#939254 by Fuzzy14
23 Oct 2017, 16:00
Family of 5 returning from the House of Mouse

Well done for making it this far! We’re on our way back from Florida but our route has been different from usual. While we prefer direct we’ve also went via Gatwick in the past and also driven from Manchester. This time, it’s via Dublin with Aer Lingus.

We landed slightly early in Dublin after a fairly good overnight flight, I wouldn’t say refreshed but had enough sleep to function. Flight Connections working the way it should, walk off the plane, walk to the next gate, baggage automatically transferred, empty passport control. Plane-to-departure lounge in 10 minutes. Compare this to the farcical Heathrow T5 where transit passengers have to cross the UK border, despite staying airside the cabin baggage is re-screened and then duty free confiscated because you can’t take liquids on your now missed flight.

Took advantage of the free wifi and phone charging stations. For efficiency and experience the airport reminded me of Schiphol and shows what an embarrassment some UK airports have become. My main worry about flying via Dublin was the lack of connections should we be late for the Glasgow flight but these fears thankfully not realised. The time passed quick enough, I bought breakfast in the main restaurant but folk weren’t too hungry, I avoided the Guinness, and we soon headed for the gate to find it was a bus stop. While waiting at the gate I noticed that the boarding cards issued at Orlando had us spread out between rows 1 and 15, which having young children isn’t acceptable. You’ll remember I did try to do online check-in for this flight but the website said this wasn’t available and would be issued by ground staff. We spoke to the crew at the gate and they said they couldn’t do anything it would be up to the crew onboard.

We got bussed out to the ATR-42, a first for me as I’m usually on Q400 Dash 8s for short hops, and we held back to be last of that bus load to board the plane so not to hold up other passengers. We spoke to the crew member at the door explaining that our children were too young to be unaccompanied so she said to occupy row 14 for now and they’ll sort it when the rest of the passengers board. When we reached row 14, it already had a passenger sitting there, an unaccompanied minor. When we raised this with the second crew member she told us to sit in our allocated seats, which we didn’t want to do as I wasn’t leaving a 5-year-old sitting himself. We also had a lot of carry-on items which I didn’t want scattered across the plane. At this point a passenger for row 1 had arrived in a stretch limo and was waiting behind us and the crew member was keen to get us out the way. In the end Mrs Fuzzy occupied some seats in the middle of the plane, I moved down to row 1 out the way, and when the 2nd bus load of passengers arrived we played musical chairs to sort it all out. I swapped seats with a nun!

I appreciate this wasn’t the crew’s fault, this is partly BA codeshare problems and the ground crew leaving it for the crew onboard to resolve, but it’s not what we need when trying to choreograph tired kids and luggage on 3 hours sleep. But it got sorted in the end.

Flight was surprisingly full, mostly with transit passengers (I’d expected it to be more business travellers).

Nothing much to report about the flight itself, it took off, there was one round of drinks from a cash bar, and 40 minutes later the plane landed on Glasgow’s runway 23. A standard economy short hop, right up there with KLM and BA. Plane landed at Glasgow’s primary domestic pier but annoyingly we then got bussed to the secondary domestic pier, but at least there was no UK border to cross.

Luggage arrived quick enough and taxi home.

Overall the journey from Orlando to Glasgow via Dublin was good, slight hiccup with the seating which started with it being a BA codeshare. With the Avis problems I’m inclined not to book via BA Holidays again but direct with EI is an option especially with the TSA clearance at Dublin airport and it’s a year round daily service unlike the less frequent and seasonal Virgin service.

Thanks for making it to the end.
#939256 by gumshoe
23 Oct 2017, 17:21
Fuzzy14 wrote:it’s a year round daily service unlike the less frequent and seasonal Virgin service.

It's year round but it's not daily - typically three times a week in winter, four in summer.

I think you're being quite generous to Aer Lingus given the seating debacle although pre-clearance at DUB is certainly an advantage if flying in Y and no Global Entry.

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