User avatar
LHRBFSTrident
Topic Author
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:38 pm

EI 144 LAX-DUB-MAD-VLC/BCN-DUB-LAX Part I

Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:39 am

September 24, 2007

OK so I am writing this at 5am from my hotel bed in Madrid - don't seem to have cracked the sleep-cycle thing yet - maybe the trip report will explain.

No pics as yet - I'll have to arrange that when I get back to LA in 2 weeks.

So I was the designated travel planner for friends of mine who are getting married in Spain next Friday (9/27)- and I was supposed to find the best fare LAX-MAD / BCN-LAX.

Options were quite extensive at various points during the last 4 months of planning: AA via MIA, IB via ORD and AZ via BOS/MXP were all reserved at one pont or another but the eventual winner was EI via DUB.

The website didn't allow the purchase of a though fare LAX-MAD (that was only available for a couple of UK cities - note to self: check out EI when flying 'home' to Warwickshire via BHX...)

fare was $595 roundtrip LAX-DUB-LAX, while IB and AA were asking for $860 for LAX-MAD/BCN-LAX, so even though we had to construct our own itinerary it turned out to be cheaper - plus we'd get a whole day in Dublin, hurrah!!

I used award miles to purchase my EI ticket, so the OLCI wouldn't let me access my reservation or enter my API - the 3 others I had persuaded to fly this itinerary had no problems at all with it.

We gathered at TBIT at 14:15 for our 16:30 departure to DUB to find there was no queue for 'Web Check-in' and only a handful of other pax in the Economy queue (who by the sounds of their 'sweet and soft' Irish accents were definitely Ulstermen....ahem )

Check-in was very quick and I asked the agent which aircraft would be flying the service today and he replied, 'an Airbus' - OK, I thought, I am obviously not wearing my a/net credentials on my sleeve, so i asked if it was EI-DUO? 'That was yesterday', came the reply, 'tonight will be -DAA...'

shucks - oh well maybe on the return trip I'll get the famous -DUO!

Boarding commenced 45 mins from departure from gate 101 - the furthest southerly gate at TBIT - and we passed a BA 744, LH 346, CI 744 on our way to boarding. The bride-to-be in our group is Asian, and a mad CI agent was trying to collect his straggling pax for their TPE service which was already closing - as he ran towards us he was screaming at our friend with a thick Chinese accent, 'Chi-na Air-rines! Chi-na Air-rines!' and beckoned her to follow him to the TPE flight - she was very offended - talk about profiling: even with EI tags plastered all over our carry-ons!

There at the gate I met a mate of mine who just happened to be booked on the same flight - heading up to Ballymena upon arrival at DUB - what a coincidence!

Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 1200 File size: 159kb
EI-DAA on stand at LAX


Upon boarding I was immediately taken by how clean and modern the cabin appeared - I had been expecting something a little shabby after all the talk on these boards about the seat covers and the IFE and the general state of the older 332/333s in the EI fleet. Or maybe it just seemed clean and modern after my brush with NW the previous week on their crappy 757s and DC-9s!

Seat 36B was my selected seat - I wouldn't have wanted to be any further back because it seems like the cabin floor begins its upward slope towards the rear at precisely this point , and I doubt if my 6'2 seatmate and I, at 6'3, could have comfortably sat without overlapping our shoulders further back.

I was also surprised by the huge crew rest capsule in the middle of the M-cabin - something I had not really seen on the seatmap.

LAX-DUB
EI144
Aer Lingus A330-200
EI-DAA
Seat 36B - moved to 35D
ETD: 16:30
Actual pushback: 16:23
ETA: 10:30
ATA: 09:58

Crew appeared nice and cheery as expected and I was a little disappointed that my seat cushion at 36B was covered in a blue fleece blanket - obviously there had been some kind of spillage on the previous sector and they had to cover up the 'stain' - i didn't investigate what it was!

I moved across the aisle to a free seat in the middle section adjacent to where I had been - that meant I could also chat to the couple getting married in 35A and 35B plus our other wedding guest in 36A, but we could all stretch out a little more for sleeping.

Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 1200 File size: 107kb
EI 144 pre-departure at LAX


Take-off was very quick and we launched into the darkening Pacific skies - a 'storm' (Los Angeles-speak for 'rain shower') was on its way in and the temperature was due to plummet and the weather become generally miserable for a few days.

Drinks service was swift - even though the announcement about the bar being closed when the meal was being served seemed rather curt and officious. It had the desired effect though, because I ordered my G&T and red wine in 1 go - as the wine was rather 'lively' it was a good call to pour i and let it breathe for the 25 or 30 minutes until the meal was served! Dinner for me was beef stew with pasta, a small salad and something sugary for dessert - this is LAX catering so definitely nothing to get excited about. Surprisingly, none in our party chose the chicken, so nothing to report there.

Drinks were actually a good deal if paying in dollars, as the US dollar had just dropped significantly against the Euro and the conversion was about Euro1 to $1.20 on EI whereas we'd be getting Euro1 to $1.45 elsewhere durg our trip - maybe EI should offer currency exchange on board!

Bathrooms were clean and well-stocked - they even made an announcement about all M-class toilets being located in the centre of the cabin and the rear of the cabin was a crew work-space ONLY! and that the cross-over aisle at the toilets was the place to cross-over and not to use the rear galley for this purpose - again a little officious, but I kind of liked the idea of corralling the pax in their area and having a proper work-space for the cabin staff.

There was an announcement also about water being available in the front galley at door 2 - of course I had to investigate immediately and was very pleasantly surprised by a whole 'midnight snack' set-up with Cheddar slices, multi-grain bars, chocolate-chip cookies, water bottles and juice all available and for the taking. I have only seen this on long-haul business class before on BA, KL and UA - hats off to EI - although the low-cost formula is very much in evidence, they still provide a strong sense of having thought of everything.

The IFE was actually quite good - it did take us a few minutes to realise that it was not touch-screen (duh!) so everyone around us was happily into their films while we were still prodding the menu screen, oops!

The movie selection was average - coming back the movies looked much more engaging - and frankly I am happy for that as it's a longer daylight flight. Now if we just get DUO I won't have to worry so much if I start a movie I end up not liking....

Turbulence began over Vegas and continued throughout the flight at various points - I had forgotten how an autumn transatlantic crossing can be with a strong tailwind - in fact the airshow arrival time kept being brought forward throughout the flight due to this.

We also kept climbing at various points which interrupted my sleep somewhat.  Wink

Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 1200 File size: 161kb


After a fitful night, we were served breakfast and began our descent into Dublin, shortly after crossing the western coast of Ireland near Shannon.

We passed the city and began a wide turn over the Irish sea with the city off the port side, to our delight bathed in glorious sunshine!

Touchdown was rather abrupt and we began a long taxi up to the gate.

There's more to this trip - but I'll complete it later if anyone has any interest...above is a quick preview pic of the next sector on IB to MAD...
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21725
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: EI 144 LAX-DUB-MAD-VLC/BCN-DUB-LAX Part I

Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:00 am

Hi there thanks for the 1st part of this long awaited TR !!! Glad you had a good time. Looking forward to part 2 and lots of more pics . Nice write up .

Thanks for sharing

OA260
 
User avatar
shamrock350
Posts: 4782
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:38 am

RE: EI 144 LAX-DUB-MAD-VLC/BCN-DUB-LAX Part I

Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:12 am

Nice report, it was a good read!

Glad to hear that you had a good flight with Aer Lingus, the "midnight snack" set up sounds like a nice touch. Looking forward to the rest of the report and the pictures.

Shamrock350
 
B747forever
Posts: 13061
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: EI 144 LAX-DUB-MAD-VLC/BCN-DUB-LAX Part I

Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:04 am

Great TR.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your flight with EI. I really want to try out EI to LAX in the future if the start to serve ARN. EI seems to be a great airline.

The first pic is really nice.

Looking forward for next part.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.
Work Hard, Fly Right

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: diesel33, kaneporta1 and 1 guest

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos