Lucky Charms Ireland: Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge Dublin

Filed Under: Aer Lingus, Awards

We got to the airport at around 12:30PM for our 2:15PM departure. The Dublin Airport terminal is very nice and the exterior almost reminds me a bit of the international terminal in San Francisco.

Terminal exterior

Business class check-in was located at the far end terminal on the right hand side, and there was no queue there. Check-in was efficient and we were handed US customs forms, which we were to clear after vising the lounge. Dublin is one of the few international airports with a US pre-clearance facility, so when you land in the US it’s like you’re landing on a domestic flight. I used to think that was awesome, like when I flew British Airways’ Club World London City service, which stops in Shannon to refuel and to clear customs while enroute from London to New York on an all business class Airbus 318. Ever since Global Entry has been introduced it’s a pain, though, since these facilities don’t have Global Entry. That means I actually have to fill out the customs form and also speak to an immigration officer. More on that later.

Aer Lingus business class check-in

Aer Lingus check-in

The terminal was airy and spacious, which I really wasn’t expecting in Dublin for one reason or another. The departure gates are located up a level from check-in, which we accessed via the escalators.

Dublin terminal

Dublin terminal

At the top of the escalator was security, where they had a premium lane. Even though the general queues were long, there wasn’t a single person in the premium queue, so we were through in a matter of minutes. Awesome.

We followed the signs towards airline lounges, which happened to coincide with the signs for the US pre-clearance facilities. It was maybe a 10 minute walk to the lounge.

Terminal airside

Terminal airside

Lounge sign

We took the elevator down to the level with lounges, where the Aer Lingus lounge was about halfway down the corridor.

Aer Lingus lounge entrance

After the dark, cramped Aer Lingus lounge in Boston, I was beyond impressed by their flagship Dublin lounge, which had high ceilings and was airy with tarmac views. At the entrance we were informed that a boarding call would be announced for our flight when it was time.

The lounge was quite empty and featured plenty of seating.

Aer Lingus lounge

Aer Lingus lounge

Past the main seating area was the buffet, where there were also several tables with chairs, where we ultimately decided to settle down.

Buffet and seating

Far end of the lounge

The spread was basic though sufficient, with a variety of sandwiches and all kinds of packaged snacks.



Tarmac views

Lounge bathrooms

About an hour before departure boarding was announced, to allow plenty of time to clear customs and immigration. We decided to only leave about 45 minutes before departure, though that still allowed us plenty of time.

The pre-clearance facility was only about a five minute walk away, and there was no queue. I suspect that’s because we were among the last to clear.

Walk to gate

The immigration officer was friendly and “stamped” me through in no time.

The gate was just a few steps down the corridor, where boarding was already underway.

Corridor to gate

As you can see in the picture below they had two agents just “guarding” the business class line, and as we approached they yelled at us and told us to use the other line, which is for economy. After informing them we were in business class they pointed us through and didn’t say a word.

Departure gate

  1. I use to fly Aerlingus all the time for SFO to DUB when they were flying that route (and for a very short year or so). Great wine, but small glasses. And did you notice the FA always get their bags of first in Dublin?!? I can’t say I remember the lounge as being as nice, but typically I was in a fog after a client send-off the prior night.

  2. @ WDH — I believe the Dublin lounge is actually quite new, which might explain why you don’t remember it.

  3. I was able to use GE for DUB preclearence. Still annoying though as we had to wait in line again for the post-immigration security checkpoint. Silly system.

  4. @Lucky

    I went through on 8/5. The GE line was the first thing on the right as you entered the immigration hall, the same as the crew line. Slightly intimidating as you had to push open one of those waist-high gates with a big “Authorized Personnel Only” sign on it. The kiosks did look like they had been recently opened, so I’m guessing you just missed it.

  5. I can’t believe the Aer Lingus gate matrons yelled at you. Though I bet you were kind of expecting it given you history with these kind of buffoons.

    You should have demanded they bow to you as you walked in between them.

  6. Used Global Entry Dublin end of September. Yes immediate right side as you enter, had to kinda ask if ok, just show card. Nobody else there. worked perfect. Do not tell anybody, but you are crazy if you do not have this. As to domestic flights, 75% of the time just flash your card for access to PreCheck TSA/Elite lines, and you are in.

  7. Can one preclear at DUB with a 23 hour layover at LHR? And will any bags then be checked thru to US?

  8. @ Lynn — You’re saying you’re flying LHR to DUB, stopping for 23 hours, and then DUB to BOS? If so you could preclear before your flight to the US. You probably couldn’t check your bags through with that long of a layover, though.

  9. Nice overview of the terminal now if only we could make it a bit busier. We need to do a lot more to attract tourism to Ireland particularly with the recent news that we are now back in recession. To be honest I never know we had left it…

  10. Wow it seems I’m the second person in two weeks to read this review again. Great tips as i will be flying out of DUB in Oct and my wife into DUB in Nov. The lounge seems fairly impressive for about 25EUR access.

    When i read your comment about US immigration, I was a bit bummed too. Hope my line isn’t as long either, or I’ll have another #firstworldproblem comment to make.

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