This is my Aer Lingus Business Class review based on my own experiences on board a 757 aircraft on the transatlantic route from DUB to BDL. Recently I was lucky enough to enjoy 3 days in Connecticut with Aer Lingus and Bradley Airport. On this trip I got to try out Aer Lingus’ business class offering. How was it? Let’s find out.
Aer Lingus Business Class Review – Dublin to Bradley Airport, CT
About Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus is Ireland’s national airline. At the moment they fly to 12 destinations in the US directly and will be adding more in 2019. They also fly to another 20 destinations in the US with connecting flights. And with the incredibly handy preclearance available in Terminal 2 of Dublin airport, flying direct to the USA has never been easier. With a business class ticket you get to fast track through airport security and the security before pre-clearance which makes it very handy.
Aer Lingus Business Class flights from Dublin to Hartford, Connecticut cost from €929 each way. If you’ve already booked economy flights it is often possible to bid for an upgrade to business class. Usually Aer Lingus will send you an email inviting you to bid if they haven’t sold all of their business class seats. The minimum bid is usually around €350-400. I have friends who have used this system, bid the lowest amount and been successful. So it’s definitely worth a try!
If you’re lucky, or very prepared, you’ll end up with a throne seat. This basically means one big seat with a lot more room instead of one seat in a row of two. The physical seat is the same size in the row of two, but in a row of two you have less space around you. It’s still plenty of space, it’s just less than the throne. I was lucky enough to have a throne seat on my flight from Dublin to Bradley airport and it was glorious.
The seat configuration on my flight was very similar to my United Polaris Business Class experience, two and two, aside from the few throne seats. This means that if you’re in the window seat you might have to climb over your fellow passenger to get to the aisle or bathroom. Again, not ideal, but not the worst thing in the world. Obviously better suited to two people travelling together.
The seats can lie completely flat so that you can get a great sleep if you need it. The beds are 6.5ft in length and 22 inches wide. This is why I always think that if you’re going to pay out for business class flights you get the most value out of it on a night flight when you’ll have an incredible sleep in comparison to how you’d sleep on economy. They also have a fantastic massage option which is perfect if you suffer from lower back pain, like myself. It just leaves you feeling a bit less stiff after the flight. It took me a couple of tries to be sure I had it on, but when I did get it I was in Heaven.
There’s a separate storage area for your shoes, a slot for your water bottle and a small storage basket for a handbag/book. Which made changing into my slippers a breeze! There are built in power points with universal sockets as well as USB charging points.
The Food and Drink
Upon first turning left I was offered a juice, water or some bubbly. I asked for a water alongside my champagne, for balance. Then I was given a menu from which to choose my main course. I loved the little touches like the glasses with little Aer Lingus shamrocks on them.
As for Irish producers, they were well represented on board. I had a couple of Jameson and Gingers, and maybe a Baileys or two, just for research purposes. The flight attendants were great for offering me top ups and giving me extras for later. In the glorious tray of snacks left at the front of the cabin were full Dairy Milk bars and Keogh’s crisps. Not to mention bottles of Ballygowan water. Of course, the classic air plane snacks were available in the tray of goodies, including Pringles and Mars bars. Definitely one of the better selections I’ve seen on board any airline.
The food itself was delicious with goats cheese and beetroot salad, raspberry and white chocolate cheese cake, afternoon tea etc. Though there was no dessert trolley/ sundae station, but I’d happily forego that for the fantastic snack tray. For my main, I had the vegetarian dish which was a sort of Asian inspired chili noodle dish. It was sweet chili, which I can’t stand, but I poured a heap of salt on it and that seemed to destroy the sticky sweet situation. The tiny salt and pepper shakers are always a lovely novelty.
The Amenity kit on board Aer Lingus business class has all the standard items – eye mask, socks, toothbrush etc. But the real highlights are the mini VOYA (Irish-made seaweed spa brand) products; a hand cream and a lip gloss. I will cherish them for as long as they last because I adore VOYA. They also have VOYA products in the toilets. Speaking of toilets, they’re basically the same as the bathrooms in economy. Maybe a tiny bit more room, but that’s about it.
The head phones are noise cancelling and extremely comfortable. On the A330 flights free Wi-Fi is available, unfortunately not on the 757 flights. The pillow and duvet (not just blanket) were delightfully soft and warm. I was nice and cosy when I decided to take a little nap.
For in-flight entertainment there’s over 120 hours of movies, box sets and more. That includes lots of Irish-made movies and documentaries. The screens are 16 inches with HD and are also touch screen.
When flying Aer Lingus business class on a transatlantic flight from Dublin Airport you will have access to the wonderful 51st & Green lounge. It’s right at the very end, past USA pre-clearance and past all the other gates. Once inside there’s plenty of snacks, drinks and hot food. The staff will make an announcement when it’s time for you to board your flight. There are showers and a quiet area to get some work done. The views across the runway are fantastic.
On the way back from Bradley Airport, Hartford, CT to Dublin we also had access to the Bradley Airport Escape Lounge. It’s a lovely lounge area, smaller and less modern than 51st & Green, but it makes up for that with excellent food choices. There are jars of freshly baked cookies and candy as well as hot food and a great drinks selection. The Wi-Fi is free and incredibly fast. It’s the perfect place to chill before hopping on your flight. It’s also right across from Dunkin Donuts, where I grabbed myself an iced coffee (of course) before the flight.
Final Thoughts on Aer Lingus Business Class
So, what did I think? Is it worth the money? Well, obviously I loved it. It beats flying economy. But personally could I justify the expense? Probably not. But if €929 each way isn’t a lot of money to you then definitely do it, you will NOT regret that decision. Or, if it’s a very special occasion, then it’s a lovely way to start and finish your trip. If you want to try it and are thinking of just bidding for the upgrade, like I mentioned earlier, on one leg of your journey then I’d recommend doing it on whichever flight is a night flight. Being able to lie flat and get a decent sleep on the plane really makes a difference. It’s also great for those who suffer from back problems during long flights. If you have the money then it will certainly be more gentle on your back than economy, especially with the massage function. Let me know what you think of my Aer Lingus Business Class review below in the comments.
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