Airline: Aer Lingus
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Reg: EI-CPC (again)
Route: LHR – ORK
I was up early and as usual I looked out the window to see if the weather was good (you can never trust BBC weather) the sky was clear and the only thing blocking the blue sky was a few contrails. I checked airliners.net like I do every morning and made myself some breakfast. Watching Sky News can really waste time while the rest of your family members get ready. Our taxi arrived and we all climbed in the back with some difficulty.
Driving to Heathrow is always the best time to look for aircraft on approach to Northolt and Heathrow you don’t need to look at signs just follow the VS A340 or BA 747. We got to Heathrow and it was not as packed as I thought it would be so we were able to walk right up to the self check-in machines and get our boarding passes. Those things are great and everyone was using them. We went to the baggage drop off and that saved a good amount of time because the agent was very fast and professional. We had loads of time so we went to the Burger King in Terminal 1. I’m not a fan of Burger King because I’m used to having a Mc Donald’s tea or coffee early in the morning when I get off the bus going to school but I was looking forward to the food they serve of EI never mind Burger King. We went and got a newspaper and some drinks in WHSmith’s and then made our way to departures. The line was very long and took us about twenty minutes until we got to security, again that was another long line on that horrible slope that really hurts your legs when standing.
Finally we got to the gates and sat down for about forty-five minutes. All that time I looked out at aircraft landing and taxing mostly BA, BD, EI and VS. Our A321 was at gate 90 and we started boarding through the second door. The A321 was very clean and looked like it was going to be full. We made our way down the aircraft and sat in our seat toward the rear of the Airbus. Heathrow was getting busy with a few BA 747s and an Air Canada A330 and 767 taxied past. The F/A and pilot welcomed us on board and we pushed back on time. As we taxied, the F/A’s did the safety demo and we joined a long queue for the runway next to Terminal 5 and I was very impressed, it looks nearly finished but I know it still has a long way to go yet. We were about fifth in the queue and the cabin crew apologised for the delay. I always know that when flying out of Heathrow there will be a delay so I expected about an average delay of ten minutes but luckily it was only five or six minutes until we were lined up on 09R.
The take-off on an A321 may not be as good as the 757 but this was one of the most powerful I had ever experienced on any aircraft. Once in the air we turned right over North West London and I could see Northolt Airbase and Wembley stadium but then we turned again! This time it was back over Heathrow and we headed south which I have never experienced when flying to Ireland from Heathrow.
|Just after take-off from LHR.|
It was another twenty minutes of silence until breakfast was served and seeing as it had been nearly three hours since my Burger King meal I asked for the full Irish. It was very good and great value for money. On short flights I tend to draw what I see out of the window, in this case an A321 wing, some cloud and the sea down below. I do this on most of my fights and one of the F/A’s recognised me from a flight a few weeks ago, she said, “You like drawing aircraft don’t you?” I replied, “Yea but I prefer drawing the Aer Lingus A330, it looks better with the shamrock on the winglet” to which she replied “well, I remember you from a few weeks ago on the same route and because you fly with us so much you can have these.” She gave me a packet of Lilly O’Brien’s chocolate chip cookies. It was very nice of her and they were very, very nice but maybe a bit too early for so much chocolate.
Not long after meal service we were seeing our first view of Ireland through the clouds.
|First veiw of Ireland this year.|
|About to land at Cork|
It was another 15 minutes before we were on our final decent into Cork but before that we made a sharp turn over the south coast of Ireland and we roared over some small cliffs and beaches minutes later we landed and passed one FR 737-800 with winglets, an Aer Arann ATR 42 and another A320 from Aer Lingus. As we came to a stop the trucks and other vehicles rushed around us while the FR 737 lifted off the runway. The new terminal was still not operational! It will be soon and I can’t wait to use it. We left the A321 from the rear door and walked out in a long line on the tarmac. We collected our bags and walked out to the arrivals area where almost every Irish airport looks the same and we met my aunt who was to drive us home.
I have no problem with Aer Lingus on their short haul routes, the seats are comfortable, staff are very professional, food is great and the fares are still very low. This flight just reminded me of the old EI, the EI before 9/11 and before the big low cost airline boom. DM must be doing something right!
Airline: Aer Lingus
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
After the flight from LHR we headed for my sisters. We stayed there over night because it’s not far from DUB. Early the next morning we went to the airport for the morning flight. Dublin was quite busy but not as bad as what I have seen before and it was nothing compared to Heathrow. Check-in fast and simple even with the rush of other EI flights around us. Told my parents about the lounge and after some convincing that we paid for that privilege they agreed to go there. The lounge is good but much like the airline, its nothing special. I relaxed before the flight but did not eat any of the food that was in the lounge. We stayed there for a while until the flight was called. The A330-200 “EI-DAA” was sitting at the gate waiting for it’s passengers. We boarded the aircraft and it was like a different airline form the LHR-ORK flight the day before.
The crew looked perfect and the Premier cabin was arranged with a 2-2-2 configuration and each seat already had a pillow and blanket on it.
I took my seat 2K and it was quite comfortable and cosy, I tend not to like those giant seats on some other airlines. I was unsure how many passengers would board the aircraft. I thought the flight would be about 60% full, I was wrong it was more like 90% full. Economy class had only a few empty seats at the back and at the front. Business class was full, there not one spare seat from what I could tell. A snack was offered before departure, a selection of soft drinks or water and light crackers or fruit (just like the lounge). The crew made their announcements in Irish and English (as usual) and the safety demo was done as we pushed back. It started to rain slightly as we taxied to the runway and the cabin crew informed us about the dimming of the lights during take-off. We lined up on the runway and sat there for about two minutes before the A330 powered up and roared down the runway, the nose lifted off the ground and I watched the rain stream past my window. The A332 hit some turbulence as we punched through the clouds, a few seconds later we were above them and well on our way to Dubai. I decided to watch some movies. The screen popped up from the armrest and I watched a film with “Nanny Mcfee” or something like that. I was bored of that so I looked out the window. After about an hour of looking at English countryside I saw London! I did not think that our flight would take us over London but it did and the River Thames was clearly visible but the haze blocked anything smaller. At about 12:30pm lunch service was getting ready. The choices…
A selection of sandwiches …
Chicken and stuffing
Ham and Cheddar Cheese (toasted)
Ham and Cheddar Cheese with Honey Mustard (not toasted)
Mature Cheddar Cheese and Chopped Spring Onions
Plain Chicken Salad
Tomato Pasta Salad
Tuna and Sweet Corn Salad
Plain Salad (suitable for vegetarians)
Cheese and Ham Pasta (Penne)
Tomato (Suitable for vegetarians)
Tuna and Sweet Corn
Chicken Tika (mild)
Chicken Korma (mild/hot)
The menu has changed quite a bit since I was last on EI for Long haul but I suppose it’s a new route so it calls for a new menu. Many of the Biz passengers went for the Curry or Pasta meals. I went for the Chicken Tika Curry. It was very nice and beats the Curry house at the end of my road! The crew were very good and always had a smile on their faces. The rest of the passengers looked very pleased with their meals and many had a rest after eating them I took a walk down the cabin and all the passengers were watching their P.T.V or sleeping I was tired so I thought it was the best time to go back to my seat, recline it and use the pillow. Before I knew it I was asleep and so was the rest of the cabin. I woke with my head pressed against the P.T.V showing the in-flight map. I woke up just in time for dinner (not that I was hungry after that curry) I did not see the choices because my Dad had ordered for me but he picked the nice roast beef with gravy, vegetables and Coca Cola. Desert was a soft cheesecake that I could not finish because of how full I was.
I looked out the window and saw a setting sun. The view was great but within 20 minutes it was dark and with no glowing cities below I could see nothing.
An hour or two of watching movies and listening to the radio we were told that we would be descending soon. The crew came around with juices and a snack before landing. We landed on time and even at night Dubai looks great! The airport was very impressive and I couldn’t wait to explore the Terminal. Emirates were everywhere just like BA at LHR.
The aircraft came to a stop and the engines were shut down. The flight was very good and I enjoyed my first trip on EI form DUB-DXB. The service has improved, cabin was clean and crew were great. The seats may be getting old but I was comfortable.
The flight was very cheap for a business fare to Dubai for three adults it was just over €1000. With EK or VS I’m sure it would be higher from LHR the service may be amazing on those airlines but EI was good enough for me.