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Shannon Airport may not be as busy today as it was back during the days when flights needed to refuel at the airport on their way across the Atlantic Ocean, but this historic airport remains Ireland's third-busiest thanks to its growing numbers of cheap charter flights, many of which are seasonal. Although this airport is well served by local taxis, buses and private hire coaches, car rental in Shannon Airport remains the only way visitors can reach some attractions in this lovely corner of Ireland.
Who to Book With
The five car rental choices within Shannon Airport's Arrivals hall include internationally renowned companies like Hertz and Budget, as well as a local agency called Dooley Car Rentals. Motorists who choose advance online booking can compare the rates of these companies prior to reserving their vehicles.
Need to Know Essentials
Bring the following paperwork at vehicle collection:
- A valid driver’s licence, held for at least 12 months
- An International Driving Licence for motorists whose licences are written in non-Roman script
- Booking confirmation
- A valid passport
Shannon Airport is conveniently situated at the end point of the N19 road near Bunratty Castle. The biggest of the many car parks in the town of Shannon, just 2.5 miles from the airport, are at the Westpark business campus and the Sky Court Shannon shopping centre. It is easy to drive along the nearby N18/M18 route to Limerick, 15 miles from the airport, or to Ennis, less than 14 miles away. Limerick is the meeting point for the N18, N24, N7 and N20 roads. Many rural attractions in this part of Ireland are only accessible by car.
The N19 terminus where Shannon Airport is located is just a 2 hour, 30 minute drive from the town of Shannon. Four more major Irish roads intersect near the large city of Limerick, only 15 miles from the airport. Bus Eireann is Ireland's main bus line, but another bus company called JJ Kavanagh & Sons travels between Limerick and the airports at Shannon and Dublin. The official Shannon Airport Cab service transports passengers as far as Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Although there are future plans to extend the Limerick and Ennis rail line to Shannon Airport, these plans have yet to materialise. At the moment, the airport's nearest rail connection is Limerick Railway Station, which is easily reached by bus or car from the airport. Iarnród Éireann trains depart regularly from Limerick to Dublin and numerous other Irish cities.
Passengers can arrange for taxi transportation at the counter for Shannon Airport Cab, which stands in the Arrivals hall. Although exact fares are usually negotiated between taxi drivers and passengers prior to departure, standard costs range between £8 from the airport to Shannon city centre and £400 for a journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Shannon Airport to Shannon city centre is about £8
Shannon Airport to Limerick city centre is about £28
Shannon Airport to Galway is about £70
Shannon Airport to Dublin is about £180
Bus Eireann connects Shannon Airport to the nearby cities of Limerick, Galway and Ennis. Buses depart the airport to Limerick and Dublin about once every 60 minutes. An adult one-way ticket aboard a Bus Eireann bus between Shannon Airport and Dublin costs around £6, while a one-way journey to the town of Shannon costs less than £2. JJ Kavanagh & Sons is another bus company linking Shannon Airport with Limerick and Dublin Airport, while Iarnród Éireann operates a shuttle bus between Limerick Railway Station and the airport. Many Limerick hotels provide their own free shuttle services to and from the airport for guests.
Among the most unusual things about Shannon Airport's single terminal is its US border preclearance facility, the first of its kind in a European airport. Each year, nearly four million passengers board flights via the 11 airlines the airport currently hosts. Most of these airlines are low-budget charter airlines whose flights travel throughout Europe. Seasonal charter flights to Boston, New York City and Toronto are also available.
Shannon Airport's short-term car park is open to all motorists who plan to leave their vehicles for no longer than 24 hours, while its long-term car parks are no more than a three-minute stroll outside the Departures area. Short-term parking charges range from £2.50 for a single hour to £15 for time periods between 12 and 24 hours. Long-term parking costs £7.50 per 24 hours or £40 per week. Airport police regularly patrol all car parks and automatic pay stations are situated in all terminal building corners.
In addition to the wireless internet access throughout the Shannon Airport terminal, passengers can also use the internet access at the Arrivals area WHSmith bookstore for a small fee.
The Arrivals hall information desk at Shannon Airport is fully staffed between 06:00 and 23:00 when visitors can ask questions or make special requests.
General Enquiries: +353 6 171 2000
Flight Information: +353 6 171 2000
Disability badge holders can use the reserved parking places at Shannon Airport's car parks. The airport terminal has disabled persons’ toilet facilities, low level telephones and accessible lifts on both floors. Passengers can contact the airport in advance if they need special assistance.
Restaurants and Bars
The Sheridan Food Pub, named after the former Shannon Airport chef who created Irish coffee in 1943, is reserved for passengers and is situated within the Departures lounge. The free-flow Limestone Café serves full Irish breakfasts from its location overlooking the Check-in hall, while lighter snacks are served at the Atlantic Coffee Company and Segafredo.
Golden Circle Lounge
Money and ATMs
Both the Arrivals and Departures concourses contain ATMs, while ICE operates currency exchanges in the Check-in area, the Customs hall for arriving passengers and the Departures lounge for departing passengers. The Arrivals concourse contains a branch of the Shannon Airport bank.
All passengers headed to destinations throughout the EU can take advantage of Shannon Airport's Shop and Collect service, where passengers can purchase products prior to their flights and then store them at an Arrivals hall collection point until their return. Departing passengers can purchase a myriad of luxury goods at the Loop, but the airport also contains two Glen Aran Irish markets and an Arrivals hall Londis Shop. WHSmith outlets are positioned in the Arrivals hall and the Departures lounge.