I think this is only my second (possibly even my first) TR
, so I hope I can give you all a brief insight to my flights with Aer Lingus, an airline very close to my heart. I apologise also for the complete lack of photos on the TLS
sector, but to be honest I get a bit shy taking photos like this with people around me and as the flight was full, I left my camera in my laptop bag. I did however get photos and videos for the DUB
sector. I hope the videos are enjoyable, as while watching them last night I realised they seem much better as you shoot them then actually watching them, and the video quality from my Canon PowerShot may not be up to level with other videos on other Trip reports.
(Note: at the moment a.net is not allowing us to embed videos, so unfortunately you will be redirected to photobucket to be able to view my videos).
So I had to return home on a short business trip to Dublin flying out last Sunday and returning yesterday (Wednesday). The weather on the two flying days was marvellous yet the two days while I was in Dublin were pretty miserable.
So here goes...
Date: Sunday, October 5th 2008
-CVC "Saint Kealin" entered service with EI
on April 6th 2001.
It was a lovely Sunday in Toulouse, after a cold snap the previous few days. Skies were clear and temperatures were around 22°C.
After saying "see you on Wednesday" to my wife and son, I headed off by car for the 5 to 10 minute drive to the long-term car park P5 at Toulouse Blagnac airport. To my surprise the carpark was very full, and found a spot much further away from where the shuttle bus leaves from than before.
The shuttle bus took about 10 minutes to arrive (it was already around 15.10 so I was cutting it a bit tight, as I tend to to at Toulouse probably just because the airport is so close to my house). But in the end I had plenty of time to have a coffee, walk around and clear all check-in/security procedures before boarding.
There were only 2 check-in desks open, there are usually 3, and only one other person checking-in so I was expecting a not very full flight.
The flight inbound from DUB
landed slightly ahead of schedule, but as often seems to be the case at TLS
, we departed about 20 minutes behind schedule.
Here are some photos of Toulouse Blagnac airport:
Aer Lingus is handled by "MAP Handling" at TLS
(originally Swissport). Check-in is always in area C. Sorry for blurry quality of photo:
Looking towards Areas A & B landside at Toulouse from Area C:
The terminal from outside:
A new terminal, "Hall D" is currently under construction and will enter service in September 2009. It's quite an impressive project and will certainly modernise TLS
My flight at the bottom of the screen in Area A:
Area A, which is actually the most recent addition to TLS
, inaugurated 4 or 5 years ago and used primarily for flights operated by regional a/c (mainly AF
) offers the only landside views of the runways and part of the apron for Areas A and B on the main
departures level (there is a panoramic area upstairs which is currently undergoing renovations so couldn't get any good photos up there). Here is a photo of an AF
A319 parked at a finger at Area B, and the second photo, the same a/c but looking south towards the Area A apron and the Pyrenees:
The only really good shopping at TLS
, while limited, is all landside:
I flew this route 2 Sundays prior to this trip and the airport was hectic, with delays at check-ina nd security leading to the subsequent delay of my flight. However today I cleared security and passport control in 5 minutes. Luckily, I decided to take some more photos, as I discovered I had left my camera at security. I explained to the man at passport control who let me through no problems, and as I got to the security point I had used the man who had dealt with me came saying "you left your camera, I had been looking for you", as another woman was taking note of the camera in their "lost & found" sheet. She just asked me to sign it, and away I was.
Quickly bought a bottle of water for the flight, and headed over to my gate, 34. Here are a couple of shots of the aircraft that brought me to Dublin and a couple of shots of the boarding area in HAll C at TLS
Boarding was finally called for rows 15 to 29, and the boarding process took ages. Finally, rows 1 to 14 were called and I got aboard quickly. Was welcomes onboard by two friendly EI
F/A’s, I recognised one from a recent flight. I had my usual 2F (being Gold Circle, and EI
frequent flyer, they have registered my preferred seat and even when I don't pay in advance for seat selection, I am assigned 99% of the time seat 2A or 2F, and when the flight is not full, the other two seats on my row are always free). This was not the case today, as I only noticed 2 empty seats on the flight.
It was a standard EI
short-haul flight. Their service is very consistent. Friendly crews, buy-on-board bar service. Today I had their delicious “chicken & stuffing sandwich” and a coffee (I’m not a fan of instant coffee, prefer the real stuff, but I do like the “Carte Noire” Aer Lingus serves).
Sky was clear for virtually the whole flight, including Ireland! We approached Dublin over-land along the east coast, and landed at 17.55, fifteen minutes late, on runway 10. We had a relatively quick taxi to Area A, and within about 20 minutes of landing I’d collected my suitcase and went to get my rented car.
RETURN FLIGHT DUB
Date: Wednesday, October 8th 2008
Route: Dublin- Toulouse
-DEA "Saint Fidelma" entered service with EI
on April 30th 2004.
After two very successful days in Dublin, Wednesday morning was glorious. I headed down to a lovely village in southern County Dublin, Dalkey, for breakfast with my nephew at quite a popular place there, which apart from good food and a nice ambience, also has some very attractive Polish waitresses!
I headed for the M-50, a little too late for my liking around 10.30 for my 12.50 departure. Thankfully traffic was ok on the M-50, and I reached the car park for rental cars around 11.10. Returned car, paid the M-50 toll (a recent new system in Dublin by which they have demolished the tool booths on the M-50 to speed up traffic, and now a photo is taken of your car registration, and you have to pay the €3 toll by 8pm the day following the day of your journey on the motorway by phone, online or at the many outlets around the country where it can be paid). Headed up to departures, which as always was busy, but not chaotic.
I had checked-in online the previous night to check if I’d got the seat I wanted as I had only purchased my preferred seat for the TLS
leg, and yes, I had been assigned 2A, but as I didn’t have a printer I selected the option to collect my boarding-pass at the kiosks in DUB
. Collected my card and saw my flight was delayed. According to the board we would now board at 14.25 (which about 15 minutes later changed to 15.55). I asked the woman at the “bad tag and drop” desk, and she checked her computer and informed me the aircraft scheduled to operate my flight had gone tech in London and was still there. In the end, as I would learn later at the Gold Circle lounger and then during the pilot’s announcement, they had had to swap aircraft in the end as the other aircraft was still tech.
So after rushing, I had lots of time on my hands to take some photos of Dublin. I also went shopping and did a bit of damage to my wallet, but at least put a smile on my wife’s face when I got home. I must say I find the shopping at DUB
to be great.
So some photos of DUB
Approaching T1 from the car-rental car park. The first building you see is the main car-park, and the terminal is just behind it:
A couple of shots of the new Terminal 2 under construction. Due to open in 2010 and will be a much needed addition to Dublin airport:
The main departures hall:
Somebody on our Irish threads recently claimed there was no place to eat landside at DUB
, so her area few photos of the mezzanine level landside at DUB
So I stayed landside for a while, went to the mezzanine level with all the bars, cafés and restaurants and had a latté at Starbucks. Around 12.45 I went through security. It was very quick, only about 10 minutes, and ended up having a chat about the economy with one of the security staff.
Quickly snapped this photo for OA260:
There was little of interest happening at this time today on the apron, mainly just EI
Construction of T2
and its pier taken landside:
“The Street”, the main shopping area at DUB
The now very quiet “pier C” at DUB
, only inaugurated some 10 years ago, now partially demolished for the new T2
After shopping, I headed up to the Gold Circle lounge, where I had a lovely conversation with the Aer Lingus girl on duty there. Some of you may know that on Monday EI
announced its plans to outsource all ground-handling staff, leading to 1500 Aer Lingus staff losing their job. I made a post about my conversation on the Irish threads so will not repeat it here, but here is a link in case any of you want to read it:
The girl in the lounge said she’d keep me updated on the status of my flight. I didn’t want to head down to the boarding gate which was in area A (A11) in case of a further delay, as this area is removed from the main shopping area and the lounge, and once there, if you want to return to the other air-side areas you have to clear passport control again and return to departures and go through security again.
Photos of the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge which was very quiet. Notice my voucher which would later get me free food on my flight:
Around 15.10 “Go to gate” came up on the board. The girl in the lounge told me I had about another 10 minutes before I needed to head down to the gate. Got to the gate around 15.25, and boarding commenced shortly afterwards.
A few photos from Area A just prior to boarding:
A320 just boarded for Athens:
The A320 getting ready for my flight to Toulouse:
I was the second passenger onboard. Got a nice welcome. Load was very low, with only 77 passengers today. We had 3 female F/A’s and 1 male (comprising 2 Irish girls, 1 very friendly English girl and a man who I would say may have been Italian). The pilot fully explained the cause of the delay, emphasising that our aircraft was not the one that had gone tech. He was very apologetic, as was the F/A on her departure and arrival announcements.
I had the whole row to myself.
Company A320 on finals just before we departed:
We departed from runway 28 and given the mainly clear skies, got some lovely views of the eastern Irish coastline, Dublin city and Dun Laoghaire (the area I am originally from).
Had one French guy in row 3 on the opposite side who really got on my nerves as the nice English F/A did the safety demonstration. He found it very amusing, and was obviously try to impress his girlfriend, to imitate everything the F/A did. She did not look happy at all, and I shot him a few very dirty glances, which the F/A noticed and seemed to appreciate.
Departure from DUB
and nice views of Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Wicklow:
F/A after take-off announcement
The BOB service commenced fairly shortly after leaving the south-eastern Irish coast, and I had a coffee and sandwich for free thanks to an €8 voucher given to me at the Gold Circle lounge due to the flight’s delayed departure.
Later on they came through with their shopping/duty-free service. The flight continued calmly, with a few areas of turbulence but nothing serious. The cabin crew, despite the low loads were on their feet all the time, constantly coming up and down the cabin checking on everyone.
Some nice views of Dublin just after take-off:
Menu + Shy Shopping brochure:
“Cara” the Aer Lingus inflight magazine:
Around 17.30 we started our descent into Toulouse, approaching TLS
from the south. As I was in seat A, I didn’t get the usually nice views of central Toulouse, but did video the outskirts of Toulouse on approach:
Touch-down at Toulouse with views of one of Airbus' main sites:
And you can hear the very “chatty” welcome to Toulouse and repeated apologies for delay from our Head F/A:
View of Halls B and C while taxiing to our finger at Hall C:
View of the new Hall D at Toulouse to be inaugurated in September 2009. It’s an interesting semi-circular glass/wood façade structure that will hold the boarding gates, with an interior garden between it and the main part of the new terminal:
So that’s it. Once again, despite the delay on the second flight, EI
offered their usual consistent short-haul service, along with the smiles so typical of Aer Lingus.
Thanks for reading. Comments and feedback more than welcome!