“ Transfer from Dublin airport to downtown, with stops at major hotels. Aircoach provides a 24-hour luxury coach service between Dublin Airport and Dublin city. Aircoach operates five routes, Ballsbridge and Leopardstown, which serve Dublins top hotels and places of business, Cork, and Belfast. „
Aircoach is the independent coach operator at Dublin airport that was founded back in 1999 by John O'Sullivan, a young (youngish) Irish entrepreneur who was the chief engineer with the State run bus company, Bus Éireann.
O'Sullivan, with loans and state backing, established the service to compete with the then (and still) existing Dublin Bus express airport service, as part of the Government's policy of liberalising the bus market in Ireland and opening it up to competition. Incidentally the Government have since back pedalled on this policy with a recent decision *NOT* to liberalise the bus market any further as they now feel it is better left in State control. (A decision I personally agree with)
The Aircoach buses are easily recognizable with their light blue livery with "Aircoach" emblazoned on the sides and back, and have a main pickup point directly outside the arrivals doors at Dublin Airport. They advertise a 10 minute frequency luxury coach service to and from Dublin Airport to a number of locations, their main service being from the airport to a number of high profile and high traffic Dublin hotels in the city centre and southern suburbs. (I'm not going to list them all here as they are easily accessible on the excellent Aircoach website at www.aircoach.ie/)
Their other services include an hourly service to Belfast, a two-hourly service to Cork, and a recently introduced service to Greystones in Co. Wicklow, (south of Dublin) a town which in recent years has seen massive expansion as a satellite town of Dublin.
They have a flat rate charge on all routes, with a reduction if you purchase a return ticket. A single ticket to Dublin city centre will cost you Euro7, (Euro12 return) the Belfast and Cork routes cost Euro14 (Euro20 return), and the new Greystones route is from Euro7 to Euro12 depending on your final destination. (Euro18 return to Greystones)
The coaches themselves are both modern and comfortable, with air conditioning and reclining seats as standard, and have ample legroom, individual passenger lights, and a seat back table. (Rather like the plane you've just disembarked from in fact!)
Travel times obviously vary, but a journey to the city centre will usually take you around an hour unless you are unfortunate enough to hit the airport and city at the rush hour periods when Dublin city traffic is probably the worst in Europe, when your journey to the city will most likely take you nearer the two hour mark.
The alternatives modes of public transport from the airport include the 747 and 746 bus service offered by Dublin Bus (at Euro6 it's cheaper than Aircoach) and a taxi. In my opinion the Dublin Bus service should be avoided unless time isn't a factor as it is generally speaking much slower than the Aircoach service. (Far more stops) Taxis (of course) still remain the fastest (and sometimes more cost effective!) mode of transport into the city.
As of yet Dublin doesn't have a dedicated rail link to the city centre, although a Metro is planned for some stage in the future. Whether or not this rail link happens in the foreseeable future is now open to question, as the Irish economy has taken a sharp downturn in the past year, and the money will most likely now not be available for such a massive transport expansion. (Only time will tell)
So does the service live up to expectations? Well, the truthful answer to that question is both yes and no! As a taxi driver here in Dublin for the past 13 years, and a holder of one of the 3,000 taxi permits issued by the Dublin Airport Authority you might expect me to be very anti-Aircoach. This isn't in fact the case. I remember well when the Aircoach service first started up. Many of my fellow taxi drivers were forecasting disaster for the airport taxi service, and bankruptcy within 6 months! Of course, this is patent nonsense, as many business travellers and holidaymakers will still opt for the faster door to door service of a taxi rather than the hassle of lugging their luggage on and off a bus, (no matter how comfortable) and often still having to pay for a taxi at the other end in order to reach their final destination.
I have used the Aircoach service in the past, and generally find it to be both comfortable and reliable. However, I had occasion to use the Aircoach just this past week as I flew to Prestwick in Scotland to pick up a car I had purchased in Glasgow. I left my own car at Dublin Airport, and therefore had to get to the airport the following day in order to retrieve it. Thus I stood at the Aircoach bus stop outside the Royal Dublin Hotel on O'Connell Street on Wednesday afternoon at about 3.30PM. And when I say I stood, I mean I *STOOD*. Despite the advertised 10 minute frequency I was left waiting for 45 minutes, before myself and two other prospective passengers who I had been passing away the time with finally decided to cross the road to the taxi rank at the Gresham Hotel and share the cost of a taxi to the airport. The total cost of the taxi was Euro24. This was Euro8 each. (A mere Euro1 more than the Aircoach) We travelled in style in a modern air conditioned Mercedes, and the driver (at my prompting) took an alternative route that avoided the worst of the airport traffic.
The point I am making is simple. If you are travelling alone then the Aircoach makes perfect sense and is by far the cheapest and most effective method of accessing Dublin City. However, if there are more than two or three people traveling together, then a taxi *STILL* remains the most cost effective, comfortable, and fastest way to travel.
Incidentally, Aircoach is no longer owned and managed by its founder John O'Sullivan, who sold out to First Group plc (the UK's largest surface transport company) back in 2003 for a cool Euro15 million, and went on to open "Quickpark", an alternative to the Dublin Airport Authority's expensive airport parking, with his huge profit from the sale. (Fair play to him and nice work if you can get it!)
© KenJ September 2008
Whenever I go away I always like to know how I will be getting to my final destination and my recent trip to Ireland was no different.
I had been to Dublin a few times before so I knew that there was a good service to transfer me from the airport to my accommodation, before I went I looked up the name of the company on the Dublin Airport website it was a company called Aircoach and here is my review on their service.
Aircoach operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except for Christmas where there is a change in service. Operating between Dublin Airport and Dublin City with plenty of stops which makes it ideal for tourists, commuters and business people looking for a high quality, economical and reliable service.
Tickets can be purchased online, however this facility was not available at the time of my trip so I made the purchase direct with the driver when I arrived. Generally the tickets can be purchased on the bus and there is no requirement to book in advance, you can make your purchase with Euros only and once you have paid you will be given a return ticket that carries no expiry date valid for one journey from the airport and one to return to the airport so ideal for those having a long stay in Dublin as well as those having a shorter stay.
There is normally a representative at stop 5 which is just outside the airports main entrance and they will be able to advise you as to which stop you will need and they will confirm where you will need to get off the bus and also present you with a handy little city map detailing all of the pick up and drop off points that the Aircoach operates.
Adult tickets cost 7.00 for a single and 12.00 for a return ticket and Children play a flat fee of 1 and must be accompanied by an adult to use the service.
*~*Where does the Aircoach Stop?*~*
The Aircoach stops at many of the popular hotels including the Burlington, The Gresham and Jurys Hotel. As previously mentioned there are city maps available on the coach which will detail all of the stops and this is also published on the Aircoach website if you want to plan your trip before you arrive at the airport.
The journey into Dublin City does take approximately an hour from the airport however we were on the first flight into Dublin which was mainly business passengers and we hit rush hour traffic so we were almost 2 hours arriving at our stop on Upper Leeson Street.
*~*Why use Aircoach over a taxi?*~*
Taxis are always expensive, the Aircoach operates a set fare and this does not change if you happen to get stuck in traffic like we did, the coach is comfortable and never full as there are buses operating every 10 minutes there are always plenty in circulation. The coach is air- conditioned and the seats are an indulgence in themselves so comfortable I almost missed my stop!
The coaches are custom built with comfort in mind to get you to your destination relaxed and refreshed the seats recline and it is clean and well maintained and whats more they are all tracked with up to date satellite navigation.
I have used Aircoach before and found their service incredible it is reliable, comfortable and impressive I can honestly say I have never encountered such a professional and organised service ever.
To say that this runs smoothly is an understatement it really is a credit to Dublin Airport as it makes visiting such an enjoyable experience you feel as if you are at home.
The service is so popular it carried over 400,000 passengers in its first year and is now Irelands leading independent public transport.
If you only ever take my recommendation from all my reviews take this one when visiting Dublin I promise you will not regret it.