Ted is pictured here in one of the ‘throne seats’ on an Aer Lingus flight from Manchester to JFK Airport
A private jet from the UK to New York is a financially unobtainable luxury for most.But there is a much more affordable alternative – business class on an Aer Lingus single-aisle Airbus A321neo.
The aircraft recently made its debut on the Irish flag carrier’s new route between Manchester and New York and I was lucky enough to bag a seat on it in business class, 마사지샵 discovering that it has a definite private jet vibe – as long as you don’t look behind the curtain into economy.
Snare, as I did, one of the coveted single ‘throne’ berths – they alternate with rows of paired seats – and the experience is elevated to feeling like royalty.
I didn’t feel so princely earlier in the day, though, when my pre-booked ‘executive’ Uber to London Euston (for a train to Manchester) from my flat in the south of the capital arrived at 4.45am for a 5am pick-up, then drove off at 5.01am as I descended the stairs to head out of the door, forcing me to catch a night bus (see boxout for more on this Uber drama).
Still, I arrived at Euston with enough time for a selfie by the concourse Christmas tree before catching the rapid 6.16am Avanti West Coast Pendolino to Manchester Piccadilly.
Fast forward to 9am and I was on an almost-empty train from Piccadilly to Manchester Airport.Fifteen minutes later, I was striding through the hub on the hunt for Terminal 2, where the transatlantic Aer Lingus flights depart.
I found the Aer Lingus check-in desks at the shinier end of the terminal, by rows of self-service screens.
The seats in the single-aisle Aer Lingus A321 business-class cabin are arranged in a 4-2-4 formation
Ted’s Aer Lingus A321neo at Manchester Airport
Here mild panic ensued when the chirpy check-in official asked me for my PCR test certificate.I’d taken an (accepted) antigen test.
He then admitted that he thought they were the same thing.
(I suggest some training on this matter.)
After enduring a tortuous hour-long queue at security (though staff thoughtfully fast-tracked passengers with imminent flights), I made my way to the new 1903 Lounge, which my business-class ticket granted me access to.
It impressed.It’s spacious with plenty of comfy seating, there’s a nicely presented buffet of hot and cold food – including cooked breakfast items and 1833 vintage reserve cheddar from Somerset-based Barber’s, the world’s oldest cheddar-makers – and various alcoholic libations are proffered via eye-catching circular self-service counters.
The long-range Airbus A321neo has a 15 per cent reduction in fuel burn compared to a regular A321 and 16 fully lie-flat business-class seats (stock image)
The new 1903 Lounge at Manchester Airport, pictured, has floor-to-ceiling windows that afford glorious views of the Terminal 2 taxiway
The 1903 Lounge is named after the most important year in aviation history, when the Wright brothers cracked powered flight
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