Aer Lingus, Economy Class – Airbus A 320: Shannon to London Heathrow


Date: 03 December 2016
Departure: 08h50
Arrival: 10h10
Flight time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Seat: 10F



I always enjoy the courses in Ireland very much. The people are all very welcoming and friendly and wherever you go, you can always be sure to find somebody or other eager to strike up a conversation. But still I am glad I am on my home. It is the end of the year and I can feel myself loosing steam. Just two more business trip this year, one next week and then the week after and I am done.


Getting to the Airport

Transport: Taxi
Journey time:
30 minutes
Departs from:
Absolute Hotel in the centre of Limerick
In front of the departures concourse at Shannon airport



Terminal: There is only the one terminal building
Counters: Aer Linugs have their own row of dedicated check-in counters. There is one desk for Aer Lingus frequent flyers, one for Aer Lingus Business Class and another for Economy Class passengers.
Web check-in:
Self-service check-in:
There are four machines at the airport

Well that interface certainly does not work…! I booked the ticket I am flying on via the BA website. But for some reason, although the Aer Lingus flight is operated as a BA codeshare, interline check-in is not possible.

When I try to check in on the BA app I get a message that check-in for the flight is only possible at the airport. When I try to check in on the Aer Lingus app, I receive the message that there is something wrong with my booking. But if I try to check in online via the Aer Lingus website, I can check in but I cannot select any seats or additional services.

So by the time I arrive at the airport, I am still missing the boarding pass for this flight. I try the self-service kiosk, which informs me that there is no booking in my name. Interesting. So I approach one of the counters, where a friendly Irishman swiftly checks me in, no questions asked, and even offers if I’d prefer a window seat over the aisle seat I had originally selected at check-in (I did…?).


Other than that, Shannon’s terminal is easy to navigate through. I think what impresses me most about the structure is how high the ceiling is in the check-in area – it makes the place feel more like a church than an airport.



Boarding is from gate 4 – which, luckily for me – means the aircraft is parked at a remote stand. Boarding starts forty minutes before departure. My boarding pass is scanned and I step outside into the cold morning air. I walk along the outside of the building to where our aircraft is parked. The crew are obviously not ready for boarding yet, and so we are left standing outside in the cold for ten minutes before eventually we are allowed on board.


The Cabin

Configuration: Economy Class only configuration.
Seat Layout: 3 + 3.
Pitch: 32 inches.
Width: 17 inches.
AC Power:
Not available.
Audio and Video: Not available.
Connectivity: Not available.
The A 320 has a seating capacity of 174 in Aer Lingus’ configuration. The seats are rather comfortable and certainly not as hard as many of those new flimsy Recaro affairs that leave your butt sore after an hour of flying.

Seat pitch is good. Every seat comes with a coat hook and the headrest is adjustable in height. Emergency exit seats can be purchased at the time of booking.


The Crew

The crew are of course typically Irish. All of them are very friendly and take their time to chat with the passengers. They are actually quite funny to watch during the on board duty free sales as they go cooing over the design of some of the scarves and comparing notes with each other and the passengers on the quality of this facial cream and that Dead Sea mud…

The Meal

Food and beverages are strictly buy on board on Aer Lingus short-haul flights. They have a good selection of hot and cold snacks and on flights departing before eleven o’clock in the morning there is also a traditional Irish breakfast available. Prices are reasonable to me. I have a cheese and coleslaw bap with coffee and a bottle of still water, which sets me back EUR10.50.

The quality of the food is good. The bap tastes fresh and the coffee is strong enough to revive the spirits.


Terminal: 2.
The flight time to Heathrow is one hour. In fact we are slightly ahead of schedule, which is rarely a good idea in Heathrow, and subsequently we are sent into a holding for about ten minutes before we are allowed to make our approach into the airport from the west.


Transfer in Heathrow

In Heathrow I am connecting onto the British Airways flight to Basel, which means I will have to make the transfer from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5. And I really have to say, the journey is really painless and smooth. I step off the Aer Lingus flight at 10h22. By 10h50 I am already in Terminal 5 and through security. The transfer process is fairly straight forward as long as you know which terminal you are looking for.



Overall I rather liked Aer Lingus. Their strongest selling point is certainly their staff, all of which were friendly and polite at all times. The boarding process is a bit cumbersome and very much had the look and feel of a low cost carrier. But other than that, I would fly with them again.

Aer Lingus, Economy Class – A 320: Dublin to Amsterdam



The beginning of September sees me travelling to Ireland to give another course. The venue of the course is near Shannon airport, so obviously the easiest thing would have been to fly to and from Shannon airport. But connections to Shannon are not really very good – at least if you’re coming from Switzerland – so eventually we decide to use Dublin Airport instead and rent a car from there.

The journey to and from Ireland is with KLM and Aer Lingus via Amsterdam. Flights between Amsterdam and Dublin are operated as a code-share with KLM. And even though Aer Lingus has no affiliation whatsoever with KLM and Flying Blue, you can still collect miles with them, as long as your ticket is issued on KLM stock and with the KLM flight number.


Aer Lingus operates out of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. It is possible to check in at the self-service check-in machines and you will even be issued the boarding pass for your onward connection on KLM.


The only draw back with this code-share is that there is no possibility for KLM passengers to check in online. As a result, if you are running late you just have to take what is left.

The Lounge

Flying Blue status card holder are entitled to use the Aer Lingus Lounge in Dublin when they are travelling on the service to Amsterdam. It does not seem to make a difference whether you are checked in on the KLM or Aer Lingus flight number.

The lounge looks rather nice but it is quite small. It also has an odd shape. It is quite narrow and long. There are computer workstations but the screens face the lounge, which means that anybody can easily peer over your shoulder to take a look at what you have on the screen. The food and drinks options are very limited, although perhaps that may also have something to do with the time of day when I visited.


The Meal

Service on Aer Lingus is buy-on-board. I do not purchase anything but the prices seem fairly decent. Seat pitch on the A 320 is excellent, with loads of leg space. Furthermore, it is still a proper seat with comfortable padding, unlike those horrible Recaro slimline seats most carriers in Europe seem to use these days and which can be a bit severe on the backside.

The flight is uneventful, which is also why I do not take any pictures. There simply is nothing to photograph. The crew on the inbound and the outbound are hardly worth mentioning either. They do their job, but nothing else.

Transfer in Amsterdam

I have a connection of fifty minutes. So obviously I become slightly apprehensive when the flight from Dublin departs with a delay of twenty-five minutes. In fact I am pretty sure I am going to have to spend the night in Amsterdam.

Eventually we arrive at the gate in Amsterdam at 20:05. As it happens, it is the one but last gate on the D concourse. My flight to Basel will depart in exactly thirty minutes and I still have to walk all the way to the beginning of the concourse, clear immigration, go through security again and then make the long trek over to the B gates by the Fokker farm.

But surprisingly, tonight lady luck appears to be smiling upon me full of mercy and compassion. There is no queue at immigration and security takes all of two minutes to clear, and even that is only because my belt gets stuck. I am the last passenger to board. Nonetheless, we still manage to depart ten minutes ahead of schedule.