Finally, a Direct Flight

23:32 Sat 17 Mar 2007. Updated: 01:51 19 Mar 2007
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I’ve lived in the Bay Area for over eight years, and over that span I’ve travelled to Ireland many times, probably making more than thirty trips—each one of those being more than one flight. Now it looks like direct flights are on their way.

This is related to a new “Open Skies” agreement between the US and the EU that removes a lot of barriers to open competition between domestic and foreign airlines in each economic zone. I thought that new agreement might bring the possibility of direct flights, but didn’t think it would happen before late 2008 or 2009.

Previously, Aer Lingus was only allowed to service a handful of US airports, and the only West Coast stop was Los Angeles. This was partly US retaliation for Irish regulations that forced a proportion (possibly as high as half) of all flights from the US to stop at Shannon Airport before going on to Dublin (as a way of propping up the economy in the Shannon area). The “Open Skies” agreement includes the elimination of the forced Shannon stopover. Which isn’t great for that part of Ireland, but makes me happy nonetheless—I always hated stopping at Shannon, and am convinced that there have to be better ways for the Irish Government to aid the economy there than prolonging something that served mainly to annoy those travelling to or from Ireland by plane.

The direct flight is even more welcome now than it would have been eight years ago, because the hassle around flying has become so much worse. I was disproportionately happy last year at the fact that I could switch flights in Philadelphia without going through security again, because Philadelphia Airport didn’t require you to exit the security zone to switch planes. Not having to switch planes at all is even better, and that plus the quicker overall trip should offset the fact that it’s a really long flight with no break, rather than two medium flights with a break in the middle. It would be fantastic it if were up and running by this summer, but that seems unrealistic. The end of the year would be nice. I look forward to it.

(And maybe this will make it easy enough for certain readers to visit. You know who you are.)

One Response to “Finally, a Direct Flight”

  1. NiallM Says:


    Looks good from my point of view too.

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