Shannon Airport

Shannon’s duty free guarantee ….

Shannon Duty Free AllowanceHome to the world’s first ever duty free store that opened in 1947, Shannon Airport (SNN) is now Ireland’s third major international airport after Dublin and Cork. Located in County Clare, it’s the perfect arrival point for visitors wishing to explore Limerick, Ennis, Galway or the country’s dramatic south-west coast.Shannon Airport became independent from the Dublin Airport Authority in January 2013 and now serves over 1.75 million passengers per year. Low-cost carriers based here include Aer Lingus and Ryanair for connections to the UK and Europe and Air Canada, Continental and United Airlines serving the North American market.

On the whole, passengers report that security checks and baggage collection are speedy, efficient and carried out by friendly staff, for the perfect start and end to your trip. At peak periods the no-frills departures area can seem a little chaotic so arrive earlier rather than later. Shannon also has a US Immigration and Customs department, with full US pre-clearance facilities.

Shannon’s lounges and seating could do with a little TLC but the airport’s impressive shopping more than compensates. The large and spacious tax and duty free stores are run by The Loop (as at Cork and Dublin airports). Their smiling, customer-focused staff will be pleased to offer you terrific deals on everything from authentic Irish luxuries (like Butlers and Lir chocolates) to your favourite cosmetic, sunglasses, alcohol, tobacco and fashion brands.

For added confidence that you’re getting the most for your money, The Loop will refund double the difference of you find that perfume, electronic gadget or pair of designer sunglasses cheaper on the high street. With significant savings of up to 40% already, there really is nothing to lose. For convenience, those travelling within the EU can use the Shop and Collect service. Simply select your purchases whilst awaiting your flight then collect them from Arrivals on your return.

On entering the Departures hall, on the left are the vast cosmetic and perfume counters. This is where you’ll find exclusive-to-travel gift sets to treat yourselves or loved ones. Alongside the sleek packaging of cosmetic giants like Dior, Versace, Estée Lauder and Max Factor are airport exclusives such as Lancôme’s travel-sized Must Have set; Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique and Le Male travel Sets; the Givenchy Coffret and Play Intense Sets; and Thierry Mugler’s Miniatures.

Gents, add a splash of designer eyewear to your new-season eau de cologne with a pair of sunglasses from Boss Orange, Marc Jacobs, Gant or Michael Kors. Ladies, make an impression as memorable as your new fragrance with some bold new fashion frames from D&G, Prada, D Squared or Diesel.

Just next to the fragrance section in Departures is the watches and jewellery section, with a designated crystal showroom next to that. Whether it’s a leather-strapped executive watch, a diamond-set wedding gift or a funky fashion watch, Shannon Airport has the perfect choice. Consider a classic stainless steel or gold-plated model from world-renowned watch giants like Rolex, Tissot or Tag Heuer or a robust urban design from Luminox, 01 The One, TW Steel or Nixon.As you might expect, Irish whiskey has a strong presence here led by Jameson, Paddy and Power’s. If whiskey isn’t your thing then liqueurs, spirits and fortified wines including Cointreau, Absolut Vodka, Tia Maria, Cinzano and Martini are on offer at unmissable duty-free prices, too.

Shannon airport has a WHSmiths and a Londis convenience store for last-minute buys like confectionery, books, gifts and travel accessories. For unique rugs, crystal, woollens and jewellery pieces that capture the essence of the Emerald Isle, visit Glen Aran Irish Markets on the first floor. As a matter of course, there are several Bureau de Change and ATM facilities dotted around the terminal.

For a wide selection of tasty hot and cold meals and drinks, the Atlantic Coffee Co and Marsh Point Bar are passenger side. Overlooking the check-in area, relax with a snack whilst waiting for your desk to open. For coffee and cakes there’s a Segafredo in the transit lounge, open from 6.30am to 1pm. Departures is where you’ll find the Sheridan Food Pub (named after Joe Sheridan, alleged inventor of the Irish coffee in 1943) as, if you’re going to drink one anywhere, it might as well be in Shannon Airport, its spiritual home.

See Our Airport Shopping Guides ….