Looking for some last minute options my eye fell on Aer Lingus, the national carrier of Ireland. Having flown once on EI some year ago I now thought it was about time to go back and check out the recently built terminal 2 at DUB. At least that would be something new!
A search on their website revealed a € 0,99 fare one way to DUB and the same fare going back. Taxes and fees added the total was to be € 78 for a same day return, booked one week in advance. Not a bad deal so I booked it without and further doubt. As you know, EI flies not quite the most special of aircraft, I had to do with a A320 both ways.
Due to the fact that I was not allowed to take a whole day overtime in ‘hours’ I had to be at work at least for 1 min and then leave again, how stupid is that. So at 7h30 I surprised my colleagues with my presence only to say ‘see you tomorrow’ and left again, this time for the airport.
I was very glad to again have chosen my beloved ‘mean 2-wheeled machine’ as transportation this morning because the traffic was really horrendous. Arrival at BRU was 1h prior to my flight and a quick glance at the arrival screens showed a well on time arrival on the inbound. OLCI was done a day before and seats at the back of the bus were chosen as usual. After a quick clearing of security I found myself at the non-Schengen terminal B this time in search of a ‘green machine’.
The week before the weather in Belgium had been glorious but the start of the Indian summer had quickly ended only to find a grey and dull day today. I was hoping for some better meteo en route.
Omnipresent Jet Airways:
A very busy terminal B this morning:
Dedicated to user MSS658:
The other side, with a view on terminal A, my usual starting point:
The time went and still no sign on my plane. Then I checked the FIDS again and gate B93 was listed, a bus gate.
So I went one floor down to the bus gate area, a rather drab looking place: it is in fact some kind of tent:
Boarding was called on time, we were all herded in a bus and shipped to some very remote area where our plane was parked. Right here:
Some obligatory shots of this rather nicely colored 2005 machine:
2 quite uninterested crew were awaiting us at the entrance. I decided to brake the ice:
“Strange parking position today”, I said.
“Yes indeed, they put us here to keep an eye on that white B747 over there”.
“Oh, I see”, I laughed.
Refering to this one:
I then went down all the way and took my seat. A well used cabin I noticed with OK-ish leg space. 3 for me in the end, so far so good!
With a bit of imagination (well… maybe a lot) the overhead lights look like approach lighting:
Pushback followed soon after a plethora of annoucements from the cabin and cockpit crew and we soon made a beeline to the usual takeoff rwy 25L.
A nice surprise on the way:
Passing the A terminal with an abundance of SN machinery, can you spot the intruders?
Racing with TAROM
You’ve seen this view a zillion times before, so no explanation necessary
As expected on this dull day, no more views after takeoff:
Reaching our cruising alt:
Now this was a cool view: after a blanket of white, we came to the edge of the cliff and suddenly the weather got better:
The crew came round and I bought some tea with my cc, mind the stub from the cc payment.
“We do have these machines” said the F/A serving me, “but they were not loaded this morning on the inbound. Very annoying…”.
Meanwhile I listened to some mellow tunes on my phone:
Over the UK:
Lake Victoria? Lago Di Garda? Michigan Lake? No, It’s Rutland Water, east of Birmingham.
And starting the crossing over the Irish Sea over Liverpool
“Ahoy Captain, land in sight” What followed was a nice scenic approach into DUB’s rwy 28.
‘Portmarnok golf course’ in the lower left corner:
And in the lower right corner:
Very near now. Due to the strong winds the plane was shaking like a leaf.
Well, hi there!
After a smooth touchdown (well done mr Cpt!) we left the rwy and taxied to our stand at terminal 2.
A parking location at the very end was assigned to us, next to this lovely lady, bound for NYC.
We came to a halt and people started disembarking throught the front door. Suddenly, also the rear door was opened and deboarding was also possible via the tarmac. I naturally chose to do it this way to get some more shots
My first spot from inside the terminal:
So there I found myself in the recently built terminal 2. At first sight a huge improvement over the older terminal 1. Arrivals are on the top level, boarding on a lower level.
The terminal is reasonably large with a fair walking distance from the end the start, although not as far as in terminal A in BRU.
I followed the clear signage for ‘transfer’ and after a lone seucrity check I was back in the departures area. It was very, I mean VERY calm in general.
Some US bound heavies at their gates:
The long walkway that is terminal 2:
From the other side:
The gate for the BRU bound flight was already assigned:
It was midday and I was starting to get hungry, so I got myself a largely overpriced but very tasty panini at the Lavaza café. Together with a bottle of San Pellegrino I paid the staggering total of € 9,65. Pfff… Then I walked to the very end where you have a very nice view on the threshold of rwy 28. What place is better to enjoy a meal than overlooking a runway?
This beauty came passing by:
After some eating, drinking and plane watching it was about time to head back to gate 410 at the start of the terminal to board the flight to BRU. Boarding was by row number and enforced very well by the gate staff.
Upon entering this 2004 bird, the difference in crew atitude was striking; they were all in a cheerful and talkative mood. The seats filled up quite quickly, I think the load factor must’ve been some 80%-ish. Again announcements here and there and everywhere and not before long we pushed back.
Them coming in, we going out:
Obviously we were parked at position 400R:
A quick taxi to the active rwy 28 followed giving me a last glimpse of the terminal and it’s inhabitants.
Without further due we blasted off into the Irish skies. To say it with these famous words of one former governor: ‘I’ll be back’
Climbing out of DUB. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the plane as I anticipated a left turn after takeoff, permitting views of Dublin city but the folks in front decided to do otherwise…
Leaving the mainland behind again:
Another cabin view:
Cruising over mainland UK. Meanwhile the crew did their round but I did not get anything, enough money spent for the day!
And overflying the city of London, too bad no view on LHR…
The edge of the UK, about to cross the channel:
Coming back on shore again at the Belgian coast over the city of Oostende and OST:
And that’s Brugge in the middle:
And the city of Gent:
The Schelde river and Antwerpen under the clouds:
At this point the cabin was prepared for landing and we made some steep right turns to lign up with BRU’s rwy 25L for landing. The weather was a tiny bit better than some hours ago and I managed to get some decent enough views of the Belgian countryside.
The city of Leuven:
On short finals:
TD on Belgian soil after 1h10mins of flight time. If you look closely, there’s the BRU rwy 25L/7R spotting location at the green fence.
Sad to be leaving…
The ET 757 still there from this morning:
With the morning buzz passed there was plenty of room to park at a fingergate at terminal B again.
You see: all empty except for this SN Avro.
After disembarking and a swift passage through passport control I was again relieved to find my bike back in the state I left it this morning
To conclude: 2 solid flights with Aer Lingus. For this bargain price I was more than happy to choose EI over FR (who fly to DUB from CRL). Sure it’s still low cost but the overall feel is somewhat more up-class. If only the crew on the BRU-DUB sector would’ve been a bit more enthusiastic. Terminal 2 is a nice addition to DUB and a far cry from the FR shack gates where I found myself into some years ago. I would be happy to fly this carrier again!
Thanks for reading and if you’ve come to this point now, why not leave a (small) comment? It is greatly appreciated!