Since setting up shop at Dublin Airport, it’s been a bag of surprises and some. The things I’ve noticed that as a regular passenger I never knew before, and as a parent of small children would definitely want to know….so with my Good Samaritan hat on, I’ve noted down some of the more useful ones.
1. Friday and Saturday are busy days in terms of families traveling; you are more likely to have full flights and queues everywhere on those days – ticket desks, check in desks, and especially car rental desks. No big deal, but during busy season (school holidays, August Bank Holiday, Christmas) we are talking serious queues. If at all possible, try travelling on a Tuesday!
2. Car rental pick up yards are not in the least child friendly (at Dublin Airport anyway). Between queuing at the airport desk (see above), doing the paperwork, getting the shuttle to the yard and collecting the car it’s at least an hour. Just a suggestion, but you could leave little ones and parent at the airport play area (in terminal 1,it’s on level 3 and there’s a cafe, McDonald’s and toilets there too) while you pick up the car, then drive up to the departures ramp to collect them. Kids have had a play and are refreshed and parent remains sane!
3. if you are hiring a car, in 99% of cases you will have to get a shuttle bus to the car yard to collect the car. You can request to collect your car at the terminal – some companies will charge an extra fee, others won’t, but if you argue you’ve lots of bags and children and would greatly appreciate the extra customer service etc etc, I know some of the rental companies will do it for you.
4. Awkward shaped equipment such as prams and car seats are difficult for airlines to pack as they don’t stack easily and so often arrive at the destination damaged or broken… I would never again bring an expensive piece of equipment like a pram or a car seat on an airplane. Bring a cheap one where it doesn’t matter if it gets broken, buy or borrow when you arrive, or hire from a reputable baby company 😉
5. Dublin Airport has a concierge service especially for passengers travelling with young children. It’s called Airport Genie and they basically fast track you through security and help with your bags and children, all the way to your gate. (We’re working on including a stroller in the bundle too at the moment). Useful if you could do with an extra pair of hands.