Review: Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport

Introduction: An Amazing Week In Israel With My Parents
Review: The Adelaide Hotel Toronto (Former Trump Hotel, Future St. Regis)
Review: Porter Airlines Lounge At Toronto Billy Bishop Airport
Review: Porter Airlines Economy Toronto To Newark
Review: Marriott Newark Airport
Review: Art & Lounge Newark Airport
Review: EL AL Business Class 787 Newark To Tel Aviv
Review: Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Review: Sheraton Tel Aviv
My Incredible Week Visiting Israel
Review: EL AL First Class Lounge Tel Aviv Airport
Review: EL AL Business Class Lounge Tel Aviv Airport
Review: EL AL First Class 777 Tel Aviv To London
Review: Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4
Review: Aspire Lounge London Heathrow Terminal 5
Review: Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport
Review: 51st & Green US Pre-Clearance Lounge Dublin Airport
Review: Aer Lingus Business Class A330 Dublin To New York
Review: Delta SkyClub New York JFK Airport
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My British Airways flight from London arrived in Dublin at 9:40AM, while my connecting Aer Lingus flight to New York was departing at 4:10PM. I intentionally planned a long layover so that I’d have plenty of time to review both of the business class lounges that Aer Lingus passengers have access to.

Since British Airways and Aer Lingus have the same parent company I hoped the connection process would be easy, though that wasn’t really the case. British Airways operates out of Terminal 1, while Aer Lingus operates out of Terminal 2. So on arrival I had to clear immigration, walk out of the arrivals hall, and then turn right and follow the signage to Terminal 2, which led me down a long path.


Terminal connector at Dublin Airport

That let out on the second level of the terminal, so then I had to take the escalator down a floor to get to the check-in level, as I still didn’t have the boarding pass for my Aer Lingus flight.


Terminal 2 Dublin Airport Aer Lingus check-in

Aer Lingus’ check-in area was pretty civilized, and on the left was the premium check-in area, which I used.


Dublin Airport Terminal 2 Aer Lingus premium check-in

This just consisted of two counters and a few seats, and within a couple of minutes my boarding pass to New York was issued.


Dublin Airport Terminal 2 Aer Lingus premium check-in

At that point I had to go back up the escalator to the departures level.


Terminal 2 departures area Dublin Airport

Security lines were non-existent, and I was through in a few minutes.


Dublin Airport Terminal 2 security

The terminal had lots of Christmas decorations, and once airside I turned right and followed the signage towards airline lounges and the US Pre-Clearance facility.


Dublin Airport Terminal 2

That was a short walk away, and at the end of the hallway I had to take the elevator down a level.


US Pre-Clearance & airline lounges Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance & airline lounges Dublin Airport

Around the corner was a hall with the entrance to most of the airport’s lounges.


Airline lounges Dublin Airport

Given the Pre-Clearance facility in Dublin (meaning you clear US immigration before getting on your flight), Aer Lingus passengers have access to two lounges:

The Aer Lingus Lounge has a modest exterior, so it’s much bigger than you’d expect based on that.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport exterior

Inside the lounge my boarding pass was scanned and the agents reminded me that I still had to clear immigration before my flight. I had visited the lounge over five years ago, so was curious if anything had changed. Nope, it hadn’t really.

The lounge is two floors, though roughly the first half of the lounge doesn’t have a second floor, meaning you have really high ceilings, which creates a nice visual effect.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport seating


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport seating

On the near end of the lounge are some newspapers.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport seating


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport magazines & newspapers

Along the other wall is a small business center with some chairs along a communal desk.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport business center

There’s an Irish tribute wall spanning two floors.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport

Past the general lounging area is the dining area, with several tables along the window.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport dining area

Past that is another area with more tables, as well as traditional lounge chairs and couches.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport seating


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport seating


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport seating

The entire lounge looks out over the apron — there are shorthaul planes parked closest to the lounge, and in the distance you can see the planes headed to the US.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin Airport view

I thought that Aer Lingus was making a push to improve their soft product a while back, so I was disappointed by the quality of the food in the lounge, as there weren’t any hot options aside from oatmeal.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet

Food options included whole fruit, fruit salad, yogurt, cereal, cheese, crackers, scones, croissants, pretzels, etc.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet

To drink there was a coffee machine, liquor, wine, beer, and soft drinks, all of which were self serve.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin wine & liquor


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin drinks

The lounge also has a second floor, and the stairs to that were at the back of the lounge (I couldn’t find an elevator, though I imagine there has to be one somewhere).


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin buffet

The lounge has a nice view of the lower level (including of the plane suspended from the ceiling).


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin

The upper level has more seating, though it’s a smaller area than you’ll find downstairs. While the entire lounge was quiet, this area was especially quiet, as most people won’t find it necessary to go to the second floor.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level

There’s also a small buffet with coffee, pastries, yogurt, cookies, and drinks.


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin upper level

All the bathrooms to the lounge are also on the second floor. I figured I’d take a shower in the lounge, and one of the lounge attendants brought me to an available room.

Little did I know that THIS IS THE WORST SHOWER I HAVE EVER TAKEN IN AN AIRPORT LOUNGE. The shower room looks decent(ish) enough, right?


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin shower room


Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin shower room

There were so many things wrong with it:

  • The shower room has zero ventilation, so it gets steamy as hell
  • The shower wouldn’t actually stay on, so every 10-15 seconds I had to push the button to restart the shower; it was like one of those sinks with water that’s timed
  • The tiles seemed dirty and in bad condition, and toiletries were lacking
  • The lights in the shower room are on an auto-timer, and after a few minutes of sensing no movement the lights shut off; the problem is that it doesn’t seem to sense movement in the shower itself, so it was pitch black, I couldn’t see anything, and I was in a dark shower that wasn’t even working
  • The water didn’t get hot, but rather was lukewarm at best

DON’T SHOWER HERE. Really Aer Lingus should just shut down these showers, as they’re a safety hazard, if nothing else.

I spent a bit of time in this lounge, and then decided to check out the 51st & Green Lounge after clearing immigration. We’ll pick up there in the next installment.

Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin bottom line

Physically this is a mostly okay lounge (well, minus the shower situation). It has plenty of natural light and feels airy. The lounge was also quiet, which is a big plus. However, other than that I was quite disappointed, especially with the soft product. For the flagship lounge of an airline, this is a pretty disappointing food & drink selection.

If you’re flying to the US out of Dublin I’d recommend going straight to the 51st & Green Lounge, which I found to be significantly better. More on that in the next installment.

If you’ve visited the Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin, what was your experience like?

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Comments

  1. The list on the wall looks like a list of Irish achievements throughout history. Some really dubious ones as well, such as “Airport Duty Free Shopping”…

  2. Not very familiar with Irish culture, are you? The wall is a list of famous Irish people/groups, with one of their accomplishments noted beside the name.

  3. With all the improvements Delta has made in the Skyclubs, I miss packaged cheese 🙁 It used to be fun to grab a couple of those to nibble on a quick flight from LAX-SFO.

  4. So many times I’ve been to Dublin Airport, it feels like home…
    Also, Lucky, I appreciate that you publish your trip reports quickly and close together, instead of doing one and then the next one a week later for example. 😀

  5. @AJO, duty free actually originated in Shannon airport by Brendan O’Regan. The concept was then spotted by an Irish American, Chuck Feeney who went on to set up DFS which expanded it globally.
    As a result of its origins in Ireland, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has a substantial multinational business running duty free shops from North America to Middle-East to Asia-Pacific.

  6. I was told at check-in that passengers cannot use BOTH the pre-pre-clearance lounge and the post-pre-clearance lounge (AKA 51st and Green).

    I don’t know how they enforce that. Maybe the first lounge scrawls something on your boarding pass?

    So if you did both then did you get a special exemption, being press and all?

  7. I love your reports but I’m honestly shocked and honestly a bit concerned that you can’t take one look at a list that includes “James Joyce” and “U2” and instantly realize it’s a list of Irish cultural icons. If I were in the final round of “The $25,000 Pyramid” and one of the little pyramid things on the big board said “IRISH CULTURAL ICONS” my 1980s b-list celebrity teammate would say “Ummm… James Joyce… U2…” and I would be all like ‘PEOPLE FROM IRELAND!!!” and they would give it to me because I said “Ireland.” (This would be post-Joshua Tree, of course, as the airport wall indicates, but still…)

  8. Interesting. The aircraft hanging is an A350, and none of them have been delivered to them yet. Starting deliveries next year

  9. I think you’re the only person i know that would deliberately book a flight with a long layover so that they can spend extra time in an airport lounge and try out the showers :-).

  10. Lucky, this is a terrible lounge, but I don’t agree that it is fair to describe this as a Flagship lounge. It’s a frequent flyer lounge for economy travellers.

    Virtually every Aer Lingus business class flight (except Toronto) leaves from the US departure area, so I think your review should judge Green & 51st against what you consider flagship standards.

  11. The DAA lounge next door has a much better shower, although it’s located in the handicap restroom… I will say, I found the friendliest and most helpful lounge gatekeeper there though. Saved me a 5 hour longer layover in the DAA lounge.

  12. There’s a bunch of stuff written on the wall that spans two floors, though I’m not sure what exactly it represents. Does anyone know?

    Huh?!?! You mean the list of famous Irish people and what they are known for?

    C’mon Lucky. Your better than that.

  13. “There’s a bunch of stuff written on the wall that spans two floors, though I’m not sure what exactly it represents. Does anyone know?”

    PLEASE tell me that this admission of ignorance is not real? Surely you don’t have to be Irish or particularly intelligent or cultured to be able to understand the significance of this tribute to famous Irish figures and their achievements?

    Perhaps Lucky should just limit his attention to the lounge showers, food, couches and chairs

  14. Wow, I’ve been following this blog for about 18 months now and I’ve never commented before, but as an Irishman I have to comment on my disappointment on Ben’s complete lack of knowledge on the wall. I cannot believe you have no idea who any of these people are on the tribute to famous Irish people. I mean, not even U2 or Seamus Heaney might give a hint on the meaning of the wall?

  15. Wow, I’ve been following this blog for about 18 months now and I’ve never commented before, but even as a non-Irishman I have to comment on my disappointment on Ben’s complete lack of knowledge on the wall. I cannot believe you have no idea who any of these people are on the tribute to famous Irish people. I mean, not even U2 or Seamus Heaney might give a hint on the meaning of the wall?

    Nor the fact that many of the names are quite clearly of Irish origin? You really couldn’t put 2 and 2 together?

  16. Sorry folks that I wasn’t clear (and that sometimes happens when I publish 10,000+ words in a day). I picked up on the fact that most of the people were Irish, what I didn’t get was the connection between them beyond that, the logic to the order, etc. Clearly it didn’t come across that way (and going back and reading it I see why), so I apologize. I updated the post for clarity.

  17. It really seems crass and insensitive to call famous people and their achievements a ‘bunch of stuff written on the wall’

    Instead of belting out 10,000 words a day, nobody would mind if you published 5000 words a day and actually proofread your articles before publishing them.

  18. In October I flew out of Dublin. I didn’t even know that Aer Lingus had a lounge or that I could visit it. It sounds like time is better spent in the 51 and Green lounge, which I enjoyed for one item in particular. Looking forward to your review of that.

    Maureen O’Hara was a great screen legend, a star. Scarlett O’Hara was fictional.

  19. Lucky, I agree with your review. We flew business class from Birmingham to Toronto via Dublin so got stuck for more hours than we would have wished in this very “non-flagship” Lounge. It shouldn’t matter whether the flights are going to the US or not, this is Aer Lingus’ home base and therefore ALL lounges should be damn good, not just the US bound one! Look at the other IAG airlines and see how they’ve turned their home base lounges into places you do actually want spend some time. Unfortunately our ground experience there has put us off Aer Lingus again even though their in flight service we got was brilliant. If I do try them again I’ll be looking for the shortest connection possible unless I’m US bound and can try the better Lounge.

  20. Sharon,

    The reason to give yourself plenty of time at DUB if you’re going to the US is that it’s hard to predict how long the US pre-clear will take, and some people end up missing their flights.

    And you cannot use both Aer Lingus lounges anyway. You have to choose one so obviously it would be the one AFTER pre-clear, i.e. 51st and Green.

    Personally I’d want at least 3 hours if connecting through Dublin to the US. Make it two separate flights and you’l save a fair amount of UK APT.

  21. Hi Lucky, when tranferring from T1 to T2 there’s also an airside corridor. Probably it’s only marked with gate numbers (4xx is in T2), not with a sign saying “T2”.

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