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The Dublin Airport Authority recently opened its new business class lounge in Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport.
The lounge is a very welcome development at Dublin, as it is located after the US pre-clearance facility. This allows business class passengers travelling with Aer Lingus, American, Delta and United a chance to relax having completed USCBP screening. Before the lounge opened, all passengers had to wait in the gate areas before boarding, with the limited facilities available there.
A unique location to meet demand
As noted by Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison, “Dublin is the only airport outside of North America to offer a lounge facility once the necessary PreClearance checks are completed”.
Why the need for a post pre-clearance lounge? Well, Dublin now has 4 carriers serving North America and using the pre-clearance facility, namely Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Delta and United. Between them they are flying 276 times to and from 11 destinations in the US on a weekly basis, an average of almost 40 return flights daily. Dublin Airport now ranks 5th among EU airports for route frequency to North America having now surpassed Madrid. Indeed, only London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are ahead of Dublin.
A look at the lounge
The new lounge is located on the ground floor, at the very end of Terminal 2. The location is unique as being the closest lounge to an active runway at any airport. Aircraft touching down on runway 28 at Dublin can be viewed “up close and personal”. At 750 square metres and with a seating capacity of 180, the lounge is spacious, bright and relaxing.
Somewhat uniquely, the entrance to the lounge takes its inspiration from the iconic Irish heritage site at Newgrange in County Meath, where the entrance passage leads into a chamber which is aligned with the rising sun at the Winter Solstice. The lounge is zoned by activity, allowing customers separate space to relax, work, play or eat.
As you would expect, facilities in the lounge include complimentary WiFi, luxury showers, lots of power points, an entertainment area with sports channels and a concierge service.
In addition there is a Barista Bar with exclusively blended coffee beans from a local micro-roastery.
Dining choices have been selected to showcase Irish food with an American twist and will include Kenmare smoked salmon, New England clam chowder, Irish coastline fish pie and Macaroni & cheese.
Due to USCBP restrictions it is not possible to offer certain meat products, so fish and chicken feature prominently.
The “last stop” bites menu of warm food costs between €7.95 – €10.50.
Lounge access is restricted to passengers flying Trans-Atlantic with AA, EI, DL or UA who are in business class and hold an airline club card. Passengers with elite status travelling in economy will have to contact their respective airline to enquire if 51st&green lounge access will be available to them. The Dublin Airport Authority have yet to decide if passengers can pay separately to use the lounge and how much that will be, but I would not be at all surprised if the fee, if introduced, is higher than normal lounge entry fees. At the moment passengers who are members of general lounge access programmes such as “Priority Pass” etc are not allowed use this lounge.
Overall, the lounge is comfortable area to relax while awaiting to board a Trans-Atlantic flight, the location is wonderful and giving excellent ramp and runway views. Dining options are tasty, fresh and not too heavy. I have no doubt the lounge will be very popular, so if you get a chance, check it out