Tim Foolery

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Thanksgiving in Ireland: UAL 7650: DUB-LHR (Aer Lingus Economy)

Sunday in Dublin – we planned on leaving the hotel at 09h30 to get to the airport for our 12h10 departure.  Our taxi driver suggested we take the tunnel for an additional couple euros, which we agreed.  We arrived at the airport at 09h50 – a very quick traffic free morning.

We were flying Aer Lingus to London on a United codeshare ticket. We went to check into the priority line and were turn away because Aer Lingus doesn’t recognize United status.  We wait in line for about 20 minutes and are checked in.  We asked about getting on an earlier flight, but there were no flights available – if we had been allowed through the priority line, we could have made the earlier flight.

We decided to grab a quick bite after we cleared customs and security then did a bit of shopping. While Dublin Airport doesn’t have as much shopping as Heathrow, it is better than many airports.

We then decided to go to the lounge. United has a shared lounge and Aer Lingus has a lounge as well.  United wouldn’t let us in because we were on an Aer Lingus flight – despite the fact that we are United Gold and Star Alliance Gold (because of Gold status on United and Turkish).  We walk over to Aer Lingus and they said they won’t let us in either.  Lovely.

We head back out to the common waiting area.  At 11h25 we head to the big board to see which gate we were assigned and found that our flight had been delayed to 13h20.  Our nearly 2 hour Heathrow layover had dwindled to 50 minutes – tight but doable.

We were in the third to last row of the plane. After seeing this, we asked if we could get moved to the front of the plane, but were rejected.  All transfer passengers are seated at the back of the plane because Aer Lingus transfers passengers via bus.

Aer Lingus flights to Chicago and Washington

Carrier: Aer Lingus  (DUB-LHR)

Flight #: 7650
Seat: 27A
Departure: November 25, 2012 –  12h10 / 13h30
Arrival: November 22, 2012 – 13h30 / 15h05
Travel Time: 1 hour 20 minutes / 1 hours 35 minutes
Flight Miles: 280

We board the plane and sit there until 13h30. Now we are down to a 40 minute lay over.  Many of the passengers were transferring — all with tight transfers. The Stews announced that everyone staying in London should get off first and all transfer passengers should remain seated until the plane is empty. This was quite counter-intuitive.  So many people were getting angry with the Stews in flight. As we start to descend into Heathrow, the pilot announces that we are in a landing hold for 15 minutes. At this rate, we’ll be on the ground at 15h00 and our departure is at 15h25. No way will we make the connection.

Leaving Dublin
MS pretending he isn’t nervous about missing our conenction

British Airways 747 as we approach Heathrow

As we landed, a British Airways 747 was hot on our tail

We finally land and while we are taxing, I text a few friends in London telling them that it is quite likely we’ll be spending the night, so they need to make reservations. MS was upset that we would miss our flight.

We land and run to the bus.  The plane is emptied and the bus is full at 15h05. We have 20 minutes until our flight to Chicago leaves and only 10 minutes until the door closes.  Will we make it or will we have dinner in London?

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