Flying time to Ireland is 6½ hours from New York, 7½ hours from Chicago, 10 hours from Los Angeles, and 1 hour from London.
Flying into Ireland involves few hassles, although an increase in traffic in the last decade has caused a slight increase in flight delays and time spent waiting for baggage to clear customs. Flights within Ireland tend to be filled with business travelers. Increased competition on internal routes has led internal flights to be competitive with rail travel if you can travel outside peak business hours. However, given problems with passenger numbers and long lines for security clearance at Dublin Airport, rail is often preferable.
Checking in and boarding an outbound plane tends to be civilized. Security is professional but not overbearing, and airport staffers are usually helpful and patient. In the busy summer season lines can get long, and you should play it safe and arrive a couple of hours before your flight.
Airlines and Airports
Airline and Airport Links.com. This Web site has links to many of the world's airlines and airports. www.airlineandairportlinks.com.
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration. Everything you need to know about security before you go to an airport. www.tsa.gov.
The major gateways to Ireland are Dublin Airport (DUB) on the east coast, 10 km (6 miles) north of the city center, and Shannon Airport (SNN) on the west coast, 25 km (16 miles) west of Limerick. Two airports serve Belfast: Belfast International Airport (BFS) at Aldergrove, 24 km (15 miles) from the city, handles local and U.K. flights, as well as all other international traffic; Belfast City Airport (BHD), 6½ km (4 miles) from the city, handles local and U.K. flights only. In addition, the City of Derry Airport (LDY) receives flights from Liverpool, London Stansted, and Glasgow in the United Kingdom. If you plan to visit mainly the Southwest of Ireland, use Cork Airport (ORK), which handles flights from Dublin and the U.K., and has direct flights from Paris, Malaga, and Rome.
City of Derry Airport (028/7181–0784. www.cityofderryairport.com.)
Cork Airport (021/431–3131. www.corkairport.com.)
Dublin Airport (01/814–1111. www.dublinairport.com.)
George Best Belfast City Airport (028/9093–9093. www.belfastcityairport.com.)
Belfast International Airport at Aldergrove (028/9448–4848. www.belfastairport.com.)
Shannon Airport (061/712–000. www.shannonairport.com.)
From North America and the United Kingdom, Aer Lingus, the national flag carrier, has the greatest number of direct flights to Ireland.
Aer Lingus operates regularly scheduled flights to Shannon and/or Dublin from New York's JFK (John F. Kennedy Airport), Chicago's O'Hare, Boston, and Orlando. Delta has a daily departure from New York's JFK that flies first to Shannon and then to Dublin. Continental flies daily direct to Dublin, Shannon, and Belfast, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. With the exception of special offers, the prices of the three airlines tend to be similar. London to Dublin is one of the world's busiest international air routes. Aer Lingus, British Airways, BMI, and CityJet all have several daily flights. Ryanair—famous for its cheap, no-frills service—offers several daily flights from London Gatwick, Luton, and Stansted airports. With such healthy competition, bargains abound. British Airways, BMI, and EasyJet offer regularly scheduled flights to Belfast from London Gatwick, Luton, and Stansted airports.
Within Ireland, Aer Lingus provides service to Dublin, Galway, Kerry, and Shannon. Aer Arann Express flies from Dublin to Derry, Donegal, Galway, Knock, and Sligo. British Airways has daily service between Dublin and Derry.
Aer Lingus (800/474–7424 or 353/818-365000. www.aerlingus.com.)
British Airways (800/247–9297 or 353/1890–626747. www.ba.com.)
CityJet (818/776–057. www.cityjet.com.)
Delta Airlines (800/221–1212. www.delta.com.)
Ryanair (15/5092–7030; 0818/303030 within Ireland; 44/(0)871 246 0000 in UK. www.ryanair.com.)
United Airlines (800/864–8331. www.united.com.)
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