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5-hour layover in Dublin airport -- what to do?

We just booked a flight to Dublin in late March 2015, and will be going right to Paris from the Dublin airport, later taking the Eurostar to London and then flying back to Dublin for the last leg of the trip. The plane arrives in Dublin around 7:30 a.m., but the next affordable flight to Paris (about $75) doesn't leave until 1 p.m. :-( That gives us five hours to hang around the Dublin airport, and I'm sure we'll already be tired after the flight from the U.S. Plus, it means we won't get to our Paris hotel until after 5 p.m.

Is it worth spending close to $200 per person (rather than $75) to get an earlier flight, or is there someplace to curl up and relax for five hours in the Dublin airport? We're on a tight budget, but the thought of wasting five hours in an airport isn't appealing :-(

Posted by
6807 posts

How much earlier is the earlier flight? I usually break down the difference into what it costs per hour. If I make more, I might pay it, if not, I grab a good book and wait.

On a frequent flyer ticket with a long Dublin airport layover, I enjoyed a big Irish breakfast, talked to people working in the airport, looked at all the shops (there's a lot of good shopping, but that will blow the money you save) read and people watched. I didn't consider the hours wasted but part of the trip.
Edit: Being on a nearly free ticket, it was a done deal for me, so it's hard to compare.

Posted by
24 posts

There are actually two earlier flights that I've been looking at:

  1. The first is at 8:45 a.m., which makes me a bit nervous since we arrive in Dublin at 7:30 ... and if that flight is delayed, we might not make the 8:45 flight to Paris :-(

  2. The second flight to Paris is at around 10 or 10:30 a.m. (sorry, forget the exact time!), which allows plenty of time for delays, deplaning, getting to the other gate, etc. -- much more in my comfort zone! :-D

Posted by
24 posts

Normally I wouldn't mind the extra airport time -- I love airports, and would happily wander around for hours :-) But in this instance, we'll have been traveling for close to 13 hours by the time we hit Dublin (train from Philadelphia to Newark, the flight to Toronto, 2.5 hours layover in Toronto, then flight to Dublin). So adding another five hours to that, then close to three hours more until we get to the hotel in Paris ... it's just a long, long day :-/

Posted by
4468 posts

Don't forget that you will probably have to go through immigration etc at Dublin. If you are arriving in T2 (ie the 400 gates) you can use the transit corridor immigration if not checking bags. Just a few more things to factor into the equation.

Posted by
16769 posts

Are you booking the Paris connection on the same ticket as your trans-Atlantic flight? If so, then the earlier connection should work and the code-shared airline partners will take responsibility in case the first flight is delayed. If your Paris connection is on a separate ticket, especially on a discount carrier like Ryan Air, then choose the later time, because that carrier won't take any excuses if you miss the flight. Another task you can get done during a wait at Dublin airport is to withdraw euros from an ATM.

Posted by
11970 posts

I wouldn't chance it with an earlier flight, unless you are on the same ticket with the same airline (are you flying AirLingus both legs?). If you are transferring to a low cost airline, you need to check in again on your own. The airlines don't tranfer luggage to the low cost airlines.
Five hours may not be that long after all, once you consider everything. But once you have the boarding passes for the DUB to Paris leg, see how much time you have till the flight departs. You could take a taxi to the city center (20 minutes), make a quick stroll, maybe have a quick breakfast and a beer, then take a taxi back to DUB (be there 1 hr prior to flight departure).

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks, all -- I got lucky and found a flight to Paris at 10 a.m., which is enough time to allow for delays and/or grab breakfast and get ourselves to the proper gate in time :-) The difference is price was about $60 ($95 for the five-hour-wait flight vs. $157 for the 10 a.m. flight), so we decided it was worth the extra money :-)

The Dublin-to-Paris flight was being booked separately, so it's good to know that if we were delayed, the airlines wouldn't be responsible -- I'll remember that for future reference! :-)