State’s airports to handle 1.8m Christmas passengers

Large numbers due to travel over festive season with airports offering advice on minimising delays and inconvenience

Irish airports expect a Christmas bonus this year with Dublin , Cork and Shannon predicting they will handle around 1.8 million festive travellers between the three State-owned airports.

Dublin says it expects 1.5 million passengers between Monday, December 18th and Friday, January 6th, around 75,000 people a day over the entire Christmas period.

Cork predicts that it will handle 195,000 passengers between now and January 10th with 85,000 up to Christmas Eve alone.

Meanwhile, Shannon forecasts that it will handle 121,000 people this year, 18 per cent more than in 2022, making it the busiest Christmas for the airport since 2009.


Dublin advises passengers on short-haul flights to arrive two hours before take-off while those on long trips should turn up three hours in advance.

Cork Airport recommends at least 90 minutes but says passengers should allow extra time if they are checking in bags.

Dublin’s 12 tips for Christmas travel include advice not to wrap presents in hand luggage in case you have to unwrap them at security.

The airport also cautions people not to bring snow globes, butter, brandy butter or cranberry sauce in hand luggage.

The airport is laying on entertainment for the build up to the holiday, with 1,700 performers from 50 schools, choirs and musical groups across north Co Dublin.

Cork has a specially built stage that will host more than 1,200 performers from schools, local orchestras, trad groups and choral societies.

Shannon has put up a 12-foot Christmas tree and a life-size Santa sleigh in the arrivals hall.

Its chief executive, Mary Considine, noted on Tuesday that the airport would “offer 35 routes from Shannon Airport for 2024″.

Dublin Airport will close for Christmas Day, with the last arrival – an Aer Lingus flight from Tenerife – landing at 11pm on the 24th. Business resumes on St Stephen’s Day with a Ryanair flight to Marrakesh at 5:55am.

Graeme McQueen, media relations manager at Dublin’s operator, State company DAA, said it would have extra customer service staff on duty throughout Christmas.

“We would also ask passengers to prepare for security screening by removing their outer jacket, hoodies, belts, keys, coins and laptops from cases so that security searches are kept to a minimum,” he added.

Dublin has a free WhatsApp text helpline: 087 175 4287. Mr McQueen pledges that staff will answer in seconds.

Cork Airport’s WhatsApp link is on its website. Niall McCarthy, managing director, noted that “more and more” people from the south of Ireland were opting to use the airport this year.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas