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Ask any airline CEO if he would like to be going head-to-head on a daily basis with Europe’s most profitable airline at its home base, and you’d generally expect him to say no. Yet, this is exactly the situation that Aer Lingus finds itself in, while flying out of Dublin, Ireland.
Competition with Ryanair has made both carriers mean, lean “machines”, but Aer Lingus does have the advantage of a premium product. While the standout Business Class product only applies to Aer Lingus’ Transatlantic routes, their aim is clearly to use this traffic to feed into their European network.
To this end, Aer Lingus has just recently re-launched the Business Class product on their Transatlantic routes: featuring new fully lie- flat beds with a length of 2 metres / 6.5 feet, new menus, free Wifi and more. We will bring you more details of this in due course.
Among the other enhancements for the customer flying in Business Class is the opening of a new arrivals lounge at Dublin Airport, the “Revival Lounge”.
This arrival lounge is a first for the company and illustrates a clear focus on the needs of those passengers paying a premium for their flights – allowing them to (genuinely) refresh, relax and revitalize for the day ahead, on arrival at Dublin airport.
Access to the Dublin lounge is by invitation only. This printed invite is given to the passenger before he or she gets off the flight on arrival at Dublin. The upshot of this is that those passengers who are members of the Aer Lingus Gold Circle (which comes with a lounge access entitlement, regardless of class flown) will not be able to access the lounge unless they are arriving into Dublin having flown in Business Class across the Atlantic. Instead, it appears that lounge access for Gold Circle members will be limited to the Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge in Dublin, unless they qualify for the Revival Lounge by flying Business Class.
Location and layout
The lounge is located in the Terminal 2 baggage hall beside belt 6, just after immigration control and is discreetly marked. Although small in area, it is carefully designed to maximise the available space, and perfectly adequate for the small amount of people who are likely to use the facility at any one time.
However, the obvious warning here is that should a number of Aer Lingus transatlantic flights arrive simultaneously, with a full complement of business class passengers wishing to use the facility, I do see an issue with space When I visited the lounge for example, only eight seats were available to use.
As an “arrivals” lounge, the Revival lounge fairly obviously caters for the early morning crowd. Refreshments include Arabica coffee, fresh juices, croissants, pastries and soft drinks. Having dined exceptionally well while crossing the Atlantic, I do feel that this fare is sufficient to start the day.
There are 6 shower rooms to freshen up. Each is extremely spacious, and comes with hair dryer and towel robe. Complimentary amenity kits are also available.
Towels are ready for use outside the shower rooms.
The toiletries are supplied by an Irish company ” VOYA” and are organic. VOYA also supply some of the world’s top spas and hotels.
In case you are worried about not looking your best, having been seated for many hours, you can have your shirt and suit collected and steam pressed while you shower using the unique sliding wardrobe facility. A small sign lets you know that it will take about 15 – 20 minutes to shower and freshen up and your pressed items will be ready when you are finished. You hang the clothes that you wish to have pressed on a hanger in a small closet, press the intercom and the assistant pulls the closet on a sliding rail outside without having to enter the shower room and will return your garments freshly pressed ready for you to look your best .
The lounge itself is a pleasant addition to the premium product that Aer Lingus offers but I do foresee some small issues. The layout of Dublin Airport means that if you are connecting to a European flight and use the Revival Lounge, on leaving it, you must exit the arrival hall and go through security again. Perhaps not an issue for some, but something that I always prefer not to do when connecting.
The other obvious issue could be overcrowding if more than 8 or 9 people use the lounge at the one time, but I guess the chances of this happening are very small.
In short, the Revival lounge does exactly what it needs to: a range of refreshments and some high quality washroom facilities on your arrival in Dublin. The lounge is sure to set you on your way with a spring in your step.