Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ireland Trip: Part 1: Our Flights and Overseas Flight Tips

Aer Lingus
On Wednesday, May 6 we made our way to the airport for our flight to Ireland. This blog will give you a couple of tips about parking and flying long distances.

After we dropped our elder dachshund Franklin with Tom's folks and our other doxie, Tyler and Weimaraner, Dolly at boarding, we went to the airport.

TIP#1: Reserve your airport parking on-line in advance and save money
PRE-RESERVE PARKING - A couple of weeks before the trip I (Rob)  pre-booked "Preflight Parking" for a space, and saved about $3 per day in parking fees. Pre-flight has free shuttles to and from the airport that run every 10 minutes. The service is great, and I always like to tip the drivers.

Economy class seating was not conducive to sleep
OUR FLIGHT TO IRELAND - We booked our flights with Aer Lingus, and they're really a nice airline. Since they didn't fly direct from our airport, we had to fly to Boston first, which was fine. It was a 60 minute flight on partner Jet Blue, and THEY serve Dunkin' Donuts coffee (Rob's favorite). Yay! Going to Ireland took about 5 hours from Boston and the flight left at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. We were in economy class. BIG MISTAKE. 

TIP#2: Never fly economy class on a night-flight overseas.  
OUR EXPERIENCE:   The seats were limited with space. Tom, being almost 6 feet tall couldn't stretch his legs and the woman in the seat in front of him decided to lean her seat ALL the way back, practically into his lap so he couldn't watch a movie, couldn't turn left or right, and certainly couldn't sleep. Since I'm just 5'6" I didn't have as much discomfort. After a couple of hours of futility in trying to sleep, Tom developing aching legs, restless leg syndrome, and wound up walking up and down the aisles literally for a couple of hours. I kept nodding off and on for minutes at a time, and he was totally miserable. There was NO SLEEP TO BE HAD on that flight for us.

TIP #3: If you buy Economy Class and later try to upgrade, be sure to tell your BANK that you are trying to make an additional purchase on an International Airline (and tell them when you're traveling, or they'll think the card was stolen). Tom tried upgrading to Business Class before we left for the trip and the BANK rejected the purchase to business class going over because the charge came on from Ireland. SO, we lost the business class seats.

Business class seating was amazing
EXHAUSTING ARRIVAL - When we landed in Dublin, Ireland it was 3:30 a.m. OUR TIME (8:30 a.m. local time) and we had been up since 4:30 a.m. the previous morning. We were wiped out. Fortunately, Anne Marie of Across the Pond Vacations (whom we booked the trip through and we HIGHLY recommend) arranged for a pre-paid car to take us to the Hotel. It was SO appreciated. We got to the hotel at 10:30 a.m. local time, Dublin, got to check in early and collapsed into a deep sleep on the bed for a couple of hours.

TIP #4: Fly Business Class. Tom managed to upgrade us to business class on the way back.
The seats were really wide and actually reclined to a flat position like a bed, if needed. They had movies, pillows, headphones, and tried to give us hor d'oeuvres (which we didn't have), wine for Tom (water for me), a salad, a beef or chicken dinner, a shortcake (which we couldn't eat), cookies, hot tea, and more. It was non-stop food (which is actually wasted on us because we don't eat much, but it was pretty nice). We lounged, napped, and Tom even watched 2 movies on the flight back, while I finished reading 2 books. What a difference from the flight over!


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next