What Are The Terminals in Dublin Airport?

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Terminals in Dublin
Terminals in Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is Ireland’s busiest airport, handling over 30 million passengers annually. There are 2 terminals in Dublin Airport – Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. While most airlines operate out of Terminal 1, Terminal 2 serves as the base for Ireland’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus, and is also home to the airport’s long-haul carriers. 

Many mistakes can be made in the airport, like thinking that a particular terminal is for Dublin Airport departures. This comprehensive guide provides information on Dublin Airport’s terminals, airlines operating from each terminal, facilities available, and how to navigate your way when travelling via Dublin Airport.

Terminal 1 – The Main Terminal Handling Majority of Airlines

Airport Help Desk

Terminal 1 is Dublin Airport’s main terminal, catering to most airlines operating flights to and from Dublin. This terminal opened in 1972 with an original capacity of 5 million passengers per year. Terminal 1 has undergone several renovations over the years to expand its capacity. The terminal can now handle over 20 million passengers annually.

Some major airlines that operate out of Terminal 1 include Ryanair, Flybe, Air France, KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Delta, and many more. Terminal 1 also hosts carriers operating flights from Dublin to destinations in Africa and the Middle East. Note that the terminal serves as both Dublin Airport arrivals and departures for these airlines

If you are flying on any airline apart from Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Emirates, El Al or United Airlines out of Dublin Airport, you will depart from Terminal 1.

Terminal 2 – Home to Aer Lingus and Long-Haul Carriers

Walking through the Airport Terminal

Dublin Airport Terminal 2 opened in November 2010 as part of a €600 million development project. Built to handle 15 million annual passengers, Terminal 2 serves as the base for Ireland’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus. The terminal also hosts all long-haul carriers flying out of Dublin Airport, especially those operating transatlantic flights.

The main long-haul carriers operating from Dublin Airport Terminal 2 include American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines, which together account for most flights from Dublin to the United States. Terminal 2 also has a US pre-clearance immigration facility, which allows passengers travelling to America to clear customs and immigration before departing Dublin.

Besides long-haul flights, Terminal 2 also hosts Middle Eastern carrier Emirates, which operates a daily service to Dubai International from this terminal. Israel’s El Al is another international airline operating from Terminal 2.

So if you are travelling with Aer Lingus or any airline offering long-haul international or US-bound flights out of Dublin Airport, Terminal 2 will be your departure point.

Where Are Other Airlines Located?

While most airlines are split between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, some operators also use other remote stands away from the main terminals. Currently, some Ryanair flights depart from remote stands via bus transfers due to capacity constraints. Passengers booked on these services are notified in advance.

Previously, other smaller regional airlines like CityJet and Stobart Air also operated remote flights on behalf of British Airways and Aer Lingus, respectively. However, most of these regional operators now use the main terminal gates. Nonetheless, be sure to confirm your departure terminal if travelling with a lesser-known regional airline.

Quick Facts on Dublin Airport’s Terminals

Here are some quick facts on the facilities and services offered across the two terminals at Dublin Airport:

  • Terminal 1 has a larger lounge offering than Terminal 2. Business class lounges in T1 include the Aspire Lounge, Platinum Services Dublin Lounge and No. 1 Lounge.
  • Terminal 1 hosts most shops and restaurants airside, while Terminal 2 offers limited options. However, T2 plans expansions to improve retail and food offerings.
  • Both terminals feature special assistance lanes for families and passengers requiring extra time or help during security screening.
  • Terminal 2 provides faster access to long-haul gates like Gates 401-426 via shorter walks from security. Terminal 1 gates are spread out, requiring longer walks.
  • Automatic people movers help reduce walking times from T1 security to Gates 100-121. Terminal 2 has no people movers currently.
  • Terminal 2 offers better connectivity and quicker access to transportation like taxis or buses due to less traffic congestion compared to Terminal 1.

How to Find Your Way Around the Terminals in Dublin airport

Finding Your Way Around Dublin Airport Terminals

Understanding Dublin Airport’s terminal operations is key to navigating your way once inside. Here are some tips to help you find your way:

  • Check-in desk locations for each airline are displayed on airport screens. Head to your airline’s check-in zone after entering.
  • After check-in and baggage drop, proceed to security screening. Gates information is displayed airside, past security.
  • All gates are assigned alphanumerically, i.e., Gate A1 or Gate A01. Subsequent gates are sequenced incrementally.
  • Following security, keep an eye on the yellow Flight Information Display Screens to find your departure gate based on your flight number and times.
  • Give yourself sufficient time while connecting between gates and crossing terminals. Walking or taking internal shuttle services all take time.

Ready for That Flight?

Escalator going down

In summary, Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 offer distinctly different services based on the airlines and destinations served. This guide summarises the major differences and provides tips to navigate both terminals easily.

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