Friendly Skies? If you land in Dublin, yes.

I really can’t get Dublin off my mind. What a trip. What a people. I had a ridiculously good time there. Probably the highlight of my travels — and given I was there just 24 hours, that’s an impressive accomplishment for this big small town.

Perhaps the most striking part of my experience, however, was the friendliness of the airport staff. When’s the last time you encountered friendly airport staff? Anywhere? Certainly not New York. And UK Border Control always leaves me nervous, even though I’m here utterly and completely legally.

But Ireland? Oh, Ireland. A couple vignettes:

Passport Control

  • Friendly Immigration Official: How long are you staying in Ireland?
  • Overeager American music fan (that’s me): Just 24 hours.
  • Immigration: Why so short?
  • Me: I’m hoping to see a concert.
  • Immigration (genuinely interested): Ah, who?
  • Me: Glen Hansard, of the Frames.
  • Immigration (pride his country’s music shining through): Ah, Glen! Where’s he playing?
  • Me: The Odessa Club, but it’s sold out. It’s a small charity gig. I’m hoping to charm my way in.
  • Immigration: Well, Jennifer, you’ve charmed me. (Stamps passport. With green ink.)

RyanAir Check-in Counter

The desk agent saw me waiting in the queue with what was obviously just hand luggage. (As a non-EEA national, I have to present my passport to be issued a special boarding pass). She took my pre-printed boarding pass and passport, walked behind the counter to do what I needed, and delivered it back to me. All with a huge smile. This process took 25 minutes at Gatwick. And there were only 10 people queuing.


“Ladies and Gents, please make sure your liquids are out of your hand luggage. Any liquids: shampoo, toothpaste, makeup … Guinness.” The security agent flashes a wink my way, that can only be described as Irish eyes smiling. “This is Ireland after all.” It was 9AM.


2 Responses to “Friendly Skies? If you land in Dublin, yes.”

  1. 1 Kendra 4 May 2010 at 16:09

    Jen, this is why Irish men are so dangerous! 😉 And also why you need to spend some time in Scotland!!! I have loads of lovely friends who will be willing to entertain you.

  1. 1 The Best 24 Hours of 2010 (So Far) « Traveling Light Trackback on 14 August 2010 at 10:52

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