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Aer Lingus Flight Review

For my recent, wonderful birthday weekend, I was delighted to be trying somewhere new – the famous city of Verona, and on to Lake Garda; where we flew to and from with Aer Lingus, on one of their few-times weekly service from Dublin.

Dublin Airport continues to struggle severely with long-term car park spaces, and despite booking in the ‘Holiday Blue’ car park that’s probably closer to Ikea than it is to Dublin Airport, we still ended up parking down near the end, dragging our luggage across the loose chippings up to the bus stop – and remembering to be grateful to even get a car space in the first place.

As always, we had to pay our respects to the Aer Lingus Lounge, and I was surprised to find it still pretty busy at this mid-morning hour. After a few double espresso’s, we managed to source a bottle of prosecco to get straight down to business with the mid-day mimosas. Well done Aer Lingus, for keeping a handy bottle of prosecco for folks like ourselves in the lounge despite the early hour.

Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport

Our flight, EI412, was due to depart from Gate 335, which I knew from past experience meant the dreaded bus out to the ‘South Gates’. It troubles me that we offer this experience to guests of our national airline – it’s bad enough that the South Gates seems so obviously intended to be a temporary facility and requires a walk out to the plane in the generally-awful Irish weather, but to require a bus out there and to not specifically mark it out either at check-in or on the information screens seems truly negligent.

If it happened in any other country’s capital airport, you’d be horrified. I recall Frankfurt often used a bus (from the main terminal, directly to the plane) for flights to Dublin and I already considered that to be a substandard, borderline criminal experience.

Thankfully, boarding was handled with intense punctuality and before long we were on-board and shortly thereafter, on our way.

Aer Lingus EI412 On-Board

Aer Lingus, as always, offer a buy-on-board service and the menu has recently had some ‘enhancements’ by which to say it seems shorter – items like the sausage roll for example, have disappeared, in favour of a breakfast ciabatta that was absolutely unavailable (along with most other items) during my flight. Thankfully one item that is never out of stock is their so-called passenger favourite (more like ‘Andy’s favourite’), the chicken stuffing sandwich. Goes down great, as always, with a glass of wine, I find.

Aer Lingus Buy On Board Offering

The trip to Verona clocks in just around two and a half hours, and before long we were plunging towards the ground after crossing the mountains. Our gate, as it seems all are at Verona Airport during their current period of construction, was an airstairs stand, before being bussed to arrivals.

Aer Lingus Verona Airport

As I say, Verona Airport is in the midst of some intense construction and this is even more obvious on the return departure – check-in was handled at two counters, one for bag drop and one for AerClub members like ourselves.

The remaining area of the terminal that isn’t the subject of intense construction or renovation is pretty tight, manageable only by the few flights using the facility. Thankfully, we didn’t have long to spend and – as is often the case with Ireland not being part of Schengen – it was soon time to cross outbound border control and sit in our bland, relatively empty, non-Schengen section of the airport.

Verona Airport

Once again, the flight was boarded and ready to set sail in almost pitstop-like timing. Our seats, in Row 1, came unfortunately with very tight leg space – if this was a premium fare AerClub ticket, I can’t say I’d have been overjoyed; as you can see in the picture below, my foot had to be angled in, in order not to be half climbing up the partition.

Aer Lingus Row 1

Otherwise, the flight once again was relatively uneventful, with us both declining the meal service after 3 nights of stuffing our faces with pizza and guzzling wine in Italy.

Before long we were back on terra firma in Dublin Airport’s very quiet Terminal 2, with immigration and baggage collection done at warp speed.

In what I suppose is intended as a passenger enhancement by Dublin Airport, a new kiosk displays wait times for the next bus to the various car parks – in a cruel twist of fate, it counted down to 0 for both red and blue car parks, before resetting back to 5 without any sign of either bus. Thanks, Dublin Airport, for keeping us on our toes.

Dublin Airport Parking Information Screens

Thankfully both buses did transpire on the second count and we were on our slow way back to zone Z40 (really).

Overall, Aer Lingus is never anything to get overly excited about on short haul flights – made worse by the deplorable South Gates situation in Dublin, but is reliably efficient, friendly and convenient. Verona seemed to also enjoy a light load (and very reasonable fares) both ways, so if you’re considering travelling over from Dublin, now may be the time to do it.

Reformed backpacker & former ultra-cheap traveller, Andy now atones for his past by overspending on premium travel experiences and failing at making the most of the miles & points game. Former expat now returned to Ireland, he is a product manager by day, and travel aficionado by evening and weekend.

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