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Using Ireland as a gateway for USA


MartynSinclair - 17/11/2012 09:15 BST

With one of BA's flights from LCY to JFK losing its pre clearance in Shannon, it made me wonder why Ireland is not being marketed as a major gateway for entering the USA.

I understand most travellers would consider a stop of any kind enroute as a total waste of time, but considering the time involved in stopping against a virtual guarantee of being able to make your connecting flight or scheduled meeting on arrival in America, must be something most travellers would find beneficial.

So why isnt Ireland being marketed as a gateway for the USA?

Travellator - 17/11/2012 10:06 BST

It is a bit of a victim of its own success - NO APD well £ 5 or eqv.

Emirates -DUB to DXB - 777 300 then DXB to HKG A 380 in Business return approx £2200. OK a few hours longer but chauffeur drive at each end both ways, fantastic in flight service and food.

Compare to BA - now approx £ 3500 LHR/HKG/HKG in CW.

I rest my case !

If flying to the USA pre clear USA immigration in DUB.

Bath_VIP - 17/11/2012 11:36 BST

I think it depends partly where you live. Outside of London, I think the gateway to the US element is more strongly marketed by Aer Lingus than in London where there is much more choice.

DavidRenton - 22/11/2012 11:20 BST

I have used Dublin pre-clearance, and I landed in Chicago airport, bags collected, and heading for the exit in 10 minutes - fantastic service. Aer Lingus Premier suits me fine. I would definitely recommend flying via Dublin purely for the pre-clearance. Took me 5 minutes as opposed to 90 minutes in USA.

LondonCity - 22/11/2012 11:44 BST

Interestingly it's possible to fly from Southend to New York with Aer Lingus via Dublin. Overall journey time is 11hrs 35 mins including 2 hrs 15 mins to change planes in DUB.

Flight time is longer than from LHR but getting from the Southend area to LHR is a hassle and of course you would have to clear C & I on arrival at JFK.

I agree that LCY is nearer to Southend but Southend would appeal to Y class passengers or those seeking a lower-priced J class fare.

Travellator - 22/11/2012 12:12 BST

London City - You would clear C & I at DUB so time saved there.

LondonCity - 22/11/2012 12:16 BST

Thanks for correcting me ! I made a typo. That's what I meant to say.

BeckyBoop - 22/11/2012 13:01 BST

I can’t understand why just Ireland has US preclearance and the UK doesn’t. The volume of flights that go to NY must be in double figures not including code shares. Most of these jets tend to be 747’s too so not exactly a low volume of passengers. Likewise the UK should adopt preclearance in NY for passengers returning to the UK. Implementing this strategy would be less strain in immigration halls on both ends.

Travellator - 22/11/2012 13:05 BST

BB - Agreed ! The first airline to fund this would gain a quantum leap on the others !

Having used pre clearance on LCY/JFK and getting straight out of the terminal is a major incentive !

MartynSinclair - 22/11/2012 13:56 BST

I think that there are 2 issues why the UK does not have pre clearance into the USA.

1. Space at UK airports

2. The standoff whether US Immigration officials can carry guns on UK soil.

I may be wrong about (2) but this is what I recall.

Travellator - 22/11/2012 13:59 BST

Cant remember if the agents were armed at Shannon.

Henkel.Trocken - 22/11/2012 15:16 BST

My brother-in-law who travels to the US a couple of times a month and never used to set foot on any other carrier if BA offered the route has recently discovered the EI option. He finds clearance at Dublin very easy and straightforward. He thinks the ease of this on the outbound makes the stop on return worthwhile.

Apparently EI loads across the pond are very good in both cabins so that's probably why they don't advertise the service. For C service he says it is at least as good as BA with the advantage that the crew are consistently pleasant.

DavidRenton - 22/11/2012 16:00 BST

Hi Martyn, my understanding was that the pre-clearance meant you were actually in American territory, hence landing as a domestic.

My recent outbound on EI, there were only 5 pax in C, but normally full. I think EI service trumps BA, and the staff are indeed always pleasant (love the accent).

My one gripe with EI is that they have a small Y cabin immediately behind C, only 2 rows, but they will insist on putting babies there. I have travelled with kids since birth so cannot really say anything, however they could use those 14 seats for other passengers and save the €2000+ passengers on an overnight with an almost flat bed the griping to the crew and forums.....

MartynSinclair - 22/11/2012 16:28 BST

In an ideal world, I would choose to fly straight back from the US to UK without a Irish stop. Otherwise the night is very short and jet lag may prevail.

However, anything to shorten the US arrival procedure is excellent!

maxgeorge - 12/12/2012 21:33 BST

Maybe my eyesights going, but I don't think ICE / INS agents are armed.

Whatever inconvenience a stopover in DUB might be, it's likely to be less dreary than the penal shuffle through proceedures at a US port of Entry.

If it's any consolation, clearing Immigration and, especially, Customs in the US is equally time consuming for US citizens, too.

YVR also offers pre-clearance for US flights. Very handy. As you've got to check-in way early for all flights everywhere nowadays, it's nothing but a winning time saver for your US arrival.

Different subject, but useful to know - the lounges for Comair's domestic South Africa flights are called "Slow Lounge", not BA Gallerie.

No, I've no idea why, either. But they're bloody good, especially the one at DUR. Beats T5's Concorde Room.


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