Transatlantic flights to Ireland


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
My wife and I are planning a trip to Ireland for the early fall and are looking for flights from Boston to Ireland. So far we've found really good direct flights from Boston to Shannon on American Airlines (AA) and Aer Lingus (AL). From what I've read on some travel-oriented forums (infrequent posts, mostly complaints) neither airline is a stunning performer, to put it mildly. The AA flight would be on a 757 and I'm pretty sure there would be no seat-back entertainment screens. I'm pretty sure you get meals complimentary, but you have to pay for the booze. On AL, I think it's the same situation (no personal screens, free "meal", pay for liquor).

I've flown AA domestically many times and it is run of the mill, ho-hum service. I'm not sure I want that for a 6 hour transatlantic flight. I've only flown main-line European carriers on these flights in the past (and certainly appreciated the freeze booze, entertainment units, etc.), but I'm trying to be a little more price-conscious now.

Does anyone have significant positive or negative experiences with these two airlines on cross-ocean flights? In one sense the flight is only a means of getting to the real trip--driving around Ireland!--so I think I'm willing to do without some of the niceties I've had in the past... unless someone screams "don't do it!"

Oh, and does Aer Lingus finally allow iPods to be used in-flight?

Thanks everyone! :)


macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
We've had fairly good experiences with Aer Lingus, but only because they seem to be more understanding of our travelling with small children - allowing early boarding, offering us the bulkhead seats, providing basinets when the kids were babies, and NOT singling me out for a personal search when I'm carrying a carry-on bag, stroller, diaper bag and a screaming 4 month old as AA security did once ...

I've never been told not to play my iPod by airline staff ... by my wife, yes, while she was struggling to entertain a three year old, but not the flight attendants.

One of the airlines, I think AA, has slightly wider spaced seats, which is a big advantage if you're 6'2" tall.

A six hour flight is nothing - try flying from the west coast some time.


macrumors regular
May 26, 2004
Massachusetts, USA
I flew AL to Shannon in March '04, and it was, to use your words, "ho hum." Not sure the type of plane, but it was 2-aisle-4-aisle-2 for seating, and fairly well packed. It was OK, and I wasn't scarred for life. No seatback screens, one meal and a snack or two. I was 16, so I don't know about booze. The cool thing was that all the flight attendents had Irish accents, though most were older and somewhat cranky (it was a red-eye flight, so understandable somewhat).

I would just go with the cheaper flight, as both airlines seem to be about the same comfort-wise. Have a great time. I loved Ireland! :cool:


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Yeah, I'm thinking we'll just go with one of those airlines and spend the savings on ourselves around Ireland. I think I read that some people have had problems getting their AA frequent flier miles when traveling on Aer Lingus (both in the same group--One World?). So maybe it'll be AA... though having an Irish crew (and not being on a 757) could be a nice start to the trip.


macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2005
ebow said:
Yeah, I'm thinking we'll just go with one of those airlines and spend the savings on ourselves around Ireland.
Good idea! you might be in for a shock at the cost of things here.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
riciad said:
Good idea! you might be in for a shock at the cost of things here.
Maybe only a small shock--I've read how it's one of the more expensive countries in Europe. Taking after the British in that way, huh? ;) Fortunately most of my previous time in Europe was in the UK, so I've come to expect those kinds of prices. Unfortunately the exchange rate was better back then. Well, here's hoping to a rise in the value of the USD by October!