landing.
There were 51 passengers on this flight (full F50 with 50 seats + me in the jump seat)
Aer Lingus gets an A+ for today's flights. Ok the service is not great but I can live with that if EI stays in Kerry.
Expect an official announcement about the Kerry Route this Monday