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There is little choice of lounge at Terminal 1 in Dublin, and so most airlines and memberships use the DAA Executive Lounge. You can see from the list who provides access.

Located between the security checkpoints the lounge is on the first floor, accessible via this lift.

Once you enter the lounge you need to sign in with the staff – to the right as you exit the lift. They are great at explaining how it works. Basically, both sides of the lift are the same although in my experience, the area to the left of the lift is larger and quieter. My recent visit was an early morning and they had breakfast going. Yoghurt, break, jam, muffins, pastries and cereals were all available.

There are plenty of seating areas, although not that many power sockets.

There was a choice of newspapers and the WiFi was free.

A decent lounge, not spectacular, but better than the gate areas which can get very busy.

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British Airways B747-400

There are strong winds forecast for today in the UK and it appears that the National Air Traffic Services and Heathrow have asked airlines to reduce the number of flights today.

So far it doesn’t look too bad, with flights to Dublin, Madrid, Aberdeen, Manchester, Brussels, Milan, Geneva, Edinburgh, Rome, Barcelona, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle, Amsterdam and Rotterdam all seem to have lost 1-2 flights today as cancellations.

Well worth checking before leaving the house.

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I was in Dublin recently for the Flyertalk Moderator’s Event. Looking for a couple of Hilton stays I chose the Conrad during the Hilton Summer Sale. Priced at EUR149 (non-refundable) it was a pretty good deal. At checkout of the purchase I was offered a chance to upgrade to a suite, on a standby basis, for EUR69. Two days before I arrived the hotel emailed to confirm the upgrade and I was duly charged the additional fee.

Arriving after a long journey from the airport in the rain, I was glad to be inside the cosy Reception area.

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The Reception desk required just my credit to confirm my identity. Producing the card, the agent explained that breakfast was included as a Diamond HHonors member and that I did not need a voucher. She provided a code for the WiFi in the room and pretty soon I was off to the lifts, just up the stairs, and to my room.

ROOM
Located at the end of the corridor, I opened the door to a proper two room suite.

There was a proper Nespresso machine in the room with plenty of capsules.

BEDROOM

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BATHROOM

The large bathroom with a tub, separate shower, plenty of towels and some nice toiletries.

THE BURGER TEST

The weather was so bad that I decided to stay in and have Room Service dinner. The beef sliders were lovely:

The separate chocolate cake was pretty nice:

The view from the window of was of the Dublin Library:

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It was a good night’s sleep and I went down to breakfast early. They operate both a hot and cold buffet as part of the Diamond Breakfast offering. You can also order items form the menu which were either free or chargable for a small number of Euros. In truth the buffet was more than adequate and the toast they brought to the table was super.

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A special mention for the cheery red flowers in the Reception.

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20-10-2014 12-00-30

Book by the 26 October and Quidco will credit £10 to your account for each booking. Seems a really good offer to me as you can book for as little as £36 per night at some Best Western Properties.

Full details here.

If you are not a member of Quidco you can join via this sponsored link. (Be aware that Quidco may charge an annual fee).

 

 

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I had a reasonably long layover at Cancun Airport recently, between my American Airlines and USAirways flights in Terminal 3. Luckily my Priority Pass account gave me access to the only lounge in the terminal. Access is fairly restricted in that no airlines seem to provide access for their club members, with most people being turned away (or asked to pay), by the friendly agent on duty.

The lounge is through the huge Duty Free Shop and right at Bubba Gumps!

The entrance to the lounge:

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If you see this area, you have gone too far:

There are a number of areas within the lounge, although the seats are primarily low sofas. Electrical outlets are fairly scarce but I managed to locate one towards the back, just past the drinks.

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When I arrived there were only biscuits out in terms of food, but small rolls arrived around lunchtime. There was a self-service coffee machine and cans of soft drinks in the fridge.

There are several large TV screen hanging from the ceiling – some with English and some with Spanish stations. The lounge was pretty restful until a family of 6 arrived, including 2 small children, over whom the parents exerted zero control. By the time they left I felt that I needed a drink to recover from the shouting, crying, screaming and bad behaviour.

There is a code for the WiFi which is displayed on signs around the lounge. It was fairly fast and certainly adequate for my need to catch up on email. As I knew my flight to Charlotte would have no in-seat power, I made sure everything was charged before I left the lounge.

The airport terminal is airy, light and modern and I went for a walk whilst waiting for my flight. The agent at the entrance was fine with this.

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The only unfortunate thing is the plumbing, which requires this notice in the toilet:

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(As my bank pays for my Priority Pass membership as part of my monthly fee, this visit cost me nothing. Airport Angel membership is also accepted.)

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I chose to try the Hilton Garden Inn at JFK having tried some of the other properties there. I wrote recently about the hideous Radisson JFK Airport hotel.

The hotel web site indicates that their shuttle leaves Federal Circle on the JFK AirTrain at :00 and :30 and a combination of a late arrival on USAirways and a slow AirTrain meant that I arrived just in time for the bus. It wasn’t there! Having called the hotel I learned that both the hotel’s black bus and the Sheraton Hotel bus stop at the hotel. Pretty soon the mystery black bus, with signs printed and displayed in the window arrived. As you can see there is no livery on the side.

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Arriving at the hotel, after travelling over one of the bumpiest roads I have ever travelled, after about 10 minutes.

The Reception is small but there was no wait as two members of staff were serving.

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The agent gave me two bottles of water and breakfast coupons as a Diamond HHonors member. I had pre-checked in using the Hilton App (you can read a review here), and was given the keys to the room on the 6th floor (611) I had selected.

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The lifts are pretty slow at this property. Like many airport hotels the rooms are not large. However, the bed was comfortable, the WiFi free, the water hot and the room cool. About all I ever ask. The bedroom:

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Air Con Unit is through the wall:

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Bathroom:

Check-out was a little slow as they needed to work out how to apply some US$ I wanted to use, but I was ready by the time the bus was ready to leave. All the passengers (3 of us), were going to Terminal 7 and so we were kerbside after about 15 minutes.

The property is solid, provides what it offers and is well located for the airport. The combined shuttle with the Sheraton provides a good service to the hotel. (The Sheraton is right behind the Hilton Garden Inn.)

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British Airways B747-400

British Airways has for a long time offered a discount on their tickets if you cash in some of your Avios. Typical savings are:

£10 for 1,500 Avios
£30 for 4,500 Avios
£50 for 7,500 Avios

You can now save £100 if you exchange 15,000 Avios.

If you are Avios rich and cash poor this is not too bad a deal. You still earn full Avios and Tier Points if you use the discount.

Avios Discounts

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I wrote recently about a very disappointing experience at the Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5. These rooms only exist at Heathrow and JFK and are reserved for the must frequent flyers and First Class passengers of British Airways.

So, I was unsure what to expect at the ‘other’ club on my return from JFK.

Concorde Room JFK

The room, located near Gate 1 at JFK and near where the Premium Security line at Terminal 7 comes out, was an oasis of peace. When I arrived, about 3 hours before my flight, it had about 4 people in it. The Heathrow lounge was packed and had nowhere to eat in contrast.

Concorde Room JFK

Concorde Room JFK

The room consists of a number of different sitting areas, has access to computers and a printer, and is self-contained with its own luggage storage and bathrooms. The unfortunate thing is that the Elemis Spa treatments are done in the main lounge, about a 5 minute walk away.

The staff in the lounge are superb. They are out in the lounge, topping up drinks, asking people if they wish for anything else and generally be as attentive as you could ask.

There is a separate restaurant area where you can sit at tables for 1, 2 or 4 people and enjoy a freshly prepared meal.

Concorde Room JFK Computers

Concorde Room JFK Dining Area

I had Butternut Squash wedges, a New York Strip steak and an ice-cream dessert:

Concorde Room JFK Dining Starter

Concorde Room JFK Dining Entree

Concorde Room JFK Dining Dessert

The lounge occupancy ebbed and flowed as passengers arrived and left for their flights. There was never really a problem with seating as the lounge never filled. A screaming baby did disrupt the peace briefly.

At boarding time the staff made an announcement as boarding was starting and I was at Gate 5 for boarding in about 2 minutes.

All round this was a great experience and so much better than my experience at Heathrow.

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Having been turned away from the Flagship Check-in at JFK, I was pleased that access to the Flagship Lounge had not been changed. To obtain access you show your boarding pass at the entrance with an appropriate OneWorld status card if you obtain access that way. I was on an Avios award ticket in First Class on a three class plane, and held Emerald status by virtue of my British Airways Gold Card. The staff came around the desk to swipe the key to give me access to the Flagship side of the lounge.

I was there so early in the morning that I had the room to myself for about 30 minutes, before the overnight flights arrived.

There were plenty of seating areas to choose:

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The excellent breakfast food service was laid out – hot and cold items readily available:

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The quiche/flan was excellent I must say and made a decent change from the inevitable scrambled eggs.

There was a toaster for the bread and bagels:

The staff were out and about in the lounge for my whole stay clearing the tables and refreshing the food.

The WiFi in the lounge is free and accessible without a password.

You can read about another visit to the lounge here

This is a good lounge and decently compares to many European lounges, and therefore far better than the Standard Admirals Club next door.

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Amex Gold

My basic UK Amex Preferred Rewards Gold Card has loaded some new offers in the past couple of days.

1. Premier Inn
Spend £100 or more and get a £20 statement credit before 16 December.

2. First Great Western trains
Spend £50 or more and a £10 statement credit before 19 November.

3. The Savoy Hotel
Spend £500 or more and get £100 credit before 30 December.

4. Thistle and Gouman
Spend £100 or more and get £50 back before 16 December.

5. Thomas Pink
Spend £100 or more and get £20 back before 16 November.

6. World Duty Free
Spend £50 and get £5 back before 10 November.

You can get £10.50 via Topcashback in the UK for sign-up for the Preferred Rewards Gold Card. Details here. If you are not a Topcashback member you can join using this sponsored link.

Posted by MilesFromBlighty | No Comments

I love the signs that airport lounges put up to ‘help’ visitors.
Two in particular have recently caught my attention.

THE OPTIMISTIC IRISH
The DAA Executive Lounge in Terminal 1 at Dublin
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has a sign which seems more out of desperation than hope

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there is no check on how many drinks you actually have!

THE DISAPPOINTING IN CANCUN
The Executive Lounge in Terminal 2 at Cancun
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No wonder the image shows the person holding their head back!

Do you have favourite signs at airport lounges?

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