Lucky Charms Ireland: Aer Lingus Business Class Boston to Dublin

Filed Under: Aer Lingus, Awards

We arrived at the gate from the Air France lounge at around 5:55PM, at which point boarding was announced for business class and Gold Circle members.

Departure gate

Aer Lingus 136
Boston (BOS) – Dublin (DUB)
Wednesday, June 27
Depart: 6:25PM
Arrive: 5:20AM (+1 day)
Duration: 5hr55min
Aircraft: Airbus A330
Seat: 2C (Business Class)

The purser and one of the coach flight attendants were greeting passengers at the door, and invited us to turn left to the business class cabin.

The business class cabin consisted of a total of 24 seats, in four rows of 2-2-2 seating. While the seats are angled flat, they were reasonably well maintained and perfectly comfortable, given how short the flight is.

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

We quickly stowed our belongings and settled into our seats, 2A & 2C, where rather compact pillows and headphones (in the seatback pocket) were waiting for us.

Our seats, 2A & 2C

Our seats, 2A & 2C

The business class seats have built in personal televisions, which were large enough given that there wasn’t that much distance between my face and the screen (unlike in Lufthansa first class, where it’s a distance of about six feet).

Personal television

There were two different seat controls — one on the surface of the center console, which had basic presets, and one under the left armrest, which had more customized control options.

Seat controls on center console

Seat controls under center armrest

That’s also where the entertainment controller was found, which was similar to the one offered by many airlines nowadays.

Entertainment control

Within minutes of settling in a French male flight attendant offered us pre-departure beverages. I went with OJ, while my friend went with champagne. Aer Lingus sure does have nice glassware!

Pre-departure beverages

Once most business class passengers settled in (the cabin was about 75% full), the other flight attendant (she was Irish) offered us menus and an amenity kit.


Amenity kit contents

As our departure time rolled around the captain came on the PA to advise us of our flight time of 5hr20min, and that we might be a few minutes late due to long queues for takeoff.

While I usually do everything I can to book a longer transatlantic flight in order to allow for the most sleep possible, I was excited about this one, since it’s one of the shortest transatlantic flights there is. I believe it’s the second shortest transatlantic flight out of the US (Boston to Shannon is a bit shorter), and shorter than many transcons I’ve taken. New York to San Francisco regularly takes over six hours in the air, so I was quite looking forward to seeing how the service is on a flight like this. I do still have my eye on St. Johns to London, though, which is ~2,300 miles and operated by an Air Canada A319.

My original plan was not to sleep at all. I’m a night owl and given that the flight departed Boston so early and was scheduled to land in Dublin at around midnight eastern time, I didn’t think there was any chance I’d get any sleep, and my plan was to nap for a few hours upon landing. More on that later.

We pushed back right on-time and joined the queue for takeoff, where there were were about 15 planes ahead of us, so it was about 25 minutes before we were airborne.

American 757 in OneWorld colors

Queue for takeoff

By around 6PM we were finally airborne into the southwest, and made a 180 degree turn which resulted in some great views of the airport.

View shortly after takeoff

View of Boston Logan Airport after takeoff

About 20 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off. The flight attendants first distributed duvets for those that wanted to go straight to sleep, which was a handful of passengers. I also played around with the entertainment system, which featured plenty of movies, TV shows, and CDs. The selection was impressive, and I was even more impressed that the system can be used on the ground after pusback, which is always nice when you have a long wait. I decided to watch a few sitcoms with dinner.

Duvet and pillow

At that point the dinner service began. The menu read as follows:

And the wine list read as follows:

The entire service was done on a cart in order to be as efficient as possible. The purser, Tanya, was working my aisle, and she was friendly.

Service started with some cold canapes and drinks. I ordered a Diet Coke, which they cater in those miniature European cans, so they immediately gave me two.

Drinks and cold canapes

About five minutes later the galley flight attendant came around with a pan filled with hot canapes, which she served on the same plate.

Hot canapes

The main course and salad were served on a single tray to minimize service time. The salad was tasty and served with a vinaigrette. For the main course I selected the spinach gnocchi. It was quite tasty though a bit too saucy/cheesy/greasy.

Spinach gnocchi

My friend had the lamb stew, which he also found a bit too greasy tasting, if that makes any sense.

Lamb stew

The dessert was Irish cream bread pudding, which I have wet dreams about to this day. Simply spectacularly delicious. I ordered a glass of Baileys with it, which was served in the biggest mini I’ve ever seen on a plane.

Irish cream bread pudding

The meal service concluded about two hours into the flight, with just under 3hr30min to go to Dublin.

Airshow progress

Time to destination

Much to my surprise I was exhausted after dinner, and conked out almost immediately, and slept till an hour before landing. Over two hours of sleep on a 5hr20min flight isn’t half bad! In terms of comfort the seat was similar to American’s, though I found the duvet to be especially comfortable.

Despite the short flight time a continental breakfast is served prior to arrival, and I appreciated the fact that the crew waited till about an hour before landing to do so (instead of the usual 90 minutes on most transatlantic flights). The breakfast menu read as follows:

While there’s no good reason to be hungry only a couple of hours after dinner I took one for the team. 😉

I selected fresh fruit, a croissant, yogurt, and tea. The fruit was tasty, the croissant was made in an airline catering facility (you know what that means), and the yogurt was also quite good.

Continental breakfast

30 minutes out the captain came on the PA to make his landing announcement, informing us we’d be arriving about 15 minutes late.

It was rather stormy on approach so we hit a bit of chop on the way down. Despite that we had a smooth landing, and five minutes after that found ourselves at our arrival gate. On the taxi in Tanya made the landing announcement, and at the end there were a few words in Gaelic. For a moment I thought I was just really exhausted and my comprehension was getting bad, though apparently that wasn’t the case.

Taxiing to our gate

It was about a five minute walk to immigration, where there was only a very short queue.

Walk to immigration

Within 15 minutes of landing we were in the arrivals hall, where we followed the taxi signs, and made it to the Four Seasons Dublin before 6:30AM.

Terminal upon arrival

On the whole I was impressed by Aer Lingus. The crew was efficient and reasonably friendly, the food was quite good, and I found the seat perfectly comfortable for such a short flight. I’m even more impressed when I factor in the fact that I spent only 25,000 British Airways Avios for the one-way ticket in business class. 😉

  1. @ Mike — Great question, as it’s something I meant to include. The seats actually have individual air vents. Woot!

  2. I’m not shocked your friend found the lamb stew to be “greasy” given the pool of brown-orange stuff quietly pooling in the lower left hand corner of the dish.

  3. At first I thought you were going to say you fell asleep and missed breakfast (unforgiveable!), but you came through as usual, Luck. Thanks for posting!

  4. Am doing the same flight shortly, did you use air coach? I purchased a 3 day DUB pass, and part of it a free trip from the airport to the city. Anyone use this service with the DUB pass? Any tips would be appreciated

  5. @ phil — Probably should have done that, but since the flight was arriving so early and the Four Seasons is outside the side I ended up cabbing it. Hopefully someone else can chime in!

  6. @ wln — I’m making the argument that’s not transatlantic, much like Los Angeles to Honolulu isn’t transpacific (in my book, at least). :p

  7. Ben, do you think it was worth it to fly business vs coach?

    I ask because my wife and I plan on using this flight for our transatlantic for our ireland/scotland trip and it will be our first business class trip.
    It seems like it may not be worth it for such a short flight and having only angled lie flat seats. For two passengers its 100k avios round trip vs 50k in coach.
    I’ve got 200k avios and another 200k next year, worth it for a first time trip or no?

    Although, you may not be the best person to ask considering you fly business/first all the time and probably shun coach like the plague 🙂

  8. @ Joe — As you mention everyone values miles differently, though I’d say in this case it’s DEFINITELY worth the premium. You’re paying a premium of 12,500 miles per person per direction, which gets you priority check-in/security/boarding, lounge access, a much more comfortable seat, entertainment system, and decent food.

    An upgrade on a domestic flight typically costs 15,000 miles and is only to a domestic first class seat, while this is to a much more comfortable product.

    So I’d go for it in your shoes, though either way it’s a phenomenal deal. 🙂

  9. @ Ozaer — Adding Dublin would be 9,000 Avios roundtrip in coach or 18,000 Avios roundtrip in business class.

  10. Honestly, both of those main courses look borderline inedible. I don’t think I could convince myself to eat either of those items once I saw how they looked. The food I feed to my dog has a more appealing appearance.

  11. Interesting to read this after just getting back from my own DUB trip in EI J yesterday. Your experience differed from mine in a couple spots:

    – Entertainment system was off on the ground and didn’t turn on until well into the flight (around the time cabin service started). Likewise on landing, it was turned off a solid 30 min prior to touchdown.

    – I experienced the longest immigration queues in my life on arriving into DUB (on the non-EU side at least). I waited in line for over an hour, but based on the number of folks that showed up from various flights after I was in line, that wait could have easily been over 2 hours had my flight been even 20 mins late. For this reason alone I wouldn’t recommend the later flight (8:50 departure from BOS) to anyone that doesn’t have an EU passport.

  12. @ Chas — Good to know re: immigration queues. I guess there’s *some* advantage to arriving so painfully early.

  13. Lucky,when you fly from dublin is the us immigration formalities done in ireland before arriving us???

  14. @ mohamed b — Yes, customs/immigration is done in Dublin on the return flight. I’ll outline the process in the return post.

  15. @Cdiddy, you’re nuts! That lamb stew looks great! I’m dead serious that I would love to eat that on an airplane.

  16. @Phil – I’ve used the Aircoach a couple of times in the past and found it to be comfortable and easy. If you’ve already bought the Dublin Pass I think it’s included (one direction at least), so definitely use that rather than taking a taxi. There are also city buses that go to/from the airport, which might be a little cheaper.

  17. @Phil : I used the AirCoach just yesterday. If you arrive at terminal 1, the bus stop is IMMEDIATELY LEFT of the terminal exit. I arrived at DUB at around 10pm and the wait was not bad (probably 15 minutes to get the bus I needed). If you are going to the Four Seasons, the bus stops directly in front of the hotel. Just take the Ballsbridge (lol!) Bus Route and tell the driver to stop at the Bewley’s Hotel (across the street from FS). The bus trip was about 50 minutes (no traffic).

  18. @Lucky,

    Yeah, from what I saw on the baggage claim board, there are about 8-9 flights that all get into T2 around that time, including an EY flight which seemed to slow the throughput a bit.

  19. Best trip reports in the blogosphere…
    If you haven’t done so already, I’d encourage the blogger to try to work Iceland and Reykjavik into a future trip, and fly Iceland Air. You can go between a number of US cities and EU destinations with a stop in Iceland, either layover or spend few days. Consider combining it with a future EU trip where you burn miles for a one-way flight, then buy on Iceland Air for the return. In my search experience, Iceland Air usually prices their one-ways at a true 50% of what the roundtrip would cost, a rare thing nowadays.

  20. @ n/a — Iceland is at the top of my list of places to visit, and I’m almost certain I’ll take a trip there next summer.

  21. Thanks for the nice report on your Aer Lingus BC flight to Dublin. Permit me, Sir:
    Cabin and Seats: For International BC and a +/- short flight, I’m think not bad! It looks far better than some of the transcon domestics that I’ve seen in recent years, including the P.S. flights from JFK to SFO and LAX.Food and Service: They cut a few corners, but little was lost. One ‘tip’ that I often follow for the first experience on an airline with which I have little experience; if they offer a braised or stewed main course, try that first. They store well before loading, reheat well in airplane ovens and eill ‘hold’ well. The downside with Aer Lingus is that their caterer obviously pre-plates the hot side. It looks terrible! Much better appearance to load and heat in bulk tray and plate in the galley to avoid the edge slop -that hurts nothing, but looks terrible (see following note). You friend’s obviously greasy Lamb Stew would have looked a LOT better if it had been plated aboard. We eat with our eyes, first! The rest of the soft package sounds and looks just fine for a BC fight. The breakfast fruit looks great (and it is easy to prepare and hold). More on basic food to follow. A great and very fair review. -C.

  22. To continue, BC or FC hot food can be a crap-shoot if one has no prior experience with the airline. What they say on the menu means little beyond the principal ingredients. As noted, on the first visit I’d want to know if the entree cambe pre-plated or if it was plated in the galley. With no basis other than personal opinion, those caterer-plated entrees with messy, slopped plate edges are a big deal for me, if only becasue we eat first with our eyes. The main plate’s thypical three components, protein, starch and veggie often need different cooking/warming times and temperatures and dumping it all together is an invitation for a felonious assault on the eyes and tongue. Pack the goods in bulk and plate the servings in the galley! Of nothing else, I might avoid dead veggies. While perhaps not fair, I can only think about meals on long distance Amtrak trains. Their food generally sucks and worse than any coach meal you’ve ever had nightmares about. The single option where they get it right is a braised dish like a lamb shank. They plate it from master pans and it is almost impossible to screw it up. More airlines should bulk pack and bulk reheat, then plate as needed. It looks 100% better and, if the crew is paying attention, even the veggies can be quite good. It IS possible, but it requires a gally FA who gives a shit. BC and FC entrees should NEVER be pre-plated, especially with multiple components. It is always a compromise and it just does not have to be that way. The extra labor aboard or wiping that plat’e edge can make all the difference. “Edge Slop” is expected with international coach meals, but not, repeat NOT with BC and FC service. I always laugh a bit when I see some “Edge Slop” with FC soup; sometimes is simply cannot be avoided, but it still looks strange on an otherwise perfect tray. And if I have to say so, that grease pool around your friend’s Lamb Stew could easily have been avoided had the entree been plated in the galley. In the end, I’m far more interested in good, attractive food aboard than I am with the various IFE systems. For me, the ideal 8-hour flight is beverage-attractive food (no dessert)-beverage-nap or reading-food-get off. I just want it to look good before I dig in. -C.

  23. So, if miles cost was the same, would you take United or Aer Lingus biz class across the pond?

  24. @ Blaine — I’d say United has a better product if you get their flat bed seat, while I prefer the Aer Lingus angled flat seat to the recliner seat.

  25. Gaelic isn’t a language. It’s a type of languages, like romance languages and germanic languages. The Gaelic language they speak in Ireland is called, appropriately, Irish.

  26. Hi lucky do you have a picture of the seat fully angled? Also how much was cab from dub to hotel. Thanks

  27. @ Thalha — Sorry, I couldn’t find it, unfortunately, though it’s similar to the American seat. As far as the baggage allowance goes, it’s three bags under 23kgs (50lbs) each free of charge.

  28. Lucky, is this a good way to get to other places in Europe without fuel surcharges? For example could I use Avios to fly from BOS-DUB, and then fly from Dublin to London or Paris and not pay surcharges?

  29. @lucky Regarding immigration, do you use EU passport when visiting Europe? I find it that EU Passport lanes are typically much shorter/quicker. Plus they don’t stamp your passport which is great for those that travel a lot.

  30. @ Papa Smurf — I sure do! An EU passport (which means no stamps when entering the EU) and Global Entry (which means no stamps when entering the US) has saved me SO many pages in my passport. Still haven’t added any pages, and I’ve had this passport for a few years now.

  31. Chairman of Aer Lingus Airlines,

    Mr. Colm Barrington, I want to talk you about the problem that I had with your line in the flight EI520, in august 28. I explain you: The last august 14thm, my son bought for me the flight to the connection with Aeromexico because I need to be back today in mi city. First of all, when I enter to your page for printing my boarding pass, the page asked me about the numbers of my baggage, and I said “only one” because I had traveling with only one big back pack. The day of the flight at 5 o’clock in the morning I arrived to the bureau of Aer Lingus, and when I tried to register mi baggage, the girl that was sited with the number 34 for attention, told me that had been impossible to carry with my baggage because it was 34 kg away. I tell her about the payment of 2 kg more, but she told that this was impossible because is forbidden to have more than 32 kg for baggage. She told me to go to the corner to throw many things so I can have only 32 kg. I went to the corner, buy another small back pack, and put some of my things at this back pack, then I come back to the bureau, and the other lady told me that I only was allowed to have 30 kg, not 32 kg like the other girl told me before. I asked her to change me to the business class because I needed to have connection to Air France because I had to come to Mexico the same day. She told me that if I don’t paid 270 euros, will be impossible to fly with my things. I’m really angry with this problem because I feel that the two ladies take approach of the situation because I’m a foreigner, and the only thing that they want is to have my money and asked me for my credit card. I think is a robbery to my person because I bought one month before the ticket to fly, and your company never told me that I was only allowed to have one baggage with 20kg. I’m very offended of this situation; I send you the copy of the receipt that don’t have anything, only “72 euros”. I don’t agree to pay this quantity of money. I’m a journalist and I know what my rights are, and I know that your airline had made a robbery to me. I would write about this and sent it to the worldwide web; because I had the custom to let the other people know what I think. I don’t agree that your people do this kind of things to the foreign people.


    José Teodoro Lavín Lavín León

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