There seems to be a stigma attached in choosing to use Dublin Airport for your travels / holidays:
- “It’s too far away”
- “Too much hassle”
- “Too early to leave for flights”
- “Couldn’t be bothered”
- “Too expensive”
All of these are wrong, and couldn’t be further from the truth!!
- Has more flight choices than Belfast
- Has more destinations to travel to.
- Has serious #NInja value on flight choices
- Is the “gateway” to the United States and worldwide destinations.
- And is only 90 mins from Belfast
How to get there – car / bus
So how to get there? By car is the easiest option of course and is only a 90 min drive from Belfast.
The journey couldn’t be simpler, get onto the M1, turn off at Sprucefield on the A1 to Newry and stay on that road until the turnoff for the airport – couldn’t be easier!
You will need 2EURO for the toll road (each way) but just have that ready and sail through the cash ready lane!
Once in the airport area, there are 3 or 4 carparking options based on your budget and are within either walking distance, or a short shuttle bus ride to the terminals.
Pre-booking online will save you money and is the easiest option.
If you don’t fancy driving, then the AirCoach bus from the Europa Bus Centre on Glengall Street is a great alternative.
There is a bus leaving every hour on the half hour and is only £13 single or £19 return for cash fares.
There is a slight discount (about 4%) if you book online so that would be recommended. AND they offer free WIFI onboard, nice!!
Choice of Routes / Prices
Due to the size of the airport (2 terminals) there is obviously a lot more choice on offer on destinations to fly to.
Low cost wise, using an example of someone like Ryanair, they fly to over 85 different destinations in Europe! (compared to 14 destinations from Belfast!)
But the worldwide options are even more enticing – with direct routes to, for example, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Canada and the USA.
And the euro rate means that the flight prices can be very keen and competitive when comparing to flying from Belfast.
Dublin Airport – Terminals
Dublin Airport has two massive terminals.
Terminal 1 is the older one, while the futuristic and modern looking Terminal 2 opened in 2010 and primarily deals with the worldwide international flights, and acts as an Aer Lingus hub. (*and there are plans afoot for a 3rd terminal to be built!)
Both terminals have a much greater range and choice of shopping and leisure options while you are waiting for your flight departure than, for example, Belfast International Airport.
In both terminals there are lounges and areas available for people that want to escape the mayhem of the main terminals – and a lot of time they can be great value compared to eating, drinking and chilling in the main terminals!
On this particular visit, the #NInja decided to take in 51st & Green (The US PreClearance Lounge) in Terminal 2 before a flight to the east coast of the USA.
The Lounge is a safe haven away from the madness of the main terminal waiting areas.
- The Experience
The lounge is zoned by activity, allowing customers to spend their time as they wish and giving them space to relax, work, play or eat as they wait to be called to their boarding gate, located just moments away.
The area is bright spacious and engaging, and right beside the runway to check out planes coming and going!
- The Food Ethos
The lounge offers a wide range of healthy and nutritious dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce. The dishes have been specially selected to showcase Irish food with an American twist.
Dishes include Kenmare Smoked Salmon, New England Clam Chowder, Irish Coastline Fish Pie and Macaroni & Cheese. But let me tell you, you sometimes can’t beat a couple of slices of some fresh wheaten bread!
- The Coffee Culture
The lounge offers freshly brewed coffee from their very own Barista Bar, with coffee beans blended exclusively for 51st&Green by Cloud Picker, a micro-roastery located only 9km from the lounge.
The food and drink is complemented by a warm, welcoming service, allowing customers to enjoy the last few minutes of Irish hospitality and a welcome taste of American service ahead.
The cost of entry to this lounge is 39Euro at desk (or 35Euro if you prebook online), and includes a LOT of other perks:
- Complimentary drinks and snacks
- Complimentary WIFI
- Computer Access
- Luxury Shower Rooms
- Entertainment area with sports channels
- Printing facilities
- Charging Outlests for multiple devices
- Private area for Platinum Customers
- Notification of flight & departure times
If you consider what you would spend in the main terminal on a sandwich, some snacks, soft drinks and a couple of alcoholic drinks (at the inflated airport price rate!) then its great value in comparison.
Also, the lounge is right beside the departure gates if you are travelling to the USA – so why not chillax like a #NInja instead of the crazy frantic nature of the main terminal waiting areas!
US Pre Clearance
When you are flying from Dublin to the United States of America on a direct flight route you have the benefit of doing all the customs and pre-clearance on this side of the pond before you get to the States!
This means that when you arrive in the USA you are treated as a domestic flyer and simply head to the baggage reclaim to pick up your bag and leave!
Be sure to leave enough time to get through this though – you are effectively going through another security check, then queuing to go through a customs agent – and if you are departing in the morning (when most USA flights leave Dublin) this area can get crowded and congested … and you don’t want to miss your flight!!
It is understandable that the first preference for most NI holiday-makers / travellers is to fly from one of the two main Belfast airports – however considering its relative proximity, you would be foolish to discount the options available from Dublin.
If the destination is somewhere that is available from both Belfast and Dublin, work out how much its worth to fly from Dublin if it’s cheaper – I mean for the sake of £30-40 then you could argue that it’s not really worth it … BUT if its £30-40pp in a family of 4 then a £120 saving is better for your holiday spending money than paying to fly from Belfast. In summary, all #NInjas should use all available travel options that are on offer!!