Travel Note

22nd May 2010

The long haul flight between Dublin and Orlando is operated as an all-economy service. However, since the aircraft used for the route has a business class section passengers can upgrade to a premium seat for a nominal fee. Though none of the other business class perks are included the only one that really matters on a transatlantic crossing is the legendary lie-flat bed, or to be more accurate, the lie-at-an-angle bed. To describe this as comfortable is stretching the definition somewhat, but it was a certainly a vast improvement on my usual cattle class, and good enough to give me a solid six hours of sleep. It's certainly something I'd be willing to pay for again, as the cost, though hardly negligible, is relatively insignificant when taken as a percentage of a complete holiday.

Arriving in Orlando brought me sharply back to reality. The fun started with a troublesome jetway that took just under ten minutes to position. There was a temporary respite with extremely efficient immigration procedures, but then it was necessary to recheck my bag (despite Orlando being my final destination) and clear security again before collecting my bag a second time on the other side of the airport. I'm sure it makes sense to someone, but...

As a regular traveller I've adopted a number of tips from the recent movie Up in the Air, not least priority cards for car rental and hotels. The former meant that my rental car was waiting for me on the way out of the second baggage reclaim, saving at least an hour over my last trip to Orlando. Movie fans should note, however, that despite all appearances I'm not expecting to accumulate ten million frequent flyer miles in this lifetime, though that might change if a certain Irish low fare airline adds such as a scheme. I'm not holding my breath though.

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