Review: 51st & Green US Pre-Clearance Lounge Dublin Airport

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Review: 51st & Green US Pre-Clearance Lounge Dublin Airport
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After spending some time in the Aer Lingus Lounge, I decided to head in the direction of the US Pre-Clearance area at around 11AM, well ahead of my 4:10PM flight to New York. All US bound passengers departing Dublin clear immigration before getting on their flight, with the exception of those traveling on Ethiopian Airlines on their Dublin to Los Angeles flight (that’s because the flight leaves so early in the morning).

The entrance to the Pre-Clearance facility was just a short walk from the lounge, in front of gate 408.


US Pre-Clearance facility Dublin Airport

There I took the escalator down a level.


US Pre-Clearance facility Dublin Airport

First I had to clear security, as is the norm at Pre-Clearance facilities. Even though there were several US bound flights, there wasn’t a long wait, and there was even a separate business class queue.


US Pre-Clearance security Dublin Airport

Past security and on the left were Global Entry machines. When arriving in the US you can usually just go right through, but in my experience at Pre-Clearance facilities they still ask you some questions. The Global Entry and crew line are merged, and in front of me was a Newark-based United crew, and the smooth-talking immigration officer seemed to enjoy flirting with several of the ladies, so that took a couple of extra minutes.

The Pre-Clearance facility consists of six gates, #401-406.


US Pre-Clearance gates Dublin Airport

Given that many flights depart around the same time, parts of the terminal were chaotic.


US Pre-Clearance gates Dublin Airport

Since the terminal is on the ground level, there are some fantastic views of the US-bound planes.


Aer Lingus A330 Dublin Airport

Earlier this year the airport opened the 51st & Green Lounge, which is the US Pre-Clearance Lounge for all eligible premium cabin passengers. This lounge isn’t just restricted to Aer Lingus passengers, but all US-bound business class passengers can access the lounge, and you can even pay for access (39EUR per person), if you’d like. The lounge is located at the very end of the concourse, so it’s a short walk from immigration.

Only 15 minutes elapsed from the time I left the Aer Lingus Lounge to the time I arrived at the US Pre-Clearance Lounge, so that’s pretty great.


51st & Green Dublin Airport exterior

At reception my boarding pass was scanned, and I was pointed down a long hallway into the lounge.


51st & Green Dublin Airport entryway

This lounge is really nice, and as far as I’m concerned I’d skip the Aer Lingus Lounge altogether in the future. The lounge is square in shape, though feels circular due to the design, with several distinct seating areas.


51st & Green Lounge Dublin Airport

Around the center section are a few tables, some semi-private seats, and some traditional loungers.


51st & Green Lounge Dublin Airport


51st & Green Lounge Dublin Airport


51st & Green Lounge seating Dublin Airport


51st & Green Lounge seating Dublin Airport

Immediately inside the entrance to the lounge and to the left is the dining area, featuring everything from two person tables to communal tables.


51st & Green Lounge dining area Dublin Airport


51st & Green Lounge dining area Dublin Airport

Then on the very right of the lounge was the most private room of the lounge, which consisted of seating in a circular design.


51st & Green Lounge seating Dublin Airport

Then there was a media area, with a projector that had the news on.


51st & Green Lounge seating Dublin Airport


51st & Green Lounge seating Dublin Airport

There was a small refreshment station here, with chips, flavored water, and cookies.


51st & Green Lounge snacks Dublin Airport

Then further in there were some seats along the window.


51st & Green Lounge seating Dublin Airport

In the back left corner of the lounge were some more tables, mostly with two seats each.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge seating Dublin Airport

Then there was the bar, along with the buffet.


51st & Green Lounge bar Dublin Airport

While I wouldn’t call the food selection extensive, it was tastefully presented, and everything I tried was good.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport

To drink, there was water, soda, and a coffee machine.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge drinks Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge coffee machine Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge drink selection Dublin Airport

Then to eat they had a pancake machine (as you’d find in an Alaska Lounge), cereal, pastries, muffins, donuts, cookies, bread, mushroom soup, oatmeal, cheese, cold cuts, salad, and more.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge pancake machine Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge buffet Dublin Airport

At the bar there was a selection of house wine, including three whites and three reds.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge wine selection Dublin Airport

Here’s the selection of complimentary cocktails:

Here’s the coffee menu:

Freshly made and delicious cappuccinos? YES PLEASE!


US Pre-Clearance Lounge cappuccino Dublin Airport

Best I could tell, the only thing in the lounge you’d have to pay for is the more substantial “Last Stop Bites Menu,” which read as follows:

The lounge’s bathrooms are back towards the entrance, and are clean and nicely designed.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge bathroom Dublin Airport

Then there were two shower rooms, which looked infinitely nicer than the ones in the Aer Lingus Lounge. I’d note, however, that the shower rooms didn’t have toilets, which I always find to be a bit annoying.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge shower room Dublin Airport


US Pre-Clearance Lounge shower room Dublin Airport

My one major complaint about the lounge was the lack of outlets. While there were plenty of USB outlets, it wasn’t as easy to find outlets that could charge a laptop, which is annoying for a lounge this new.

While the lounge was reasonably full when I first arrived, it emptied out by around 1:45PM. At that point the only people in the lounge were those traveling to New York and Boston.

I decided to head to my departure gate at around 3PM, a full 70 minutes before departure.


US Pre-Clearance Lounge departures board Dublin Airport

My flight was departing from gate 405, only a very short walk from the lounge. There pre-boarding started at 3:20PM.


Aer Lingus departure gate Dublin Airport

I boarded the A330-300 named St Laurence O’Toole, for my first ever flight in Aer Lingus’ new business class.


Aer Lingus A330 Dublin Airport

US Pre-Clearance Lounge Dublin bottom line

It’s great that Dublin Airport opened a proper Pre-Clearance Lounge. While I’m lucky to have Global Entry, for many the wait times at immigration can be inconsistent, so you don’t want to cut it too close. So not only do they have somewhere for premium passengers to hang out after immigration, but in this case I’d argue that the Pre-Clearance lounge is actually significantly nicer than the lounges before immigration, so I’d just recommend going straight here.

The lounge has plenty of natural light, is modern, has a decent food selection, and has freshly made cappuccinos.

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Comments

  1. Lucky do you know why it’s named 51st and Green? Seems a very unique name for a lounge, so curious if there’s a story behind it.

    I don’t know much about Irish culture, so apologies if it’s a naive question in advance 🙂

  2. @ Ricky – Ireland is often referred to as the 51st state. It was also the first country to get the pre clearance facilities I believe.

  3. Flew out of DUB in the summer on United to IAD- flight leaves at 12:25. Because of Global Entry we cut it pretty close to avoid the crowds from earlier flights and left the Executive Lounge (takes Priority Pass) around 11:20, about 20 minutes after they told us to.

    Looks like at 11 you had the tail end of the morning crowds, by 11:20 there were no lines at security or at customs. Were in the pre-cleared part of the terminal by 11:35.

  4. In October, I visited the 51 and Green Lounge. I didn’t know they had showers. The lounge is really light and airy. My favorite item, however, was the pancake maker! Like Christmas morning for me.

  5. I was there last week and had no difficulty finding an electrical outlet. ireland has the UK-style “three square pin” design.

    I was told at check-in that you cannot use BOTH the general Aer Lingus lounge AND “51st and Green”. Not sure how they enforce that. Did they let you use both because you are press?

  6. They bill themselves as “the closest airport lounge to an active runway” – not sure if it is factual or not but the views are pretty cool for avgeeks like myself. Sadly not Priority Pass but they are typically very kind to me in guesting my family via my AA status.

  7. Seems it works and will save time upon arrival.
    Just wondering when the first countries can start deploying immigration facilities in US airports.

  8. Dublin Airport is very unfriendly due to overzealous immigration officials. My parents had their passports and visas checked every few hundred feet. Might have something to do with Ireland not being part of the EU, in any case I’m avoiding this airport in the future

  9. Ireland is part of the EU but not a Schengen country. They are far more pro-EU than the UK, but you’re right…Irish immigration officials are exceptionally miserable.

  10. Anirudh, Greg

    Yes, I had a bad experience with Irish immigration last week. I was transiting overnight and so needed to go through immigration to get to my airport hotel.

    The immigration official asked for “proof” of both my airline booking the next day and my hotel booking that night. I haven’t printed off flight or hotel confirmations for years now, because hotels and airlines never ask for them. You just give them your name and show ID.

    Moreover I don’t have a smart phone or any portable device that could show the confirmation emails. So I told him I didn’t have any proof, unless he wanted to give me access to the internet.

    In the end he gave me a “telling off” and admitted me on a 24 hour visa. But why all this aggression?

  11. I’m flying in to Dublin business class on Air Lingus in the morning. Any way to get to this lounge after we land? I would love to shower.

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