Aer Lingus has once again been named as the only Irish airline to win a highly prized 4-star rating by independent airline auditors Skytrax.
The top accolade comes as the Irish carrier continues its ambitious ongoing investment plans, taking delivery of new state-of-the-art aircraft, launching new transatlantic routes and transforming its services for guests on the ground and in the air.
Skytrax, the international air transport rating organisation, awarded the Dublin-based airline following a range of rigorous audits, which measured the quality of its product and service standards.
Mike Rutter, Aer Lingus Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have worked hard to maintain the 4-star rating originally awarded in 2016, by improving our high standards of service to guests. Our guest experience is constantly evolving and improving as the needs of travellers today are ever-changing. We do ongoing “Voice of Guest” surveys, which enable us to be fully tuned into what our guests want and deliver on these.
“Pivotal also to our overall customer satisfaction rating has been greater capacity and new destinations. This summer we are operating our largest ever transatlantic schedule flying to 14 North American destinations, including a new direct service to Minneapolis from Dublin commencing on 1 July 2019. The airline’s long-haul schedule boasts a record three million seats to North America in 2019. On short-haul, our summer schedule added close to 300,000 extra summer seats to Europe this year.
“Looking forward, we are confident that we will maintain and further improve our guest experience, as we continue to execute our ambitious growth strategy. For example, soon we will roll out a full business class product refresh, 20MB of free WiFi and complimentary beer and wine for long-haul economy guests.”
Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO, said: “Aer Lingus continues to build on the 4-star foundations established over the last 3 years with a number of product innovations observed onboard and in the airport. The airline continues to improve the proposition for Business Class guests with a new lounge for US departures, and we are anticipating further changes to the Economy Class catering service that will enhance the customer experience further.
“A leading factor in an airline’s Star Rating is front line staff service quality, and Aer Lingus excels in this area for both the ground service standards at its Dublin hub, as well as cabin crew service across the network."
In recent years, Aer Lingus has invested heavily in airport facilities including a new and more efficient flight connections centre, as the airline continues to drive its strategy of expanding the Dublin base into a major European transatlantic gateway.
The airline offers seamless connections from Europe and the UK to its destinations across North America. Connecting via Dublin and Shannon, Aer Lingus guests can experience the benefit of US Immigration Preclearance before they depart, which allows them to avoid lengthy queues upon arrival in the US.
Guests flying with the airline can enjoy a refreshed complimentary drinks and dining service on long-haul flights, and watch the latest blockbusters and TV shows, with new improved earphones, via Aer Lingus’ inflight entertainment system.
New ambient LED mood-lighting has also been introduced in cabins to help guests relax with a dim lavender used during take-off and the flight. During overnight flights a sunrise is simulated when it’s time to wake up. The carefully curated lighting settings have been chosen with the wellbeing of guests through each phase of the flight in mind.
Short-haul travellers can now also enjoy a more premium inflight experience thanks to the introduction of AerSpace, designed to give guests more space to work and relax, by keeping the middle seat free and by providing dedicated baggage space and lounge access.
The airline has also revamped its digital platforms with significant improvements to aerlingus.com and the mobile app, including the introduction of Apple Pay and Pay with Avios. This has led to a more customised and intuitive digital experience for guests.
As the only Irish airline to receive a 4-star rating, Aer Lingus is one of a select group of only 42 airlines worldwide, and only 14 in Europe, to offer a 4-star guest experience.
Aer Lingus offers onward transatlantic connections to 13 destinations throughout North America via Dublin where guests can pre-clear US customs, by departing from scores of airports across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, among many others.
Guests can also take advantage of the airline’s generous 23kg baggage allowance on long-haul flights, including complimentary drinks, dining and in-flight entertainment.