Shannon Airport Guide


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Shannon Airport is the gateway to the West of Ireland, and is the third busiest airport in Ireland. This guide is for people who are travelling through Shannon Airport, and provides information about the facilities at the airport, hotels near the airport, car rental services and public transport services.

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Shannon Airport Guide

  1. 1. 1 Shannon Airport Guide Shannon Airport One of Ireland’s three major transport hubs (following Dublin and Cork), Shannon Airport caters to roughly 1.4 million passengers each year. This is also the Irish airport with the most history. In the early days of commercial flight, Shannon was a key refuelling hub for transatlantic flights. Today, the main transatlantic flights are handled by Dublin Airport, but Shannon still plays a strong regional role. For those flying into the south-west of Ireland and planning to see Limerick, Galway and Ennis, Shannon Airport serves as gateway. Facilities are thorough, and a recent 21 st Century upgrade ensures that the airport is more than a relic of historic, transatlantic flight. More than a dozen airlines serve Shannon Airport, led by Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Flights connect to cities across Ireland, as well as to a few key cities in North America. It is also possible to connect to holiday destinations across Europe on a seasonal basis. Facilities at Shannon Airport Like Dublin Airport Shannon Airport has all of the amenities and services you’d expect from a modern airport. Free Wi- Fi broadcasts throughout the terminal, and passengers will also find banking and postal services, executive lounges and car hire desks in Arrivals Hall. Restaurants and cafés are located on both sides of security. Marsh Point Bar and Estuary Café are on the first floor overlooking the check-in area. Further on is The Segafredo, which serves coffee, pastries and sandwiches and is especially handy for transit passengers who need a bite to eat before they travel on. There’s also an Atlantic Coffee Company in the Arrivals Hall. Shannon Airport even has a little claim to fame on the culinary front. Joe Sheridan – the former chef of the airport – created the Irish coffee cocktail in 1943. Today, his legacy continues at the Sheridan Food Pub. The Loop is the primary shopping centre at Shannon Airport. It features duty-free merchandise and is open to departing passengers 24 hours per day. This was actually the first airport in the world to offer duty-free shopping, and other airports followed Shannon’s lead. If you’d like to pick up some duty-free items but don’t think you’ll have time to shop, consider using The Loop’s ‘Shop and Collect’ service. Transport at Shannon Airport Most people who touchdown at Shannon Airport are bound for Limerick or Ennis, so onward transportation is a key consideration. Both cities are about 25 km away – Limerick to the east and Ennis to the north. The airport terminal is located on an offshoot of the M18 and N18. Two major bus companies are active at the airport. Bus Éireann connects the terminal with Ennis (50 minutes), Galway (1 hour, 45 minutes) and Cork (2 hours, 30 minutes). JJ Kavanagh & Sons also operates service to Limerick (30 minutes) and Dublin (3 hours, 15 minutes). Airport cabs queue outside of the Arrivals Hall whenever flights are inbound. In this case, fares need to be agreed upon before boarding the taxi. Generally speaking, drivers will arrange to take passengers anywhere within a 50-km radius of the terminal. Shannon Airport Hotels Many incoming passengers at Shannon Airport transfer immediately to Limerick or Ennis. However, there is plenty to enjoy in the immediate area as well. In particular, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is only a few minutes’ drive away, and that prompts some to spend a night close to the airport before travelling on. With that in mind, there are several hotels in the immediate area – including one directly on airport grounds. There are options to suit everyone from business to leisure travellers, including a few homey bed-and-breakfast style options. If you are planning on staying a night near Shannon Airport, be sure to book early for the best deals. These are among the most popular Shannon Airport hotels: Park Inn by Radisson Shannon Airport The only hotel located on terminal grounds, the Park Inn by Radisson is just steps away from the Arrival and Departures Halls. It features stylish rooms along with on-site dining and drinking facilities, 24-hour reception and free high- speed wireless Internet access. The hotel’s Reading Room comes complete with a fireplace and overlooks the Shannon Estuary. Carrygerry Country House Housed in a country house that dates to the 18 th -century, Carrygerry is about ten minutes from the airport. It features 11 individually styled guestrooms and a restaurant with views over the estuary. Oak Wood Arms Hotel One of Clare’s top business and conference hotels, Oak Wood Arms is five minutes from the airport and operates a ‘Park, Stay, Fly’ service to make it easier for passengers to connect to and from the terminal. Great Southern The Great Southern is located 1 km from airport grounds and offers three-star service. It features an on-site pub and
  2. 2. 2 lounge as well as conference facilities for small to medium- sized groups. Shannon Court Hotel Also a mere five minutes from the terminal, the Shannon Court Hotel provides 54 spacious guestrooms and a full suite of modern amenities. The hotel’s Olde Lodge pub is famous with locals, as well. Avarest Bunratty B&B Appointed a four-star B&B by Ireland’s National Tourism Body, this cosy establishment is less than 10 minutes’ drive from the airport. One of the highlights is the traditional Irish breakfast, made in part from locally sourced ingredients. Renting a Car at Shannon Airport With so much to see and do in the region, the best way to travel on from Shannon Airport is by hire car. Travelling east on the N18, drivers can reach the city of Limerick in about 30 minutes (depending on traffic). From here, a nexus of motorways provides access to the entire country. For most tourists and business travellers, hiring a car from Shannon Airport makes the most sense. Taxi fares quickly add up, and seeing the country by tour bus means constantly travelling with a crowd of people. Behind the wheel of a hire car, you dictate the terms and itinerary of your experience. Collecting your Shannon Airport hire carThe check-in process for passengers renting a car at Shannon Airport is straightforward. There are two locations in the Arrivals Hall that can help get you on the road. For those who have pre- booked their hire car, the kiosk near baggage carousels 1 and 2 are standing by to finalise drivers’ paperwork. There’s also a booth near the exit for those who have not yet made a booking. If you have booked your vehicle ahead of time, getting on the road just takes a few minutes. Drivers receive confirmation details that they can present to the Shannon Airport car hire associate in the Arrivals Hall. From here, it’s a quick shuttle ride to the depot, where an on-site associate will walk you through an inspection of your car to make sure that there are not any problems. Among the car rental companies at Shannon Airport are: Returning a rental car to Shannon AirportWhen you are returning your rental car to Shannon Airport, simply drive the vehicle to the same depot where you collected it. As you approach the terminal, turn off from the Airport Road (N19) at the signpost. The return procedures are quick and painless, and it’s just a two-minute shuttle ride to the terminal entrance, where you’ll be dropped in front of the Departures Hall. To be safe, it’s wise to allot about 30 minutes for the entire return process, though it rarely takes this long. Shannon Airport Airlines The following is a list of the primary airlines serving Shannon Airport, some of which operate seasonally. In addition to these carriers, charter airlines also operate. Airline Phone Website Aer Lingus 0818 365000 Air Transat 00353 61 712462 Delta 0818 904 872 Flybe 0044 1392 683152 Ryanair 00353 61 471851 United Airlines 00353 61 712670 US Airways 1890 925 065 Shannon Airport Authority The Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) became separated from the Dublin Airport Authority at the turn of 2013. With that in mind, Shannon Airport is now a publically owned commercial airport and operates independently. The airport employs nearly 2,000 people, with another 500 working for the SAA at the nearby Industrial Estate. During peak season, an additional 1,000 temporary staff come on board. Some 1.4 million passengers pass through the terminal each year. Disclaimer Every attempt has been made to ensure the information provided here is correct, however the author cannot be held liable for mistakes.