In this post, I will share my flight review for Aer Lingus flight EI198 from Dublin to Düsseldorf, which I booked through findaflight.eu. Here is my detailed and unbiased review of the flight experience.
Booking and Check-in Process
I booked my flight in February. Findaflight showed me several options, but the best one was Aer Lingus, which offered a saver fare that included a pre-selected seat and a cabin bag. The price was very competitive, and I liked that I could choose my seat during the booking process. I selected seat 20A, a window seat on the left side of the plane.
The check-in process was very easy and fast. I used the Aer Lingus app to check in online about two weeks before the departure date. The app was user-friendly and intuitive, and it generated a mobile boarding pass that I saved on my phone. I also received an email confirmation with all the details of my booking.
I arrived at Dublin airport about 2.5 hours before the departure time, using a transfer from Sixt rental cars. I had booked the car through findaflight.eu as well, and I got a great deal on it. The transfer was smooth and quick, and I didn't have to worry about parking or returning the car.
Aer Lingus offers automatic bag check-in using digital kiosks in the departures hall before security. They worked great and I was quickly finished. During booking, my 10kg bag was included as a carry-on cabin bag. In the mean time, Aer Lingus changed that offer to a 10kg check-in bag and would have charged a fee to bring it on board. I will regard this as a negative, since I booked a carry-on bag. However it did not disrupt my experience.
The security check at Dublin airport was very efficient and hassle-free. I didn't have to wait in line, and I didn't have to remove anything from my bags. The staff were friendly and professional, and they scanned my boarding pass on my phone without any issues. My ID was visually checked.
The boarding process was not very organized, though. Being a flight to Germany, the gate was already packed 1 hour in advance. During boarding, the staff did not enforce any boarding groups or priority lanes, so it was a bit chaotic. I had to wait in the jetbridge for about 10 minutes before I could enter the plane. The boarding process was overall quick but also a little disorganized.
Seat Comfort and Amenities
The seat comfort and amenities were a mixed bag. On one hand, the seat was very comfortable and well-padded. The row (3 seats) had two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports for charging devices, which supported fast charging. That was very convenient and appreciated.
On the other hand, the seat pitch was very tight, only 28 inches. That meant that my knees were right on the seat in front of me, and I had no legroom at all. I am 196 cm tall, so this was very uncomfortable for me. I would advise tall people to avoid the middle seat in this configuration, as it would be even worse when you can't put one leg to the side. There was no recline and no adjustable headrest.
Another downside was that the window was misaligned with the seat. This was perfect for me on the window seat, as I just had to look left, but meant that my head was blocking the window for other passengers in the row. I would advise going to row 19 or 21 instead, where it seemed better aligned.
Food and Beverage Service
The food and beverage service was decent, considering it was a short-haul flight of just over an hour. The crew started the service once the plane reached the cruising altitude, and they offered a variety of snacks and drinks for purchase. The prices were fair, and the quality was good.
The crew were overall friendly and attentive, except for one flight attendant who seemed to be unhappy to be there. She made some snarky remarks to other crew members and other guests, which seemed very out of place, especially with her being a senior cabin crew member.
The in-flight experience was pleasant and smooth. We had the newest aircraft in the Aer Lingus fleet, an Airbus A320neo, which was only 0.3 years old (it rolled off production in June 2023). It looked new and clean, and it had a modern design and features. The cabin noise was low, and the air quality was good. The flight was on time, and there was no turbulence or delays. The pilot and the purser made regular announcements, and they were informative and courteous.
Aer Lingus seems to be especially conservative on safety and procedures. An absolute silence was enforced during the safety briefing, and service only began at cruise altitude, when we were roughly above Liverpool. To compare: On my flight to Dublin from Düsseldorf, operated by airBaltic for Eurowings, service began at around 15000ft, so much earlier.
The highlight of the flight for me was the cockpit visit that I got to do at the end. I admittedly was very late to ask, only asking during deboarding, but they still arranged it for me which was incredibly kind. This flight had three pilots - a captain and two first officers, one on his yearly checkride. The landing was an absolute butter, so I think it's safe to say he passed.
Arrival and Disembarkation
The arrival and disembarkation process was also smooth and quick. The plane landed at Düsseldorf airport on time, and we disembarked via a jetbridge. There was no need to take a bus or walk a long distance to the terminal. The passport control was automated and efficient, and I didn't have to wait in line. The baggage claim took some time to deliver the bags, but it was not too bad. I collected my bag and exited the airport without any problems.
In conclusion, I had a positive flight experience with Aer Lingus. The booking and check-in process was easy and fast, the security check was hassle-free, the seat comfort and amenities were good, the food and beverage service was decent, the in-flight experience was pleasant and smooth, and the arrival and disembarkation process was quick. The only drawbacks were the tight seat pitch, the misaligned window, the disorganized boarding process, and other little quirks. However, these did not ruin my overall impression of the flight, which was enhanced by the cockpit visit that I got to do. I would recommend Aer Lingus for people looking to fly to and from Ireland.
Images in this postEI-NSC from the jetbridge. via findaflight.eu
Seat pitch via findaflight.eu
View from seat 20A via findaflight.eu