I'm not a frequent flyer and when I do fly, I tend to use Belfast International where possible, as it's handier for me. The airport is still a relatively small airport, with only one runway, although it now handles over 2 million passengers a year. As this is located close to residential areas, there are restrictions on flight times (flights can only operate from 6:30am to 9:30pm). It is a relatively young airport, as commercial flights only commenced in 1983, and I do remember flying out from Belfast Harbour Airport (as it was known then) in the 1980's, where there was only a small waiting room and a few vending machines. It has grown considerably since then though.
The main carriers that use this airport are Aer Lingus, Brutish Airways, Citywing (who I hadn't heard of before I started this review, but they fly to Blackpool and the Isle of Man) and Flybe. Most of the flights to and from this airport are within the UK, although Aer Lingus to fly (depending on season) to Faro, Málaga and Palma de Mallorca. Flybe also offer seasonal flights to Salzburg, Toulouse and Verona
The last time I flew from Belfast City Airport was about eight or nine years ago, and this was before security was as tight as it is now. I remembered the airport as being quite open plan before, so I was curious to see how the airport had changed in that time, particularly if it was as closed off as the International Airport now is. One thing that has changed over that time is the name. The airport is known as the George Best Belfast City Airport, renamed in 2006 following the death of George Best. Despite the name change, there is little else in or around the airport to commemorate the life of the footballer. Downstairs, there is a Costa coffee and a WH Smith, and you go upstairs to the departure lounge. There are also bureau de change, car rental kiosks and check in facilities downstairs but on the whole, the open plan lower level is the same as I remembered it being.
Once you go into the departures area, this is where the major changes, particularly security wise, are. This is also the area where our problems first started. When we were asked to show our boarding passes, we handed over all the papers we had, which were thrown back at us, as we hadn't separated the departure and arrival passes. He had also taken one of our departing passes, left it aside, and then tried to tell us that we didn't have enough passes, and directed us to the check in desk. Finally, after pointing it out to him twice, he then took the piece of paper, realised what it was, scanned it but didn't apologise for his error, and waved us on. I felt annoyed with his attitude, as while my parents aren't elderly as such (early 60's) but the way he treated them was appalling, and we didn't even get an apology for something that was his fault. My parents had almost given up and were planning on going home, as they couldn't afford to get the passes reprinted, and we were nowhere near a printer where we could print the passes ourselves.
I was left reeling at this, and I just thought that if that was how people are treated by airport staff on a regular basis, then if I was a tourist, I'd be less inclined to go back to that airport if that was how they treated their customers. Next up was the scanners, and I passed through without any issues, until they held my handbag aside to be searched. As I mentioned before, I'm not a frequent flyer and while I knew that liquids had to be under 100ml., I didn't realise that this included my asthma inhaler (which is powder last time I checked?) and a lip gloss. When I apologised for my error, I got a sarcastic, snappy reply from the security guard of 'Oh well, it's only been that way for five years!'
We head, somewhat wounded, upstairs to the departures lounge. Upstairs there is an O'Brien's sandwich shop, a restaurant, another WH Smith's and a small duty free. Within the WH Smith's there is also an area where souvenirs of Ireland are sold. We decided to grab some breakfast at the restaurant, and two scones, two croissants, a tea, a coffee and a Diet Coke cost around £12 (cheap for an airport!). What stood out most for me was the friendly, helpful staff that populated this area - a complete contrast to the security staff downstairs. Everything was well signposted, and it was easy to find our gate, although there was a bit of a walk out to board the aircraft.
As this is a relatively small airport, facilities are some what limited. There are two WH Smith's, a small one in the main airport concourse and a larger one, which also incorporates the a souvenir outlet in the departure lounge. There are a choice of places to eat and drink including Costa Coffee, O'Brien's, The Harvest Bar which serves traditional Ulster food and the Bushmills Bar, which serves a wide variety of malt and blended whiskies from Bushmills, and also local Irish cuisine. Since I was at the airport at 8am, this bar wasn't open. In the departures area, close to O'Brien's there is a soft play area for children - ideal for letting the kids run loose for a while, burn off some excess energy while the parents relax with a coffee. Wifi is available, but it is chargeable, and is through BTOpenZone. I was able to get a 3G signal okay, but I did think the internet seemed slightly slower than what I am used to elsewhere in Belfast. There are also 4 internet kiosks in the departures lounge.
There is plenty of parking at this airport, although it is very expensive. I paid around £25 for a day's parking in the long stay car park. There are some longer term parking areas available close to the airport, which work out slightly cheaper, but are dependent on shuttle buses.
This airport is very handy for those who are planning a short break in Belfast, as the airport is central and there are good public transport links. I do feel that the security staff could be more friendly and helpful though, as their attitude put a dampener on the trip.
This review is of the George Best City Airport, situated in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The airport is one of two in Belfast and is situated around three miles from Belfast city centre.
I've noticed a few people, both on-line, and at the airport, commenting on whether the airport should have been named after George Best, and I'm sure there was much discussion over whether another role model could have been found. The name was changed in 2006, with the airport previously having been known just as the Belfast City Airport, so at least the change has made the airport more memorable.
I used the BMI Baby service to fly into the airport from London Stansted, but there are other companies who use the airport, primarily BMI, Easyjet and Flybe. The biggest loss in terms of passenger numbers was when Ryanair stopped using the airport in 2010, which had a large impact on the airport.
The airport is quite small relative to many other airports, both in terms of the length of the runway and the size of the terminal building. The short runway, and there is only one runway, is noticeable when landing, and is also the reason that Ryanair withdrew from the airport, saying they'd return if the runway lengthening project went ahead.
The airport appeared to be well managed, the process of getting off the plane, collecting luggage from the carousels, to leaving was easy and quick, although there was a signage error in one place which was sending some people the wrong way when collecting luggage. The airport and its toilets appeared clean and well presented, and there were staff on hand if there were any queries.
Getting from the airport to the city centre is easy, with public transport being readily available. As the airport is three miles away, you can easily walk to the centre if you wished, buses are around 2.50 pounds or a taxi is around 8-10 Euros if you prefer you be driven straight in. If there's a group of you going, the taxi is almost certainly the best value for money, and there's usually no wait for one.
I didn't spend too long in the terminal buildings, but there were a couple of places to get a coffee, a shop and the usual places to change money, get cash out and see a selection of leaflets and guides on where to go in the local area.
Overall, inevitably which airport you use is probably less relevant than the choice of company flying you to a location, but I found the airport to be a perfectly reasonable way to arrive at Belfast.
The advantages of Belfast City Airport are few but meaningful.
Most significant is the location. While the 'International Airport' is situated about 12 miles the other side of the city, out in the back end of no where on the hills of Antrim, Belfast City is right on the doorstep of Northern Ireland's Capital. A bus to the city centre is inexpensive, and while a taxi isn't cheap, it is substantially less than going from the International Airport into the city centre. Location, therefore, is the prime benefit.
Beyond this, what you'll find is a painfully small airport with very little to do for more than 20 minutes. Pre-security contains one shop and a coffee place, while departures isn't much better - I believe it has an extra bar and cafe, making for a grand total of 4 outlets.
The service isn't great either. The length of time it takes to unload a plane's luggage and place it on the carousel for everyone to collect is locally famous - it takes an eternity, and is the last thing you need after a long (or even short) day travelling. The staff just seem horredously inefficient.
The only other factor is the choice of airlines. Bmi, Ryanair, and Flybe all utilise the terminal, and each offer compeditive rates to the UK and even beyond. This compares to Aer Lingus and Easyjet who operate out of the International. They offer similar fares, but in a choice between the two airports, the City always wins through convenience.
I regularly use Belfast City Airport and on the whole it's a very good airport. The airport is sometimes referred to as the harbour airport because of its close proximity to the harbour. However it's now known as the George Best City Airport after the late George Best who was a football player.
It's located about 20 mins from Belfast City Centre and a taxi will cost around 7-10 pounds depending on traffic. There is a bus connection but I have never tried it. I believe it's in the region of £3 though. The airport is also located quite close to Sydenham railway station. However this is not ideal as to get to it you need to walk along the side of a busy road and over a footbridge. This could be difficult with lots of bags, pushchairs etc.
The airport is mainly for domestic flights i.e. those within the United Kingdom. The newest airline to arrive has been Ryanair which operates five routes to Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool, Glasgow and Stanstead.
Other airlines include Manx Air (Isle of Man), Aer Arran (Cork), BMI (Heathrow) and the anchor airline Flybe which has various destinations to the UK.
Also at various times of the year there are a growing number of chartered flights to destinations such as Geneva, Salzburg and Paris.
Overall I have been served well in the airport. The staffs are polite, friendly and approachable. The airport itself is quite small. There is a newsagent in the entrance area with WC facilities and some food facilities on the first floor. The food area also overlooks the runway. There is also some conference facilities located here.
My major gripe with the airport however is the car parking. I really don't understand how they have managed to over complicate what should be a relatively straightforward part of the journey. Yes I can understand that there was a terrorist attack on an airport in Glasgow but the new arrangements at Belfast look like an underhand way of generating more income. The area outside the airport (the former drop off pick up area) is now out of bounds to all but taxis. Which makes me think if taxis can get in there what would stop terrorists and therefore what was the point of the new system.
The new system involves what can only be describes as two lanes. One side is supposed to be drop off and one side pick up but it doesn't seem to work like that. There is a barrier for entry and if you're more than 10 minutes you will have to pay to get out. This can lead to difficulty as I have seen people who have stayed over their time blocking the exit which potentially could mean other people get caught out which may be part of the plan. There is a short stay car park which also has a free first 10 minutes but that is similar and I have been stuck in this before when the barriers failed to work late at night (TWICE!)
Car parking problems aside the airport looks a good prospect for the future subject to planning. They want to extend the runway by about 600 yards to allow planes (most Ryanair) to carry more fuel and hence open the runway up to more destinations. Personally I would like to see this happen as the more flights the better but local residents are opposed to this. I also live under the flight path and I don't know what all their fuss is about.
Overall Belfast city is a good user friendly airport. It's an ideal choice for anyone visiting Belfast or beyond for a break due to its easy access and close proximity to Belfast City Centre.
More information can be got from www.belfastcityairport.com
I remain open to correction, but I believe Belfast City Airport can probably claim to be one of the only airports in the world to be named after a wife beater. I'd add the word "alcoholic" but then there are more than a few airports named after famous politicians who appreciated too much of the grain or the grape...
I digress. Belfast City Airport (IATA code: BHD), not to be confused with Belfast International Airport (IATA code: BFS) is Belfast's most convenient airport. It's just a ten minute drive (never more than thirty, even in the worst rush hours) from the city centre and has excellent public transport connections, more of which later.
The airport started life in the thirties when Shorts started building aeroplanes in the city. Aircraft components continue to be manufactured in the city today, with Shorts now subsumed into the mighty Canadian conglomerate Bombardier. Commercial flights only started in the eighties, but flight and passenger numbers have grown due to the greater convenience of the airport to the city compared to Belfast International.
A period of upheaval in the nineties saw British Airways mainline operations leave Northern Ireland, and British Midland (now bmi) moved from Belfast International to the city airport. bmi remain one of the major carriers into the province, primarily because their multiple daily services to and from London Heathrow carry thousands of connecting passengers travelling on the Star Alliance. FlyBe offer a large number of regional connections and Ryanair also offer a handful of routes to primarily UK airports. Unlike Belfast International, there are no long haul flights since the shorter runway cannot support them: bmi currently bring the largest planes into the airport with the occasional Airbus A321.
The terminal is extremely modern and attractive, although apparently not designed with continued growth in mind. A coffee shop appeared in the middle of the check-in hall and continues to get in my way every time I visit, and the usual departure lounge retail assault is still quite invasive. As with most airports, retrospective security arrangements make dropping off and picking up a bit of a hassle, and short term parking is not cheap. For passengers using public transport, there is an excellent bus service to the city centre every 20 minutes. Alternatively, on request at the information desk a free shuttle bus will convey you to the footbridge adjacent to the old passenger terminal, which carries you over the motorway to Sydenham Railway station, on the fast and frequent Bangor - Belfast - Portadown line. Note that at the time of writing the shuttle telephone at the station entrance is not functioning, and you'll need a mobile phone to call for a shuttle to take you to the airport terminal. Do not attempt to walk from the railway station bridge to the terminal.
Inside the terminal is bright and airy, and a world away from the dingy and heavily altered terminal at Belfast International. There are limited views of the apron and runway from the lounge, although the landside cafeteria and bar has an excellent view of aircraft movements and the panorama of the Port of Belfast and Cavehill Mountain beyond. bmi, Star Alliance and FlyBe frequent flyers or business passengers can enjoy a more spacious and quieter pair of lounges after security.
The intense competition between airlines is, in some ways, reflected in a competition between Belfast's two airports. Belfast City wins on convenience, design and public transport. Belfast City has more destinations, however, and ultimately you will probably find that your ultimate destination will determine which airport you use. When I have a choice, however, I always choose the city and enjoy the convenience of a free shuttle to the train, which gets me to where I want to go in Belfast city centre much more quickly. I also enjoy the superb views of the city or lough that landing or taking off at BHD always provides.
Name: "George Best" Belfast City Airport
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland; 20 minutes by bus from the city centre
Number of Flights: 3000 and 183,000 passengers a month
Year of Operation: since 1952
FORMERLY known as Belfast City Airport, the airport is renamed on 22 May 2006 in tribute to the Irish legendary footballer, George Best who passed away early this year.
My first encounter with the airport was last year during my first travel to Northern Ireland from a connecting flight in Heathrow to Belfast by bmi (www.flybmi.com) carrier, one of the major clients of the airport since its operation in 1952. During that time, I was not really interested in the existing operation and management of the airport until I had my second flight early this year from Manchester by flybe (www.flybe.com) aircraft; consequently my latest trip from the US via Heathrow airport.
Through this airport, Belfast is links to the Londons airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Standsted, including worldwide connections using flybe, BA, Aer Arann, Euromanx, British Northwest Airlines, and Air Berlin air carriers. To date, Belfast city airport deals with over 2.2 million passengers every year utilizing its 6000 ft runway in a reclaimed land. It is situated in 3 miles away from the city centre with regular direct bus and train connections to reach the airport
**ACCESSIBILITY & TRANSPORT**
Being a gateway to Northern Ireland, the airport can be reached by a mass transport. A city Airlink bus service is available everyday from the city centre located in Europa bus station. There is also a shuttle bus operates between the airport terminal and the adjacent rail station to the two major stations at the city.
During my travels, I normally used a cab/taxi which costs me about 10 pounds/trip (fix fare) in going to the airport or around 7 pounds from the city centre. Aside from convenience, it is easy to book a taxi anytime of the day. Unlike bus and train services, I have to check the timetable either on-line or by phone to for departure and arrival schedules. With my present accommodation near the university where I am studying, it will be hard for me to reach the bus/train stations while carrying heavy luggage and a hand-carry bag. The disappointment is very high especially during summer and school holidays when bus service does not have a regular timetable.
For tourists and local people living near the city centre, it is more likely cheaper to travel by bus or by train. By bus, it costs 2.50 pounds for a single journey and approximately 1.10 pounds by train from the central station. Bus and train connections are recommended for people who are traveling or having a final destination outside Belfast and the Irish Republic (Dublin).
Frankly, I am a mass transport promoter and it is recommended to use it regularly to places like the airports to ease the traffic congestion. However, some people have cars which the airport can accommodate for limited short time stay (left side of the terminal building), free of charge and to its main car park at the right side of the terminal building.
**FACILITIES & AMENITIES**
The airport has two floors dedicated for various retail and office use. The terminal building has a very simple lay-out for both departure and arrival area which every passenger could easily walk around and familiar with. Upon entering the terminal, few meters away from the glass door, you could easily find the ticket desk and check-in counters. And besides these counters (just few steps) you will be facing the newsagents/gift shop and a coffee shop. Information desk and money exchangers are located at the centre of the ground floor, just besides the escalator going to the first floor. The arrival and baggage area can be found just few steps away from the information desk (fronting the car hire desk); and at the far end of the terminal is the toilet and baby changing rooms which could be used by arriving and departing passengers. At the first floor, you can find the business lounges, a restaurant and bar, toilet, childrens playground and conference facilities. The toilets are well maintained (tissue and hand liquid soap) with various advertising metal frames on the wall. For tourists and first time traveller to Northern Ireland, it is worth visiting the information desk and grabs some information leaflets such as Citylifes airport magazine, Whatabouts Belfast city guide, and other regional promotional materials.
The airport has recently installed new self-service check in kiosk to further enhance the check-in process particularly for flybe passengers and for the efficiency of others airport services. In addition, the conference suite located in the first floor of the terminal building offers a venue for business seminar or informal one-to-one meetings which is quite convenient for delegates or participants without traveling any further. The suite has audio and visual equipment, rooms can accommodate up to 40 people and with full catering and secretarial services.
As a standard procedure, personal identification card or passport (in my case) is required in the check-in counter, including your valid ticket. Even though it is a domestic airport, the safety procedures are also implemented including weight and size of check-in luggage. You can proceed to the departure lounges upon check-in where you also find gift shops/newsagents, sandwich bar, duty-free shop (perfume shop only), coffee shop and toilets. If you have wireless internet account, the lounge has designated area where you could set-up your laptop/notebook power connection. In general the waiting lounge has two major exit doors to the hallway leading to the tarmac. The glass wall of the lounge and the hallway are soundproofed facing the runaway where incoming/outgoing planes can be seen.
It is an interesting experience in this airport while boarding the aircraft that the passengers have to get out from the terminal building and walk a few meters away toward the aircraft. Having this, you have a full view of the runaway and the aircraft itself. Interestingly, I was able to take few photographs while the passengers are queuing to the main door of the plane. The same thing happens during arrivals where everyone has to step-out from the plane and proceed to the entrance of the terminal building towards the arrival and baggage area. This procedure somewhat reminds me of the departure and arrival in the early 50s when old airports do not have the facilities to attached itself to the body of the plane like we have now in all international airports. The only problem with this is during winter or rainy days when everyone has to cover themselves from cold and rain.
**LUGGAGE CLAIM & IMMIGRATION**
During my last trip, unknowingly my luggage was not loaded in my flight. It was delayed for two days. While in the arrival areas, I patiently waited for my big bag to come from the moving carousel. Then suddenly I heard my name from the centralized paging system of the airport and advised to proceed to the help desk counter. The receptionist informed me that my bag was not properly tagged and it was already reported to them that it will be transported later that day. She asked me some basic questions about my bag (colour, size, etc.) using a reference leaflet for easy description. The documentation did not take too long and I was able to leave the arrival area immediately and rushing to meet my friend waiting outside the terminal building. My bag was delivered by a special courier service in good condition even though I forgot to lock it.
It is also worth mentioning that there is an immigration officer who approach passengers randomly and check for necessary visa and travel documents, including bag inspection. It happened to me during my first arrival to Belfast last year. Is it because of my skin colour and moustache? So, I decided to remove my moustache since last December and have a clean shave chin every time I travel to have a better impression.
The airport received an award from the O2 Ability Awards 2005. Being the winner in the category of Retention and Well Being, airport is recognized for its best practice in retention and well being focused on disability management and workable health promotion. This annual award from O2 (telecommunication provider) recognizes the contribution that people with disabilities make to business, and commend businesses striving to change in the culture of employment especially with disabilities in Ireland.
IN CONCLUSION, George Best Belfast city airport is not grand and high-tech facility compare to Heathrow and Manchester airports or even Boston Logan and Chicago Ohare airports, but the facility offers the basic amenities and services for the safety and convenience of the passengers, including disabled. The departure lounges have enough spaces where passengers could relax and shop while waiting for their flights. The airport also provides relevant materials for tourists to browse for future destinations and forthcoming exciting events in Northern Ireland. By the way, the newsagent shop has good collection of top seller books with reasonable prices, something to browse if you forgot to bring one.
Come and visit Northern Ireland!
Due to the redesign of the terminal building and parking, and with a new entrance, they have effectively moved the entire airport 200 yards down the road. Parking is on the whole very easy, if a little expensive. once you are inside the main building you find a neat, clean layout. the check-in is to the right, with a lone newsstand for your papers. the design is simple, yet effective, and it is this that i like about it. I prefer this to the International. I feel there is a warm, friendly atmosphere about the place most of the time, and plus, it is only a few miles down the road from my home town of Holywood. (If you are lucky and approach over Belfast Lough as opposed to over the city, you can almost see my house out of the left hamd side of the plane!) A LOT of work has gone into the making of this almost totally-new airport, so please promise me you will use it.
I use Belfast City Airport weekly and I am continually disappointed about the lack of thought that has gone into the ?new? terminal. OK so the L/S and S/S car parks are a we bit better, but the train station is now about a mile?s walk away, the car park monitors have some ridiculous scheme about drop off and pick up points, (drop off at left side of the road and pick up on the right), which causes mass confusion. Didn?t the developers think more about the amount of cars dropping and picking people up or is it a ploy to make you pay the extortionate car park charges? The entrance and exit from the airport also leaves something to be desired on to the Belfast-Bangor dual carriage way. At peak times they close off the turning towards Belfast so that you have to turn left firstly towards Bangor. This ultimately causes a dangerous situation with all the traffic trying to get onto the carriageway. Why didn?t the put the exit/entrance through the Belfast Harbour estate? Not enough check-in desks are also a problem and what happened to the normal business lounge. Gold and Silver card holders only. The lounge is often overcrowded and smoky, should have had a enclosed room for the smokers. Lack of shops, well there is one. However the food is good. It?s generally clean and the staff are polite.
Well it has to be said, Belfast City's new terminal is a Major improvement on its last one! The parking facilities are much improved , there is much more space, and at last when you enter the building you actually feel as if you are in an Airport!! That said it could still be a lot better. Originally the building was to be twice the size. The owners however, scaled it down due to escalating costs. The foundations do exist though to double its size. The terminal has a modern feel and there is plenty of space in the check-in area. The facilities are everything you would expect in a regional airport. There will even be a foreign exchange opening soon. The departures lounge unfortunately,is little improved on the old one. True there is more space but not a lot more..especially during peak times.Lack of airbrdges also ensure an often wet journey to the aircraft. Upstairs however, the business lounges are a big improvement on the old. My main gripe however would be the state of the runway surface..woeful. Something that you are accutely aware of when rushing down it at speed. Why build a new terminal yet down nothing to an old runway desperately in need of repair? The mind boggles. All in all, not a bad effort. Very handy to Belfast City centre although the link road turns into a car park at peak times. It provides employment for many people in the Belfast area and certainly is a necessary tool to the business community but personally I don't think its a patch on its big brother up the road, Belfast International.
Well Belfast is lucky to have 2 Airports that compete with each other , Aldergrove which is 30 Mins drive from the City Centre or The much improved City Airport which is less than 10 Mins by car.Both are served by buses from the centre and there will soon be a rail station by the city airport although passengers are bussed from the nearby Sydenham Station. Aldergrove is a large shopping complex and eaterie with International and low cost airlines flying from it. Belfast City is the business for business, why?. From the front entrance to the plane is a short walk with check in on the left and a shop for newspapers etc that you can pass to get to the departure lounge all within 100yds. Once in the departure lounge there is a smoking area next to the bar / Snack area with Television , internet access points and telephones so who needs a business lounge although they are also being provided. If you are arriving plane to bags is a 50 yd walk and the bags are there very quickly. Your meeters can see you in the arrivals hall so dont worry about if you are there or not. Upstairs there is a Bar and self service Restaurant serving hot and cold snacks and meals, all with Panoramic View of the Airport runway , gates , Harland and Wolf and the Big Cranes Belfast is so famous for. BMI British Midland are moving their operation to the City Airport soon so will have the widest selection of routes within the UK of the 2 airports. Only downfall is that as it is close to the City the last flight scheduled in has to arrive before 9.30pm but that is no great hardship. Hope to see you all coming through soon.
I pass Belfast City Airport daily on my way to work, and although l have never taken a flight out of the new terminal building l have had lunch there and picked up and dropped off now approximately 8 times. The blooming terminal building only opened on Sunday 3rd June 2001!! My partner does a lot of travelling with his work so l have the pleasure of playing taxi driver. So Belfast City Airport has been dragged up into the new century - albeit kicking and screaming but yes it has happened. The city airport is situated approximately 5 miles from Belfast City Centre, 80 miles from Londonderry and 20 miles from the International Airport (note these are approximations only!). The old terminal building was rather old and past it but now the big new silver building really is the bees knees! The carparking facilities are 100% improved - the short stay carpark is much bigger and we can say HELLO to the new long stay carpark - a feature that did not previously exist. As with all airports car parking is quite expensive approximately £6 per day in the short stay and your talking around £25 for a fortnight in the long stay (if not more). One benefit is that if you are in the short stay for less that 10 minutes parking is free. Directly outside the terminal entrance you will find the pick up and drop off points and really that is exactly what they are - l found this out on Friday l tried to pull a sneaky move and park there (l was in the car) but airport security moved me on - l then had to circle for 20 minutes - David's bags are always the last to come through the baggage reclaim!! Inside the terminal building are what you expect (unless you had been in the old Belfast City Terminal Building!) a coffee shop on the ground floor and upstairs a restaurant which over looks the runway. I have eaten here and the food is over priced for what you get, but it is nice to sit and what the planes land and take off. Belfast City Airport
in the main caters mostly for Domestic flights - Glasgow, London, Newcastle, Teeside, Manchester etc. The flight providers including BA, British European and Gill Air. British European recently launched a new service from Belfast City to London City to coincide with the opening of the terminal building. Travel to the airport by car is simple it is motorway and dual carriage way all the way, there is a new railway stop being built at present although it will be at least 6 months before it is ready, taxis are readily available but l do not think there is a regular bus service (l may be wrong). The new terminal is a great improvement to Belfast's infrastructure and what would be great now would be if more flight service providers would consider flying from the airport to give us Northern Irish traveller more choice.
Having lived in Belfast for most of my life one of the best things to happen was wen they opened Belfast City Airport, although it is very small it is like a family situation and is only a few monents drive from anywhere in Belfast. The parking is a lot cheeper that its big brother Belfast International Airport and all the facilities are easier to get at because of its small size. The only disadvantage is that most of the places you travel too are not International because of the small planes but the view is terrific as you take off. The staff at the airport are like family members members in the way that they treat you and it is a pleasure to be dealt with by them. With the opening of the new terminal building just down the road I am sure that the service can only get better from here on, and with the cost of a Taxi being so cheep who can ask for more.
It's more than likely that flying into Belfast, you will fly into the International Airport, which unfortunately is not actually in Belfast, but in reasonably nearby Templepatrick and will cost you 45 minutes and either 8£ on a bus (return) or 25£ (at least!) in a taxi to get to the City Centre. But if you have the option and perhaps a bit of extra cash, the City Airport is really the way to go. My husband and I flew from the City airport on British European to Stansted last autumn and decided, for the sake of time to arrive 1 hour early for our early morning flight. It took 5 minutes (really!) in a taxi to get us to the airport, at which point we sat about in the coffee bar (that hadn't opened yet it was so early) and playing the who wants to be a millionaire game. The coffee bar and video games is really all the entertainment you're going to find. But the airport is extremely easy to find your way about (being small) and everything is well listed and posted. I found the checkin staff to be as helpful as at any other airport (except perhaps Heathrow) and we had a thoroughly pleasant journey. Belfast City's main advantage is its close proximity to the city centre. It means you have one less thing to worry about when you're getting to and from and the city and is marvelous when you're calculating travelling times because you can be fairly sure that if you allocate 30 some minutes for the journey, that it is unlikely to take that amount. And heck, the sock shop is overrated anyway.