Christmas is generally known as the busiest time for the year for Airports. With hundreds of thousands of passengers passing through different terminals all over the world every day, it would seem crazy that on Christmas, one airport in the world doesn’t receive a single passenger.
Dublin International Airport shuts it’s doors to passengers on Christmas every year, with no arriving passenger flights and no departing passenger flights.
Does Dublin Airport close? Dublin Airport remains open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, we are closed on Christmas day. – Dublin Airport Website
Now you may have noticed we said ‘passenger flights’, as on Christmas there are in fact two cargo departures that carry last minute gifts across Europe (To Iceland and Belgium respectively).
The last passenger flight to leave Dublin is the 10:00 PM Aeroflot to Moscow, and the first on Boxing Day (December 26th) is off to Chicago at 4:45 AM
Why is the airport closed on Christmas?
Ireland’s culture is heavily based on the Catholic faith. In fact, back in the day the Vatican actually helped write Ireland’s constitution, adding in laws such as forbidding blasphemy against God or the church. Thankfully the law has never actually been invoked, but it does lead some credence as to why a major public service facility would close on Christmas.
Because it is a public holiday for those to celebrate being with family (as well as the religious overtones). In fact, the FAQ on the website even lists where the on-site church is (not just a prayer room for all religious practitioners, but an actual church):
Is there a church at the airport? Yes, located beside the coach park opposite the Terminal 1 multi-story car park, for mass times and contact information click here
Dublin airport has actually chosen the best time to close, there are very few flights anyway on Christmas and admirably, giving most of the staff a paid day off sounds wonderful. Not all of the staff are sent home, however, some such as the fire crews, air traffic controllers and other essential personnel stay on site and work every Christmas.
But wait… what about airlines that use Dublin as their hub?
Does Aer Lingus shut down on Christmas Day?
Aer Lingus actually has operates out of this airport, does that mean it also shuts down on Christmas?
With no flights arriving or departing on Christmas (and with plenty on either day), it would very much seem that Aer Lingus also takes the day off. Whilst other flights might be enroute to Dublin, such as the 4:55 AM arriving flight Aer Lingus flight from New York that would have left Christmas night, no other plane service for the airline actually uses the airport during it’s shut down.
What do you think? Should an airport shut down for Christmas?