Friday, February 22, 2008

Ireland: Amsterdam to Dublin (Friday, February 22)

Written Friday, February 22 at 11:45 am, Dublin time (somewhere over England, sitting sideways in the airplane seat) / 3:45 am in Seattle

It was looking like the 12:00 time was bogus, since the next listed flight was actually 13:10, but they got us on our original plane and got us out around 12:20.

The coffee was lousy, by the way.   And a “Large” was about 10-12 ounces, so it was way overpriced.   Decent apple cake, though.

Aer Lingus has the least leg room of any plane I’ve ever been on.   My knees touch the seat in front of me.  If my thighs were 1/2 inch longer, sitting would be difficult.   Is this where I make a leprechaun joke, since I’m going to Ireland?

Screaming kid on the flight.  There was one on the flight to Amsterdam, too, but that one shut up for most of the flight.  I honestly think that parents should not only have to buy a separate seat for any kid under 4 years old, they should have to pay double for it.  Anything to convince them to just stay off tightly packed transports until the kid is old enough to not scream like this.  (Yeah, I realize that he’s probably in some distress from pressure changes.  I don’t care: the parents’ “need” to travel with the tot is abusing both the kid and the rest of us.)

No inflight magazine, just a “sell you snacks and perfume and jewelry and other stuff” catalog.  But the snacks listing really shows we’re in a different country.  Beyond the easy stuff like scones and shortbread biscuits, there’s a “Full Breakfast” (sausages, bacon [ham], black pudding & white pudding, tomato, sauteed potatoes, farmhouse brown bread, butter, marmalade, fresh orange juice, and a hot drink; €8, roughly $12).  And two sandwiches: chicken & stuffing, and cheese & spring onions (€4.50 each, about $7.50).  Nifty.

When the beverage service rolled out, I became further convinced that Aer Lingus is a budget airline on the same level as Skybus in the states.  First flight I’ve been on where you had to pay for the beverages.  €2 ($3!) for a soda or a cup of lousy airplane coffee!  Watch for this level of cheapness to hit the main carriers in the states within three years.  I’d love to predict Southwest first, but I’m betting on Delta or American jumping before them.  At least with Skybus (“Pillows are just $10!  Blankets are extra!  But maybe you were lucky and got the $20 ticket for this flight!”) — emphasis on “bus” — you kind of expect it.

What the fuck is up with the flight staff hocking duty free stuff on the flight itself?  No, I don’t want to buy a full-size bottle of liquor or a watch from the stewardess.  What is this, Times Square in the 1970s?  (“Psst, buddy!  Wanna buy a Rolex?”)  This one, I can’t blame on Aer Lingus, since Northwest did it, too.   I wonder how much volume they actually sell?

Ah, the kid finally shut up.
…And then started up again 10 minutes later.

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