This Aer Lingus Business Class Review on an A330 from Dublin (DUB) to New York (JFK) follows our summer site inspection trip to Ireland. Prior to boarding, we had access to the US Preclearance Lounge in Dublin, 51st & Green, by the U.S. departure gates. We were on EI 109, which departed shortly after 4pm and had a flight time of 7 hours, 35 minutes.
Aer Lingus A330 Business Class Cabin and Seat Selection
Aer Lingus' A330-300 has 30 business class seats, in a staggered configuration with alternating rows of 1-2-1 and 1-2-2, although the first row has 1-2:
Aer Lingus A330 Business Class Seat Map, Image courtesy of SeatGuru
For couples traveling together, I'd recommend seats 2D/2G, 3D/3G, 4D/4G or 5D/5G in the center section, because the pairs on the right, by the window, have the H seat sticking out awkwardly into the aisle and is frequently bumped. The window pairs also only have one storage space between them, less space than the center paired seats have.
For solo travelers, my top recommendations are “throne” seats 3K and 5K, which are by the window on the right hand side and have more personal space around the seat than the other solo seats.
Aer Lingus Business Class Seat
The Aer Lingus Business Class seat is similar to those on Brussels Airlines and SWISS Business Class, 21 inches across, with a footwell between the two seats in front.
There are seat control presets, as well as more discrete manual adjustments.
I liked that the power outlet is within easy reach, by shoulder level; no groping by knee-level to find it.
It's also handy to have a water bottle already at each seat, by the reading light.
There's some storage space next to the magazine area for a small bag:
Aer Lingus Business Class Menu and Food
Here's the Aer Lingus Business Class menu for our flight:
Prior to the meal we were given a hot towel for our hands; it was smaller and thinner than is typical for JAL Business Class or Cathay Pacific Business Class.
I enjoyed a nice glass of Australian Riesling with the amuse bouche trio:
Of the appetizers, my son's hot and cold smoked salmon was much better than my foie gras, which turned out to be a terrine. While not that surprising, I wish the menu had been more specific in referring to it as such, as foie gras would normally imply actual foie gras, not pate or terrine.
The yellow tomato and feta cheese salad, however, was fresh and delicious.
I wasn't too impressed with my main of Irish Fillet of Beef, which was quite tough; the Guinness sauce was ok but nothing special.
The Prawns in Arrabbiata Sauce with Basil Risotto was much better, and mild enough for my son, even though it's supposed to be on the spicy side, made with dried red chili peppers and garlic.
I had the dessert, which was billed as chocolate orange marble cake, but was actually a cheesecake. It was a generous slice, creamy and rich, and was the best thing about the lunch, apart from the smoked salmon appetizer.
My son liked his Irish cheese plate with apple chutney, although I thought it would have been nice to have smaller portions of three cheeses, rather than just two cheeses.
Towards the end of the flight, we were served afternoon tea. Here's the menu:
The sandwiches tasted fresh, although the highlight for me was the warm scone, with clotted cream and strawberry jam, which I had with a cappuccino:
Aer Lingus Business Class Bed and Sleep Quality
If you've flown Brussels Business Class or SWISS Business Class, you know what to expect; the seat reclines into a flat bed, although I find that there's still a slight angle in the leg portion that goes into the footwell. A grey duvet comforter is provided, but if you're really trying to get some shut-eye, I recommend bringing a portable mattress pad with you to make it more comfortable. On a daytime flight, however, just for resting, it was fine.
Aer Lingus IFE
Aer Lingus has a quite extensive movie selection, both recent releases and classics (from Alien to Groundhog Day), as European carrier IFEs go. And as an Irish airline, there are several Irish films that you're unlikely to find elsewhere, although I can't really give an enthusiastic endorsement of “The Delinquent Season,” a debut film from Mark O'Rowe.
We had a good daytime flight on Aer Lingus Business Class. Highlights included our “throne” seats 3K and 5K, since these have additional space compared to other solo seats; the smoked salmon appetizer, cheesecake dessert and warm scones; complimentary WiFi vouchers; and the extensive (for a European airline) IFE film selections.
The flat bed, while fine, and similar to Brussels Airlines and SWISS, isn't my favorite where business class flat beds are concerned, and I'd definitely want to use a portable mattress pad if taking a night flight, to get better sleep.
I found the steak rather tough and wouldn't order it again. Service onboard was quite friendly and competent, if not memorable–about the best you can expect for business class.
If you've flown Aer Lingus Business Class recently, what was your experience?
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