How to find cheap airline tickets to Ireland
Finding cheap flights to Ireland and cheap flights to Dublin, Shannon, Belfast and Cork International Airports is easier than you might expect, even for business class flights. Why? Because of Competition!
Consider these 3 tips for how to find the cheapest low-cost Ireland flight deals - plus pitfalls to avoid.
For more useful tips on booking your cheap airfare to Ireland click here
Cheap flights to Ireland and cheap flights to Dublin exist no matter what part of the world you're coming from. With over a dozen Irish and European airlines such as Aer Lingus, Ryanair, City jet, Air France, Klm, Lufthansa and British Airways and more than half a dozen U.S carriers such as United, Delta, U.S. Airways and Continental flying to Dublin, Shannon and Belfast International Airports,
you can find a cheap airfare to Ireland on low cost and full-service airlines, economy and business class flights.
Which airline will offer you the best prices on cheap airline tickets to Ireland? It depends on a few points!
Try my 3 best tips for finding the cheapest fares to Ireland. And be sure to note the pitfalls to avoid.
Tip 1: Find cheap flights to Ireland online to avoid extra fees!
You probably already know that lots of airline flight booking sites offer low fares.
Here's the pitfall: Some online sites show cheap fares, but then pile on booking fees so you end up paying more. This happens especially when you're buying more than one airfare ticket, these extra fees can really add up. High airfare booking fees can make even the best travel deals to Ireland seem to much.
Here's my # 1 tip for finding cheap Ireland flights, the one that will save you money on airline tickets each visit: if you would like to save money, you book through a website that charges no booking fees, such as Priceline.com. They offer the same low fares as other ticket consolidators but with NO FEES. Even better, they immediately show you the total amount - exactly what you'll pay for the ticket plus taxes. They don't try to hide anything.
Priceline, for example, lets you save in 2 ways:
Choose your flight by putting in your dates, destination, and carrier, and they'll show you all the lowest-cost options. You just select the one you want. Looking for cheap business class flights? Priceline's state of the art tool also finds business and first class seats at discount prices.
Name your own price. Enter your destination and departure and cities, plus the dates when you want to travel. Check the prices recently paid by others, and enter your bid price. Priceline will search for the cheapest flights to Ireland on those days. You can usually save up to 50% on last minute fares, and 40% on others - although I've seen savings of up to 58% off!
Want to make sure you're getting the best deal on your cheap Ireland flights?
Search for last minute flight deals at Expedia.com. Expedia also charges NO FEES on single carrier flights - and be sure to check their "Best Price Guarantee" for all Airfares.
But that's not all . . . as soon as you know your travel plans, set up an alert through www.airfarewatchdog.com and enter your details. They'll send you updates about cheap flights to Ireland when they become available.
When you see a low discounted Ireland Airfare, compare it with what you can find on Priceline and Expedia. Sometimes when Airfarewatchdog alerts you about cheap Ireland flights, some airlines will offer similar fares. Use Expedia and Priceline to find all of them, and then pick out the best one for you.
Tip 2: Try and be flexible - but weigh all the costs
You'll find the cheapest flights to Ireland if you are flexible about your flight times and travel dates.
Avoid traveling on Friday and Monday if possible, as these are typically the heaviest travel days in Ireland - and therefore the days when fares are highest.
Pitfall: Occasionally you can save even more if you're flexible about your arrival city - but "hidden costs" for getting to a corner of Ireland that you would like to spend time in from these airports can add up quickly.
Fix it: Carefully compare all costs before choosing a flight to Ireland.
Three other airports are within 3 hours driving time of Dublin (times below are approximate, and are based on non-rush hour traffic):
Shannon Airport- 2.5 hours (airport code: SNN)
Cork Airport - 2.5 hours (airport code: ORK)
Belfast Airport - 2 hours (airport code: BFS)
If you can't find attractive cheap flights to Dublin at your target price, try these other cities and airports. Sometimes you'll find significant ($100 or more) variations in the airfare.
But do keep in mind, you'll need a rental car to get from these airports to your hotel, which will consume part - or maybe all - of your savings. Once you arrive at your hotel with your rental car, you must park it. Be warned - many central Dublin hotels charge $25+ per day for parking.
Last but not least, you'll spend a few hours of your Ireland vacation time driving back and forth to the airport.
By comparison, getting from Dublin Airport to Downtown Dublin takes only 25 minutes by taxi and costs only $20 per person. The bus - the "Aircoach" as we call it here - costs only $5 per person (1 way).
Check for cheap flights to Shannon, Cork and Belfast on both Priceline.com and Expedia.com and compare which is better for you. You can also use Expedia to check typical car rental rate.
Tip 3: Save much more with "flight and hotel" packages
Finding cheap Ireland flights is great - but your deal gets even better when you book a cheap flight and hotel package and save on BOTH your airline fare and accommodations.
How it works: Simple - you get the lowest industry-insider rates for both!
Pitfall: Hotels paired with flights may be outside of the main Cities.
Fix it: Be sure you know the name and location of the hotel. For cheap Ireland flights plus Hotel packages, I like Travelocity (also NO FEES) because they're very clear about hotel locations and offer BIG savings on these packages.
Save Up to $500 when booking a Flight and Hotel with Travelocity.
I have more useful tips for booking a cheap airfare to Ireland here.