THE FLIGHT: I travelled from Dublin to Miami on Aer Lingus flight EI141 departing at 15.00 and arriving at 19.20 (local times). The flight was operated by an Airbus A330-200. I’d initially flown from London Gatwick to Dublin on EI233 in order to connect with the service.
THE TRANSIT: On arrival in Dublin, a bus took passengers from the aircraft to the terminal and I followed the clear connections signage. Only one of two security lanes was open, making for slow progress, and from here it was a short walk to the main terminal concourse. Next was US pre-clearance which comprised another security check – and as a business class passenger, I was more or less straight through – and then a short queue for US immigration. In total it took 45 minutes from touch-down to the 51st and Green Lounge airside of US immigration. This was spacious, light and quiet, with a coffee and cocktails bar plus self-service food.
THE SEAT: I was in 5K, a solo seat at the back of the cabin which meant more privacy and space. The 23 seats were in alternating rows of 1-2-2 and 1-2-1, so the majority had direct aisle access. The seat converted to a 77-inch-long, 22-inch wide flatbed and had ample storage, simple seat controls and IFE featuring a reasonable selection of new releases and classic films. With no central overhead luggage bins the cabin felt particularly spacious.
THE SERVICE: An amenity kit and menu were laid-out on my seat and drinks were quickly offered after boarding, together with codes for complimentary wifi access. The dining was good, with a choice of starters and three mains (I chose the beef fillet). Drinks were frequently offered and snacks were available in the galley throughout the flight. Afternoon tea was served an hour before landing.
THE VERDICT: The real boon of flying to the US via Dublin is clearing US customs and immigration in Dublin, meaning you land as a domestic passenger and avoid the same but often interminably long procedures on arrival in the US. So if you need to take connecting flights from your local airport to reach your US destination then look no further than this. Great service and friendly crew too.
THE DETAILS: Aer Lingus flies three times a week to Miami. Fares start from £899 one-way in business class and £219 in economy. See aerlingus.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2018)