Travel News and Reviews

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – March 2023

Dublin Airport T2-Glass-Walkway-975x650 (2)

An Irish aviation record, new security rules at Dublin airport this summer, and all eyes on Asia. Eoghan Corry talks travel this month. 

The first Irish aviation record for 2023 will see 17 new routes launch in a single day from Irish airports. More gates and parking spaces are required at Dublin airport, but don’t arrive too early this summer as you may not be allowed join the security queue! Eoghan Corry shares this months travel talking points – what we learned, what’s new and what’s next…



What we learned

Eoghan Corry discusses new security rules at Dublin airport



This month we learned that those ghosts of summer past, security queues and French air traffic control strikes, are still able to disturb our sleep. Dublin airport say their security problems are many queue-posts behind them and everyone is getting through in twenty minutes nowadays. But can we be sure until we get back to 300 departures a day?


In the meantime the airport has been busy decluttering terminals, adding extra 400 seats and introducing three mobile food outlets that can move to meet the different peaks at different locations of the airport.

With a new runway to handle increased flights, apron and pier space is now an issue. Dublin needs more gates and parking spaces. Turkish airlines passengers are among those to be bussed to their aircraft this summer, instead of using airbridges as they used to.



What’s new

new holiday destinations from Ireland in 2023

Drum roll for the first Irish aviation record for 2023, the largest number of new routes to launch in a single day from Irish airports. The eight days over the end of March and beginning of April will bring a cluster of new routes from six Irish airports.


The record is 17 launches on March 26, with five on March 27, two on March 28, four on March 29, one on March 30 and one each on April 1 and 3. Four more will follow at the end of April, ten in May and three in June. A surprising number are not the usual bucket and spade destinations. Anyone for Iași?

Read: 23 new holiday destinations from Ireland in 2023



Beds not as scarce.

Ha'penny bridge, Dublin
Ireland’s first large hotel since the pandemic will open on April 17, the 393-bed Travelodge Plus Dublin City Centre on Townsend Street. It is a welcome addition to the city centre bed stock which has been in decline for more than 12 years.


There will be 800 new beds available for the peak season, which will open new options and keeps prices in check. Dublin needs them. Government contract beds will not likely be returning in the short term, Ireland’s largest hotel, the 764-bedroom Citywest amongst them.



Beware the early boarding card

tips for travelling through security at Dublin airport

The early board catches the worm, as the mammy used to say. No longer. Arriving six hours early at the airport will not be an option this summer. The scanners will be set so as not to allow early passengers through to the security queue. More than four hours early for a short haul flight and the barcode will not work.


It is a solution that Dublin airport have proposed to prevent overcrowding at the departure gates, which was a big problem at the 100 gates used by Ryanair, the old Pier B, when flights piled up last summer. The upside is that it is much easier to get your hands on a coffee and a bun landside than airside at Dublin airport.



Titanic’s surround sound.

TItanic Museum Belfast

The Titanic Centre, Ireland’s eighth most visited attraction, has been working to rid itself of the “one and done” factor and increase repeat visits.


Last month they reopened their final four galleries after a €5m redevelopment, with a specially commissioned musical score and a concert crescendo of a finish designed by Dutch company, Shosho. That sound of the crackling ice will linger in the ears all the way home

See more here



Will it start on the Late, Late Show?

Eoghan Corry suggests there may be discounted airfares to Zakynthos this summer

Holiday makers love late specials, travel companies hate them. What are the chances this year, when prices for summer 2023 are ahead, 40pc internationally about 20pc in Ireland, of where we were pre pandemic?


Travel agency bookings are stronger than they were pre pandemic, so we are unlikely to see a repeat of last year’s pandemic related slumps in demand that saw firesales on charter flights, but keep an eye on destinations with new low cost competition like Kos and Zakynthos.



Who pays the striker?

Eoghan Corry talks about flight cancellations

Security staff strikes are the headache headline of the month, with four German airports and Heathrow (Easter Monday) affected already and the gréve happy French Air Traffic Control primed to follow.


Ryanair have launched a passenger petition that Eurocontrol should allow overflights over France when they strike, as already happens with Greece, Italy and Spain (where overflights are less an issue). So far Ryanair have had a million passengers with cancelled and delayed flights and 200 of 4,000 cancelled flights have affected Ireland.


There is another reason for airline concern. Some courts are interpreting Eu261 that airlines should pay compensation when the airline is hit by a strike. Adding compensation to the repair bill could add over €100m to the cost of rescheduling flights. Air France’s bill would be even higher. Who pays the striker in the end? Us, dear passenger, us.

Read: How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled



Strumming the Qatar

The National Museum of Qatar is one of Doha's top attracations

A note for those who may have missed it, since February 1, visitors to Qatar have to buy official state travel insurance to visit the country. Stopover passengers are not affected, but your standard annual insurance is no longer sufficient to get a visa to go through immigration. Let’s hope other countries do not follow.

Read: Doha travel guide – top things to do in Doha



A third force at Dublin airport

planes at dublin airport

The new CEO of Dublin Airport Kenny Jacobs, thinks his airport is too blue and green. He wants to see a strong airline presence from a third force. Anyone who remembers Easyjet’s entry to Cork, Knock and Shannon and Go’s attempt to go head to head with Ryanair will watch with interest.



What’s next

Great Wall of China

All eyes on Asia. The big surprise of last month was China’s decision to open its borders overnight, from total lockdown to open access with no prior warning. Will that bring Dublin’s Chinese routes, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzen back into play for 2024? Very likely. Prime the chopsticks.


Missed last month’s post?

Read: Eoghan Corry talks travel February 2023

Eoghan Corry


Travel News and Reviews

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – January 2023


Disappearing flights, Ryanair revenues rise, goodbye Flybe and welcome back Holiday World – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month.

We have become less connected to Britain and the pendulum is set to swing further in Europe’s direction in 2023, reports Eoghan Corry. We say goodbye to Flybe while Ryanair gets its strategy right. Travel agents welcome back Holiday World but remember to chase those new routes – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month.



Disappearing flights.


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Have you booked to Stansted, Birmingham or Leeds Bradford this summer? Then look again. Flights are disappearing from the summer schedule and it would take all the skill and the guile of a few pre-pubescents and Timmy their dog to keep track of them all.


British flights are first to go, with London’s three airports and the regionals all losing out. Our airport stats from 2022 show we have become less connected to Britain since the double whammy of Brexit and Covid and this trend is accelerating. Passenger traffic to and from Britain was 31pc of the total in 2019 and is now down to 28pc, Europe was 53pc and is up to 57pc. The pendulum is set to swing further in Europe’s direction in 2023.



Disappearing bags.

disappearing bags at Dublin airport

The number of missing bags since last summer is now down to around 200. In normal times these could safely written off as irrecoverable. But these are not normal times and a few are showing up intermittently. In normal times up to 50 bags a day were lost at Dublin airport. That rose to about 300 a day during the summer, with Aer Lingus, Sky handling and Swissport.


Aer Lingus have hired an extra 100 service agents and updated their website to make reporting and claiming easily, both for interim expenses and then for the final claim when the bag is written off after 21 days (Aer Lingus say 80pc of the bags missing in Dublin airport were never loaded in the first place at congested hubs like Heathrow).


Don’t hold your breath for the compo. Compensation for a lost bag is pitiful, and will barely cover lost clothes. Even the calculation sounds like it was arrived at 30,000 feet up in cloud cuckooland, in a fictitious currency called International Drawing Units.



Priority profits.


Ryanair’s business update for November to December indicates revenue per passenger is now €60, which is €22 higher than the average fare. It shows the success of the Ryanair strategy of cheap lead fares, and charging us more by the time we have finished the booking and got our digital mitts on that magic six digit booking reference.


Of course, we can always travel without priority boarding, a cup of coffee, a bag and with randomly allocated seats, and (what the heck, let’s do it) a scratchcard. But what would be the fun in that?



Goodbye-be Flybe.

Flybe cease trading - Eoghan Corry talks travel

The loss of Flybe as an alternative air carrier from Ireland is more significant and worrying than appears at first glance. Passengers will almost certainly get the air fare back, to their card if the payment is recent and from the travel insurer if you have disruption. But hotels and event tickets are going to be trickier, and the English CAA website is notoriously vague on the subject of compensation.


The problem now is that Belfast City has lost 30% of its flights and a lead customer. Less competition is bad for consumers. Competition on flights from Belfast to Heathrow is already reduced by the withdrawal of Aer Lingus on the route.



Rising tides and cruise ships


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It will be a big year for cruise with 28 major cruise ship launches, bigger and more luxurious ships set to launch. Cruise ship bookings in January have given companies an indication of the workings and price points that suit the Irish market and they report brisk business. MSC Cruises has two new ships, MSC Euribia in June and the launch of a new luxury category, the 922 passenger Explora 1.



Secret Agents

Eoghan Corry talks about Holiday World 2023

The Holiday World show had a sizeable presence of members of the Irish Travel Agents Association all playing up the benefits of booking with an agent in a post-pandemic environment. Consumer protection is not the only reason for seeking out the assistance
of a travel agent.


Travel agents came into their own when flights were cancelled, refunds sought, and when flights were missed because of security queues, and also for dealing with the headaches when bags went missing. They can offer agent only discounts and robust deposit policies, where as little as €1 deposit can secure the summer holiday instead of paying up front.


Researching a holiday with an agent saves time and webpages, gives the opportunity of booking all parts of the holiday in one go, and offers one point of contact if anything changes or anything goes wrong. The agency holiday should also be equal to or better value than DIY bookings.



Chase the new routes.


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Remember to chase those new 2023 routes for the best prices, 14 from Dublin airport, five each from Shannon and Belfast international, three from Belfast City, two from Cork and one from Knock.


Aer Lingus to Cleveland is the headline start-up on May 19th. Eastbound, El Al’s new Tel Aviv route starts March 16th. There are also a clutch of winter routes some of which are continuing (such as Ryanair Dublin to Genoa).

Not all are from high profile airlines: HiSky Dublin to Bucharest-Otopeni is already running and Widerøe to Bergen begins April 27th. It takes a year for a new route to find its price point, during which time the consumer has a short-lived and rare advantage.



Showtime to Go-time.

Declan Nerney holidays

A severely shrunken series of Holiday World shows in Limerick, Belfast and Dublin made up in excitement what they lacked in size with sunshiny smiles all round. While France and Italy did not show their colours (Ryder cup venue Italy tried, but were hampered by politics at home), Spain, Portugal and USA made up for it with razzmatazz and Declan Nerney showed up to tell
us to “stop the world and let us off.” Not yet, Declan, not yet.



Missed last month’s post? 

Read: Eoghan Corry talks travel – December 2022

Eoghan Corry

Travel News and Reviews

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – October 2022

Icon of the Seas

Where will our tourists stay, the return of fuel surcharges, the world’s largest cruise ship, and lots more – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month. 

A staggering million and a half bed nights out of the tourist offering on the Wild Atlantic Way are gone – where will our tourists stay next summer? Many airlines are charging €350 extra for trans-Atlantic round trips, while Royal Caribbean International had the busiest sales day in the history of the company. All this, and more in this month’s travel talking points from Eoghan Corry.


Arise Sir Charges.

Eoghan Corry discusses the rise in fuel surcharges

Nobody calls them FUEL surcharges anymore, but they are back. Carrier-imposed surcharges (YQ/YR on that booking) are stowing away on airfares once more after a 12-year-absence. Many airlines are charging a hefty €350 extra for trans-Atlantic round trips, even more in business class.


Passengers on frequent flyer programmes can sometimes avoid them, so it is a good time to join. Aer Lingus have avoided the drift, unlike their IAG colleagues BA and Iberia.

Read: The beginners guide to AerClub and why you should join

Ryanair, of course, will never impose a surcharge, as they promised in 2008. A churlish person might venture that charging €21 for priority boarding on their €10 fare might obviate the need for surcharges, but that would just be quibbling.



Ciao Ciampino.


Long, long ago, when Michael O’Leary first discovered Machiavelli, there were two services to Rome from Dublin, Fiumicino with Aer Lingus and Ciampino with Ryanair.

Ryanair’s airport was closer to the city than Aer Lingus’s, albeit marginally, 26km v 32km, bucking the trend of other cities (Memmingen/Munich, Hahn/Frankfurt and Beauvais/Paris), But Fiumicino has a rail connection, the 32-minute Leonardo express, Ciampino does not.


Machiavelli O’Leary sent to Rome to announce that all Ryanair flights are henceforth going to Fiumicino as well. They include the Dublin service from Oct 30 and Cork from Oct 31. Dublin to Ciampino stop the previous day.

Announcing 30 new routes from Italy (18 of them from Rome), O’Leary also predicted the demise of ITA Airways (continuity Alitalia). Ryanair will still operate 33 routes from Ciampino.



Wild Atlantic Wail


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Ireland’s inbound tourism access for 2023 is looking strong, with a new route to Cleveland, the revival of Hartford and the continuation of surprise routes like Calgary. But our tourism beds are disappearing like a Hallowe’en spell. In 2022,

15% of beds in Dublin and 12% in Belfast were taken up by government contracts, including Ireland’s largest hotel, the 764-room Citywest. Even tourist-focused properties such as Wild Atlantic Lodge in Ballyvaughan are out of commission.


A hefty million and a half bed nights out of the tourist offering on the Wild Atlantic Way are gone: 2,500 beds are currently unavailable, and that could rise to 3,000 next summer as hoteliers hedge their bets against rising costs and recession.


Most of the disappearing beds are low budget, three star hotels catering to the European coach tour market, and hotels that have been significantly underinvested in years. Would our hoteliers be tempted if the Wild Atlantic Way was working properly and not as seasonal?



Big ships still rule. 

The cruise industry needs as much excitement as it can get, and has just gotten it. Icon of the Seas is not yet due to launch for twelve months.


Royal Caribbean did the big reveal this month and launched with prices a whopping 75pc higher than for Wonder of the Seas and yet it had the busiest sales day in the history of the company. At 7,600 passengers (2,805 cabins) is even bigger than its predecessors, a town the size of New Ross floating around the Caribbean.



Trail trauma

mountain walk

Given all the public money which was spent on the Upper Vartry Reservoir Trail, it is alarming that it was blocked and it took a protest to reopen it again. Rights of way are subject to permissive access in Ireland, as opposed to the right to roam legally enacted in England and many mainland countries.


Access for walkers to Fenit Island near Tralee has been blocked for over 15 years, despite a District Court Order early this year demanded that the fences blocking access be removed.


Access to the traditional path to the Wicklow Head Lighthouse has been blocked. Doctrinaire interpretation of article 43 of the constitution and the absence of robust legislation makes county councils reluctant to challenge blockages on traditional pathways.

If access to countryside places in Ireland is voluntary it can be withdrawn, an unspoken and worrying stumbling block on every new greenway in the country.



Nostalgia for 2021.

hotel prices
November is shoe-leather month for your correspondent, when he takes to the byways and boreens of Ireland to hear what the beleaguered army of home holiday tourism and hospitality people have to say.

One big takeaway is how many businesses saw a downturn on 2021 and even 2020. Home holidays were never seen as a long term alternative to markets such as Spain and Portugal, but the post-Covid decline has been sharper than expected.


The other problems include energy bill hikes of 30pc, inflation on items like linen and food, insurance hikes of around 20pc, the ongoing staffing problem, and more complex questions about the direction and structure of capital funding. If our hotel bills are rising, there is a reason.



G’day stays.

What a beautiful day to go snorkelling? Australia’s new €80m cute-and-cuddly “Come and Say G’day” campaign by Hallway ad agency is the clearest signal yet that Tourism Australia see the future, post-Covid, in Asia.

They could be on to something else as well: the CGI influencer. The ad pays tribute to Greg Ham’s controversial flute solo from THAT Men at Work (Men Not-At-Work?) song, a staple for the decision makers in 420 George St since the 1980s when Paul Hogan invited us to put another shrimp on the Barbie.


The campaign also clings on to the safe “There’s nothing like Australia” slogan, a reminder that Australia was responsible for a slogan regarded worldwide as one of the disastrous ever: “Where the Bloody hell Are You.” Meanwhile in New Zealand, the world’s most successful tourism slogan, “100pc pure” is entering its 24th year.



Qatar chords

Eoghan Corry talks about the world cup in Qatar

Ireland’s men failed to qualify for the world cup in soccer (unlike the fair gender), but that has never before deterred our fans from travelling. Ireland provided the fourth-most fans from any major market attending Germany 2006, and we did not even qualify.


This year is different. Beds are scarce, partying restricted and prices high. Testing is required before travel, even if you are vaccinated, and fans have to retest every two days. Our FIFA accredited agency says there is NO interest whatsoever in Qatar 2024.


Cruise lines have been contracted in to provide extra accommodation and some fans have chosen to overnight in nearby hubs such as Dubai and fly in for individual matches. Some accommodation is now coming available in the past week, but there has not been a big handback of accommodation with about three weeks to go, as in the pattern of previous world cups, leading to the sort of panic selling such as that seen at Rosebank in 2010.

Irish fans have a world cup in another code in Paris next September (with one match in Bordeaux) which is much more tempting with the wine is better. You’ll never unseat the Irish.



That sinking feeling

river cruise deals from Ireland

Just when we thought cruise ships had made it through the summer, Arena failed, with a considerable number of Irish clients booked to sail on the English-based river cruise company. Those Covid cross currents are still there.



Missed last month’s post? Eoghan Corry summarises this years travel talking points here:

Read: Eoghan Corry talks travel – September 2022


Eoghan Corry

Eoghan Corry


Travel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – September 2022

Ryanair and Aer Lingus

Flight cancellations, lost luggage, lack of hotel beds and more – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month. 

It has been a summer, says Eoghan Corry. Nobody was sure what shape the holiday season would take, but the travel industry, always full of surprises, threw in a few extra twists for us this year. So there is lots of things to ruminate about as we face into the last few weeks of the summer schedules. Rumination with a view, if you like. 


1. Ryanair are roaring.

Eoghan Corry's talking points on Ryanair

“Fortune favours the bold,” is a slogan that could have been thought up by Michael O’Leary. Not many, at least outside the control room in Swords anticipated the scale of Ryanair’s passenger growth in summer 2022.
The headline figures compared with 2019 show two things: Ryanair’s readiness to snap up the business of returnees to travel and the caution of the opposition. Ryanair’s policy of keeping its aircraft certified, its pilots licensed and its cabin crew employed through Covid meant that it did not hit the staffing crisis faced by almost everyone else on the departure board.


It meant that Ryanair, for a time during summer at least, were the second busiest airline in the world. And because it flies point to point and does not do transfers, it did not get caught up in the lottery of lost bags.

Ryanair monthly passenger rate increases got bigger as their rivals floundered in the heat of summer, 5.4% ahead of 2019 in April, 9.2% in May, then 12% 13.5% and 13.4% in June, July and August, at a time most airlines are expecting to report lower numbers than three summers ago.


What next? An ambitious schedule has already been published for 2023. Ryanair is anticipating two new aircraft a week between now and March, although Boeing seem to be able to deliver only half that number unless something improves in Seattle.
It is well positioned to face a further rise in fuel price this winter, and willingness to turn its back on Frankfurt Main and Zaventum shows it is still prepared to pull out of an airport deal if the terms are not right.


That means more of the same: cheap headline prices, but be prepared to be shaken down on ancillaries. Some of the fares on offer for summer 2023 are surprisingly high. And Christmas is off the scale.

Read: Book Ryanair flights with 50% deposit on family fares



2. Lingus are not laggards.

talking points on Aer Lingus with Eoghan Corry

When BA, Lufthansa Air France and Easyjet assessed the rosters in May and made the call to cancel thousands of scheduled flights, Aer Lingus decided not to do so and flew straight into a series of well publicised sickness shortages.


The short term cancellations caused by staff absences, at their peak, caused disruption that was no greater than a moderate weather event. The problem was that 27% of their flight cancellations were at less than six hours’ notice, bad news for both airline and passengers.

Another difference was that Aer Lingus publicised their problems, while Air France, American, BA, Eurowings, United, SAS and Westjet quietly cancelled without drawing attention to themselves.


When they thought nothing else could go wrong, someone in England dug up the cable that links the booking reference to the cloud, 800 gigabytes of oppression. There is an ongoing problem for Aer Lingus, the interface between their once state of the art Astral system and the front end website and app.

For the future: expect earlier cancellations and (maybe) fewer press releases.



3. Cold cases.

Eoghan Corry talks lost luggage

The baggage mountain in Dublin airport became a social media meme of its own this summer. Musicians, golfers, brides and even a dead parent’s ashes were all sucked into it at some stage, like an otherworld villain from a 1950s B movie.


Many, though not all of the problems, were caused by bags that failed to make the transfer flight in Heathrow, Amsterdam and, especially Toronto, among other places.

Baggage handlers were slow to staff up and thwarted by red tape. The issue now is that the problem is likely to taper on, with Heathrow saying their woes will spill on until next summer.


Our tech-heavy baggage system was designed for efficient airline operations and enough beefy men to actually lift the bags. Neither situation prevails at the moment.

Read: How to prevent lost luggage when travelling



4. Hotels are overheated.

hotel demand in Ireland

Forget the burgeoning energy bill. It is hot in the lobby. Dublin’s hotels went into the recover knowing they were about 3,500 rooms short of demand.

They also had up to 80% of their stock already taken with deferrals (about 25%), tour ops (35%) and government contracts (about 17%) while 2.4% of hotels chose not to reopen at all. That left 6% of rooms, one sixteenth of the total, for walk in business.


To ramp the temperature up further, it was a summer of 30 concerts, three times the number we danced at 2019, with the likes of the Eagles and Garth Brooks likely to draw the very cohort of customers hotels spend a lot of their marketing budgets trying to attract.


All this was not going to end well, and country hotels are blaming their cosmopolitan colleagues for the PR disaster that ensued. The hoteliers knew the figures before the first check in of summer. How did they allow it to go so wrong so quickly?



5. Cruising’s breakers yard blues.

Celebrity Beyond

We remember, if not always fondly, the iconic budget cruise ships of the past. Okay, some of these elderly maidens were short on space, long on years and in need of a makeover, but for many Irish people they provided their first cruise.

This summer they all paraded off to the breakers’ yard, the CMV Magellan and Marco Polo and Fred Olsen’s Boudicca, while Black Watch has become an accommodation ship.


Royal Caribbean’s original Monarch and Sovereign of the Seas, later sailing for Pullmantur, also tugged off to Davy Jones’ locker, or as Luke Kelly used to sing, Fiddler’s Green.


While there is plenty of excitement at sea this autumn, with 17 new ships including the marquee launches of RCCL’s Wonder of the Seas, Celebrity Beyond and Norwegian’s Prima, Princess announcing its new Sphere-class and MSC Seascape to follow in a few weeks, the crisis that hit cruising more than other aspects of travel has cleared the quays of the smaller older ships that used to offer low budget options.
Read: How to choose the right cruise for you



6. Covid hasn’t gone away (you know).

travel updates on summer travel

Few things cause as much dismay at a departure gate as the unexpected news that a flight still requires masks., A surprising number still do. Germany is the latest to drop masking requirements on flights, next Saturday. But remember Asia is still largely closed, Africa and South America still complicated, and local restrictions can still bite us in the earlobes.


Travel insurance has never been as important as now. Make sure it covers covid, including the isolation period before you fly home.

One of the distractions of the summer is the complication experienced by passengers boarding cruise ships, whose Covid insurance was deemed inadequate by the gangway attendants. Being right is no use if you lose the argument as you walk the plank.



7. Garda blues about passports.

Irish passport

Nobody could say it aloud, but when the great passport delay hit the headlines, one body of gentlemen were to blame. Finding the Garda that signed the witness form for first time applicants proved as elusive as the first salmon catch on the Moy.


While all the systems that we use to issue passports have been updated, and sideshows such as a printing machine in Cork hit the headlines, the logjam was caused by the old fashioned phone call to a Garda who was not due to be rostered until Tuesday next or has been promoted to a bigger job.


There is no certainty the window dressing of “closer liaison” will solve this problem. Get that application in as soon as the new-born baby arrives.



8. Three strikes and we are all out.

cancelled flights

The summer round aviation strikes were more about headlines than about the havoc those promised. Ryanair’s Med-based cabin crew strikes were staged by tiny unions who did not have the muscle to cause enough cancelations to impact their schedule. SAS pilots and Belgian cabin crew were the exceptions, but neither affected mainstream holiday destinations.


An exception is the French air traffic control. Three unions are competing in terms of militancy and there is an uncertain political balance. This means that we can expect half of the flights to and from France and a significant number of overflights to places like Reus to be affected by two further strikes.


There is nothing airlines can do about this except cancel the required 50p% of their schedule and appeal to Brussels to allow neighbouring countries take command of overflights. It should not be that difficult.

Eoghan Corry


Eoghan Corry

Travel Tips

New – Book Ryanair Flights With 50% Deposit On Family Fares

ryanair plane

Secure your 2023 family holiday now. Book Ryanair flights with 50% deposit, and pay the balance 60 days before departure.

If you are anything like me, you will come back from one holiday and immediately start thinking about how to get away again! I spend hours looking up Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights looking for the best deals. We have to have something to look forward to, right?

We know that prices always increase during the peak summer months, and with all the talk of airfares on the rise, now is probably the best time to secure your summer holiday.


Fortunately Ryanair have made booking flights for next year a little easier for families – you can now book Ryanair flights with Family Plus and pay just 50% deposit, and pay the balance 60 days before your departure date. 


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How to pay a deposit with Ryanair flights?

You simply book Ryanair flights in the usual way, but you must select the Family Plus fare. The family plus fare includes the following:

  • One small bag per person that fits under the seat – 40cm x 20cm x 25cm
  • 1 x 20kg checked in bag per family
  • 10kg checked-in bag for all passengers
  • Free seats for kids under 12 – max 4 kids per booking

You then select the ‘Pay 50% Deposit’ option. To be able to use this option, your travel needs to be booked at least 65 days pre-departure.

Ryanair flights with 50% deposit

When you want to pay the balance of your flights – it must be no later than 60 days before departure, you simply log into your account, retrieve your booking and select the upcoming trip to be paid.  

The best part – there is no additional charge for choosing this form of payment, and if you don’t pay the remainder, your deposit is transferred into your Ryanair wallet as credit!



Can I change my flights at a later date? 

tips for travelling with kids

According to the Ryanair website:

“If you do not pay the balance of the total cost of the booking at least 60 days before the date of departure, your booking will be cancelled, and the deposit you paid will be refunded to the Wallet section of your my Ryanair Account. Credit cannot be exchanged for cash and must be used within 12 months of the issued date”.


This means that if your flights are cancelled, you will receive Ryanair credit, which can be used up to 12 months from the issue date. This is a massive incentive to use this form of payment. It gives you peace of mind that if you cannot travel, you can reschedule a trip within 12 months.



Deposit payment is only available on Ryanair flights, and not third-party services such as transfers, hotels, car rental, parking or travel insurance. 

See more here



Like Ryanair travel tips? You might like these too!

How to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage

10 top tips for travelling through Dublin airport


Travel Tips

How To Get A Refund From Ryanair – My Step by Step Guide

ryanair plane

My handy guide outlines how to get a refund from Ryanair, if you booked directly on the Ryanair website, or if you booked via a travel agency.

Are you struggling to get a refund from Ryanair? Airlines are obliged by law to refund you within seven days of a flight cancellation. I think most people understand that there can be delays, however, I have received messages from people who have waited months for a refund – this is clearly unacceptable. 



I have outlined below a step by step guide on how to get a refund from Ryanair, with links to claim refunds if you booked directly on the Ryanair website, or if you booked via a travel agency. I hope you find it useful and it helps you secure a refund quickly.


How do I know if I am entitled to a refund from Ryanair?

how to get a refund from ryanair if my flight is cancelled

You are only entitled to a refund from Ryanair, or any airline for that matter, if your flight is cancelled. If you choose not to travel because the government are advising that you should not travel, or for personal reasons, you are not entitled to a refund.


If you do not wish to travel overseas and your flight is still operating, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance policy if you have government advisory included, or if you have travel disruption cover. This will need to be checked with your travel insurance provider.

Read: 10 Tips for travelling during Covid-19



How do I apply for a refund with Ryanair?how to get a refund from ryanair

If your flight has been cancelled and you have booked with Ryanair.com or via the Ryanair app, you can apply for a refund online. You may have received notification of the flight cancellation via email, and you may have been offered a voucher, however, if your flight is cancelled you can apply for a refund using this link:

Apply for refund here



What if I received a voucher instead of a refund?

ryanair travel voucher

Ryanair may still send you a voucher even if you have applied for a refund. Vouchers are quicker and easier to process and Ryanair will hope you will accept the voucher.

However, if you don’t want to accept the voucher, you can redeem your voucher for a cash refund, by submitting your booking details below – note this is only for customers who booked directly on Ryanair.com or via the Ryanair App.

Claim refund here



What should I do if I booked my Ryanair flight via a travel agency or an online travel website?

love holidays
Ryanair have made no secret that they want you to book all of your Ryanair flights directly with them, despite the fact that many package holidays using Ryanair flights and corporate travel are booked via travel agencies. Travel agencies have reported that they have received some refunds, however recently these seem to be harder to secure.


If you have booked via a third party website or travel agency and are still awaiting a refund, the reason for the delay may because Ryanair have not refunded the travel agent. I suggest contacting your travel agency to discuss your options. If you have booked via an online travel agency and are unable to contact them, you will need to apply for a refund directly on the Ryanair website.


Ryanair have introduced a new policy for customers who are seeking a refund, but have not booked with Ryanair.com or via the Ryanair app. You are required to fill out a Customer Verification Form online and attach the following documents: 


  • Copy of your ID and signature e.g. passport or driving license
  • Proof of address e.g. household bill
  • Original booking confirmation from the Online Travel Agency 



Ryanair have confirmed that they will refund you directly, and not the travel agency who you booked through. I have filled out one of these forms personally and am currently awaiting correspondence from Ryanair to verify my request. 

View Customer Verification Form here


Ryanair have actively posted about the impacts of  booking with a 3rd party travel agent or screen scraper website. They have highlighted large UK travel sites such as Kiwi, On the Beach, Love Holidays, eDreams and Last Minute.com, rather than local travel agencies. However, it has been suggested by some agencies that they may be applying the same rules for ANYONE not booked directly with Ryanair.


According to the Ryanair website: “If you receive confirmation from Ryanair that your booking has already been refunded to the screen scraper that you booked with, you must contact them directly to get your money back”.



Is there any further action I can take if I am not satisfied with the outcome? 

how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

Regardless of the situation, regulation EU 261 still applies – if a flight is cancelled you are entitled to a refund. If you have exhausted all the steps above, and have still not received your refund from Ryanair, you can make a complaint to The Commission for Aviation Regulation. This is the National Enforcement Body for EU 261, which sets out the rights of Air Passengers if their flight is cancelled or delayed, amongst other things.


It is important to note that they can only carry out investigations in relation to flights departing from Irish Airports and flights arriving into Ireland from outside the EU where the flight is operated by an EU airline. For details on making complaints relating to departures from other EU countries, click here.


Myself and fellow travel journalist Ed Finn interviewed the Air Passenger Rights Manager, Sarah Fischer from the Commission of Aviation Regulation. Sarah explained to us in great detail how to get a refund if your flight is cancelled. You can listen to the full podcast here:





Like this post? You might like:

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled




The Travel Expert

Travel Tips

Flight Cancelled With Ryanair? You May Be Entitled To Expenses And Compensation


Another week, more headline grabbing news from Ryanair.  Ryanair are cancelling 40 – 50 flights every day for the next six weeks. If you have a flight cancelled with Ryanair, you may be entitled to compensation.


Although Ryanair say that this is less than 2% of their schedule, this doesn’t offer much consolation for those affected. To make matters worse the only explanation given by Ryanair is

“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that”.

Ryanair have only offered cancellation notices until Wednesday 20th of September so those who are travelling later in September or October still have no idea of whether their flight will operate. For a full list of flights that Ryanair have already cancelled click here

flight cancelled with ryanair


The Commission for Aviation Regulation have issued the following statement:


If you have been affected by the Ryanair programme of flight cancellations you are entitled to a choice of refund or rerouting. Compensation may also be payable depending on the notice period Ryanair has given you.


Cancellation with prior notice.

Under the terms of the Regulation your entitlement and compensation varies depending on when you were informed of the cancellation.

The airline must provide at least two weeks notice to avoid paying compensation and they must then offer either:

  • an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or at a later date of your choice subject to the availability of seats; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

If you have been given between two weeks and seven days notice the airline must offer a choice between:

  • an alternative flight departing no more than two hours before your original departure time and allowing arrival at your final destination within fours hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

Less than seven days notice requires the airline to offer the choice between:

  • an alternative flight departing no more than one hour before your original departure time and allowing arrival within two hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

Airlines are entitled to offer a passenger comparable transport to the final destination if no alternative flight with the carrier is available.


Cancellation upon arrival at the airport.

In the event of a cancellation without prior notification the Regulation provides the following:

  • The air carrier shall provide a written notice setting out the rules for assistance in line with Article 14(2) of the Regulation. In addition, a sign must be displayed at the check-in area with the following text:

“If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask a the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance”

  • Passengers must also be offered care and assistance free of charge while waiting for their rerouted flight– specifically, meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation in cases where an overnight stay becomes necessary, transport between the airport and place of accommodation and two telephone calls, emails, faxes or telexes.
  • An alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or by comparable transport to the final destination.
  • A full refund of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose to the passenger’s original travel plan or when relevant a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.
  • When a city, town or region is served by several airports, a carrier may offer a flight to an alternative airport to that originally booked. The carrier is then obliged to bear the cost of transferring the passenger to the airport to that which the booking was made or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.



Compensation in the event of a cancellation depends on the distance of the flight and the reason for the cancellation.

If an airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken no compensation is payable.

As previously stated, the distance of a flight determines the amount of compensation due.

If the flight distance is:

  • 1500km or less the amount payable is €250
  • 1500km – 3500km and all EU flights over 3500km the amount payable is €400
  • 3500km or more the amount payable is €600.

If an airline can offer rerouting to the final destination that does not exceed:

  • two hours for flights of less than 1500km;
  • three hours for flights between 1500km and 3500km; and
  • four hours for flights over 3500km

the compensation will be reduced by 50%.

It is very important to note that compensation is distinct from and separate to the notion of reimbursement of expenses and/ or the refund of the cost of an unused flight ticket.

Claims Process

If you choose to make a claim for expenses or compensation from Ryanair, you must contact the airline directly.  This is covered in Article 15 of their terms and conditions found on their website.  Ryanair aims to deal with your application within 4 to 6 weeks.

It is important to remember that Ryanair is not required to pay compensation if the cancellation was outside of their control (extraordinary circumstances).   Once Ryanair has finished dealing with your claim and if you do not agree with their decision, you can refer the matter to:

The Commission for Aviation Regulation.

3rd Floor Alexandra House

Earlsfort Terrace


Telephone number +353-(0) 1-6611700



Irish passengers who remain unclear about their entitlements as set out in EC Regulation 261/ 2004, or who have further queries in relation to same, should contact this office at info@aviationreg.ie or on 1890 787 787 or + 353 1 6611700.







The Travel Expert


Travel Tips

How to change your ticket with Ryanair within 24 hours, without penalty!


We have all been there, hit the confirm button only to realise you have done something wrong. Sometimes you book the wrong date, or forget your passport is in a different name. Find out how to change a Ryanair ticket without penalty below.


Did you know that Ryanair have a 24 hour grace period?

You can change a Ryanair ticket free of charge if you contact them.  This is clearly stated on their website:

“Don’t worry, customers who have booked their flight directly on the Ryanair.com website have a 24 hour grace period from the time of original booking, to correct any minor errors (i.e. incorrect routings/dates/times) free of charge. If you are changing your flight date, time or route, we will waive the flight change fee.


However you will be charged any price difference between the original fare paid and the lowest total price available on your new flight. Please note that if the fare/fees on the new flight is lower, no refund will be made.”

To find out more please contact their call centre or chat online to one of their team.

Source: Newstalk

Read: How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled


how to change a ryanair ticket




How to change a Ryanair flight that was made more than 24 hours ago:

If you wish to change your Ryanair flight more than 24 hours after the booking was made, charges will apply. These are calculated per one way flight/per person and vary season to season. Fees begin at €35, and vary depending on the route and travel dates selected. Higher flight change fees apply on all flights on the following routes: International Canary Islands (excl. Spanish domestic) and all international Greek routes. You can see a list or Ryanair fees here.




How to change your Ryanair flight:

If you need to change your flight – click ‘Manage my Booking’ and then ‘Manage your trip’ on the Ryanair website.  Select ‘Change your flight’ option and choose the flight you wish to change. You will the need to ‘Search new flight’ and select the new flight and then amend the flight date. If you are happy with the new flight price, click ‘Confirm change.’ Once you enter in your credit card details and select ‘Pay now’ you will receive an updated email itinerary with your revised flight details.



Are there any Ryanair flights that can not be changed online?

If you have booked a domestic flight and wish to change it to an international one, or if one person in your party wishes to change their flight, but the others do not, you will need to call the Ryanair helpdesk or use the online chat service to change this. If you have already checked-in and wish to change your Ryanair flight, you will need to contact Ryanair reservations.

Click here for more details on changing a Ryanair flight. 




So there you have it, there are many ways to change a Ryanair ticket. There is no longer any need for panic when you hit the confirm button!


Other posts that might be of interest:

What to do if your flight is cancelled with Ryanair

Cancelled flight? What to do when things go wrong


Want to see more Travel Tips ? Click here.



The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery





Top Holiday Destinations in 2017


Dublin airport has just celebrated it’s best ever year in 2016 and there are lots of new routes announced from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. It seems Irish airports are set for another bumper year.  So where are the top holiday destinations in 2017?

It looks like firm favourites, Spain and Portugal will remain the most popular short haul holiday destinations. Every other month we are hearing about new routes to the USA so American holidays will probably be the next biggest crowd pleaser. Short break enthusiasts will welcome the 9 weekly flights to Iceland and if you haven’t visited Athens or Amsterdam yet, 2017 might well be the year to do it. Cruise holidays are gearing up for another year of growth and the 14 weekly flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as the new daily Qatar airways service from Dublin to Doha, ensures long haul holidays will be easily accessible. Here are my picks for holiday hot spots in 2017!


Ireland’s favourite holiday destination never disappoints. Culture vultures or party animals enjoy the numerous choices for city breaks and beach holidays. Why not combine both though? The Costa Dorada looks like it could be the big winner this year. There are flights from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock serving Reus, Girona or Barcelona and Sunway and Falcon Holidays both offer package deals to Salou and Cambrils. The combination of the iconic city of Barcelona and the opening of Ferrari World at the already popular Port Aventura theme park, make it an ideal choice for all the family.

Top holiday destinations in 2017


Another Irish favourite, the Algarve has almost fifty flights per week from Irish airports, in the peak Summer months. Aer Lingus have added a new service to Porto, and Lisbon is already a popular city break destination. It looks like lots Irish holiday makers will be flocking to Portugal in their droves in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017


Lakes, mountains, cities and beaches, Italy has something to offer all holiday makers. Lake Garda is becoming more and more popular with families as there are numerous self catering and camping options. The Amalfi Coast is always a popular honeymoon destination and the islands will attract couples looking for an upmarket holiday. Sunway have introduced a direct flight to Sardinia for 2017 which should keep the beach enthusiasts happy, and the growing trend for authentic experiences will ensure that Irish numbers to the region of Puglia should continue to grow.

Top holiday destinations in 2017


Always great value for money and appealing to the masses, the Greek islands should have many Irish visitors in 2017. There are direct flights to Zakynthos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos with Falcon Holidays and flights to Athens with Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Aegean airlines. This should ensure Athens will be a popular city break destination but also allow easier access to the sought after islands of Santorini and Mykonos.

Top holiday destinations in 2017


Flights to the States have grown to unprecedented levels. New routes to from Aer Lingus to Hartford and Miami and extra flights to Los Angeles, Orlando and New York, should translate into a bumper year for Irish tourists to the USA. The addition of low cost flights with Norwegian Air from Cork to Boston and New York, as well as WOW air flights via Iceland, should ensure lots of good deals for Irish holidaymakers. San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic ‘summer of love’ with a year of events and festivals in 2017. And would you believe Elvis is dead 40 years this year… sure makes me feel old! Why not pay tribute to the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ by visiting Memphis during ‘Elvis Week’, between 11th and 19th August. See American Sky for details.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Universal Studios


Mexico is one of our most popular long haul destinations. Falcon Holidays are offering direct flights from Dublin for those looking for a two week holiday in the summer months. Many choose to fly via America and combine with a city break in New York or Vegas. I think Mexico will continue to be as popular with Irish holidaymakers in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017


WOW air introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2015 which proved to be a resounding success. People chased the Northern lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon, with lots of positive reviews. So much so that WOW have decided to increase flights from Dublin and add on a service from Cork. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2017 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland


One of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry is set for another bumper year. The competition has never been greater. Most major cruise lines have dedicated Irish websites now and many travel agents and tour operators have dedicated cruise departments. Free all inclusive drinks packages, half price kids offers and even free flights, will I am sure, entice Irish holidaymakers to cruise in 2017. New destinations like Cuba will make it easier for visitors to visit Havana without paying the increasing accommodation costs. River cruises are also proving popular for discerning clients. For those who don’t want to fly there are even cruises operating directly from Ireland in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
American cruise lines are now docking in Cuba.


For those looking for somewhere a little different but still close to home, Croatia will be a top choice. The stunning city of Dubrovnik has always been a favourite but now there are flights to Split and Pula with Aer Lingus, as well as Zadar with RyanairFalcon Holidays have also announced package holidays to Croatia and specialists Croatia Tours continue to offer a wide choice of package holidays to the region.

Top holiday destinations in 2017

Middle East and beyond

With two direct daily flights to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now a new daily service to Doha with Qatar airlines, getting to Asia, Africa and Australia has never been easier. No lengthy lay overs in Heathrow and prices should reduce too!

Top holiday destinations in 2017

South Africa

Ethiopian airlines‘ Dreamliner aircraft made many news reports when they offered cheap direct flights from Dublin to Los Angeles this year. They have now added extra connections from their hub in Addis Ababa to South Africa. This means that flights from Dublin to Cape Town should be easily accessible and hopefully well priced too.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
South African safari

They are my thoughts on the top holiday destinations in 2017 but please comment below if you have any more to add 🙂



travel deals

Travel Tips

Top Tips To Find A Last Minute Deal To The Sun

Last minute deals

Trying to find a cheap week away and wonder where you are going wrong? Check out my top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun and wave goodbye to expensive holidays!


1. Be flexible on your dates

This is probably the most deciding factor. Do not expect to get a week in Marbella’s top hotel in August for half price, just because you booked it last minute. You need to be flexible on where and when you go. If you don’t have kids and don’t have to go during July or August – don’t!

Choose the middle two weeks of a month or the last week of one month and the first of another. People tend to book annual leave in blocks, i.e the first two weeks of July or the last two weeks of July. Travelling during midweek can also be less expensive than weekends, and the airports are less crowded!

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun



2. Choose typical times when deals are available

There are times in the year when last minute deals are more readily available so if you have plenty of annual leave, are retired or simply a good planner, these would be my suggestions for optimum times to get the best deals. During the summer season, most sun destinations are reduced in May, June and late September. The last week of August can also be a good time to take a two week holiday. In fact sometimes two weeks are cheaper than one at this time.

During the winter time holidays from late November until Christmas time are always very reasonable and holidays also tend to reduce in price in April after Easter holidays.  




3. Be flexible on your destination

Spain, Portugal and the Balearic islands are popular with families so if you want to travel during the peak summer months, look at alternative destinations. The Canary Islands, Greece and Turkey will offer better value at that time, as will city break destinations. If you are looking to get away in September, Greece, Croatia and Italy are very popular with couples. You will find Spain and Portugal better value at that time of year, as children are in school.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun




4. Fly out with one airline and back with another

In many cases Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly to the same destinations. You will find that sometimes it is cheaper to fly out with one airline and home with the other. Not only might this save you money, but the flight times might suit you better too.

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5. Use comparison hotel sites.

Trivago and Tripadvisor will offer you prices for hotels or apartments across many different websites. You will be surprised at the price differences for the same property, between one hotel website over another.

Summer Vacations


6. Use Ryanair’s fare finder and Aer Lingus ‘anywhere’ search

These are really useful tools if you are just looking for a break away and don’t care where you go. You can select specific dates or a particular month and narrow the search to beach, city break, nightlife, family etc. You will see a list of the cheapest prices for the time you wish to travel. Aer Lingus’ search is clear on the home page but Ryanair’s is not as easy to find, so click here. Skyscanner’s everywhere search is also great, particularly if looking to go somewhere further afield.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun



7. Compare like with like

Remember many package holidays include transfers and checked baggage. This can save you a lot of money over all, particularly if your accommodation is a long distance from the airport. All inclusive holidays may appear more expensive but when you consider all your food and drink is included, it might be worth paying the extra money before you travel. If you see a cheap holiday online, ask yourself what is included and compare the price with a package holiday to the same destination.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun



8. Think longhaul

Sometimes longhaul holidays can be better value than short haul, particularly in the summer months when families are looking for short flights. A week in a luxury hotel in Thailand for instance might cost less than a similar hotel in Spain. And when you factor in the low cost of living, you may find overall there will be a significant saving. Tropical Sky have deals to Asia and the Caribbean from €999. With the introduction of direct flights to Jamaica and Mexico this year, there is incredible value for package deals with prices from €1199 for two weeks staying in a luxury hotel on an all inclusive basis.

top tips for finding a last minute deal to the sun



9. Use a Travel Agent

Travel agents are constantly checking travel deals. That is what they do, day in day out. Chances are they will know instantly what the best value is for a particular time of year. Call your local travel agent or check out the top deals by travel agents on the ITAA’s ( Irish Travel Agents Association) website. They will save you time and money searching various websites.

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun




10. Read Reviews

And finally remember a deal is not a deal if you have a terrible holiday! If you are not booking with a travel agent, make sure you check hotel reviews on TripAdvisor and check transfer times etc. If travelling further afield make sure your cheap flight to Thailand doesn’t take you three days to get there!

Top tips to find a last minute deal to the sun


I hope you found this post helpful and you find a last minute deal to the sun. Where ever you go – enjoy!



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New Routes from Irish Airports in 2016


Tired of the same old holiday destinations? Check out the new routes from Irish airports in 2016 and try something new this year!


Dublin Airport

We are finally seeing some new longhaul routes from Ireland, something that will be widely welcomed by Irish holidaymakers. Falcon / Thomson holidays will operate a dreamliner aircraft direct to Cancun (Mexico) and Montego Bay (Jamaica) while Air Canada Rouge will offer direct flights to Vancouver for the first time.  Aer Lingus have also introduced direct flights to more US destinations,  Newark, Los Angeles and the surprise choice, Hartford. Ethiopian Airlines are also flying direct to Los Angeles so there should be plenty of choice for people looking to get to the Sunshine State this year. Blue Air will be flying to Cluj (Romania), Ryanair will operate to the Spanish coastal city, Vigo and Aer Lingus will fly to Montpellier in France. There are also extra flights to Athens with Aegean Airlines and Ryanair, perhaps Athens will be on many peoples city break list this year? Aegean Airlines will also be offering online connections to the bucket list destinations of Santorini and Mykonos. And finally, Aer Lingus have added capacity to the popular holiday destinations of Pisa and Murcia, until now these were served by Ryanair only.

Mexico, one of the new routes from Ireland in 2016, by The Travel Expert

Cork Airport

Cork airport has announced 400, 000 additional seats available for 2016 and the airport was recently named as one of Europe’s best airports. New routes for 2016 include Cardiff, London City, Leeds Bradford in the UK and Dusseldorf, Germany. Families will welcome direct flights to Nantes and La Rochelle in France and Menorca in Spain, which is operated by Stein Travel. Direct flights to Madrid with Iberia Express should suit people looking for a short city break and Norwegian Air is hoping to fly from Cork to Boston, however this is still subject to US approval. There is also talk of a Cork – New York service in the near future – so watch this space!

Menorca, one of the new routes from Irish Airports in 2016 by The Travel Expert

Knock Airport ( Ireland West)

Falcon / Thomson Holidays are flying direct to Salou for 2016, something that has delighted families living in the West of Ireland. The flight will operate weekly from the end of June until the 16th of August. Knock airport will also offer new direct services to the popular cities of Edinburgh and Birmingham this year.

Salou, one of the new routes from Irish Airports in 2016 by The Travel Expert

Shannon airport

While there are no new routes from Shannon in 2016, extra capacity has been announced to many holiday destinations such as Malaga (Costa del Sol) and Faro (Portugal) as well as popular routes such as Heathrow and New York. 2015 was the third successive year of passenger growth at Shannon airport and this trend will surely continue in 2016.


So there you have it, no excuses for resting on your laurels this year – go somewhere new in 2016!




In The Media

As Seen On TV3 – 10th January 2016


Planning a holiday in 2016? As seen on TV3 SundayAM , check out my best reasons to book early, top tips to get the best deals and where I think the hot spots will be this year.


Best Reasons To Book Early:

Generally speaking it pays to book early, particularly if you are looking for something specific or if travelling during school holidays. If you have a large family and need a two or three bedroom apartment or have to take particular holidays in work you should book now.  Most airlines including Aer Lingus and Ryanair have Summer sales and prices normally increase closer to departure. Many hotel websites are offering early booking savings of up to 20% if booked before the 31st of January. Tour Operators Falcon Holidays and Sunway are offering great early booking deals, including free child places and low booking deposits.

Facebook follow TV3 long

Booking early makes budgeting a little easier too. Most travel agents will let you pay a deposit now and pay your holiday in instalments. It also gives you something nice to look forward to as you look out through your office window at the rain! If you over indulged over Christmas, ClickandGo.com are offering €1 deposits on all European holidays booked ten weeks in advance.

Lanzarote Family holiday by The Travel Expert


Tips To Find The Best Deals:

Rather than spending hours searching hundreds of different websites, there are a few sites that are worth checking out. The Irish Travel Agents Association and Worldchoice combine special offers from Ireland’s leading travel agents on their websites.  I also combine a list of the best travel deals from around the web every Tuesday and publish it here.




When comparing package holidays with holidays you design yourself make sure you include baggage charges, airport transfers and local taxes. Most tour operator’s packages will have no hidden extras so make sure the ‘deal’ you think you have is really as good as it seems. Comparison websites such as Trivago or Tripadvisor  will search numerous websites for the same property and you may find significant savings. Check the distance from the airport too. Particularly in places like Barcelona, which according to Ryanair, has three airports! But Girona and Reus are miles from Barcelona. You may think you are getting a great deal and find out you have to pay hundreds of euro for an airport transfer.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert reviews cruising


When booking a flight make sure you check both one way and return airfares. With Aer Lingus and Ryanair for instance, you may find it is cheaper to fly out with one airline and home with another. This can also be useful for good flight times, one airline may have better times on the outward journey and another on the return. The lowcostholidays website will combine all airlines so you can automatically find the best airfares and quite often the lowest priced journey will be with two different carriers. If travelling with kids, Ryanair allow you to select half price bags even if adults are only taking hand luggage. With Aer Lingus you need to book an adult bag in order to get a child’s case for half price.

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks


Top Holiday destinations In 2016.

Easter will be big this year. Children have almost three weeks off school with Easter and Patricks day falling together, so get in early before prices rocket! I checked various options and prices are already quite high. The best family option I found is a week in Salou for €925 based on 2 adults and 2 children in the 4* Sanguli Resort. For more details read by blog here.



I think campsites in Salou and Lake Garda will be particularly popular this year. Many will change from France because of the European championships and the Paris attacks. The ISIS effect also means that people will tend to stick to Spain, Portugal & Italy rather than North African destinations. This will be a European trend so the likelihood is that accommodation in these countries will be priced higher and more scarce than in previous years. This will be particularly problematic if looking for a last minute deal.

The Travel Expert on TV3 10th January 2016


There are direct flights to Mexico and Jamaica from June so they should be particularly popular with couples. With prices starting at €1589 for a 4* hotel on an all inclusive basis, including flights, transfers and baggage for two weeks, they are good value for long haul holidays direct from Dublin. You can pay a small booking deposit too, which is always appreciated! Check out Falconholidays.ie for more details.

Fuerteventura by The Travel Expert


Ryanair and Aegean airlines have introduced flights to Athens so this could be the big city break destination for 2016 . There are also onward connections with Aegean airlines to Santorini and Mykonos, which are bucket list destinations for many people.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert offers a travel deal to Santorini in 2016


For families looking for a relaxing family holiday Menorca could be the destination of choice this year. This is an ideal family destination. There are direct flights and package deals from Dublin with Sunway and new for 2016 is a direct flight from Cork with Stein Travel.

Menorca, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert


Cruising is getting more and more popular and prices seem to be getting better each year. MSC Cruises are offering Mediterranean cruise package deals from €1095 in the summer months, including flights and free drinks pacakges. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are offering buy one get one half price plus free drinks packages. The all inclusive package holiday concept seems to have transferred to cruises now!


Wherever you decide to go in 2016 – book now, sit back, relax and just wait for the sunshine ☀


Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.



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