This is a new lounge for Dublin Airport, opened in July 2016.
It is airside in Terminal 2 and is also after US pre-clearance at the airport. In this sense it is actually under US jurisdiction, yet is still on Irish soil. Quite strange. That’s where the name comes from (obviously) – 51st and Green being an intersection between two nations with a long shared history. As a final point of difference, it is (according to the airport) the closest lounge to an active runway.
You can read our news piece here
Bear in mind that you can only visit the lounge if you are flying on to the U.S. If you are in the terminal and not flying to the U.S, or want to visit a lounge before pre-clearance, then there is an excellent Gold Circle Lounge in the terminal.
I will write a separate review of this and put the link here when I’ve written it.
What’s it like?
I was transferring from a short haul flight from Heathrow
and onto one to Hartford in Connecticut.
Once you have made your way through the immigration lines you walk past all the gates and at the end is the doorway to the lounge. It is “close to the intersection threshold of runways 34 and 28”, past gates 405 and 406.
You can gain admittance either by payment (Euro 39) or by having a invitation, or flying business class with Aer Lingus, or with one of the lounge entry programme cards.
You enter via a 32-metre long corridor with “terrazzo tiles spaced with bronze strips, sloping to a bright open space with spectacular views of the airfield”.
The toilets are off this corridor – they are quite small and even with only a few people in the lounge you might well find yourself waiting to use them.
The lounge is 750 sq m with a capacity for seating 180 people, though it would be very crowded it that many ere in there.
It is located at ramp level. The intention was for the design of the lounge to be a “bright open space acting as a decompression zone and enabling customers to instantly relax on arrival”.
I think it’s successful in this, particularly since the gates outside and the shopping area can get very busy pre-boarding, but the lounge can feel very empty – almost an afterthought to a very large room, with the furniture unsuccessfully trying to fill the place. It also means that if there are some noisy people in there – and Americans returning to the U.S and Irish about to leave for the U.S often are in high spirits –it’s not particularly quiet either.
Food and drink is complimentary – there’s a bar and you can ask for what you want – red and white wine, beers and Guinness were all available as well as speciality coffee from “Cloud Picker”, which is a local brand. There is no Champagne available.
There are plenty of power points and so I worked while in the lounge. I asked about a menu (it was lunchtime) and one was brought to me (see above). At this point menus were then put out everywhere, but I couldn’t tell if it was because I had asked, or just because it was lunchtime.
It had various chargeable items on it which I did not try since there was also a good size buffet laid out for lunch.
In truth although there are several areas you can sit, they are all “exposed” apart from a sort of circular sitting area.
It isn’t the sort of space you could get very enthusiastic about, but if you are there for a couple of hours waiting for an onward flight, I can see the money would (just about) be well spent).
There is complimentary wifi and a few magazines and newspapers, though again, nothing to get excited about.
Once you are through US pre-clearance, this is the only lounge, though you could just sit in the bar in the general gate area, or eat in a cafe. Alternatively you can pay for access to the Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge. This is 25 Euros compared with 39 Euros, but you would then have to go through pre-clearance, so would risk missing your flight.
So should you use the lounge? Well, if you have a couple of hours, have work to do, want something light to eat and enjoy staring at aircraft taking off (and to be honest, I do), then it’s worth the money.