I had flown Aer Lingus Business Class once before on a day flight which is here on Travel Update and I was looking forward to trying the seats and product on an overnight sector. I was curious as to whether the flat bed would be comfortable for a sleep without any additional padding, and whether the duvet provided would be warm enough. Apart from that, I knew the meal service would be substantially different for an overnight flight, which it was.
EI136 – Boston to Dublin (BOS-DUB)
27 October 2015
Airbus A330-200 EI-EWR “St. Thomas”
Seat: Business Class 3K
Departure BOS: 20:20 Arrival DUB: 05:45+1
There as no queue at check-in at Boston Logan, so I was checked in immediately and without fuss. Security screening is in the middle of the terminal and there were few people there so all in all my departure experience was quite speedy! From there I visited the Aer Lingus Lounge in the basement, which has since been closed as Aer Lingus moved in May 2016 from Terminal E to Terminal C to be with their partner JetBlue. I left the lounge eventually and made my way up to the gate where I waited for a good 15 minutes before boarding was called.
The two best seats in Business Class on Aer Lingus are nicknamed the “throne” seats among frequent flyers. You can see why in the picture below which I took post flight.
There is an embarrassing amount of room for one person. The only unexpected downside of the console on both sides was that it made the 22″ wide seat seem like it was a bit narrow. These seats, by the way, are more or less identical to the JetBlue Mint seats.
The view from my seat looked like this…
Notice anything missing? Our aircraft, EI-EWR, had recently returned to the fleet after being with another airline for a long period of time. There are no overhead bins in the centre of the cabin on this aircraft which made the cabin feel quite spacious! All of the rest of the Aer Lingus fleet has centre overhead bins in Business Class.
The downside of no bins in the centre was people sitting there had to stow their items above those of us at the window, which sometimes took a while what with all the rearranging of things to make other things fit and so on. While waiting for departure, I flipped my PTV screen to the map.
Once again, the menu was already waiting for me underneath the screen and I noted the colour scheme is reversed compared to flights in the other direction which are black with a silver Shamrock and titles. As this is an overnight flight, Aer Lingus have an express option available which is a light meal with all the items on one tray, but what’s the fun in that? I always take the full service.
It all looked good and I was looking forward to giving it a try. One thing we did not get on this flight was a pre-departure welcome drink, which I found to be quite strange as there didn’t seem to be any kind of rush.
We pushed back at 19:18 and commenced a very long taxi to the runway. Along the way I discovered in the literature a little bit on the new Aer Lingus Business Class and thought to take some pictures.
It had some information on the features of the seat, which you can see here.
Also, there was some information on the Aer Lingus Business Class experience as a whole.
Just when I thought that our taxi was the longest one I’d ever experienced, an announcement came saying that we were returning to stand as one of the passengers was unwell. Once at the gate, we were advised to stay in our seats and the paramedics came on board. Shortly after this, we saw the passenger being removed from the aircraft in a wheelchair. She was very grey looking. Later on, the crew told me that during the cabin secure checks one of the crew had found the woman to be unresponsive in her seat and alerted her colleagues. Quite lucky one would think, so hats off to the crew!
Once the sick passenger was off, we refueled again with instructions to leave our seatbelts off and not to use the toilets. I took some leg room shots while we waited.
There’s also some signage down by the foot well and here it is for posterity.
Our inflight entertainment system was turned off, and then restarted.
We pushed back again at 20:18, which was an hour after our original push back. I overheard we had 263 on board the flight and 1 wheelchair. Finally we got to our active runway and were soon into the air.
Aer Lingus provide duvets for Business Class passengers instead of blankets, and once in the air these were distributed by the cabin crew along with Wi-Fi cards. I found that the side console had enough room for the duvet so I popped mine in there. Not that I was lacking space to store items – it was quite the opposite!
Very shortly after that it was time for food again and first off were canapés paired with some Champagne.
I was quite taken with the little sword and took it home with me.
These were once again, delicious, delicious and delicious as you can see from the “after” picture below, just after we were given the hot towels.
With little delay, it was time for the meal and my tray arrived like this.
The salad was more leafy than I prefer, but I did enjoy the crunchy Asparagus and the Radish. There could have been more of that and less leaves really.
For a main I chose the Seared Salmon, Potato and Fennel Rosti, Snow Peas, Carrots and Herb Butter.
The meal was delicious – except for the Potato and Fennel Rosti. It was extremely dry, so I presume our 1 hour of delay had something to do with that. The rest was very nice indeed and again quite healthy.
The healthy buzz didn’t last long as for dessert I chose the ‘Irish Coffee’ tart. When I was asked my choice, I asked if I could also have the Cheeseboard if there was one left over after the service. A little while later, I was handed my tray – with both desserts – because “You’re so friendly and polite”. Delighted!
The tart was quite delicious, and it was great that it wasn’t such a large piece considering I’d be sleeping soon enough. That being said, I was glad I chose the cheeseboard too!
The Cheeseboard was very nice too – I devoured all of it!
Throughout the meal, I did what I did on my previous flight and was posting pictures of the food and so on to Facebook. The Wi-Fi once again was quite fast and very reliable.
After the meal, I reclined my seat and decided to pick something from the inflight entertainment. As I had enjoyed the movie Fargo I decided to check out the series of which there were 4 episodes on the system. I watched all of them throughout the flight and the rest on Netflix when I got back to Dublin. Very nice! Here’s a view of the cabin at night.
The footwell with the light on and my duvet on. It was actually far too hot in the cabin to use the duvet so it was pretty much off after this. If you’re going to provide a duvet don’t also have the cabin heat turned right up. I loathe a hot cabin, because coupled with the lack of humidity in the cabin, it makes a person feel rotten.
Of course, it wouldn’t be one of my reports without a visit to the toilet.
The flight went uneventfully and soon it was time for breakfast. This was Fruit Skewer and an Irish Bacon Roll and a selection of continental pastries. I had it with a coffee.
The fruit skewer was an interesting and unexpected take on the usual fruit salad that is invariably served as part of breakfast when flying. Since the flight was only around 6 hours, there was really no need for anything more substantial.
The bacon roll was very tasty and the bacon had virtually no fat. Personally, I would have loved to put some ketchup on it but alas it is not offered with the meal.
It was quite light but definitely delicious! Considering I’d only finished dinner a couple of hours beforehand as well as having eaten in the lounge at the airport, it was perfectly sized.
We descended and landed into Dublin without incident. Here is a view of the cabin after landing.
Finally, I got one picture of the bulkhead Shamrock, which looks very nice I think.
After walking down the jetway and through Passport control, I retrieved my bag from the carousel (one of the first again – Priority Baggage means exactly that at Aer Lingus!) and headed to the Aer Lingus Revival Lounge, which I detail in another post.
Once again, Aer Lingus Business Class met my expectations. The only major thumbs down for me was the cabin temperature being far too hot to be able to even attempt to sleep. I never understand why airlines do this as it’s completely counterintuitive to getting people to sleep.
The food was excellent (overlooking the rosti which I think was dried out due to the unexpected departure delay), the Wi-Fi was decent and free and the cabin crew provided that smiling pleasant Irish service which is a hallmark of the airline. Overall, a very solid effort from Aer Lingus!
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