If there was an award for the most progressive airport then without a doubt it would go to Dublin Airport. Once again they have stolen a march on others with the opening of a new passenger lounge, 51st & Green, named to reflect the theme of connecting Ireland and the USA at Dublin Airport T2 before departure.
The lounge is only available to transatlantic passengers travelling with Aer Lingus, Delta Air Lines, United and American Airlines holding a Business Class ticket and airline club cards. It is quite unique as passengers enjoying some pre-flight snacks or drinks will see aircraft taxi past their window.
“We are delighted to have this post US Preclearance lounge open for passengers, which is unique as Dublin is the only airport outside of North America to offer a lounge facility once the necessary Preclearance checks are completed,” said Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport Managing Director.
“With four airlines currently flying 276 times to and from 11 destinations in the USA on a weekly basis, an average of almost 40 return flights daily, Dublin Airport now ranks fifth among EU airports for route frequency to North America. We have surpassed Madrid and only London Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are ahead of Dublin.”
A record one million passengers used Dublin Airport’s US Preclearance facility in 2015. Passenger numbers are up 19% in the first six months of the year, with over one million passengers travelling to and from destinations in the USA during that time.
Inspired by Newgrange, customers enter 51st & Green via a 32-metre entrance corridor over terrazzo tiles spaced with bronze strips, sloping to a bright open space with spectacular views of the airfield. The 750 sq m lounge, which is located close to the intersection threshold of runways 34 and 28, has seating for 180 people.
The lounge is zoned by activity, giving customers the space to relax or work after completing security screening and US Preclearance checks while waiting to be called to their boarding gate close by.
As well as food and drink facilities, the new lounge offers a concierge service, luxury shower rooms, an entertainment area with sports channels, a private area for Platinum Service customers, printing facilities, charging outlets for multiple devices and free wi-fi.
“Almost five million passengers have used Dublin Airport’s US Preclearance facility since it opened in T2 in February 2011,” added Vincent. “New York continues to be Dublin Airport’s busiest transatlantic destination, with passenger numbers up 6% on this route in the first six months of the year.”
Overall passenger numbers at Dublin Airport increased by 13% to just over 13 million during the first six months of the year. The airport welcomed over 1.5 million extra passengers during the first half of 2016. The number of passengers using Dublin Airport as a hub to connect to other destinations increased by 28% with almost 448,000 passengers connecting through Dublin Airport in the first six months of the year.