Only a short-timer on A.Net, this will be my 1st trip-report: hope you will enjoy reading it ! I'm aware that pictures to liven-up the story are preferred, however, I didn't make any and hope you ain't too disappointed
Flight number: EI
Planned schedule in Utc: AMS
06.35 - DUB
Actual schedule in Utc: AMS
06.37 - DUB
As this flight is already leaving at 08.35am, I'd to put the alarm at 05.30am already, to cope for the ride to Schiphol airport and the early-morning rush-traffic. I woke up already before that time, excited as I was, for this would be my first trip on Aer Lingus, the "green airline" from the "green island" !
Left home at 6.30am, traffic was lighter than expected, and I arrived at the Schiphol-car park P40 already at 07.05am, giving my ample time to catch the bus to the main-terminal "Plaza", and to check-in at the KLM self-service check-in unit, which is, really, a piece of cake: slide in your passport, type in your flight-number and a boarding-card will be produced !
Gate was shown as D28, which is the very last one at the D-pier, so I went immediately through passport-control (this is not a Schengen destination/flight !), and the security-check, which had quite a long queue
With so many passengers leaving at this time of day, I just cannot believe they only opened up one gate (with four units available !!!).
Anyhow, after the security, I started to stroll along the shops towards the D-pier and checking the parked planes in the meantime. Unfortunately, not much interesting in this morning. While moving at D14 some customs officers stopped some people, including me, and ask me where I originally boarded ("Amsterdam"), where my destination was ("Dublin"), and if that was all the handluggage I was having ("yes")..."Enjoy your trip", was the only thing she replied !!! (anyhow, you're warned: you can even be checked at random at some kind of kind of gate at Schiphol !)
After arriving at the gate, EI
-DEG was there, shining spic-n-span and in the process of being refueled. I really do like this color on the 320: very neat and setting them apart from other airlines !
Crew, consisting of 2 captains (!) and 4 cabincrew, arrived at 0805am and boarding starting at 0815am AGAIN after a security-check at the gate !!! Nevertheless, all 162 passengers were on-board by 0830am and doors were closed at 0835am and pushed-back started at 0837am. From D28, it's only a short taxi to runway 24, where we took-off at 0844am. What a fabulous "vacuum-cleaner" sound do these engines produce during take-off and seated at this seat !!! Flying straight-ahead, the blooming tulip-fields around Lisse became into view: a really pretty scenery indeed. We made a right turn towards the N-W, before being engulfed into the clouds.
Soon the c/a made the announcement that breakfast, drinks and duty-free items would be available for purchase (EI is on a low-cost principle now); first they came along with the catering-trolley and about 30 minutes later with the duty-free trolley. Over the UK the clouds started to break again, and soon the west-coast close to LPL
became visible, with a few EasyJet's also cris-crossing underneath us. Now the captain came on the p/a and announced our soon-t-begin descent in to DUB
, where the weather is sunny with a little cloud here-n-there, strong southerly winds and a temperature of 12 degrees: wow, sounds good for some aircraft spotting from the mound next to runway 28 later on
Over the Irish Sea we started a right turn towards the N-E, and yeah, later gain to the S-W, meaning we were in a holding pattern !!! and this for DUB
Finally, we were allowed again to fly on the westerly heading and picked-up the ILS for runway 28 nicely (I could see the runway already fro my seat 2E, while still over the Irish Sea !), and flaps were lowered, gear went down, and it was nice to hear and see the different RPM settings during landing when looking to the "turning eye" in the centre of the engine.
Touch-down was at 09.00am exactly, and we were able to turn-off 28 at exit E6 to taxi to gate 37, where on-blocks was at 09.06am or 4 minutes ahead of schedule: well-done Aer Lingus !
Immigration was a breeze and I was outside the Terminal within 10 minutes
If you went all this way, instead of clicking the red-cross at the right-top of your screen, you might also be interested in the return portion of the trip ?
Flight number: EI
Planned schedule in Utc: DUB
16.40 - AMS
Actual schedule in Utc: DUB
17.08 - AMS
After having a good day of spotting at the mound next to runway 28 (I even got a sun-burn
), I proceeded to the Terminal from the mound around 3pm already as it's a 35-45 minutes brisk walk. Made myself useful, again, with the self-service machine, and this time it produced a seat 22F for me, which I was able to change to a 24A (it's always best to sit on the left-hand side when coming into SPL, for spotting reasons). Went through security at around 4pm already, which had an extremely long line
Surely, this was caused by the fact that everyone had to put-off their shoes, belts, watches, purses, potable PC
' etc. Anyhow, this was done at around 4.25pm, so gave me ample time to browse through their tax-free facilities and compare prices
Found a very good offer on Irish Chocolates, so was able to buy a nice box for not too much (found their Whiskeys too expensive for flights within EU)...
Went to the gate a 1710, but no aircraft seen, so was starting to get a bit worried. Surely enough, an announcement came soon, that boarding would be at 1740 and departure was now set at 1810 "due delay of the incoming aircraft from Amsterdam". There it came: the just recently delivered EI
-DEM, wow, what a treat - again a "new" 320 with leather-seats !
made good progress and boarding, again, the 150+ passengers went smooth and at 1808pm (1708z), push-back was started and take-off was from runway 28, the main runway in use for the whole day already. After a wait for a previous AF
146, we, finally, spooled up the engines and rotated at 1819pm (1719z) and, wow, now the complete city of DUB
became visible !!! What a great view
After making a right turn, we climbed to a Flight-Level of 370, where, again, the usual rounds were made of food- and sales trolleys. Excellent views of LPL
and the airport, the Midlands basically till the Humberside area were possible (saw quite a few cooling towers too in the HUY
area: are the nuclear facilities ?). Soon we started out decent and quickly the Dutch coastline became into view (even the island of Texel was visible !!!), where we made a wide right turn for runway 18R, where we touched-down at 2021pm (1821z) for the long taxi track to Gate D28 (the fixed EI
night-stop gate), where we were on-blocks at 2033pm (1833z) instead of the scheduled 2015pm, having made up quite some time: well done EI
a very pleasant airline ! Typical Irish "laid-back" atmosphere on board and excellent value, when considering I paid only 6 Euros per one-way, excluding taxes (incl. these, it was 62 Euros for a return, still VERY good value for what they offered: friendly- and (almost) on time service and brand-new aircraft !
Rating (1-10): 8