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. There are few domestic flights within Ireland. Government subsidies were withdrawn following the completion of the highway (motorway) system, and an increase in express train services. The only survivor is the Kerry-to-Dublin route and the short flights to the Aran Islands. 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 the lines can get long, and you should play it safe by arriving a couple of hours before your flight.
Airlines and Airports
Airline and Airport Links.com. This website 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, including access to fast track in the U.S., can be found here. 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 international traffic; George Best 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 the United Kingdom, as well as from Paris, Malaga, and Rome.
Belfast International Airport. 028/9448–4848; www.belfastairport.com.
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.
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 flies to Shannon and Dublin from New York's JFK (John F. Kennedy Airport), Chicago's O'Hare, Boston, San Francisco, and Orlando. Delta has a daily departure from New York's JFK to Dublin, and American Airlines flies to Dublin from New York’s JFK and Chicago. United flies direct to Dublin, Shannon, and Belfast, departing daily from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Except for special offers, prices for the four airlines tend to be similar. London to Dublin is one of the world's busiest international routes. Aer Lingus, British Airways, Flybe, and CityJet all have several daily flights. Ryanair—famous for its cheap, no-frills service—runs several daily flights from London Gatwick, Luton, and Stansted airports to Dublin, Kerry, Shannon, Cork, and Ireland West Airport Knock. With such healthy competition, bargains abound. British Airways, Flybe, and EasyJet run regularly scheduled flights to Belfast from Birmingham, Manchester, London Gatwick, Luton, and Stansted airports.
Within Ireland, Aer Lingus Regional provides service from Dublin to Kerry. Flybe flies from Dublin to Donegal.
Aer Lingus. 516/622–4222; 1890/800-600; www.aerlingus.com.
American Airlines. 800/433–7300; 818/710–299; www.aa.com.
British Airways. 800/247–9297; 1890/626–747; www.ba.com.
CityJet. 818/710–202; www.cityjet.com.
Delta Airlines. 800/221–1212; www.delta.com.
EasyJet. 0330/365–5000; www.easyjet.com.
Flybe. 1392/683–152; 0371/700–2000; www.flybe.com.
Ryanair. 0871/246–0002; 1520/444–004; 0871/246–0000; www.ryanair.com.
United Airlines. 800/864–8331; www.united.com.