Although I have many British Airways reviews, I was in need of an Irish Aer Lingus one. So ladies & gents, I present you with a BA/Aer Lingus double whammy from a reader who shall remain nameless. Top tip from her – BA’s infant luggage allowance is a generous 23kg in comparison to Cathay’s 10kg
My husband, six and a half month old and I flew (economy class) in June to Dublin from Hong Kong with BA and Aer Lingus.
HK Airport & Security
We had pre booked a bassinet and bulkhead seats with BA and brought with us to HK Airport six sterilised bottles of cooled down boiled water and formula measured into pots. We also carried about 4 cartons of ready-made Aptamil. None of our bottles were opened in HK Airport and we were asked to test nothing.
We were given priority boarding and on board once the flight had taken off and once the seatbelt sign had come off the air steward brought us a baby seat for the tray in front. We had requested a bassinet and we asked for this instead although the steward thought our baby would be too big for us. He was in fact too long but he could still sleep with his feet hanging out the end which was fine. One of the best things we brought on board with us was a breathable snooze shade which we draped over baby in the bassinet, this worked a charm.
When feeding time came around, the stewards were very helpful in heating bottles and the flight went very smoothly. Nappy changing could be done in the toilets where the nappy table folds out over the toilet seat. We had checked in our buggy at Hong Kong Airport with assurances that it would go straight through to Dublin Airport for us so we used our Ergo baby carrier to change terminals in Heathrow.
The joy of a booking mix up
Due to a mix up, my husband and I had been booked by BA on separate connecting flights to Dublin leaving five mins apart from London. I had been booked on an Aer Lingus flight with baby and my husband on the BA flight. We had tried to change this a few weeks prior but BA insisted we must pay close to a couple of hundred euro to change and we decided not to bother for the sake of an hour’s flight. However in HK the BA check in desk lady checked to see if there was space on the connecting flights and told us the flights were full. Despite this I got on the Aer Lingus flight with no time to spare (2 hour transfer time with a baby changing terminals in LHR is v tight!) and the Aer Lingus flight was only half full!!! So hubby could have got on my flight!
Now the real pain with this was Aer Lingus lands in Dublin Airport in Terminal 2 and BA lands in Terminal 1 so I had the baby, the buggy (technically…!), two big suitcases, one small suitcase and the baby bag to manage as my hubby would have to “collect” me as if I was visiting rather than being able to help me with all the luggage! To top all that off, my buggy never arrived in Dublin!!!! It got lost in transit and I was finally offered a replacement buggy to borrow until my buggy arrived a day later. At least it arrived though and was delivered to my inlaws address.
The return leg – Dublin to Hong Kong
Six weeks later I flew back on my own with a much bigger teething baby! In Dublin Airport I was asked to open every bottle of water and test everything 🙁
The staff in LHR were much more helpful, I only had to test one or two bottles, I was given priority boarding and the BA staff on board could not have been more helpful! The steward offered to mind baby if I had to go to the toilet, heated bottles no fuss and were just great! This time we used the baby chair on offer and it worked for sleeping purposes too though the bassinet is better.
In all, despite some problems with flight connections, I would recommend BA (and especially as the luggage allowance for a baby is 23kg as opposed to 10kg with Cathay, etc.!).