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10 Top Tips for Travelling Through Dublin Airport During Covid-19

Dublin airport The Loop

Locator forms, fast track, travel apps and dining options – my top tips for travelling through Dublin airport during Covid-19 should help you on your way.

You may have heard recent airport stories of long queues and limited food available. However, I am delighted to say that I’ve taken three flights from Dublin airport, with three different airlines, over the past month, and had no major issues. I thought I would share some tips for travelling through Dublin airport that I picked up along the way.


I flew on a Friday evening at 7pm, a Thursday morning at 6am, and the October bank holiday Saturday at 11am – and thankfully I was sitting at the boarding gates on all three occasions with a half hour to spare. Terminal 2 had limited restaurants and shops open, but a short walk to Terminal 1 and there was a wide selection available. 

All that being said, I did arrive at the airport 2.5 hours before my departure time, and I strongly advise you to get to the airport early. My experiences may not be the same as yours, especially if travelling during peak times.


Yes there are more forms to fill out now before you travel, and inflight services have changed in many cases, but once you are prepared, and follow my tips for travelling through Dublin airport, hopefully your next flight will be plane sailing!



1. Check travel restrictions of the country you are going to well in advance

travel updates due to coronavirus

Thankfully the Digital Covid Certificate has helped us to travel easily within the EU. Once you are fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid during the past 9 months, or have a negative covid test, you should be allowed travel to most countries.


However, there are exceptions. Malta for instance, is only allowing vaccinated travellers enter. The age limits whereby children are exempt from testing varies from county to country, as does the type of test required – some require an antigen taken within 48 hours of arrival, others a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.


If travelling outside the EU, many countries require a negative test, even if fully vaccinated. I have also heard that specific vaccines are not always accepted.

Passenger locator forms need to be filled out in advance for most countries. Many countries will only accept these online, and some require them to be filled out up to 48 hours in advance.

Read: Make sure you fill out passenger locator forms before you travel.

Therefore it is vital you check the entry requirements a few weeks before you travel, and again 72 and 24 hours before departure.



2. Check-in online and print out all documents.

check in online when traveling with Ryanair

I think it goes without saying that if you can check-in online, do it. Ryanair insist on it, and will charge you to print a boarding pass at the airport. It is not compulsory with most other airlines, however, I would highly recommend it to save valuable queuing time.


I usually save my documents to my phone, but I also recommend printing them. In the unlikely event that your phone is lost or stolen, or the more likely event that the battery runs out, at least you have them to hand. Paper documents are also easier for people who are not tech savvy.





3. Save your documents to your wallet, files folder, or app on your phone

There is nothing worse than scanning back through tons of holiday photos when you are trying to find the screenshot of your Digital Covid Cert or Passenger Locator Form. Make good use of the tech that your phone has – you will thank me later!


Many boarding passes and passenger locator forms have a small box on them saying ‘Save to Wallet’. When you click on this it should store in the wallet on your phone – the same place that your bank cards are stored when using your phone to pay for goods. This has been a game changer for me, once I open my wallet my boarding pass and passenger locator form is there!


If this facility isn’t available, then I suggest you screenshot your Digital Covid Cert, Passenger Locator Form or Boarding Pass and save them in the ‘Files’ folder of your phone. This should be a small icon on your home screen that you can find quickly.


 You can also upload your Digital Covid Cert and Passenger Locator Form directly to the Ryanair app, while Aer Lingus use a separate system – Verifly.

Verifly is an app that you can download to ensure you have all the correct documentation for your trip. The app is quite cumbersome to use – I have no doubt that an improvement is on the way. 


However, it is very handy for nervous or first time flyers, as once you have uploaded all your documents, you get a ‘flight pass’, telling you that you are good to fly. This cuts out any worries or stress that you might be feeling about travelling with the new rules and regulations. You can only get a flight pass when all the correct documents are uploaded.


Another advantage of using Verifly is that you only have to show your Verifly app when checking-in or boarding. You won’t need to search for any other documents, as the airline knows once you have a flight pass, the correct documents are uploaded to the app. Some airlines, such as Aer Lingus, will also allow Verifly passengers to board the aircraft first.



4. Pre book car parking and travel insurance in advance

I was amazed that when I went to book the Dublin airport car park over the October bank holiday weekend that it was fully booked. I recommend booking the car park in advance to guarantee space, if travelling at peak times.


Most travel insurance policies include some sort of Covid cover now, and should cover expenses if you contract Covid abroad. However, most policies have a moratorium in place, so you need to make sure you have booked travel insurance at least 7 days before departure.

I always use and they currently have Covid cover included ( check Ts & Cs ), but always check with individual policies for more details.

See more here



5. Use the Click and Collect Shopping Service

Did you know that The Loop guarantee that fragrances are 20% cheaper than downtown prices, and skincare and make up products are 15% cheaper than downtown prices? These savings apply to all passengers, regardless of whether you are flying to a duty free destination.


To ensure you avail of the discounted prices when travelling, and to save you valuable time, I recommend you use Click and Collect service online before you go. This is a free service available to all passengers travelling within the EU – note it isn’t available to passengers travelling to non-EU destinations.

The Loop airport shopping in Dublin airport

Simply order 12 hours before departing from or arriving to Dublin or Cork Airport, and your products will be ready for you to pick up at the Airport Shopping Collection points. You will need to have photo ID with you, as well as proof of purchase, when collecting your goods. See all collection points here.


To give you some shopping inspiration I have selected some travel exclusives currently available at The Loop that I think you should watch out for, as well as some of my personal favourites beauty buys in this post:

Read: 10 Travel buys when airport shopping online



6. Get to the airport early or pre-book an Executive Lounge

tips for travelling through dublin airport during covid-19

Most airlines tips for travelling through Dublin airport recommend arriving two hours before your flight, even if you have checked in online. However, if travelling during peak times or early morning, I would arrive much earlier. 


When I am checking in a bag I always arrive 2.5 hours before departure if travelling within the EU, this avoids the queue that usually forms two hours before hand. However, it is important to bear in mind that airline staff have to check more documents now, so check-in times are longer than pre-Covid times. I suggest going 3 hours before departure if travelling at a peak time.


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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

If you fancy splashing out, one of my top tips for travelling through Dublin airport is to book an executive lounge. You can book two hours in the lounge in Terminal 1 for €20, which includes complimentary drinks, snacks and newspapers / magazines. The luxurious 51st&Green in Terminal 2 is €30 if pre booked online.

See more here



7. Use the self-check in and bag drop facility

top tips for travelling through Dublin airport - use the self check in kiosks

If checking in a bag, use the bag drop facility, which can reduce the queuing time dramatically. Not all airlines have this facility, so it is best to check with the airline you are travelling with, before you arrive. Note Aer Lingus and Ryanair both have self-check in and bag drop in Dublin airport.


Some airlines like Aer Lingus, will allow you to check in your cabin baggage for free – in fact they charge you to bring it on board now. Checking in cabin baggage means you won’t need to worry about having liquids under 100ml, and with the bag drop facility, queuing time should be minimal.

If you are not checking in a bag, go straight to security.



8. Fast Track or Family Lane

fast track at Dublin airport
The Fast track lane is supposed to get you through security within 10 minutes, and it is a great idea if you have an early flight, and or are travelling without children. However, prices range from €7.99 – €12.99, depending on times, availability etc, so it can be expensive if travelling with a family.

There is a dedicated Family / Assistance lane in Dublin airport that should be quicker to use than the general security queue. However, it is a little like the mother and baby spots outside a supermarket, it is not designed for use with older children. We were told recently, that only families with toddlers and buggies, or people needing assistance were allowed use it, so discretion is advised. 



9. Be prepared for security

tips for travelling through security at Dublin airport

In case you have forgotten – you can not bring any liquids over 100ml through security in Dublin airport. Leave water bottles at home – you can pick up a bottle of ‘plane water’ to bring on board with you when you go through security – it only costs €1.


Place all liquids that are under 100ml in a clear plastic bag. If you don’t have one, you can pick one up before you go through security. Take off watches, jackets, and check there is nothing in your pockets, and if so place them in a security tray. Phones, laptops, and electronics should be placed in a separate tray, and the laptop needs to be out of its sleeve.

Shoes with heels, buckles etc will need to be removed. I usually wear runners to avoid that.



10. Dining in Dublin airport, and inflight service

tips for travelling through Dublin airport - use the many dining options available.

It is important to note that some airlines are not offering a full inflight service at the moment. Aer Lingus was only offering drinks and chocolate when I flew with them in September 2021. I suggest checking in advance if inflight service is available, and if not, make sure you bring a snack on board with you. 


If the airline you are travelling with has an inflight service – check on their app to see if you can pre-book a meal. I often pre-book breakfast, and at least I know I will get it on board, as there are usually limited supplies.


There are many dining options available in Dublin airport – another great reason to get to the airport early! I found recently that Terminal 1 had a wider selection than Terminal 2. However, bear in mind you can walk from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 in less than 10 minutes.

WH Smith meal deal at Dublin airport

I personally like Marquette in Terminal 1. They have a superb choice of hot and cold breakfasts, salads, wraps and hot food. If you are looking for something handy to bring on your flight, allow me to suggest the Cajun Chicken Wrap – €6.75!
However, there are cheaper ways to bring food on board – WH Smith have a good meal deal, €5.95 for a drink, snack and sandwich.


I hope my top tips for travelling through Dublin airport will help you get your holiday off to a great start. Please note these tips are published from my own personal experiences during September and October 2021. Delays can happen, and travel restrictions and requirements can change at any time.

And remember don’t forget your mask!





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