- From the summer of 2009, Shannon will be the first airport in Europe to offer full pre-clearance facilities to US bound passengers. Currently only US immigration clearance facilities are available.
- But from next year all customs, US immigration and agriculture clearances will be completed before passengers leave Ireland. US bound passengers will have uninterrupted passage through US airports on arrival. This will obviously save a great detail of time and hassle. Passengers will have no need to undergo further time consuming checks in any US airport, unlike passengers arriving in the US from any other European state.
- Passengers will now be able to check their baggage through from Shannon to their final destination in the US even if this involves two flights with different airlines. (Up to now Irish passengers connecting in the US have had to collect their baggage, clear customs and then recheck their luggage onto their connecting flight in the US).
- Domestic airports are generally cheaper for airlines to use and this should be reflected in the ticket price – meaning potentially cheaper flights for customers. Domestic airports/terminals are in general less congested than international airports/terminals and this offers a more pleasant travelling experience for passengers.
- Transatlantic Airlines using Shannon will now be able to fly into less congested and less expensive domestic terminals on arrival at US airports. This should lead to easier access to aircraft stands thereby minimising the time between touchdown and passengers existing the aircraft.
- For Shannon Airport and the Mid West region the benefits are significant.
Shannon will be the first airport in Ireland to offer full pre-clearance facilities. This will give the airport authority a unique selling point in its marketing campaigns to attract new airlines to service the airport.
The introcution of pre-clearance will be particularly useful in the efforts of Shannon Airport to retain and promote transatlantic services.
- Becoming the first airport in Europe to have these facilities in place will be a very timely boost for Shannon Airport. This proud first is in keeping with the tradition of an airport that, among other aviation milestones, was the first transatlantic gateway between Europe and the US in the 1940s and the birthplace of duty free worldwide.
- The pre-clearance facility will also become available from Dublin Airport in 2010 when Terminal Two opens. It is understood that the US Authorities have no plans to extend pre clearance else where in Europe. So along with Canada and the Caribbean, Ireland will be the only country where this facility is available, and it comes to Shannon first.