Skip to content

Dublin airport, points east, and points west

FR 1125 LGW-DUB 4 Jan 2035-2150

Although the UK immigration authorities had grilled me twice (and laid down two separate “leave to enter for six months” stamps within a page of each other), Ireland’s tired soul looked at the previous stamp and mumbled a bit. On this exit from Customs in Ireland I was not as delirious as originally, but I also didn’t get any hospitality: as a matter of fact, I slept in the airport. Sure, I could have booked a hostel, but they aren’t cheap and I only had around eight hours between flights.

It wasn’t very fun. It could have been much, much, worse, and I’ll do it again, but…

LG 4982 DUB-MAN 5 Jan 0910-1000

Manchester was a friendly little place and brought an interesting twist into my travel plans. Going through transit to avoid a third grilling from the Home Office, Ryan and I were told that our seats would be assigned at the gate. This was interesting since we had reserved seats all the way.

On finally making it to the gate, I was given some seats… with us about 40 rows apart and with me in a middle seat. I objected a bit but I was tired, so I retreated, returning in a minute when I noticed the middle seat. That wasn’t going to fly, or I wasn’t. To US’s credit the gate agent was already working on it, and for a second time her thick Sharpie struck my boarding pass as she asked me to get my “lady friend’s” so she could change it too.

On my pass, she wrote “4C.”

I mumbled my thanks and shut up, boarding a few minutes later for the first non-Economy flight in my life.

We were in the center pair of seats in the 2-2-2 “BusinessElite” cabin in a halfway house between First and Business, where service was (to this coach-accustomed commoner) miraculous. Champagne was offered (and sadly declined, since I wasn’t of the appropriate vintage) every time I looked up, dinner started with smoked salmon and ended with a cheese plate, and most importantly I could not physically reach the seat in front of me.

I slept (with the complimentary eyeshade, nice blanket, and earplugs). That’s not something I normally do on trans-atlantic flights, but it was very nice. Although I have to say, thanks to the new planes on the route (Airbus 330) Economy was pleasant if not spacious: the personal screens and audio/video on demand provided plenty of options. A marked improvement over the old AA Boeing 767s I flew on the 2004 trip.

US 197 MAN-PHL 1100-1400
US 288 PHL-PIT 1600-1717

Arriving in Philadelphia semi-refreshed, we made it off the plane quickly and waited a couple days for our backs. We got through Customs and Immigration relatively quickly and were unceremoniously (and frustratingly) dumped landside where the Shoe Carnival at security took us another while. The rest is fairly blurry, except that US managed to lose my bag between PHL and PIT while keeping track of it from DUB to MAN to PHL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *