Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport in Ireland are unique in Europe as they offer US Preclearance which means passengers complete immigration formalities before flying rather than on arrival. It is a wonderful service as the immigration staff based in Dublin are far friendlier than those based in the USA.
When Terminal 2 opened in Dublin, you proceeded through preclearance and then waited by the gate for your flight. As passengers are encouraged to clear in good time for the flight this could mean quite a wait until boarding time. I experienced it and it was tedious in the extreme.
51st&Green At Dublin Airport
Happily the airport recognised the issue and created a lounge called 51st&Green. As the lounge is past US Preclearance, you are technically in the United States while still being on Irish soil, hence the name.
Business class passengers are granted complimentary access and others can pay €35 online or €39 at the lounge for entry. While this is pretty steep, the lounge certainly looks great with its airy feel and great views.
Flying Aer Lingus? Be Warned!
Imagine being a passenger on the way to San Francisco flying Aer Lingus. You arrive at the airport early, go through security and enter the Aer Lingus lounge. After some time there, you’re told it is time to go to Preclearance and off you go. Once through, you would naturally head to the 51st&Green lounge to spend the remaining time before you fly. Sounds fine, right?
Wrong! You are permitted to use either the Aer Lingus lounge or the 51st&Green lounge but not both. People have found themselves without access to 51st&Green because they had the audacity to use the Aer Lingus lounge before preclearance. This is not really communicated very well so please take note.
My advice when flying Aer Lingus is to avoid their lounge altogether as it really is pretty basic. Head through preclearance and enjoy the floor to ceiling windows, better views and better food offered there. American Airlines, United and Delta also use 51st&Green at Dublin Airport and I would advise the same when travelling with them. None of them have their own lounge in Dublin so it is a no brainer really.
Thank you very much for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
All images by Dublin Airport.