Travel tips for North Americans
Creating connections using Europe's discount airlines

Special www offers currently available at for air travel to Ireland:


Fly to Cork or Dublin on Ryanair for 15 each way!    See


Travel Planning tip

Make your airline reservation for travel to Cork as early in advance as possible as there is currently a shortage of seats from many destinations, particularly for travel to/from the city around the weekend period - i.e. Thursday thru Monday inclusive.


Instant airline seat availability check 
and online reservation links

Airline Seat availability and online reservations WWW home page Last Minute Specials*
Aer Lingus Aer Lingus  
Virgin Express Take Flight Online  
Ryanair Ryanair Online Reservations  
Air France Cybairfrance Ireland
Austrian Airlines Flight Planner Special Offers
British Midland British Midland Online booking system Seat auction
Continental Airlines  
Crossair See new Swiss Air Lines below  
CSA Czech Airlines TBA  
Delta Airlines TBA
Finnair NetTicket Office  
Malev Hungarian Airlines    
Iberia Iberia Online Entra en pisa
JAL Japan Airlines JAL Reservations  
KLM Online Reserveren  
Lufthansa If you tell their website that you want to go to Ireland - it sends you to the UK!  
Luxair Amadeus (Luxair) Last Minute
Qantas Qantas Airways Quantas Internet Bookings  
Sabena Sabena Passport  
Singapore Airlines SQ-Etravel Singapore Air  
SAS SAS Reservations
SMS flight info
Swiss Air Lines Swiss Air Lines (successor to Swissair & Crossair)  


Air Travel Advisories

Low fare airlines

Making a budget fare connection to Ireland

New French low fares airline

Air Lib Express will provide low cost air travel between Nice, Toulouse (and other provincial cities) and Paris Orly from March 31, 2002. Fares start at 29 each way. Check their website for further details. While no carrier currently serves the Paris Orly > Ireland route directly, there are connecting ground services with the other Paris area airports. Aer Lingus is also commencing a direct service between Nice and Dublin on March 31.

Easyjet + Go + Ryanair connecting points

Easyjet provides inexpensive air connections between several continental cities (including Nice, Barcelona, Geneva, Amsterdam, Palma de Majorca, Zurich, Malaga, and Athens) and Liverpool and Luton airports in England. The combined fare on EasyJet + a connection on Ryanair to Dublin often** work out cheaper than a direct flight on a regular carrier (particularly when your trip does not include a Saturday night stay). Be sure to check availability on all flight segments at the same time, before making a "ticketed" (i.e. paid) reservation. Online reservation and ticket purchase is available at EasyJet and Ryanair. Both airlines are ticketless - show a credit card or ID to receive a boarding pass at check-in. Ryanair is the most bureaucratic of the two.  While virtually any ticketless airline on the planet will accept sight of your credit card or other ID for boarding pass issue, Ryanair often demand presentation of a photo-ID   combined with sight of the computer printout of your reservation confirmation.  Which can be particularly difficult if you have made the reservation via your laptop or other mobile device on a cellular connection, unless you also carry around a printer!  

Check the Go! airline website for connection possibilities to Ireland by combining Go! and Ryanair services at Stansted Airport.  

(**If your trip to Ireland involves a Saturday night stay, it may be just as cheap on a full fare airline such as Aer Lingus, Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia, etc.   Be sure to comparison shop.)

Ryanair > Ryanair connections via Stansted airport to/from Cork, Derry (NI), Dublin, Kerry, Knock,  Shannon from DK-Aarhus, I-Alghero,I- Ancona, F-Biarritz, I-Brescia,  F-Carcassone, F-Dinard, D-Frankfurt, D-Hamburg, I-Genoa, GB-Glasgow, S-Kristianstad, S-Malmo, F-Nmes, N-Oslo, F-Perpignan, I-Pisa, F-St Etienne, S-Stockholm,  I-Turin, I-Venice.  Check availability on the Ryanair webiste.  

Always allow at least 2 hours time for connections with point to point carriers such as Ryanair as they will be at your risk if there is any delay on your first flight.  While it is improving on many routes, Easyjet have a poor punctuality history, particularly at Luton Airport, and baggage handling can be extremely slow, even outside the peak vacation season.   The baggage hall at Luton is like a crowded street market in some third world country at peak times.  Allow lots of time to fight your way through the chaos!

Liverpool Airport has become increasingly overcrowded and uncomfortable because terminal capacity has not been upgraded to meet PAX growth. The Ryanair check-in is sometimes slow with one or at most two check-in desks provided by the handling agent (compared with six for EasyJet, who perform their own check-in). On the plus side, the airport has an internet access "shop" on level 1, which is convenient particularly for transit passengers who have some time to spare between flights. (Both airlines seem to have interline connectivity down to a fine art - e.g. the Easyjet flight from Nice, Barcelona, Geneva etc. typically arrives minutes after a Ryanair connection to Dublin has taken off, forcing one to wait several hours, half a day or stay overnight [in which case one might as well fly Air France, Iberia or Swissair business class direct and save the hotel costs]).   

Movement between the check-in desk and departure gate at LPL now involves a needless stair climbing exercise to the "security screening" area (and back down again to the departure lounge)! While an elevator is available on either side for those who might need it, it does involve a longer walk.  This security screening procedure between the landside and airside leaves much to be desired in terms of efficiency with the result that you need to allow 10 or 15 minutes to get from the landside to the airside at peak times. 

Travel tip for North Americans - Fly Direct to Ireland

Recent changes to the air traffic control system in Europe have lead to increased air travel delays on many routes within Europe (exceptionally there has been an improvement in France where just 36% of flights were delayed by 15 minutes+ during the period Jan-Sep 2000, compared with 40% during the same period in 1999.   The completion of the fourth runway at Paris CDG airport should help matters further during 2001). 

Overall, some 85% of intra-European air traffic was late arriving in July 99.   Irish airspace is relatively un-crowded, and you can avoid delays by flying direct to Ireland.  Transiting London or another large European airport en route to Dublin can take one or two days off your vacation, and you probably won't even have time to leave the transit airport to see the local sights.  

There have been a series of air traffic control computer failures (NATS) involving an ageing system which have led to long delays at Heathrow and other airports in England - one of which on June 17, 2000 which shut down the system on a busy Saturday morning for five hours. Many flights were cancelled and others were delayed for 7 or more hours. Direct Transatlantic flights into and out of Ireland were unaffected. The British "Guardian" newspaper maintains a chronicle of the ongoing problems on their website.

Large airports like London Heathrow can be extremely busy, especially during the vacation season. This invariably leads to long lines at passport control particularly for people who don't have a European passport, who have to wait in line with large numbers of other people coming from all parts of the world (not all of whom have their documentation in order!) seeking to enter the European Union.     Time should also be allowed for baggage transfer at large European hub airports.   Based on experience, it is advisable, for example, to allow 2 hours if travelling first or business class and up to 3 hours if travelling economy if your connection involves a change of terminal at London Heathrow (which most intercontinental fights do).   The published MCT (minimum connecting times) are aspirational and without guarantee from the airlines - rely on them only if you don't mind  spending two or three days of your vacation without your checked baggage when you get your hotel!   These hazards can usually  be avoided by flying direct.

You can fly directly from New York JFK (Aer Lingus, Delta), Newark (Aer Lingus, Continental), Boston (Aer Lingus), Chicago ORD (Aer Lingus), Atlanta (Delta),  Los Angeles (LAX) (Aer Lingus) and Washington DC (Aer Lingus) non-stop to Ireland.   Passport and customs formalities are rapid and minimalist in Ireland, and you can clear US Customs and passport control in Ireland on your return journey before you board your return flight at Dublin or Shannon Airport.

There are no customs formalities between Ireland and other European Union countries, and travel between Irish and most other European  airports takes between 60 and 120 minutes flying time, making it a convenient base for excursions or business trips to Paris, Rome, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Zurich*, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Milan, Vienna, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Luxembourg, etc.

*While Zurich is not in the EU, passengers arriving from the EU are generally free from customs formalities at Swiss airports

Boeing have proposals for a Trajectory-Based Separation Management, Traffic Planning and Flow Planning system to replace the current global air traffic control "system". Download details of their proposals here (PDF file, 1.8Mb)


American Airlines Airmiles available on Aer Lingus

American Airlines AAdvantage points can now be claimed on all Aer Lingus flights. Aer Lingus TAB points are available on all AA flights (somewhat academic as American Airlines refuse to take Irish or any other European (other than British) credit cards on their website).


With effect from March 30, 2001 Iberia will be upgrading the equipment used on their Ireland > Spain routes to new Airbus A320 aircraft. The service is being increased to two daily non-stop flights - from Madrid in the morning and from Barcelona in the afternoon. 








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2005-01-01 16:52   U770bis.12G.42