#920950 by robinnelson
08 May 2016, 20:45
This was my first trip to US via Dublin. Being mindful that I had to get to Dublin, and make all the connections I tried to plan some contingency in to my itinery just in case of any delays or cancellations. Using Expedia I booked a “Business Class Return” from Dublin to New York with Virgin Atlantic as “Preferred Airline”. The flight from Dublin to Heathrow was in BA’s Club Europe.
The previous day I flew up from Southampton to Dublin with Flybe and checked in to my hotel. I stayed at the Radisson Blu which is a short walk from the terminals. I regularly stay at Radisson Blu in Jersey so know what to expect and the close distance to the terminal made this hotel ideal for my trip. I spent the afternoon in Dublin city centre, the Airport bus number 747 runs every 20 / 30 mins and the return fare was 10 euro. Back to the airport for the evening and I could not find any airport bar/pub landside, so it was the choice between the hotel bar or a 20 minute walk to a local pub which I think was called Kealy’s.
Flight was due to depart at 11:40 so after breakfast I left the hotel at 09:20. On arrival at BA check-in I headed to the Club Europe desk. No queue and dealt with by pleasant staff. They were able to check my bags through to New York but could only issue me a boarding pass for the BA flight. Through the priority security in very quick time, security staff very friendly and helpful.
As I was flying Club Europe it included the lounge, not a BA lounge, very disappointing (perhaps my mind was thinking about the Clubhouse later in the day) and in my opinion not even on a par with the No.1 lounges at Heathrow & Gatwick. At the allotted time I headed down to the Gate. On arrival at the Gate, found that the inward flight had been delayed by weather (strong winds) and boarding was expected at about 11:30. Once onboard the Captain announced that due to the weather we would be delayed departure mainly due to the strong winds and the fact that Dublin airport was very busy at this time of day. We eventually took off just under an hour late.
Club Europe in the first few rows of the aircraft with the seats configured 2-2 compared to the 3-3 in economy (the middle seat converted to a table). The in-flight service consisted of hot towels, full drinks – including champagne and a “brunch” which was ham and some salad with warm bread.
Once we were airborne the flight time to Heathrow was about an hour.
As we arrived at the gate it became apparent that there were several people who were not going to make their connections. One of the cabin crew was frantically tapping away on his I-pad to advise passengers of what time next connections would be.
Once off the aircraft followed the signs for connections, asked for boarding card after I explained that it had not been issued in Dublin I was allowed through and on to the bus to Terminal 3. Once at Terminal 3 through security which was quite busy. Then headed to the Virgin Atlantic desk where I explained that Dublin unable to issue boarding pass. No problem, a quick tap of the computer and I had my boarding pass and confirmation that bag was checked through to New York. It was then time to head to the Clubhouse. From getting off BA flight at Terminal 5 to getting in the Clubhouse at Terminal 3 took about one hour. Once in the Clubhouse I was able to relax and enjoy a Virgin Redhead (or two) for a couple of hours before the flight was called
So in summary, flying via Dublin was exceptional value for money and I would definitely do it again (if the price is right). It was a long day of travelling but ultimately enjoyable. The key is in the planning and make sure there are no tight connections as you can’t relax until you’ve made it to Terminal 3 at Heathrow.
#920952 by honey lamb
08 May 2016, 22:03
I was in DUB the same time as you were but unfortunately was unable to meet up having taken Aer John and his girlfriend to dinner on the south side of the city miles away from the airport.

I hadn't really been in T1 since Aer Lingus moved over to T2 a couple of years or so ago but your description of it and the lounge mirror my experience. I wasn't aware of strong winds that day and my flight took off on time. However on my return, I found I had to fly out immediately to South Africa and my return on Ethiopian Airlines (well worth a read for all the wrong reasons!) had us arriving in the baggage hall of T1 which was as dire as I remembered it as was the terminal when we exited same!
#920953 by Bretty
08 May 2016, 22:05
Thanks for posting I'm just chillin in the Radisson at LHR about to start my second ex-DUB itinerary in the morning. I look forward to reading TRs for your VS legs.

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