Shannon is a very poor airport. I flew with Ryanair from London Stansted and both the airline and that airport were excellent. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said about Shannon airport. Ryanair have cut about 75% of their flights from Shannon in recent years, and if you ask me, I don't blame them.
The terminal building has a reasonable layout but is very short of flight information screens, so it can get very confusing. Not only does the exterior and interior of the building look very unattractive, it's a little dirty, particually the toilets, as well as being crowded at times and barely any natural light.
Queues at security and passport control are very slow, even at quiet times. Check-in/Bag-drop queues are generally quicker, it took around 15 or 20 minutes but that was only because I flew with Ryanair, other airlines took much longer. Security took around 30 minutes and passport control was even longer, taking 40 minutes.
The customer service at the airport was awful. The staff didn't help being unhelpful and inefficient, on the other hand they were quite friendly.
I was very disatisfyed with the very poor amount and variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets thoughout the entire airport. The prices of the products in shops and of food and drink were way too high and most provided a dissapointing service.
There is a lack of public transport to/from the terminal building. There is no rail service at or around the airport and the odd very poor bus service which was very unreliable.
Shannon is an airport that I will certainly not use again unless there are some massive improvments. I strongly advise against using it to everyone as it causes nothing but stress and delays. Despite this, the west coast of Ireland is fantastic. I'd advise people to use Kerry or Knock airport instead, even the locals.
having read a previous review in shannon airport I agree that it is dirty no where to sit really if your flight is delayed and nothing to do. I come from fhe mid west region of clare where the airport is and travel there many times during the year to see my family and I know this airport inside out. The prices at the shops and restaurant are very pricy as everything in the republic is. In the past it was the main stop over for american tourists so the shops reflect this with all the Celtic goods on sale that wouldnt be of interest to the modern tourist. Once one of my children didnt come out at the same time as me through the green exit and I was frantic with worry - the garda wouldnt allow me to go back in to find him and I couldnt get him to come to me- the garda was dead rude and v unhelpful and he wouldnt just look around the corner and get him for me. My son is disabled and we just took our eyes of him for a minute as we though he was coming up behind us. but the airport is convienent for the west of Ireland if you are travelling west its a small airport with ryan air taking us back to the uk.
Car hire is convienently situated in the main entrance the staff there are v nice and have upgraded us to a biger care at no extra cost some times.
Parking is convienent to the entrance.Disabled parking just out side in the parking area.You do need a car to get round as public transport is poor.
I think staff used to be friendlier before we had low cost airlines.
Shannon is situated well for exploring Kerry.Cork,Clare and Galway otherwise use another airport as distances may not be great but the roads are terrible and it will take you longer.
I have traveled through Shannon on several occasions, but didn't stay more then the time it took for me to check in and board the plane, recently however I had the opportunity, or dare I say misfortune, to be at the airport for over 6 hours.
This gave me plenty of opportunity to discover every nook and cranny that I could find.
Some of the advantages of Shannon Airport versus, Dublin Airport are the taxes. You can get a flight with Ryanair to Shannon- Frankfurt for example for much cheaper then Dublin-Frankfurt, as the taxes from Shannon are less, then from Dublin.
If you live within equal distance from the two, then Shannon is cheaper although not as many flights go there.
Before the Passport check:
The ground floor really doesn't have much to offer, there are a few sitting areas, a coffee shop and a mini supermarket.
The second floor holds the main eating area, which is a serve yourself style buffet, slightly overpriced, but they did have different food on the several occasions I visited, so there is variety.
For breakfast they serve cereals, fruit salad, yogurt, crusty rolls, pastries and cold cuts.
For Lunch/dinner they serve soup, an assortment of hot food, such as pasta, potatoes, boiled vegetables, roast beef, and chicken.
They also have a coffee bar with various hot beverages and pastries.
On the second floor there is also a bar, which serves food for lunch.
If you have eaten your fill, and still have time to kill, then on the third floor, there is an observation lounge.
As the name suggests this is a sitting area, with a view of the tarmac where you can observe the planes as they take off and land.
It tends to be unfrequented as there are no signs, besides the one in the elevator, advertising its location. I found it merely by chance, as I was looking at the different levels available in the elevator, and having nothing better to do I decided to check it out.
As you exit the elevator on the third floor there is a long narrow corridor that opens up into a large rectangular room. On the near end there are two vending machines, with drinks, candy bars and crisps. On the far end there is a large window that spans the length of the room, and a single row of chairs that runs parallel to it.
You can see a pretty good view of the action below, but besides that the room leaves much to be desired, the chairs are grubby and the seats are torn and dirty, it is however, a good place to read a book or watch a movie, as it is very quiet compared to the rest of the Airport.
Also because it is a large enclosed room, I could let my daughter run around without having to worry about her getting into mischief.
Past the Passport check:
The security check went problem free, and I found the security to be very nice and accommodating, this is the advantage of small airports, they don't usually get as much hassle as bigger ones, and so they tend to be more relaxed.
The waiting area in this airport leaves much to be desired it really consists of one large overcrowded room, with shops lining the edges. All the shops combined will hold your interest for all of 20 min, and consists of the usual tobacco and alcohol, perfume and touristy nick knacks. There are a few clothes shops as well, as bookshops, so if you have some time to wait get a magazine or book, at the Hughes and Hughes.
This is a small airport so bear that in mind, however, it isn't the cleanest, or most attractive, and there really isn't much to do if you have a long wait.
I flew into this airport just less than a year ago, and the memory of it has stayed with me ever since.
Shannon and I did not get off to a good start- the airline lost my luggage, and while that was not the fault of the airport, the staff at the airport were not at all helpful in resolving the situation. They were also rude.
(My bag finally turned up about a week later- without the phone call that the staff had promised!)
So, not a good start- impolite staff.
Otherwise, I thought that the airport was ok. The entrance is a little more spacious than the departure lounge, but I think that neither is as spacious as they could be, for an airport that serves so many people.
The airport was clean, well situated and therefore easily accesible.
I think these things are highly influenced by the people though, and I would not want to go back to this airport.