Since setting up shop at Dublin Airport, 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….here are some of the more useful ones.
1.There is a children’s play area (Terminal 1, Level 3 landside and both terminals have small playareas airside) Essentially a small soft play frame, with seating for adults, coffee shop and McDonalds, baby changing and toilets nearby. Kids have had a play and stretched their legs, nappies are changed, hungry tummies are satisfied and parent remains sane!
2. There is a “family lane” through Departures wide enough to fit a buggy, which allows you and your family a bit of space away from the madness of the security queues. Effectively like your own Fastrack channel, look out for the small signs with a picture of a buggy on them.
3. The DAA offer concierge services, ideal for those traveling alone with children who need an extra pair of hands to get through the airport. It works both ways – you can be met at the air bridge or at Departures and helped with whatever you need. (FYI, this service is also available for elderly or infirmed who might need help or the use of a wheelchair.) See www.dublinairport.com for details, Oh and Stork Exchange customers receive a discount so holler if you need the code!
4. The ‘Lounge Service’ offered by DAA Services is worth considering if you have time to kill before a flight. It’s away from the madness of airside shopping, it has a separate playroom for children with toys and games etc, and access to the lounge bar, which is stocked with juices, drinks and light buffet snacks. Likewise holler for a discount code!
5. If you are hiring a car, the car rental yards are a shuttle bus away and not the most child friendly. You can request to collect your car at the terminal – some car rental companies will charge a fee, others won’t but if you argue you’ve lots of bags and children and would greatly appreciate the extra customer service etc…Otherwise, it would be very sensible to send one parent to rental queues and one up to the playarea mentioned above with the kids…
6. I will put my hands up now and declare I have a vested interest here ….BUT equipment such as prams and car seats are at risk of damage if checked into an aircraft hold… Be very careful, especially with car seats, as damage done might not be automatically apparent. On arrival remove the car seat cover and check for any cracks or signs of stress in the frame of your car seat. If you have to choose between what equipment to c, pick the pram, at least it’ll be obvious if it’s damaged.