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How Much Does it Really Cost to Get to Ireland?

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Updated November 2021: You’ve always dreamed of going to the Emerald Isle, the birthplace of your ancestors. But you have no idea how much it will cost to get there, including how to get the best airfares to Ireland.

You’re not alone.

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Thousands of people who would love to visit Ireland ask themselves that question every year as they contemplate the cost of airfare to Ireland from the United States and begin to plan their trip of a lifetime.

Here is a rundown of the choices available as you plan your budget trip to the Emerald Isle.

Hopefully, it will also give you some ideas on how to get the best airfares to Ireland.

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus is the choice for many Irish-Americans who frequently fly to Ireland.

Many of them like the onboard friendliness of the Aer Lingus flight crew, plus the airline has an excellent safety record.

A couple on an Aer Lingus flight. Photo courtesy of Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus only flies into Dublin from North America at this time.

Its service includes non-stop flights from Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles, Newark, New York/JFK, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington, D.C./Dulles.

It plans to resume its service to Shannon in 2022.

From the U.K. and other places in Europe, you can still fly into Dublin, Shannon, and Knock.

Its base in Cork is currently closed until Nov. 22 due to the effects of the pandemic.

Aer Lingus also offers package deals to Ireland and they may, in some cases, be cheaper than booking flights and accommodation separately.

Depending on the time of year you intend to travel in the future will, of course, determine the price of your fare.*

Below are some of the lowest fares that Aer Lingus offers from various destinations across the United States:

  • Chicago to Dublin $475
  • Hartford to Dublin $355
  • LA to Dublin $535
  • Miami to Dublin $555
  • Minneapolis to Dublin $475
  • Newark to Dubin $375
  • New York (JFK) to Dublin $385
  • Philadelphia to Dubin $375
  • San Francisco to Dublin $595
  • Seattle to Dublin $505
  • Washington D.C. (Dulles International Airport) to Dublin $415

*Please note that the above fares are average only and the final cost will depend on the time of year you are flying to Ireland.

What Type of Fares Does Aer Lingus Offer?

Aer Lingus typically offers a number of different airfares to Ireland. They include the Saver, Smart, Flex, Business, and Business Flex fares.

Photo: Stock Film Studio.

Saver fares, which are the cheapest, include a complimentary meal and allow passengers to bring onboard one cabin bag.

The Smart fare includes the complimentary meal, a cabin bag, a checked bag, advance seat selection, free headphones, and a blanket.

Flex fares offer all of the above, as well as being able to make changes to your flight and get a refund, all without being charged.

Below is a handy graphic to remind you of what is and isn't included in the Saver and Smart fares from Aer Lingus.

two boxes with pictures and words how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Saver and Smart fare benefit comparisons at a glance. Courtesy: Aer Lingus.

Travelers going with Aer Lingus to Ireland on any of those fares can earn tier credits and Avios points (the Aer Lingus frequent flier program).

Photo: jchizhe

Aer Lingus allows its passengers to bring one piece of cabin luggage with a weight limit of 10 kg (22 pounds) and measuring 21.65 x 15.75 x 9.05, along with one piece of hand luggage, such as a laptop, measuring 10 13 8 inches.

If you purchase the Smart and Flex airfare tickets to Ireland, you can bring luggage weighing up to 23 kg (50 pounds).

More information on the baggage rules can be found here.

Read more: Getting Around Ireland by Public Transportation

United Airlines

Flights from the U.S. to Ireland on United Airlines have been ongoing since the early 2000s at least.

As of June 2021, their non-stop service includes flights to Dublin from Chicago (O'Hare), Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. (Dulles International).

United operates just one non-stop flight to Shannon from Newark Liberty International Airport.

What Type of Fares Does United Airlines Offer?

The airline's Basic Economy airfares to Ireland are the best value.

These airfare tickets provide most of the services that the airline's standard fares provide, excluding complimentary seating and upgrades, group and family seating, and full-size carry-on bags.

Photo: mstandret

Basic Economy passengers are limited to something like a backpack measuring 9x10x17 inches that must fit under the seat in front of them, with no personal bag allowed.

As of June 2021, the airline's basic economy fares can now be upgraded to a regular economy ticket after purchase, allowing passengers to make changes or even cancel their flight altogether and then use the credit for future travel.

There is a fee, however, but it's an affordable $45 or so each way.

If you see a cheaper flight with United, you'll be able to switch to that fare, getting the difference back as a credit for future travel.

When you decide to travel again with United on the regular economy fare, you'll get perks similar to what you would get with a full economy fare, including a free full-sized carry-on, seat assignments ahead of check-in, and the option to utilize frequent flyer upgrades.

If you check in a bag with the Basic Economy fare, you will have to pay extra for it. To find out more about United's checked baggage policies, go here.

The airline also has a number of special vacation package deals that include various combinations of airfare and hotel, airfare and rental car, hotel and car rental, hotel discounts, as well as reductions for various activities while you are in Ireland.

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Delta Airlines

Delta offers a service to Dublin from New York’s JFK Airport, Newark Liberty, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C./Dulles.

It operates non-stop flights from Atlanta and New York JFK only.

All other flights connect in either Atlanta, Boston, New York JFK, Amsterdam, or Paris.

There are no Delta flights to Shannon at this time.

an airplane
Delta Airbus A321, Courtesy of Delta Airlines.

What Type of Fares Does Delta Airlines Offer?

It normally has three types of economy fares. They include Comfort+, Main Cabin, and Basic Economy.

The cheapest airfare to Ireland with Delta is the Basic Economy fare.

With this fare, you won't get a seat assignment until check-in, and you won't be able to take more than a carry-on bag and a personal bag with you (unless you pay for a checked bag).

seats on an airplane how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: twenty20photos

You will, however, have access to complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as free WiFi and access to Delta's entertainment system.

Ticket changes or upgrades are not allowed with this fare.

Note that certain items (beyond the personal item that is allowed with the Basic Economy fare) can be brought on the plane without being charged.

They include a jacket and/or umbrella, duty-free merchandise, and special items like strollers, car seats, and crutches.

Main Cabin fares, otherwise known as its standard economy fares, give you a little bit more, including more seating space.

The Comfort+ fare also gives passengers more room, dedicated bin space, priority boarding, a pillow and a blanket, complimentary headsets, and an amenity kit.

a woman touching a screen in a plane how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: leungchopan

Passengers purchasing this fare have a large selection of movies and other entertainment to choose from, and you can also stream entertainment on your personal device.

Delta's baggage policy includes carry-on bags that must be no bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches. There are no weight restrictions with carry-on luggage.

If you purchase a Basic Economy airfare to Ireland and you go beyond your baggage allowance, meaning you check in a bag, you will be charged $60 for the first checked bag and $100 for the second one.

American Airlines

an airplane how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

American Airlines has been operating a service from the U.S. to Ireland since 2013.

As of June 2021, it is providing the following service to Dublin only:

  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina to Dublin, with connections in either Chicago, Philadelphia or London;
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas to Dublin; with connections in either Chicago, Philadelphia, London, or Madrid;
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Dublin non-stop;
  • Philadelphia International Airport to Dublin non-stop;
  • Newark Liberty International Airport to Dublin, with connections in either Chicago or London;
  • New York JFK to Dublin, with connections in either London or Madrid;
  • New York La Guardia to Dublin, with connections in either Chicago, Philadelphia or London;
  • San Francisco International Airport to Dublin, with a connection in either Chicago, Philadelphia, or London.

What Type of Fares Does American Airlines Offer?

Like Delta and United, American offers a lower-priced airfare to Ireland called the “Basic Economy” fare, claiming that it is their lowest, around-the-world main cabin fare.

a man trying to close a suitcase how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: davidpereiras

It allows for one personal bag and one carry-on bag, as well as the ability to choose a seat at the time of booking.

The carry-on item must fit in the overhead bin and be no bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 in.  The personal item, such as a purse or small handbag, must fit under the seat in front of you and be no larger than 18x14x8 inches.

Using a Search Service to Find Flights to Ireland

Using a search service can, at times, be a better option than going to the airlines direct and give you more options on how to get the best airfares to Ireland.

a man on a laptop how to get the best airfares to Ireland
Photo: rawf8

If you're the kind of traveler who doesn't mind a layover, then this option is for you. You can find direct flights this way too.

Read more: Getting to Ireland the Smart, Affordable Way

There are plenty more to choose from. They include Skyscanner, Priceline, Momondo, Kayak, Hopper, Google Flights, and more.

While your departure date will affect the price of your airline fare, know that there are deals out there. You just need to search for them and also be flexible with your traveling arrangements.

I suggest setting up email alerts with several airlines as well as with airfare alert websites.

Let me know in the comments below if you have found a way to consistently get good airfares to Ireland.

And if you want to get the latest updates from Ireland on a Budget, please consider signing up for my regular newsletter below.


Colette is a County Sligo native who created Ireland on a Budget to provide her readers with money-saving tips on how to get to Ireland and then save even more when they're there. She's a professional copywriter who lives in the New York area with her husband and two children.

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