I’m not really sure how the opening of an airport terminal can cause such excitement, panic and general hubbub, but it can. Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 has barely been open for four months and people are still trying to sort out just how the whole thing works. The media have gone bonkers and ads and subsequent piss-take videos are all over YouTube.
Dublin Airport Terminal 2 ad:
Terminal 2 ad spoof via The Eleventh Hour
Anyone that’s flown through Dublin Airport before will know it’s generally no pleasant task, and despite criticisms that the airport was expanding at a time when air travel in Ireland is decreasing (in fairness, the expansion began in ’07), after a recent trip through the new terminal, I am happy to report that things are looking up for people flying through Ireland.
Dublin Airport – Terminal 2 Basics
First off, it’s important to know which airlines fly through Terminal 2 in Dublin. Aer Lingus has just moved all of their flights into Terminal 2, and alongside them are long-haul operators to North America, including American, Continental and US Airways. There are also flights to Abu Dhabi on Etihad from Terminal 2. So, basically, if you are flying to/from the States or on any Aer Lingus flight (except regional ones on Aer Arann, etc.), you’re going to find yourself in Terminal 2. Folks flying to and from the US will also go through the USA emigration pre-clearance checkpoint, where you will clear US Customs & Border Patrol on the ground in Dublin.
The terminal is located just beyond Terminal 1 and is connected to the loop road through the airport, so if you are picking up or dropping off someone, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding it. Besides, it’s that big, blue, glass thing that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie down the end of the airport!
Terminal 2 – Amenities, Restaurants and Shops
I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of shops and restaurants airside in Terminal 2. Sure, there was the bog standard crew of bad souvenir shops and duty-free eyesores, but there were some nice additions. For example, right in the center of the concourse (known as “The Loop”), there is a champagne bar, Flutes. There is also a chocolate bar, Chocolate Lounge, and some higher-end shoe and clothing stores.
Food-wise, there is an okay choice, especially given that the terminal just opened. If you venture upstairs, you’ll find an open-plan pick-and-choose cafe with a slightly nicer bent – a lot of the offerings seem geared towards fresh, organic and locally-sourced items, like hearty Irish breads, seafoods and stews. There’s also a *cough*BurgerKing*cough*.
Though, if you’re anything like me (and most people travelling through Dublin Airport), all you really want is something to nosh on and a decent pint, and you can get that at The Slaney, which is a “pub” of sorts situated along the back window-wall of the concourse, with huge windows overlooking the terminal and runway. This was a nice spot to watch the sunset, the Guinness was quite drinkable and they served me a very reasonably priced (around €6) bowl of fresh seafood chowder and soda bread.
A few considerations…
At the moment, it seems not all the kinks are worked out. My inbound Aer Lingus flight arrived from Prague, and my outbound flight was destined for Manchester, also on Aer Lingus, so technically I did not have to transfer terminals. The supposed “transfer desk” was not open (an American couple behind me set off an alarm trying to get through it), and I actually had to clear through Irish passport control and back through security and back through passport control, which all told took about an hour. So, for the moment, if you are transferring (which I’m aware most people aren’t), you need to allow lots of extra time between flights.
If you do have to transfer between Terminals 2 and 1, there is a covered walkway that connects the two – an easy walk downhill from Terminal 2, but a tough climb up from Terminal 1, so be ready for the hike!
Finally, I am quite disappointed that there is still no free wifi or internet access in Dublin Airport, and that extends to Terminal 2. The wifi costs €5 an hour and can be purchased through vouchers in vending machines or by using your credit card online.