About a week ago, the UK’s Telegraph ran a piece, Is Dublin Airport Eating Heathrow’s Lunch?
The answer is clearly no, because London remains an important world business destination, even if it’s an abominable connecting airport. And Heathrow remains terribly even transferring British Airways-to-British Airways… last year my Dusseldorf – London – San Francisco connection involved two buses and a train as I arrived at a terminal 1 bus gate, then had to bus to terminal 5, and we departed out of a T5 satellite concourse.
If you’re going to connect in Europe, Dublin is a really good place to do it.
If you are starting or ending your trip anywhere west or north of London, it’s a no brainer not to fly all the way to London (or beyond) and backtrack.
Plus flying Westbound (through terminal 2) you get US immigration pre-clearance. If you’re a US citizen with Global Entry you don’t care. But for non-US citizens this is huge, short immigration queues and then arrive in the U.S. as though getting off a domestic flight.
What’s more, Dublin has some of the most flights to North America of any European airport.
The big four — London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam — have the most flights by far. There’s a big dropoff. But Dublin is right there in the next tier, with more flights than Zurich or Munich.
A premium cabin flyer won’t want to fly to far beyond Dublin — better to take a longer portion of the journey in a flat bed before transferring to an intra-European flight that resembles US domestic coach plus food.
Flights from, say, New York JFK or Boston to Dublin are short, almost too short to sleep flying Eastbound. Yet Aer Lingus is putting in fully flat beds in business class. They offer inflight internet as well.
Furthermore, Boston – Dublin is less than 3000 miles which means that you can redeem just 12,500 British Airways points each way for an economy ticket or 25,000 points for business class. And Aer Lingus fuel surcharges are de minimis. You can redeem United miles on Aer Lingus as well.
And Dublin is a more attractive originating point for a ticket than London, since you don’t pay the UK’s exorbitant air passenger duty.
Dublin won’t replace Heathrow. But if you don’t need to go through Heathrow, why would you want to? Have a Guinness or an Irish coffee on your layover instead.