Purchasing AirfareShould I buy airfare myself or with a package?

Purchasing your own airfare can save money and I'll never proclaim that my rates are always the lowest, it's simply not true for any agency out there. Many clients tend to purchase airfare first and then contact me for their land portion which is not a problem on my end but may throw a wrench into their travel plans.

To ensure the best vacation to Ireland, please consider the following before you even think of purchasing your airfare directly:

My airfare airports don't align to tours

Many Tours of Ireland start and end at different airports yet most people only know about Dublin Airport or think it's cheaper to fly in and out of the same airport. Ireland is the exception to this rule. Even Ireland Fly & Drive customers make this mistake for short tours, having to drive back to their originating airport and spending more time on the road.

Tour dates don't align to my airfare

Tours start on specific days of the week and schedules are set more than a year in advance. Trying to find a tour to fit your dates and airports happens about 5% of the time. I typically help clients with an Irish Self Drive Package at that point but it adds a bit of stress when they were counting on a bus tour.

You will lose your tour transfers

Purchasing airfare on your own means you will have to pay extra for transfers or get to the first tour hotel on your own.

The average charge is $50 per person, or $25 each way, even if the tranfer bus is already at the airport. This is one way a tour company ensures they get paid for airfare ... even if you don't purchase it through them.

Adding additional nights to a tour

If you found a great deal on a flight for your tour, it might not match the starting or ending time for the tour. Who cares, right? Some tours depart for a location other than the arrival city or they don't arrive at the departing airport until afternoon. If your flight doesn't match just right you may not have transfers to/from the airport and may need an additional night on either end.

That additional cost typically eats up any savings you found on the "deal".

What happens if my flight is delayed?

Airfare purchased separately removes me from being your advocate should a problem arise (delay, lost baggage, etc.) Although airlines are their own beast and answer to no one but themselves, I am your advocate in navigating the complaint system or providing documentation for insurance purposes. Additionally, you are responsible for all costs to meet the tour at the next available hotel should your flight be delayed.

True Story: Clients purchased air themselves and their flight was delayed one day due to weather here in the States. They had to pay $100 USD for a taxi to get them to their first hotel in Killarney which would have been reimbursed if they purchased air through the tour operator.