In-flight on Aer Lingus’ new Dublin-San Francisco Route
The @Altitude team is always looking for new information to share with you about the global availability of in-flight connectivity. That’s why we were excited to learn that on 2nd April of this year Aer Lingus launched the only direct, non-stop flight from Dublin to San Francisco and that it features both in-flight WiFi and mobile services.
More from Aer Lingus on the launch of this route:
”The inaugural Aer Lingus flight to San Francisco (EI 147) took off from Dublin Airport at 12.20 pm on April 4th 2014. The beginning of the route marks a significant milestone in our transatlantic growth plan for 2014 and builds on our strategy to connect Ireland to the world.
In addition to direct access to San Francisco, our customers travelling from a number of UK and European cities via Dublin, will benefit from a wide choice of onward connections with our airline partners, to sixteen popular cities on the West Coast and beyond including Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego. The new San Francisco route also represents a business opportunity to expand our cargo offering to the U.S. West Coast.”
In case you missed my recent in-flight Tweeting, on 26th April I was on board flight EI 146 (SFO-DUB) and then flew back to the US on EI 147 (DUB-SFO) on 30th April. Flight EI 147 to San Francisco is currently available 5 days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). With an approximate duration of 10 hours, the in-flight connectivity services were a welcome amenity for both getting some work done and keeping me entertained. Thanks to Aer Lingus, iPass, and everyone else who kept me company in-flight via Twitter!
If you haven’t flown on an Aer Lingus A330 recently, they do a good job of letting passengers know that connectivity services are available in flight. In the main cabin they’ve got their connectivity logo affixed near the window in every other row. They mention connectivity availability in their pre-take off PA announcement, and there is a full page of detailed information about both Wi-Fi and mobile services in Cara, their in-flight magazine. In recent months, they also updated their safety video to include information about the connectivity services.
Of course I had to try out the system with all of the devices most people bring with them on board – laptop, tablet, and smartphone. The home page of their connectivity portal clearly advises you of the two WiFi pass options – 1-hour and 24-hour – offered by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) T-Mobile, and there is an orange “Buy Internet Access” button in the center of the page to take you along the path to get you quickly on your way to surfing the Internet.
If you’ve read about any of my previous adventures using in-flight WiFi, you know that I’m a power user who usually has multiple devices connected at the same time. I generally log on the WiFi service through the airline portal and then select “iPass” under the roaming partner options. (Of course I also love the iPass support of @Altitude because ambassadors met me at multiple airports during #CATW8D with treats!)
Knowing that the flight also offered mobile phone service, operated by AeroMobile, as soon as the announcement was made that it was safe to do so, I adjusted the setting on my smartphone to turn off airplane mode. Right on schedule, I received the welcome SMS from Aer Lingus requesting that I switch my phone to vibrate or silent mode as a courtesy to my fellow passengers.
Throughout the course of the flights I made full use of both WiFi and mobile service – sending texts and email, posting to social media, and even doing some work updating pages of the @Altitude web site. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a flight passes when I have connectivity to keep me busy!