Shannon Airport in conjunction with Ryanair will be operating Santa Flights again this year on the 3rd & 4th of December. Tickets are allotted via a lottery system, and online applications are open NOW.
While tickets are free, there is a booking fee of €10 per ticket - and a portion of this is donated to charity. Our application was picked last year after applying for the previous two years without any luck, as they say third time lucky!
It’s a fantastic experience from start to finish and the whole airport gets involved. Due to severe floods around the region last year we were late getting to the airport as most of the roads were closed; but from the moment we arrived it was full on Christmas spirit as we were whisked over to check-in by the duty manager who was waiting for us at the door.
The mischievous elves were hilarious grabbing my children’s hands for a dance to the festive music that was piped into the check-in area as our seats were promptly allocated and ID’s checked.
As you are taking a flight you will need to go through the normal security checks. We were running late so I left everything in the car including all coats, bags and the baby’s buggy so it took less than a minute to dash through security. Once we got airside it was announced that there would be a slight delay to our flight due to the weather, which we didn’t mind at all as there was plenty of entertainment for the children, with DJ was pumping out Christmas tunes and characters such as Anna and Olaf were there to dance and play with the children.
Every member of staff was fantastic and so jolly, at one stage a flight had landed full of US Army soldiers and my daughter who is army barmy was thrilled - even more so when they joined in the fun and games with the children and got a conga line going that weaved its way through the waiting area! And of course, the husband kept an eye on the children while I had a moment to have a look in Duty Free and made a few purchases!
Flight time is 40 minutes and it goes really fast; the excitement throughout the plane was palpable as we were taking off. Shortly after the Captain turned off seatbelt sign the elves asked some children to keep an eye out their windows for Santa and to let her know as soon as they spotted him.
A kerfuffle down the back of the plane drew everyone’s attention and all of a sudden Santa(!!!) was there on the plane with us! He had landed his sleigh on the roof safely at 15,000ft above sea level and had just enough time to go up & down the plane to greet every child on board.
After we landed back at Shannon the airport fire department were waiting to let the children sit in the fire engine for a photo, which was a lovely thing to do my sons were delighted! Once back inside every child is given a selection box and there is a photographer there ready to take a family portrait priced at €10.
Our allotted flight was the first flight of the day, and living in Kildare it would have been madness driving down at silly o’clock in the morning so I decided to try and find a deal for somewhere to stay in the region. I found the bargain of the century on hotelclub.com which joined with hotels.com in February 2016 - I booked a 2 bedroom house in East Clare Golf Village for €28 for the 7 of us, that’s including all taxes & charges. Even our Elf on the shelf came with us!
But the icing on the cake for myself was getting to drop into the wonderful Durty Nelly’s beside Bunratty Castle for an early dinner on the way home!
If you’d like tickets you should apply as soon as you can, applications close on 9th November, and I'll post another link to the form below!