Seeking the winter sun
ASK JOAN:All your travel questions answered
Clearing US customs in Dublin
I read your piece about the advantage of flying out of Terminal Two and clearing US customs and immigration in Dublin. Not so. I have flown out twice this year and had to do it in the US both times. When we complained, we were given some excuse about Aer Lingus having to pay US customs personnel so it can only afford to pay for some flights. We were on a morning flight to Boston but they were only doing afternoon flights. Can you make further inquires and if this is the case, how can one find out before hand and book the flight that does customs and immigration here?
- RC, Dublin
I asked Aer Lingus about it and the answer is that the majority of flights from Dublin to the US clear customs and border patrol, however there are currently a small number of flights from Dublin that do not, due to a shortage of resources at the facility. Aer Lingus is working closely with them to try and find a solution.
You can see which flights do not clear CBP on the Aer Lingus website ( aerlingus.com), under Travel Information. The flights are EI109, which is the late afternoon flight to New York, and EI139, a summer seasonal service to Boston from March to September. You seemed to have picked EI139 each time. All flights via Shannon clear US Customs and Border Patrol. Aer Lingus and the other airlines pay for using this service in Dublin and Shannon.
A wedding in Florence
We have a family wedding in Florence next June. I am looking for any information and recommendations that you might have for accommodation. Our preference is for apartments in the centre of Florence. The wedding is in a castle overlooking the city and the coaches will be collecting us from the city centre (not sure of place names yet).
One apartment would need to be suitable for three young children and the rest would be for adults. I’m planning early as the invitations will be going out shortly and I want to get the family guests organised before the rush. I appreciate any advice you can give me.
– JW, Dublin
As you can imagine, Florence is a very popular city and has plenty of good quality accommodation to rent. There are dozens of agencies arranging rentals. There are also dozens and dozens of apartments being rented privately by owners. Some of the agencies on the official list from the Florence tourist office include apetouring.com, florenceandabroad.com, milligansales.com, and windowsonitaly.com. These are the ones that have English language websites.
For rental direct from owners you can see a selection of apartments on homeaway.com, holidaylettings.comand flipkey.com. Use the search selections to narrow your quest to specifically what you need. Read the reviews and get a feel for places and then contact the owners. There are quite a few very nice apartments in historic buildings.