10 Things You Didn't Know About Dublin Airport
As Dublin Airport celebrates 75 years in operation, we check out the hidden gems that are on offer!
Over 20 million passengers pass through Dublin Airport each year. Such is the tediousness of travel these days, however, many of us do so like zombies, plodding from bag drop to boarding without really getting the most out of the experience. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s my pick of the best tricks and treats the airport has to offer – tips that combine not only to make your airport visit a little easier… but (gasp!) more enjoyable too.
1. It has a cool Pinterest account
Dublin Airport was named World’s Best Airport on Twitter for the second year running in last year’s Moodies. Its Pinterest is even better – not least for its collection of vintage aviation posters and historical memorabilia like this 1980s snap of a Pepsi-branded Concorde. Aviation is ripe for nostalgia, and the airport milks it magically.
2. You can pick up your shopping on return
Don’t want to carry your airport shopping on holidays? The Loop has a Shop & Collect service in both terminals that allows passengers to pick up their purchases on return – they’ll even send a text reminding you when you land.
3. It’s got pool tables
Get your hustle on. T2 has a pair of pool tables hidden away under the vaulted area at the back of the Oak Cafe Bar. If you’ve got time before security, or are waiting on an incoming plane, pop €2 in the slot and start working your magic on that saucy red felt...
The R108 offers ringside runway seats
Ok, the seats are in your car, but a spot of plane-watching from the Old Airport Road or R108 is one of the best free afternoons out in Dublin. The road runs parallel to Runway 10/28 (about a 25-minute walk from the terminal exit, if you’re not driving), allowing aviation geeks / #avgeeks the chance to see (and hear) landings up close and personal.
5. €20 buys you three hours in a fancy lounge
For €20, paying customers can nab three hours’ access to the airside executive lounge facilities in T1 and T2, regardless of airline or ticket class. Complimentary drinks, snacks, newspapers and notifications of any impending delays or departures are included. Beats three hours in Harvest Market, anyway.
6. You can smoke airside in T1
Gone are the days when jet-setting passengers lit up like the cast of Mad Men as soon as they boarded a plane. Gone are the days, in fact, when anyone could smoke in Dublin Airport. If you’re flying from T1, however, and are desperate for a final puff, there is an airside smoking area in the Garden Terrace Bar. It’s on the way to Gates 101-121/201-220.
7. There’s some nifty art knocking about
If you’ve passed through T2, you’ll know Kevin Abosch’s Faces of Ireland exhibition (pictured above). But these 250 portraits are far from the only art knocking around the airport. At the entrance roundabout, Richard Enda King’s 55-foot granite and concrete work ‘Spirit of the Air’ evokes an airplane tail fin, and T2’s landside spaces are tied together by the yellow arcs and ellipses of Isobel Nolan’s ‘Turning Point’.
8. You can fast-track security for €5.95
Dublin’s Airport Genie service allows passengers to buy bundled services upgrading their airport experience. €5.95 bags you a place in the fast-track boarding pass channel, along with a free coffee, tea or water and SMS flight status updates. Check out fast track.
9. Its Old Terminal is awesome
Passengers walking the skybridge between Terminal 1 and Pier D get a lovely, sweeping view of Dublin Airport’s Old Terminal Building. Designed by Desmond FitzGerald (brother of the former Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald), the 1930s building echoes the form of an ocean liner and, although it does continue to house some boarding gates, the best way to see is by taking a guided tour during Open House Dublin or you get to use this terminal if you're chartering a jet!
10. You can say your prayers before departure
Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church, located behind the T1 car park, recently celebrated its 50th birthday. Dickie Rock got married here (in a wedding covered by Pathé News, yegadz). The airport also has a Salvation Army Chaplain, and a multi-faith prayer room in T2.