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Airport advice / hotel / traffic

Tucson, Arizona
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Airport advice / hotel / traffic

We have a return flight to the US from Dublin at 10:35 on Tuesday 10/19. We will be arriving in Dublin 3-4pm the day before as we're visiting family in County Clare.

I'd like to visit a pub or walk around Trinity College a bit, so a downtown hotel sounds great. I am worried about traffic the next morning.

How long will it take to drive to the airport, return the car (Hertz), take the rental shuttle, etc. I know we should check in at least 2 hrs ahead, we have some slack as we can use the priority lines.

I'm thinking at least 30 minutes to drive (but don't know the traffic) + 30 minutes rental/shuttle, so to check in at 8:35am I have to leave by 7:30am. I can do that, but 6:30am is probably a deal breaker and I'd just go with an airport hotel and bypass my night in Dublin. We have two children with us so whatever hotel we land in will become home base and mobility will be limited the area around it.

Thanks in advance,

Greg

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

"I'm thinking at least 30 minutes to drive (but don't know the traffic) + 30 minutes rental/shuttle, so to check in at 8:35am I have to leave by 7:30am."

For a 10:35 departure to the US I would want to leave center city Dublin more than just 3 hours in advance of the departure time. It's probably a good idea to already be in the check-in line 3 hours before your flight.

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

Consider dropping off the car the afternoon before, stay at an hotel close to the airport, and take the bus into town. The bus will get closer to Trinity than you'll manage driving.

Edited: 30 September 2010, 19:19
Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

Under no circumstances should you consider driving in and around Dublin city centre. This is a really bad idea for visitors. Check out the Top Questions about Dublin section on the right hand side of the Dublin Forum and click on 'how can I get around Dublin?' to find out more about why. Apart from the driving issue, you'll may also run into difficulties with parking. Not all city centre hotels have it and those who either have it or have access to it will charge extra for its use.

If your flight is to the US you need to check in at least THREE hours before departure. If you are returning a car, then add another 30 mins to this.

Your best options are:

- return your car at DUB on your way back into the city and then take one of the transfers from DUB to the city centre.

Stay in a city centre hotel and enjoy your last night in Dublin. There's lots of suggestions for hotels to suit a wide range of budgets in the Top Questions about Dublin section - just click on 'where can I stay in Dublin?'

There's also lots of information on which transfer service you should take to and from DUB depending on where you choose to stay. The city centre is pretty compact so a lot of the recommended hotels in the TQs would be pretty close to Trinity. If you want us to make specific recommendations for hotels or traditional pubs in the immediate area to Trinity, just post again. If you give us an idea of your budget (preferably in euro) then we can make suitable recommendations for you.

If you stay in the city centre, you should aim to be in a taxi to DUB at least 30 mins before your check in time and on any of the other transfer service at about 45 mins - 1 hr before your check in time. You'll be heading out of the city centre to DUB against the flow of traffic once you leave the city centre, so that shouldn't be an issue for you. But it's far easier to let a bus or taxi negotiate this than trying to drive yourself.

- stay at an airport hotel with a free shuttle. Then take a bus to the city centre and back again, then take the free hotel shuttle to the airport. If this is an option for you, then the Holiday Inn Express and the Crowne Plaza Northwood are next door to each other in a pleasant, landscaped park area and often have great rates. These would be the closest to the city centre and you could pick up the 16a or 41 Dublin city buses (16a is better as it goes right across the city whereas the 41 terminates in the north city centre - Trinity is just across the river in the south city centre where most of the action is.). The shuttle back to DUB the next morning will take 10-15 mins at the very most and traffic should not be a problem (you'll be going against the flow).

www.dublinbus.ie

Another option for an airport hotel would be the Hilton Dublin Airport. It's about 15 mins from DUB by free hotel shuttle and the no. 42 bus to the city centre stops outside the door.

If you decide to go for an airport hotel, we'd suggest avoiding Bewley's Dublin Airport which has no public transport links and the Travelodges at Swords and Ballymun which have no shuttles.

You'll find more about airport hotels in the Top Questions about Dublin section under 'where can I stay in Dublin?'

- stay at Malahide, a pretty and upscale seaside suburb just 20 mins drive from DUB. Parking won't be a problem there so you could drive yourself to Malahide and back to DUB the next morning. Again, traffic on this route shouldn't be a problem. Malahide has its own DART station (Dublin Area Rapid Transit railway) and you can be in Dublin city centre in about 25 minutes (faster than most bus routes from airport hotels). Malahide also has a great dining scene, some really nice pubs, a marina, a castle, coastal walks and beaches, etc. so it's much more pleasant than a fairly soulless airport hotel and you have the option of spending a very pleasant evening there should you decide not to head to the city centre. Again, you'll find information on Malahide in the Top Questions about Dublin section - click on 'where can I stay in Dublin?' and then on the subsection about alternatives to airport hotels.

Hope this helps. Just post again if you need any more assistance on this one.

Whitney, Texas
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for Ireland
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4. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

oh my goodness...listen to these folks...

as i yank i can tell you they are the wisest of the wise....DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DRIVING IN DUBLIN....

no matter where you stay you need to be in line at 7:35 to check in for your flight....you cannot even begin to imagine how crowded and confusing it will be there....a really tough ariport...and then there is the chance you might get picked to have all of your bags hand searched....in 2006 i was the second person back from the counter, tons of folks behind me, they pulled me out to check my bags...guess there was a run on red headed, blue eyed, fluffy, grandmother terrorists....it took them over 30 minutes to destroy my neat packing, and then they of course leave it to me to repack all of it....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

just a word to the wise.....

Tucson, Arizona
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5. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

Thanks for the comments. I have actually departed from Dublin before and have driven in Dublin city center - and yes it is crazy. I'm still not convinced on the 3 hour issue - think I did that last time and it ended up costing me a fortune in duty free because my wife had way too much time to shop.

I don't know if anything has changed, but to the best I can tell you no longer have to go through US customs in Dublin, which should save time. I also do not know if any of the '3 hour' window posters have elite status with the airlines they've used out of Dublin. I think I waited in line 5 minutes last time as you get to use the business class line.

All the advice about taking a transfer service is great - but if you spent a few hours driving from County Clare to Dublin the last thing you want to do with children (1 year, 3 year!) is jump back into a car / bus / anything. For tourism it would be walk or nothing.

All in all it does sound like a lot of hassle to try downtown, I'm leaning towards an airport hotel, though the Westin Trinity College sounded really nice.

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

The recommendation from Dublin Airport is to arrive three hours before your flight if it is transatlantic, regardless of your passenger status with your airline. It's also the recommendation that's regularly given on this forum by regular posters who are also regular users of DUB. How you use that information is entirely up to you but personally speaking, we've never understood why people would want to risk missing their flight for the sake on a hour and would rather spend any spare time we might have shopping or drinking coffee airside.

Customs is about clearing luggage and other possessions to enter a country, immigration is about clearing persons to enter. Flights have never pre-cleared US customs at DUB. That facility will not be in place until after the new terminal opens in late November. A lot of US bound flights do pre-clear US immigration at DUB (depends on the carrier and time of flight) so you will need to allow time for this.

And while your airline may have a fast-track check in process for premium passengers, we're not aware of any similar fast-track through the security process (other than for domestic passengers) and this can take time, especially when travelling with young children (as can immigration procedures). You are likely to have to join the queues/lines if they are there with all passengers and you'll need to factor this in to the time you allow yourself.

In our opinion, you also need a bit of contingency time to deal with any unexpected travel delays and other hiccups. DUB is usually hectic between 5am and 9am and the construction around the new terminal also causes regularly traffic and other delays. Paring your check in time down to the wire might mean that you'll be booking into an airport hotel for a second night.

We fly regularly in and out of DUB, mainly to other European destinations and despite the fact we live within 15 mins drive of the airport, we wouldn't dream of turning up for those flights any later than the recommended two hours, even though we have always checked in online, often travel with just hand luggage, have no immigration procedures to deal with and no young children in tow.

Little Sutton...
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7. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

I'll echo tapl's advice re-US immigration at DUB,we've flown thru there to LAX a number of times & there have always been consideable delays there,particularly annoying when you arrive in LAX & see an empty immigration hall.

Also a vote for the Crowne Plaza by the airport,we stayed there last year,beautiful hotel,great staff,excellent food,lovely setting & really handy for the bus into town,just a pity it rained the whole time we were there so we didn't get to see enough of the park!

Edited: 03 October 2010, 13:17
8. Re: Airport advice / hotel / traffic

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