I’ve flown Aer Lingus to Ireland for many years now, so it’s only fitting that I kick off my trip reports with a recent trip to the old sod. Back in July 2014, Aer Lingus announced a new Business Class product which entered service in March 2015 on their A330 fleet. In doing so, they revamped not only their seat, but other aspects of their hard product as well. In particular, they established an arrival lounge at Dublin, dubbed “Revival Lounge”. I’ve been a big fan of Aer Lingus over the years because of their extremely friendly and efficient on-board service. However since the mid-2000s I’ve watched them get passed by other carriers in terms of their hard product and ground service offerings. So when I heard they planned an arrivals lounge, I was excited to try it out.
I booked an award ticket for June 2015 on EI138 in Business(J) from Boston to Dublin, which arrived in Dublin at 8:05am local time. I knew about the lounge beforehand (too much excitement?), but there was a publication in the seat pocket inviting Business passengers to use the lounge on arrival and describing where it was.
The lounge is located on the lower level of Terminal 2 in the baggage hall next to carousel 6. I didn’t grab a picture of it from afar, but you certainly have to be looking for it to find it as the entrance is tucked away next to a few baggage offices. The nice thing here is that it’s available exclusively to Business passengers and not to elite members of any program. We’ll see if that changes with the revamp of their frequent flyer program, but I hope they keep it this way.
As you proceed past the friendly agent at the desk you enter a small (but adequate) seating area next to a window overlooking the ramp. Adjacent to this is a counter equipped with a coffee machine and stocked with tea, pastries, and a selection of other cold beverages.
There isn’t much here, but considering I just ate breakfast on the plane and dinner only a couple of hours prior due to the short flight, I didn’t need anything but a shower, coffee, and a bottle of water for the road.
Down the hall are 6 individual shower rooms, each equipped with a spacious tile shower, changing area, toilet, and vanity. A set of towels and an amenity kit with Irish-branded Russell Will Haven Range bath products sealed in plastic was waiting on the bench when I entered.
The room is very spacious with plenty of area to move around with ease. Hooks and hangers are also provided in each room so I wasn’t searching for a place to neatly hang up my clothes.
Probably the most unique part of the lounge is the free steam-pressing service. If your outfit didn’t survive the trip wrinkle-free, they’ll steam press your clothing in the short time you’re cleaning up. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, but there’s a hanger by the door in a closet-like cabinet. When you hang your clothes up and ring the intercom, the attendant will retrieve, steam them, and replace your clothes in this closet — all without having to knock and open the door. This was a well, thought-out design. Since there are only 6 rooms, they do gently suggest that you only take 15-20 minutes so as to not tie up space for other travelers.
Even though they suggest 15-20 minutes, they never rushed us out of the seating area. Given it was small and we were ready to get into town and start our day, we didn’t stay long.
Overall this lounge is a great addition to the premium service for Aer Lingus, and it gives them a significant advantage to their US-based competitors for transatlantic flights arriving into Dublin. Given that the majority of their flights from the East Coast arrive early (a few as early as 5:30am), this lounge is a valuable component of the new Business product. If you’re flying Aer Lingus Business, it’s worth stopping in to check out. That was my plan, but once I walked in I was glad I decided to take full advantage of the showers and to take a minute to pause with a coffee and regroup. Aside from business travelers, leisure travelers can find this of great value since most hotels won’t let you check in this early, and this is a great way to wake up and start your day feeling refreshed. Thus, their idea for the lounge name is perfectly appropriate.