Love me or hate me, I took the opportunity to leave the country to go and see friends. Yes, it was time to throw caution to the wind. In spite of government advice not to travel, travel during lockdown was going to happen.
After my original flights were cancelled, I booked new ones. Next, the concern was how to get to Dublin Airport as the express buses are not operating. In the end, I forked out €30 for a taxi, which was pleasant and convenient.
Dublin Airport During Lockdown
I have two words for you – ghost town. On arrival at Terminal 2, only a few people were dotted around, no traffic, and about six cars lined up outside the terminal. All very post apocalyptic really.
The nuclear winter vibe continued in the terminal. Up the two sets of escalators, which were empty, and straight to a lone attendant checking boarding passes before security who looked delighted to have something to do for a moment.
From there, no wait at security, and another friendly staff member smiling away behind her mask asking me the usual set of questions. General security is as fast as fast-track at the moment, so no need to buy that service.
Passing through Duty Free is the same, with it all open. I mean, lets face it, there could be a war on and airports would still be selling Duty Free, am I right? Into the terminal proper and many shops were closed, such as the Chocolate Lounge, while a couple of others were open.
Down the escalators to the gates, where every second seat is blocked off and everyone is told to wear a mask. The Aer Lingus gate staff came around offering us contact tracing forms to complete, to hand over to the Dutch at the other end.
Flying Aer Lingus During Lockdown
Boarding was called, from back to front, with people having to show their completed forms, as well as boarding passes and Passports.
There may have been roughly 60 people on board, but not many more than that. Needless to say, nobody was sat next to me.
EI602 – Dublin to Amsterdam (DUB-AMS)
23 August 2020
Airbus A320 – EI-DVG – St. Flannan
Seat: Economy 3A
Departure: 18:15 Arrival: 20:55
Safely ensconced in my favourite seat, I watched the safety demonstration, all done with the crew in masks. Next, off to the runway, where we departed into the Dublin evening sky.
During lockdown, the Aer Lingus inflight magazine, Cara, is not being printed. All that sat in the seat pockets were the safety cards and nothing else. We were encouraged not to put anything into the seat pockets.
When it comes to inflight service, Aer Lingus has decided to serve nothing whatsoever. On four flights for this trip, each of the other two airlines offered their normal food and drink.
With nothing else to do, I sat around enjoying the view and waiting to land. We landed miles away and traipsed around runways for 15 minutes before arriving at the terminal. Deplaning was simple, as was Dutch immigration, though the usual desks were closed so I had to walk to ones that were open. Meanwhile, who collected that contact tracing form? Nobody.
Flying during lockdown is a little different to the usual. Everyone wears masks (apart from the morons), airport seating is socially distanced, sanitation stations have popped up, and distancing markers are on the floors.
Otherwise, the situation is far more pleasurable than usual. There are no queues, no waiting, no people getting in your way, no harassed barking staff, it’s all round very good.
Aer Lingus really should be offering an on board service. My next flight was on easyJet who I purchased food from, then Swiss who offered one of the nicest business class meals I’ve ever had. It just seems stingy to have nothing, and the poor cabin crew did nothing all flight which must be boring too.
Have you flown with Aer Lingus or through Dublin Airport during lockdown? What are your thoughts on all of this? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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I flew from Dublin to London with Aer Lingus and it was one of my best flying experiences yet. The staff were great, everyone had a mask on in the airport, flight was on time no delays, socially distanced on the plane, and my fellow passengers obeyed all the rules and no one was argumentative.
I felt safe the entire time.
I’m delighted to hear it, Colin! I felt the same way. It would have been a perfect travel experience if there was an airline lounge and a food offering on board, but I like to eat, so these kinds of things keep me amused while travelling. Otherwise, I’m in full agreement, a very civilised experience all round.
I was very interested in your experience with Dublin Airport and flight, it makes me feel more confident to travel in the future,as I am in the group of the over 60″s I was a frequent traveller with aerlingus to London to see my family living there, so now I will contemplate the trip again at the end of the year, with mask and packed lunch in hand
Thank you, Ruth. I’m glad you found it useful. Everyone was being very good at adhering to the rules, and Aer Lingus also had a second person at the queue who reminded people to space themselves out. I found it all very safe and reassuring throughout. I hope you manage to go on your trip.
As you did, I flew Dublin to Schipol but at what was supposed to be 7.00 a.m. flight delayed for 90 minutes due to a crew member being contact traced. Again airport like a ghost town. Little pop up bar demanding €9 for food per pint (not per stay but per pint) should have reported it at the time. Facemasks a must but a lot of staff in the terminal not wearing them. Seamless boarding but if you paid for priority forget about it or a refund. Pleasant flight and again nobody in Schipol looking for the mandatory passenger card.… Read more »
Good to hear the airport is also enforcing the “food with a pint” rule. I never drink before a flight at airport bars, but I know it’s pretty much a ritual for many people. You are correct, I had Priority Boarding and it was not enforced, however I didn’t mind that at all. There are so few passengers that it makes no difference whatsoever. And yes, having your phone fully charged certainly helps to pass the time. Thanks so much for telling me about your experience. Seems very similar to mine!
Is it allowed to travel from a county currently in local lockdown to get a flight from Dublin. Seems like a very grey area here with both DFA and HSE saying essential travel is what each individual deams it to be.
As far as I can tell, they’d rather you didn’t do that. That being said, when I was at Dublin Airport they were not checking you to see where you were from or anything like that, so who knows. It’s all best guess really. Good luck!
I flew from Boston to Berlin, connecting in Dublin. We arrived before 6am thus the airport was naturally a ghost town. Compared to other airports, the COVID signage in Dublin is well done. The staff were very polite and the boarding and deplaning process were also well done. European passengers are more respectful than Americans when it comes to following deplaning instructions by remaining in their seats until the row in front has begun to exit. I received a meal from Boston which was nothing to complain about. I expected more temperature checks before boarding as well as more vigilance… Read more »
That is excellent feedback, Jaap! I agree, the signage is better in Dublin that some of the other airports I visited on my trip, which is a great point to mention. Also agree on the deplaning, as people generally waited until they were supposed to (only leave after the row in front of you has left). Perhaps this pandemic will teach air passengers to be more respectful. Thanks again for this, much appreciated!
For anyone interested; If you want a pint, you have to buy 9 euro worth of food.
A good tip as so many people like a drink before flying. Thanks for that!
Shameful. People like you are the reason this is out of control. Completely careless, selfish, and shameful to be gallivanting about during a pandemic.
While Dublin airport was dead quiet, all the other airports (Amsterdam, Nice, Zurich) and flights on this trip seemed as busy as usual. There are a lot of people travelling. Anyway, I was ready for comments like this and I appreciate your input!
Go f*** yourself
If I could do what Charlie suggested I would never leave the house! If you travel, travel smart. Sounds like you’re taking all the practical precautions Trent, kudos.
Hahahahaha! I daresay many wouldn’t 😉 Cheers, Chuck!
There is a group of people out there who are paralysed by fear, and as such, anyone going against their internal narrative is an enemy. If this whole situation was caused by the virus spreading from a bat to one person thousands of miles away, it is the height of “small picture thinking” to suggest that we can stop people from getting infected again. We had to manage the surge, we did that. Now life has to return to near-normal, including travel.
I’d say Aer Lingus decision not to offer services is based on cost rather than safety
I can certainly see their point of view as well, even if it differs from my own. Things are certainly moving in the right direction, despite pockets here and there. Oh and for sure, Aer Lingus is definitely not catering on cost. BA did the same and now have some kind of hybrid catering that is all cold. Oh well. It’ll return to normal eventually. Thanks for the comment!