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Sweat and tears at Dublin Airport

Monday 21 May 2012
Dublin Airport by Sean MacEntee

Last week, I had an hour and ten minutes to disembark a Ryanair flight at Terminal 1, clear security, get to Terminal 2 and board an Aer Lingus flight to Brussels. "An hour and ten minutes?" I hear you cry. "That doesn't sound like a very long time at all..."

Well, I'm here to tell you that it isn't. It really isn't. Especially when it turns out to be more like 50 minutes.

Is it long enough to change flights, airlines and terminals?


Well, technically, I did it. But if you're in a similar situation, wondering if it can be done, I am here to tell you that it's not a great idea. If you're going to go for it anyway, here is my step by step guide to helping you on your way.

  1. Panic mildly as you wait to board your flight in Girona. Check your watch frequently. Consider making a public service announcement warning everyone to hurry the hell up when boarding.
  2. When finally boarding the plane, ask the Ryanair steward if you can sit in the reserved seats at front, to ensure you are the first off the plane. Disguise your disbelief when he says yes. Try to avoid eye contact with the people sitting directly behind you, who were not allowed to sit in said seats, and are now raging at the steward.
  3. Bounce up and down in your seat chanting "Come on... come on" in the hope that it will hurry up departure. Shoot daggers at the children who decide they need to use the toilets before take off, who take forever. Catch yourself saying the actual words "I'm going to fucking kill that kid."
  4. Continue bouncing around as you realise that the plane is now ten minutes late in departing. Cry inwardly when this becomes twenty.
  5. Ignore the panic coursing through your veins and watch two episodes of 30 Rock.
  6. Jump from your seat as the plane lands, becoming one of those irritating people who leaps to the overheard storage as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off.
  7. Wait at the door of the plane, rejoicing at being the first but realising you are in a real time bind. Keep your screams to a minimum when the first set of stairs for the plane don't work, and you are trapped, waiting while the other set are found.
  8. Strongly consider making a jump for it.
  9. Keep a very blank expression when the steward tells you that your gate is the furthest away from security.
  10. Let out a woop of joy when the door is finally opened properly. Run like you never have before.
  11. Trip over your suitcase as you run through the doors and let out a roar, expressing your annoyance with a very bad word. Tell the small child you now see that he should never use language like that, as you sprint past him.
  12. Realise that you are incapable of running, and stagger into a jog.
  13. At this stage, you will want to stop and vomit. There is no time to vomit.
  14. Race through security and refrain the urge to kiss the guard, who then calls out helpfully to tell you you're running the wrong way.
  15. Run.
  16. Run faster.
  17. Leave Terminal 1, and try to ask a guard if there is a quicker way to reach Terminal 2. Curse yourself for wasting valuable seconds when he tells you that no, there is not.
  18. Run.
  19. Burst through the barriers at the Aer Lingus check in desk, and tell the stewardess that you're here. When she tells you that the flight is closed, do that slow motion shock bit from the film that I can't remember. It may be 24. Or Thelma and Louise. Hmm.
  20. Burst back into motion when she tells you that if you have a boarding card, she will let you through. Rejoice! That's what you're carrying in your hand!
  21. Run up to the third level to the fast track check in lane. Try to run up the escalators but stop quickly when you realise that you may actually be dying. Here you have a brief reprieve in order to let our a loud, guttural roar, like the time you tried to use a Mooncup.
  22. Get to Fast Track. Resist the urge to shove the uppity girl on the desk who, after minutes of checking your ticket, lets you through with a "Next time, you really should get to the airport earlier."
  23. At this point, you will want to stop and say any number of things to this girl. One of those might be "Oh really? REALLY? Is it not a good idea to arrive at the airport 30 minutes before a flight? No shit, genius." You do not have the time for this. But use the next few minutes thinking of better come backs in your head.
  24. Realise that Fast Track security is the business as you swoop on through.
  25. Arrive at your gate, just as boarding closes. Throw your arms into the air with joy. Realise you are surrounded by impeccably handsome businessmen, two of whom have collapsed due to their proximity to your sweaty arm pits. Put your arms back down, and show some self respect.
  26. Board. The. Plane. Realise that Meryl Streep is your stewardess.
  27. Sit down next to an immaculate French woman and cry. Cry with relief.


  1. My palms actually sweated up a little just reading that. Stuff of nightmares.

  2. There was absolutely no exaggeration in that post, either. I dread to think what people thought of my big red face as I galloped past them.


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