Aer Lingus Regional flights are operated by Stobart Air who are formerly the small Irish airline Aer Arann. They operate a fleet of ATR-42 and ATR-72 aircraft and cover Aer Lingus flights from regional areas in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Aer Lingus use these flights to primarily feed the transatlantic network from Dublin. Transfer passengers now account for a high percentage of transatlantic passengers for Aer Lingus so the relationship is very successful.
EI3228 – Dublin to Glasgow (DUB-GLA)
23 September 2016
ATR-72-600 EI-FAU St. Darragh
Seat: Economy 14A
Departure: 18:20 Arrival: 19:30
Online check-in opens quite early for Aer Lingus flights and the regional flights are no exception. My boarding pass had been printed during the week prior to my flight and once at the airport I proceeded to Fast-Track security in Dublin’s Terminal 2. Security was fast with the usual friendly Dublin Airport staff making the process painless. Aer Lingus Regional flights are boarded through bus gates on the ground level between the two terminals.
The bus took us to our remote stand and we cooled our heels for a few minutes until we were permitted to board. The seats on board are utilitarian with little in the way of padding; however, they do have quite a decent amount of seat pitch thanks to the slimline seat design.
Overhead lockers are much smaller than those found on jet aircraft and despite this there were no issues with cabin baggage.
The flight to Glasgow was full and once everyone was on board the cabin crew gave us the safety demonstration before we headed to the runway. With virtually no holding we were soon swaying our way drunkenly along the runway fighting the wind before becoming airborne.
Aer Lingus Regional Bia
Once the seatbelt sign was off the crew swung into action and began offering food and drink for purchase. The Bia menu on Aer Lingus regional is a cut down version of that offered on mainline Aer Lingus European flights. For those wondering, Bia is the Irish word for food. The selection is adequate for the sector length and I know from experience that the Bia menu is quite tasty though I did not eat on this flight.
Flight time is around an hour and quite a few people purchased something to eat or drink. With the full load of 72 passengers, I expected the service to take quite some time, but the crew was used to the routine and service was completed well before descent.
The standard Aer Lingus inflight magazine which is called Cara is in each seat pocket. I find the content of the magazine to be advertising heavy and the articles weren’t particularly engaging. Cara means ‘friend’ in Irish and I think it’s an excellent example of subliminal marketing, possibly explaining why Aer Lingus is so dear to the Irish.
The crew cleared the cabin and we descended and landed into Glasgow without incident. On arrival, it was a transfer to another bus before arriving in the terminal.
Aer Lingus Regional offers a perfectly satisfactory product for the short flight lengths operated. The food and drink selection on board is decent for those who wish to have something to tide them over during flight. The seats are hard and not particularly comfortable – I have been on buses with more comfortable seats – however, none of the flights are much over an hour, so it’s really no big deal.
The airline is the only option from many smaller cities to Dublin and it certainly upholds the Aer Lingus brand very well. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below. Thanks for reading!