latinaviation
Topic Author
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:50 pm

Background:
I had to go back stateside for some meetings and the timing of Aer Lingus worked out exceptionally well. Since there aren’t many Aer Lingus business class (Premier Class) trip reports, I thought I’d post this report.

Last year I flew just shy of 300,000 miles on SkyTeam member airlines accumulated through OnePass. While I am loyal to Continental, this was an excellent opportunity to experience Aer Lingus’ business class product.

Trip Report

Flight: EI 105
Date: 20 Jan 2009
Reg: EI-DUB
Route: DUB-JFK
Seat: 2D
J Load Factor: 12/24 = 50%
Departure: 10:30 (scheduled) / 10:40 (actual)


EI have 2 check-in counters for Premier Class in Dublin, but only one was staffed. There were 3 people in line in front of me and check-in was very smooth and done within 5 minutes. I was initially assigned seat 2C, but I like the center section and switched to 2D.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01377.jpg
Premier check-in counter at DUB

Dublin was unusually very light in the morning, so I didn’t even bother with the Business Fast Track security. My bet was a good one, there was only 1 other person in front of me in the security line. I went to the Aer Lingus’ Gold Circle/Premier lounge, which is located in the B concourse (much more convenient for US departures than the Anna Livia). A lot has been correctly written in this forum about their lounge previously, so I won’t comment much. I would add that my biggest complaint is simply the lack of complimentary Wi-Fi access.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01378.jpg
Lounge at DUB

At about 9:30, an entire hour before departure, the agent called boarding in the lounge. This was partially due to the fact that today’s flight was being pre-cleared by US immigration and thus the lines can be quite long. Boarding started at 9:50 with pre-boarding for the elderly and passengers with children. General boarding commenced at 10:10, with no pre-boarding for Premier passengers. Boarding was done via door 2L.

The line to board was total chaos, which is a shame because Aer Lingus have 4 gate agents and really no organization; it’s very much a fist come, first serve basis. There were two flight attendants at the door entrance to direct passengers and once on board things were much better.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01379.jpg
Premier seats

The crew are extremely friendly and I didn’t even have my bag down before a flight attendant asked to take my coat. Champagne, orange juice or water followed. Just before the doors closed, a flight attendant distributed today’s menu and the L’Occitaine amenity kit (nice surprise).

The seat pocket had the safety card, inflight magazine (Cara), inflight entertainment guide, duty free catalogue, and head phones. Magazines (USA Today, Financial Times, Irish Times, Irish Independent, and the International Herald Tribune) were all offered on a magazine rack above the bulkhead on 1C, 1D/F and 1H, as were a limited number of magazines.


Drinks started 40 minutes after take-off, accompanied by warm canapés, including samosa, spring roll and shrimp roll. I ordered a Bloody Mary and the flight attendant simply gave me a glass with ice and lemon, can of tomato juice and vodka. Apparently they don’t mix it for you and don’t have stirrers, because when I asked for one I was given a spoon. Not a major deal, but they are the little things that make a difference. About 10 minutes afterwards, another flight attendant came around with second offerings on the canapés, followed by hot towels and a second round of drinks.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01380.jpg
Drink service

Lunch menu:
Gravlax; Slices of gravlax salmon garnished with red onion, cucumber and mustard mayonnaise; or
Parma ham with melon, slices of classic Italian Parma ham served with ripe honeydew melon

Selection of breads

Salad bowl, a selection of mixed leaf lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing

Filet steak with peppercorn butter sauce, served with potato gratin, broccoli and vegetable ratatouille; or

Chicken Mascarpone, grilled chicken filet served with spinach, on a bed of spaghetti in a creamy mascarpone sauce; or

Grilled swordfish, with coriander and lemon butter sauce, served with egg noodles, asparagus and forest mushrooms; or

Risotto, served with roast bell peppers and mixed beans in Arrabbiata sauce

Warm Bread and Butter Pudding; or
Dark Chocolate and Raspberry tart; or
Fruit plate

Cheese plate

Afternoon tea prior to arrival
Fresh finger sandwiches
Selection of warm scones
Tea or coffee



After more than an hour from takeoff, lunch started and I was starving by this point. Premier has three flight attendants for 24 passengers; 1 galley flight attendant and two aisle flight attendants. Given the light load on today’s flight, the service was exceptionally personal and smooth. Service is completed forward-back.

Lunch started shortly afterwards with the salad and appetizer served on the tray. Three types of bread were offered and drinks topped up. The parma ham and melon were an excellent choice and very tasty.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01381.jpg
Appetizer and salad

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01382.jpg
Main course

I chose the chicken and while the portion size was good, it was very dry.

Flight attendants came around twice to top up drinks.

Lunch was finished and they offered dessert. I chose the fruit plate with cheese. Coffee and tea were offered twice during the dessert service and the crew also distributed bottled water. While picking up the dessert, they individually asked passengers if they were interested in any duty free items.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01383.jpg
Dessert

After the service, flight attendants distributed personal movie players to those interested. In addition to the PTVs, Aer Lingus offers these pre-programmed players to Premier passengers. They come loaded with 8 movies. While it’s not the best, at least it is AVOD and avoids the continuous loop programming of the standard entertainment selections on the PTV.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01384.jpg
Pre-loaded movies

About 1h outside of New York, the arrival service began. The snack is small but the warm scones are the best! Since we pre-cleared in Dublin, arrival was smooth and I was curbside in less than 5 minutes.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp26/latinaviation/DSC01385.jpg
Afternoon tea

Overall, the Aer Lingus product is very good. The crew are extremely helpful, very nice and attentive - but not obtrusively so. What's lacking is the seat. I understand that 2 of the A330-200s have lie-flat seats, but the ones I flew on are not competitive against Continental, American or Delta.
 
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OA260
Posts: 23798
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:19 pm

Hmm nice report . Short but sweet lol... Their product does not seem to have changed since I last flew Premier to JFK over 6 years ago. I do like the China ware though and the crystal glasses. Shame the food was dry. Should not happen in J class longhaul. Good that the crew were attentive.

Thanks for the update. Lounge looks like a shadow of what it once was and free Wi Fi would not cost EI that much to provide.

Over all I would not pay that amount of money for what you get , even on the reduced rates.

Thanks again

OA260
 
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AmricanShamrok
Posts: 2101
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 2:03 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:08 pm

Nice TR, I've never seen what the EI Business class was like before.
The food looked great and so different compared to Economy.
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:19 pm

They also serve scones (one big one) in economy but they don't warm it. LOL. I found the food good on Aer Lingus except they don't serve breakfast. Just orange juice eastbound.
 
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shamrock350
Posts: 5373
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:38 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:03 pm

Nice report!

Sounds like you had a good flight with Aer Lingus Premier, the meals look tasty and are presented well but it's a shame one of them was dry. Although those seats are comfy, they're better suited to a premium economy considering what the competition offers but Aer Lingus are currently upgrading aircraft cabins to the lie flat seats you mention which should be completed by March.

The lounges are in desperate need of upgrades, every time I see them it's like a flashback to the Aer Lingus of the 1990s. Unfortunately I can't see the Dublin lounge being upgraded anytime soon but a new lounge should be included in T2 as Aer Lingus will be the largest operator there.

Thanks for posting!
 
Eirules
Posts: 1885
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:17 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:15 pm

Hi there

Nice trip report. It looks like you had a pleasant experience with EI but it just doesnt seem to compare to similar products out of DUB such as CO or even DL, not to mention the likes of BA. As most of us have mentioned before, EI need to improve their Premier service but already have the basis for it with their fantastic staff - the lounges and the lie flat seats would be a start!

Well done again
The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live....
 
Womack17
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:49 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:11 pm

Very nice trip report. I always enjoy reports that share the menu items and then show the visuals. Sucks about the dry chicken,

I flew SQ business class from NRT to LAX and they also served front to back on the upper deck. Well, I was in the last row and they only had duck left - I am not fond of duck at all so that was very disappointing.

Thanks for sharing
Oh how I miss Midway Airlines. A class act right to then end.
 
COEI2007
Posts: 837
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:33 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:48 pm



Quoting LatinAviation (Thread starter):
Overall, the Aer Lingus product is very good. The crew are extremely helpful, very nice and attentive - but not obtrusively so. What's lacking is the seat. I understand that 2 of the A330-200s have lie-flat seats, but the ones I flew on are not competitive against Continental, American or Delta.

The seats really let us down! I think our service is great, but a few small things would really make a difference.

With regards mixing the bloody Mary, we get stirrers ex USA, but for some reason no out of Ireland! A lot of crew wont make the drink because passengers often dont like there drink mixed! Some only put a little vodka in, loads in etc!!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
Hmm nice report . Short but sweet lol... Their product does not seem to have changed since I last flew Premier to JFK over 6 years ago. I do like the China ware though and the crystal glasses. Shame the food was dry. Should not happen in J class longhaul. Good that the crew were attentive.

The chicken is dry in general, I dont know why? lol!
 
JFKMan
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:46 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:00 pm

Ive only flew Aer Lingus Premier once before and nothing seems to have changed. Except for that little hand out tv.

TBH, Aer Lingus Premier just does not match BA or American carriers. Although I always liked the Premier dishes and glasses aswell as the Flight Attendants.
NYC
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8301
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:47 pm

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Gotta say EI look pretty decent on this trip, seat & dry chicken aside.

Whilst no where near BA's CW product, it seems pretty close to most US carriers I have flown in J recently, seat excepted.

RE the bloody mary, I don't think pax would have an issue mixing it so long as they have a stirer issued!

Regards

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
latinaviation
Topic Author
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:03 pm

I flew back last night on EI 104. It was EI-DUZ, which has the new interior and was really a great flight. I didn't do a TR because it was night and I didn't want the camera to both others.
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 4749
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:15 pm



Quoting LatinAviation (Thread starter):
Since there aren’t many Aer Lingus business class (Premier Class) trip reports, I thought I’d post this report.

Good stuff! Well done for recognising a hole in the Trip Reports. It's the first one I've read on EI Premier, so thanks for sharing!

Quoting LatinAviation (Thread starter):
The crew are extremely friendly and I didn’t even have my bag down before a flight attendant asked to take my coat. Champagne, orange juice or water followed. Just before the doors closed, a flight attendant distributed today’s menu and the L’Occitaine amenity kit (nice surprise).

That's pretty good - EI have a great reputation for service, which I've rarely seen compromised anywhere. It's one of their main strengths - that and low fares  Smile

Quoting LatinAviation (Thread starter):
I chose the chicken and while the portion size was good, it was very dry

I love the glassware! I'd heard it was nice, and it is... not overly keen on the knives and fork design though, and I think the meal presentation could have been better, but otherwise it seems pretty good!

Thanks again for the report!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
shamrock104
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2000 12:38 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:35 pm



Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 11):
I love the glassware! I'd heard it was nice

There is nothing quite like a Waterford cut crystal glass - nothing compares to the quality, very classy indeed, timeless. Although many would argue what's inside the glass is far more important, not that I would disagree.
 
JFKMan
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:46 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:15 pm

Looking at the picture of the seats again...not only are the seats horrible, Look at those pillows! Jesus, they are horrible for a first class...
NYC
 
B747forever
Posts: 13815
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:41 pm

Nice TR

Quoting LatinAviation (Thread starter):
General boarding commenced at 10:10, with no pre-boarding for Premier passengers. Boarding was done via door 2L.

That is actually poor.

Seems you had a good and pleasant flight with EI.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 4749
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:58 pm



Quoting JFKMan (Reply 13):
Looking at the picture of the seats again...not only are the seats horrible, Look at those pillows! Jesus, they are horrible for a first class...

Well it's not marketed as a First Class, it's marketed as Business Class. They're the old J class seats anyway, the new ones on the fleet are the Recaro ones that RJ and other airlines use.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
latinaviation
Topic Author
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:09 pm



Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 15):
They're the old J class seats anyway, the new ones on the fleet are the Recaro ones that RJ and other airlines use.

EI-DUZ has the new Recaro seats, which I flew back on 104. Are they the same as KL? They're a huge improvement and very nice, the only thing is I kept sliding down when I laid on my side. I don't notice it as much on KL because the fabric is different - EI's is very smooth there is a noticeable difference. Still, the product is very nice and the crew really make the flight.
 
UN_B732
Posts: 3532
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:39 pm

Is EI premier cheaper than DL and CO in the market? (just curious, given the differences in product)

-A
What now?
 
latinaviation
Topic Author
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:58 pm



Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 17):

Is EI premier cheaper than DL and CO in the market? (just curious, given the differences in product)

They all price the same, sometimes EI is cheaper due to the larger cabin size (24J vs CO/DL 16 on the 757).
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4290
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:06 pm

Thanks for sharing this great trip report. I don't see much of EI's intercontinental J trip reports - and this was actual very useful as I was planning a summer trip and EI J was the cheapest. Don't think I am going to do it though ... price premium for faux J is just not worth it IMHO. Great TR.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
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dfwops
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:30 pm

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:12 am

The Premier Service is the same as 4 years ago. The only exception is that staffing has been reduced from 4 F/As in Premium to 3. AA still staffs ORD-DUB with 4 F/As in J.
 
COEI2007
Posts: 837
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:33 am

RE: EI DUB-JFK In Premier

Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:37 pm



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 19):
The Premier Service is the same as 4 years ago. The only exception is that staffing has been reduced from 4 F/As in Premium to 3. AA still staffs ORD-DUB with 4 F/As in J.

Thats because there used to be 36 seats in J, and now there is 24.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Don't think I am going to do it though ... price premium for faux J is just not worth it IMHO. Great TR.

The old seats are a bit faux J, Its J service, and with the new seats, its a lot better

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