Belfast Airport - is it safe?

Oct 25th, 2000, 07:27 AM
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Belfast Airport - is it safe?

Hi. Is the Belfast Airport safe to fly into and rent a car? Husband and I do not plan to tour through the area - just flying in and driving out. We got a great price on the airline tickets, and I am wondering if it's worth it. Should we just pay the extra money and fly into Dublin instead?
Oct 25th, 2000, 08:40 AM
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Well, I've never had a problem there, my family lives in the northeast part of Donegal, and Belfast is our airport of choice. If you want to drive round the Antrim coast, you might try the Drumnareagh outside Antrim for your first night. Lovely food there, and you can see Scotland if the weather is relatively clear.

I addressed the Belfast airport on another thread a few weeks ago, look for a thread about getting from Heathrow to Ireland. Most of the North is perfectly safe; what violence there is has mostly been isolated in working-class city neighborhoods and certain towns that very few tourists are likely to go near.
Some of the most beautiful scenery in the country is in the North, and the local people tend to be very kind to tourists from the US; they are eager to develop the tourism market, and they want you to speak well of the place.
Oct 25th, 2000, 08:54 AM
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Belfast is perfectly safe. It's much safer than the vast majority of U.S. cities. Like any city, there are certain areas you avoid. The airport is not one of them.

If you are renting a car, make sure that the rental agency is aware that you plan to take the car across the border. You may have to pay a small additional fee, like 10 pounds (although I haven't had to pay that the last few times I've rented). It's just for insurance purposes.

You're missing out on a lot if you don't explore that area. The Antrim Coast Road is spectacular, and Belfast itself is a lovely city. Just don't try to drive in the city! The Mountains of Mourne defy words, and there are some great hikes and drives through the mountains, which really do sweep down to the sea.

I'm curious about your fare, though. Are you leaving from Toronto? That's the only place I've ever been able to find a really good fare to Belfast from.
Oct 25th, 2000, 09:17 AM
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Heather, I have to add my voice to the others. Belfast airport is as safe, as any other in Europe and maybe even more so due to extra safety precautions. As the previous poster stated, Norther Ireland is a wonderful place to visit, and the people are very warm, have a great trip.Once we drove from Dublin to Belfast, it's quite a long drive, not miles per se, but the roads are kind of twisty turney and it seemed to us to be a very lengthy drive.
Oct 25th, 2000, 10:17 AM
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In response to Michael about the air fare - we are using frequent flier miles to get to Heathrow (USAir doesn't fly to Dublin, unfortunately), and I was comparing flights from there to Ireland. It's much cheaper to fly from Heathrow to Belfast, than from Heathrow to Dublin. Thanks to everyone for your responses!
Oct 25th, 2000, 10:24 AM
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I actually found Belfast Airport to be less congested that Dublin Airport.
My brother in law traveling on a Irish passport was plucked from our group in Dublin Airport and subjected to a thorough search and questioning. We all had American passports and were flying in from US. Belfast Airport on the way home was a breeze! And we had all kinds of shopping bags, etc.
The North has breathtaking scenery (well so does the south and the east and you get the picture) but Northern Ireland gets very little attention as a tourist area. Please stop and look around while you are there. Have a pint in a local pub and speak to some very friendly folks who are very happy to see you! Have a great trip!
Oct 25th, 2000, 01:42 PM
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Heather, it sounds like you've already booked your flight, but if you haven't, you may be able to save some money.

Even though my wife and I fly to Ireland twice a year, we go with whatever airline has the best fare, and so don't rack up that many frequent flyer miles with one airline. The only time we used miles, I assumed the 40K or 50K miles with United would only get us to London, and then we'd have to pay for the London-Belfast leg. I was wrong. Luckily, the United rep asked me if London was my final destination, and when I said no, she told me that the miles are good for U.S. to Europe, and so that included the London-Belfast leg. That must have saved us $300-$400. So double check with your airline.

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