Review: Aer Lingus A320neo, London Heathrow – Dublin


Aer Lingus is the flag carrier of the Republic of Ireland. While it has established itself as a connecting partner for flights to and from Europe through it’s hub in Dublin, Ireland, it’s not typically a carrier that I regularly get the opportunity to travel. We would get the opportunity to test them out today with a short hop from London Heathrow over to Dublin, Ireland in order to start our Ireland experience. How would the carrier fare compared to other short flights in Europe, and would the carrier offer an Irish travel experience ?

This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Read more from this trip:

Review: Aer Lingus Airbus 320 – neo, London Heathrow Terminal Two – Dublin Airport

The next portion of our trip involved us getting over to the Republic of Ireland for a nine day tour around Ireland and Northern Ireland. While we return to the United Kingdom via British Airways Business Class Dublin – London Heathrow (avoiding the Air Passenger Duty by departing from Ireland), we needed to position ourselves in order to get to Ireland.

I ended up booking this Aer Lingus flight one way from London to Ireland. I would end up crediting the flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. In doing so, we were able to extend WT73Jr’s expiration of his miles, and earn 500 Alaska Airlines points.

We arrived to the London Heathrow International Airport Terminal Two. We had a little extra time before our flight so we ended up at the Plaza Premium Lounge London Heathrow Terminal Two located on Level 4 or departures level of the airport.

While we were in the lounge, we kept an eye on the lounge board to see the gate assignment information. When we arrived at the airport, no gate was posted on the boards with a notation of: “Gate posted at 11:10 AM”. We had electronic boarding cards on the Apple Wallet that indicated that boarding was to start at 11:30AM.

I Missed the “Gate Closes at 1130 AM” notation on our boarding card

I missed the fact that our printed cards had (in fine print) gate closing at 11:30 AM; as opposed to the boarding time as printed on the boarding pass. As a result, when we left the Plaza Premium Lounge at about fifty minutes before our flight, boarding had already started.

Departing the Plaza Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal Two

Leaving the Plaza Premium Lounge London Heathrow, we had a short walk to the gate. Boarding was underway when we started.

At the gate, we were ushered into the empty priority boarding queue, which simply deposited us at the front of the queue that was only about 8 persons long at that time.

Boarding Aer Lingus at Gate A21

We landed directly onto a jet bridge that had about 40 people in line…

A Crowded Boarding Experience on Heathrow’s Jetways

The bin space was gone already by the time we got on board at T-40, I ended up stowing my rolling suitcase about two rows behind my seat.

Aer Lingus.
EI – 0159 W – Economy Class
LHR – DUB (London Heathrow Terminal 2 – Dublin Terminal 2)
August 24, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (scheduled)
Booked: Airbus 320 neo
Flown: Airbus 320 neo

On Board Aer Lingus:

Aer Lingus offered the usual 3-3 configuration on this A320 neo. Lessening the standards for trip reporting around here, this is the first trip report that I’ve completed without a photo of the overall seat. It’s the usual economy version and I found it quite cramped in leg room for someone who is 6 feet 2 inches tall.

Compact Seating on today’s Aer Lingus flight

Just prior to getting underway, the captain announced a flight time of approximately 50 minutes over a blocked time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. As we departed, we had some great views over London’s Heathrow airport.

Great Views of British Airways Airframes at London Heathrow’s Airport
A British Airways Airbus 380-800 parked at Heathrow

The most interesting part of the flight, was the in flight map from the magazine showing all the international routes of Aer Lingus. Aside from Seattle, there isn’t much Aer Lingus in my neighbourhood on the West Coast of the America’s.

Food and Beverage: Buy on Board

In another surprisingly cheap move; or perhaps I’m less accustomed to flying intra Europe in economy, is that all beverages, including soft drinks, were for purchase.

As a result, I didn’t bother to spend any money since we’d be on the ground before we knew it.

The service as pretty straightforward, and I was looking for something a little Irish. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a hook or anything that made the carrier stand out as Irish from any other regional service around Europe.

Arriving to Ireland:

We had some views over Liverpool as we tracked towards Dublin. Our final approach into Dublin was over several green fields. Very picturesque!

Approaching Dublin International Airport

We approached the Dublin airport with out any delays or waits. We landed into the as expected Aer Lingus stronghold with shamrocks all around, although there were a few jets by American among other low cost carriers.

A Sea of Shamrock Fins at Dublin International Airport
Passing by an Aer Lingus Airbus 330-300 at Dublin International Airport

We were stamped into Ireland at the airport, having a received a green passport stamp. We had our first sighting of Irish or Gaelic language on the signs at the Dublin International Airport.

Our First Opportunity to Spot Gaelic / Irish language signs at Dublin International Airport

We collected our bags promptly, which concluded our Aer Lingus experience. We would end up transferring over to the Aloft Dublin City for the start of our stay in Dublin, Ireland.

The Bottom Line: The Aer Lingus Experience

I wish I had more exciting things to say about Aer Lingus. Part of me was expecting a more memorable Irish themed experience for a flag carrier. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to report on other than basic transportation from island to island with a pay for everything model. Despite this, the service was reasonably friendly and everything worked on time.

If you connect between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, do you stick with British Airways or do you go for the Irish Aer Lingus ?

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