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My review of Aer Lingus Business Class from Dublin to Boston and back – Part 2

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This is part 2 of my review of the Aer Lingus business class service from Dublin to Boston, focussing on the food.   

Part 1 of my Aer Lingus business class review, which looks at the best of the various seat options you can pick, is here.

Food

Pretty soon after boarding the cabin crew handed out orange juice and water.

Once everyone was seated we were served champagne.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

Before the meal service canapes were served.  I’m still trying to avoid wheat and only had the prawn.  If you require a special meal, you can book this over the phone but I did want to see the standard menu so chose to just leave out the bread bits.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

There were two choices for a starter – a prawn cocktail or goats cheese with rocket and beetroot.  I had the prawn cocktail which was really good.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

The main course was either fish cakes with sweet chili noodles and roasted vegetables (which can be ordered as a vegetarian dish leaving out the fish cakes), roast Parmesan chicken with steamed spinach, baby potatoes and cream sauce or medallions of beef fillet with champ potatoes and gravy. I had the beef and was positively surprised as I’ve had terrible beef on planes in the past.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

The dessert choices were raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake – and I wish I could have eaten this! – or a cheeseboard. I opted for the cheeseboard which was served with delicious port wine which reminded me of times with my grandmother …..

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

Drinks

The menu had a decent selection of alcoholic beverages although the choices were not exactly super-premium:  Jameson 12yo, Teachers, Jack Daniels, Bombay Sapphire, CDC Gin, Gordons Gin, Smirnoff Vodka, Bacardi, Hennessy Brandy, Baileys, Cointreau, Port, Heineken and Magners Cider.

There were two white wines (Anchoman Chenin Blanc (South Africa) and Chateau Des Gaves (France)) and two red wines (Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso D.O.C. ‘Teuta Lena Di Mezza’ (Italy), De Martino Gallardia Cinsault (Chile)).  The champagne was Jean Pernet Tradition Brut NV (France) which retails at about £22.

There is nothing to get excited about here but the selection is not substantially different to what most other business class carriers are offering these days.  The last time we reviewed Etihad’s A380 Business Class Studio, arguably one of the top three products on the market, the wine list was available in Tesco for around £10 per bottle.

Inbound flight

On the inbound flight the canapes were similar to the ones on the outbound flight.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

As the return flight was an overnight one leaving Boston at 10:30pm there was an additional express menu option for those passengers wanting to go to bed soon after take off.

I chose the express menu as I had to check out of my hotel at 1pm, had been running around Boston all day and wanted to sleep.  Served on one tray I got seared salmon with red quinoa, butternut squash pilaf, sauteed kale and pomodoro sauce.

The full menu options were grilled beef fillet with asparagus, smashed potatoes, cherry tomatoes in red wine sauce, seared chicken breast with potato gratin, grilled zucchini, baby carrots and de poulette sauce and the seared salmon dish from the express menu which could also be served as a vegetarian dish without the salmon.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

All in all I was very positive about the food offered on board.  That said, breakfast turned out to be a slight disappointment. It was half a handful of fruit and a bacon roll. I understand that many are fans of bacon rolls – Rob has a bizarre love of the ones in BA’s Galleries lounges in London – but a different option to choose would have been nice. The coffee was also not the best.

Aer Lingus business class review A330 Dublin to Boston

And I made a video ….

I edited a few clips into a short video that hopefully gives a good impression of the Aer Lingus flight. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear below.

Conclusion

Aer Lingus has a very good business product that can without doubt compete with bigger name transatlantic carriers.

The cabin crew was incredibly friendly and helpful, the food was – except for breakfast – really good and most importantly the seat was comfortable and had a massage function. The business cabin has seats for passengers travelling on their own as well as couples and only in the latter case there are three seats where you need to climb over your seat neighbour when getting up.  If you pick well you will have far more space and privacy than British Airways Club World can offer.

There are only a couple of things that could be improved like the IFE screen, which cannot be adjusted, and the breakfast selection.

If you are based outside London and would otherwise be connecting to British Airways in Heathrow, connecting in Dublin instead for an Aer Lingus flight is a very good alternative.  If you live near Heathrow then you are trading off the time taken to connect in London for the (substantial) benefits of immigration preclearance in Dublin.

If you are looking to redeem Avios, the massive tax savings when redeeming for Aer Lingus Business Class over British Airways Club World make it something worth considering seriously.  If you have a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher to use then it isn’t so clear cut, but for everyone else the Aer Lingus option is very enticing.

I haven’t finished yet with these reviews …… there are still reports from the Aer Lingus lounges in Boston and Dublin to come.   I will also take a look at the Ames Boston Hotel in Boston, a new addition to Hilton’s Curio Collection of independent boutique hotels.


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Comments (37)

  • Alex says:

    Where is part 1? Did i miss something?

  • MD says:

    No comment about quality of bed or bedding?

  • John says:

    I don’t understand the fascination airlines have with wanting to serve a large meal right after takeoff particularly at silly times when J passengers will often have had opportunities to have eaten in the lounge.

    Then after 5 hours of flying when you might actually be hungry the next “meal” is some piddly little thing that means you are still hungry when you get off, but there’s no food at home so you need to go to the supermarket…

    In this case I just think it’s silly to serve dinner at 4-5 am Ireland time (do people in Boston routinely eat dinner at midnight routinely? Don’t think so), whether a full meal or “express”. I’d rather have a proper meal in town with family/friends at 7pm then head to the airport, get straight to sleep and then have a big breakfast served on board before landing. But the same issue applies even to daytime flights both eastbound and westbound.

    The problem is light and sounds can be blocked quite easily but the food smells prevent me from sleeping if nobody else is!

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Agreed.

      I’ve only flown BA and Etihad in J. When I flew to Australia with Etihad they asked me what time I wanted to have to my meals at. Why can’t BA do the same?

      • MKB says:

        On two separate Etihad first-class flights, I tried to have my first meal about 3 hours into the flight. They failed both times.

        I agreed the time with the chef, but nothing arrived. When I went to check, all the crew bar one had gone off shift, and the one left knew nothing of the arrangement. The meal then arrived an hour late, with some incorrect items, and poorly presented.

        This happened on two separate LHR-DUB flights on their A380. I never got why people salivate over this airline. Service was not great, the bed is too hard, and the seat on the A380 won’t recline much.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      Agreed, and this is why Virgin getting rid of the snooze zone was a huge disappointment for me. You’ve just stuffed your face full of food in the lounge, and drank yourself to within an inch (or ML) of liver failure, so the last thing you want to do is eat some more when you get onboard!

    • Peter K says:

      Because some of us cannot eat the food in the lounge due to food intolerance/allergy/religious reasons?

      On a recent night flight the only thing in the lounge the staff could find that I could eat was a pack of crisps and a fruit salad due to a gluten intolerance. Try sleeping on that with feeling hungry! I actually found that the toasted sandwich for breakfast was the thing that seemed too big, not the evening meal.

  • JK says:

    Which champagne was served?

  • JK says:

    Which champagne was served? What was on the wine list?

  • Dan says:

    I flew this service myself and the arrivals facility in Dublin is also worth a mention. On the day we were there we were the only ones to use it, so I am not sure how popular it is. The lounge is very small, but the shower facilities and clothes pressing service were fantastic.

    • Kieran says:

      agreed, one of the big benefits of flying back in to Dublin. Feel so much better after a decent shower.

  • PZE says:

    Thanks, an interesting review. For those of us with NQY as our home airport there’s an additional advantage over BA as we have direct flights to connect via DUB but nothing direct to LHR – which combined with pre-clearance and cheap redemptions sounds pretty enticing.

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    “I understand that many are fans of bacon rolls – Rob has a bizarre love of the ones in BA’s Galleries lounges ”

    There’s nowt as queer as folk.

    They are rank. I have to grab at least three of them, and then proceed to rip of the uncooked bits off to make just one acceptable roll.

    Perhaps if Baxter Storey kept the bacon cooking for more than 15 seconds, things wouldn’t be so bad.

    • Andrew says:

      Nothing worse than pale white fat on bacon. It looks microwaved.

      Bacon fat should be golden and crispy.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        this.

      • Kathy says:

        Seconded!

      • Calz says:

        Crispy bacon for the win. if greggs can do it, then so can BA

        • Catalan says:

          Oh dear. First World problems. Again!

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          I think you are being a bit unkind to the fine established that is Greggs. If it wasn’t for Greggs I’d be at least a stone lighter.

        • RussellH says:

          Aaaagghhh NOOOO.

          Crispy bacon is the absolute pits. If the rashers are thin, 15s per side in a hot pan is more than enough.

          (Not actually a great fan of bacon rolls – though my partner is. I would tend to eat the bacon and abandon the rolls.)

          • Alan says:

            Must say I prefer bacon & mushroom so had to combine contents of two rolls in GC!

    • Lady London says:

      Oh! I thought it was just me that had to do that…. or thought the BA bacon rolls “rank” as generally served.

      I cannot understand how Baxter Storey have survived.

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