the watchman Registered User
#1

Hi all,

Intending to travel on Aircoach between Dublin and Cork plus return over two days midweek. I know I can book seats online but how busy is the route during the day as I would prefer to just turn up at bus stop and board to have more flexibility on journey times.
Any comments welcome.
Thanks in advance.

devnull Moderator
#2

Some services can be very busy and you'd want to book online tickets to be sure of getting on, others will be okay.

Note that If you book the tickets in two different transactions as 2x online single you can still save money over the open return and avail of the following clause.

For time specific bookings, single tickets will be valid for travel on the selected departure time on your chosen route, on the date specified on your booking. Subject to availability you may be allowed to travel on an earlier departure that day, however, your seat is only guaranteed on the timed journey specified on your booking.


If you book the tickets for one service and take an earlier service, people booked for that service will board first, but you will get priority over those who are buying walk-up tickets is you go up to the driver after all service specific bookings have boarded.

minterno Registered User
#3

I have used the service a good few times and it was full or almost full on my early morning runs from Cork to Dublin (6am approx) but my returns from Dublin to Cork which would have been the 12.30pm bus from the airport were very quiet with the bus half full or less

J.pilkington Registered User
#4

Depending on where you are boarding(e.g. Near bus aras) and assuming their times suit also consider gobe,

Gobe are a 100% Irish owned company(air coach are foreign owned / complete some of their admin / management from the UK and in some cases (Dublin to Belfast service) contribute little to the ROI economy as they hire NI drivers and run NI registered coaches) so not so good for the Irish economy

devnull Moderator
#5

For the record Aircoach is fully managed from Dublin using an Irish operators license and all tickets that are purchased online are purchased from the Irish Operating company, the Belfast operation does not take any fares. Without the Belfast operating company they could not hire any NI staff or base vehicles there, that's why it exists.

The Bus Eireann Belfast service is run in conjunction with Translink using NI registered coaches and NI drivers as well. There are many reasons for this and despite what you might believe they are not related to simply money, rather for operational reasons, it's no-coincidence that both operators on this route are using both an NI and an ROI company to operate it.

When you are operating long distance intercity routes it is prudent to have depot facilities at each end of a route and have some vehicles and staff based in each city for reasons of service recovery and adding extra capacity and to cover staff sickness and the ability to recover from breakdowns.

This happens with pretty much every single major intercity route in the state, the only reason people are not aware of it, is because of the fact people are none the wiser to this because in the absence of a different plate format they are unable to tell if this is the case or not.

If you base all staff in Dublin what happens if you have a staff member that is sick in Belfast or the bus breaks down? They have to wait for someone to take at least 2 hours to come from Dublin? It's handier to have staff and vehicles at both ends and results in a better service for customers.

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J.pilkington Registered User
#6

devnull said:
For the record Aircoach is fully managed from Dublin using an Irish operators license and all tickets that are purchased online are purchased from the Irish Operating company, the Belfast operation does not take any fares. Without the Belfast operating company they could not hire any NI staff or base vehicles there, that's why it exists.

The Bus Eireann Belfast service is run in conjunction with Translink using NI registered coaches and NI drivers as well. There are many reasons for this and despite what you might believe they are not related to simply money, rather for operational reasons, it's no-coincidence that both operators on this route are using both an NI and an ROI company to operate it.

When you are operating long distance intercity routes it is prudent to have depot facilities at each end of a route and have some vehicles and staff based in each city for reasons of service recovery and adding extra capacity and to cover staff sickness and the ability to recover from breakdowns.

This happens with pretty much every single major intercity route in the state, the only reason people are not aware of it, is because of the fact people are none the wiser to this because in the absence of a different plate format they are unable to tell if this is the case or not.

If you base all staff in Dublin what happens if you have a staff member that is sick in Belfast or the bus breaks down? They have to wait for someone to take at least 2 hours to come from Dublin? It's handier to have staff and vehicles at both ends and results in a better service for customers.


With inside info and a sales pitch like that I can only assume you work for aircoach, if so you should be up front about these things when offering "advice" / encouraging boards users to use their service

Btw I don't buy the spin, Dublin to Belfast is not "long distance" and I rarely see any ROI registered coaches operating this service. Aircoach registered a heap of their ROI fleet to their NI operating licence to cover this route and hired Belfast based drivers which meant that Irish tax payers have lost out on social insurance / road tax etc. If what you say is true they would have a handful of NI coaches / drivers operating this route not almost 100%

Like any uk multinational company of course they utilise the services of their parent company, it's called synergies, otherwise it would be a very poorly run company, at the end of the day they are just another Tesco with Ireland being "treasure Ireland" and Ireland no different to their Birmingham operation

Anyway this is moving way off topic, I was only pointing out that during these tough times we should shop "local" where the cost and service of an Irish provider is similar to that of a foreign company

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Grandad99 Registered User
#7

devnull said:

If you book the tickets for one service and take an earlier service, people booked for that service will board first, but you will get priority over those who are buying walk-up tickets is you go up to the driver after all service specific bookings have boarded.


As a frequent traveler on this route, my experience has always been;

Internet bookings for that specific journey are taken first.

Priority then goes to anyone using the return part of a cash ticket.

Priority then goes to those paying cash.

If there are still seats left only then will bookings for a later time be accepted.

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The Raptor Banned
#8

They had to turn people away when i was using it because the bus was so full. Wasn't sure about booking a time but glad i did.

devnull Moderator
#9

J.pilkington said:
With inside info and a sales pitch like that I can only assume you work for aircoach, if so you should be up front about these things when offering "advice" / encouraging boards users to use their service.


I don't know anyone working for Aircoach neither do I work for them myself, I was merely trying to clear a few things up from the post which you originally made.

Btw I don't buy the spin, Dublin to Belfast is not "long distance" and I rarely see any ROI registered coaches operating this service.


I was simply stating that Intercity services are by their distance long routes. All of the major intercity routes in the country with a few exceptions are run using drivers, vehicles and facilities at either end because this creates greater operational efficiency, a better standard of customer service and greater service recovery potential and service reliability.

Aircoach registered a heap of their ROI fleet to their NI operating licence to cover this route and hired Belfast based drivers If what you say is true they would have a handful of NI coaches / drivers operating this route not almost 100%


I would hardly call 6 coaches (1 of which is a spare) out of a fleet of almost 70 vehicles a heap of them, it's not enough to run a full service, there will always be need for a number of Dublin based ones as well and all maintenance and almost all administrative based work is done in Dublin. Belfast is effectively a shift manager, someone to staff the customer service desk and a few drivers with nothing else.

Since the service is based mostly on bringing people from Belfast to Dublin, and especially Dublin Airport, Aircoach has had a large effect on increasing passenger numbers from NI to Dublin Airport, to the point where the number of pax from NI are now at record high levels which directly benefits the state of Ireland.

The availability of a comfortable, low cost, efficient coach service has allowed the ROI to benefit from increases tourism from the North and also Dublin Airport passenger numbers which have increased and attracted air passengers who otherwise may not choose to fly from ROI.

There will always be a slant on these services being operated by NI based crews because the peak-flow is early mornings from BEL-DUB and late evenings from DUB-BEL which is reflected in the timetable. Of course you'll operate these by Belfast crews, It just makes sense both for the workers and also for the company.

It's the very same with the X1/X2 the timetable is slanted towards Belfast based staff, especially at busy hours and vehicles because of the peak-flow of passenger numbers and the operational considerations of this.

The difference is when you buy a ticket through Translink NI, Ireland doesn't get to see that revenue at all for tax purposes and the revenue on that service is split between TL and BE. In Aircoach, all of the revenue forms part of it's ROI operating company so tax is paid on all of it

Like any uk multinational company of course they utilise the services of their parent company, it's called synergies, otherwise it would be a very poorly run company, at the end of the day they are just another Tesco with Ireland being "treasure Ireland" and Ireland no different to their Birmingham operation


That's a gigantic chip you have on your shoulder there, would you like any sauce with it?

In all seriousness though I'm all for buying Irish services where possible, I wouldn't go with an Irish product or service though if it was inferior just because it was Irish, my local Superquinn used to argue all complaints with "But we're Irish." like that somehow absolved them of any wrongdoing each time someone made a genuine and rightful complaint about the store.

Sure First offer their support where they can and advice, for example when the Cork Express service started Aircoach needed some short term vehicles to supplement the fleet until a new order arrived so First loaned them 6 vehicles as a temporary solution, just the same way that Aircoach loaned First bendybuses for a period when they needed them several years ago because of a shortage in the UK.

A quick search on google shows they lease and purchase their vehicles directly through Irish Commercials and are their biggest private coach customer, they are involved in sponsorship of several sports teams and their marketing is done by an Irish company and they were even nominated for an award recently for their partnership with an Irish supplier. Whilst they are not cut off totally from the UK arm, they are very much at arms length.

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J.pilkington Registered User
#10

That's a hell of a lot of insider information (number of buses operating specific routes, strategy, business plan, maintenance schedule, relationship with suppliers, passenger numbers by specific route, how they book their revenue, how they buy their buses) for a member of the public.

I'm always puzzled why you are the first into a thread to laud the greatness of aircoach via long posts with information not available to those outside the company and it's only ever aircoach and it's always a sell sell post, as in aircoach can do this and that without ever mentioning the competition which in many cases offer the same or a better service. I think it's highly unfair that a poster is allowed to promote one company over another as aggressively as you do. Nothing ever about gobus, citylink, Dublin coach, jj kavanagh always just aircoach

Anyway I'll leave this thread now, my main point of contribution was to let the OP know that there is a 100% owned Irish alternative.

devnull Moderator
#11

J.pilkington said:
That's a hell of a lot of insider information (number of buses operating specific routes, strategy, business plan, maintenance schedule, relationship with suppliers, passenger numbers by specific route, how they book their revenue, how they buy their buses) for a member of the public.


Nice conspiracy theory, if you go back to the Aircoach Dublin to Cork thread when they first launched the service I heavily criticized them because of their poor marketing and at the time lack of consistency regarding their service, poor website and in general under advertising of the service. I also happen to prefer their older Jonckheere coaches to their new Panthers because I've said many times on here I believe the new coaches have reduced the leg-room far too much.

All of the information I have given is freely available by searching using Google and my comments about revenue and suchlike isn't anything to do with inside information, I just know from an interest in public transport, that this is the way these things work across the industry and am trying to put an informed view across, none of this is inside information at all.

If I really was an insider Grandad99 wouldn't have corrected me on something as I would have got it right.

I'm always puzzled why you are the first into a thread to laud the greatness of aircoach


This is a discussion forum and if you are going to make a post such as yours, you should expect that people may answer it having differing views to you, just as I accept that any post I may make, people may have differing views to you. I have been only too happy to slam them in the past when they do things bad, as I said, go back to the Aircoach Cork thread and you will see I criticized them much more than I praised them.

and it's only ever aircoach and it's always a sell sell post, as in aircoach can do this and that without ever mentioning the competition which in many cases offer the same or a better service. I think.


If I was going to do a sell post I'd do it rather different and state the higher frequency on the Cork and Belfast Route, later and earlier services, faster journey times and lower costs with a more convenient pick-up and set down location for those traveling to the Airport. I didn't though, because it's not a selling post like you claim it is. The biggest issue clearly here is that you have something against the Brits.

it's highly unfair that a poster is allowed to promote one company over another as aggressively as you do. Nothing ever about gobus, citylink, Dublin coach, jj kavanagh always just aircoach


If you read all my posts you will find only a small fraction are about Aircoach, I have posted thousands of times in this forum and post about all transport related topics, including Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, private operators, Bus Eireann etc on a regular basis,.

Anyway I'll leave this thread now, my main point of contribution was to let the OP know that there is a 100% owned Irish alternative.


Nobody said that GoBE didn't exist, but the topic was about Aircoach, it wasn't about general buses in relation to Cork, but of course there is no reason why we can't talk about them here.

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J.pilkington Registered User
#12

One final post from me (I'm not going to bother addressing all of the rest of your post as I don't see the point except to say that you still don't convince me of your impartiality - e.g. One of your 1st ever posts on boards was praising the wifi on one of aircoaches uk buses! and only during the week on the cork forum someone asked about a coach service from Dublin airport to cork and your reply was BE is crap due to multi stops but aircoach is great again more promotion of aircoach without a mention of gobe)

But just to defend an attack from you. I am most certainly not "anti Brit", I am pro irish which does not by default make me anti British. I am passionate about this as I grew up in a border town and have lived through the boom and busts of neighbours doing their weekly shop in the north to save €4 only to see a lot of our local shops / local factories close and large unemployment with these very same locals then scratching their heads because their kids have no future in the area.

As i said if 2 companies are offering a similar service at a similar price(both of these factors are important) and one is Irish I'll buy Irish.

devnull Moderator
#13

J.pilkington said:
One final post from me (I'm not going to bother addressing all of the rest of your post as I don't see the point except to say that you still don't convince me of your impartiality


At the end of the day the people on boards will judge how they see fit.

e.g. One of your 1st ever posts on boards was praising the wifi on one of aircoaches uk buses


Have you looked at the Aircoach Dublin to Cork thread? You will see I criticized them a hell of a lot in that thread. If not you really should. If anyone says anything positive about a company it doesn't mean that they are spamming the forum or have a hidden agenda, I know it's popular to accuse myself and Lxflyer among others of that lately and led to a valuable member called KC61 and others leaving the forum because of it, but it has no basis on reality.

only during the week on the cork forum someone asked about a coach service from Dublin airport to cork and your reply was BE is crap due to multi stops but aircoach is great again more promotion of aircoach without a mention of gobe)


Please do not misquote me again because it's an extremely childish way to win an argument. I never said any operator is great or any operator is crap in that post

The original poster asked:
What is the difference between aircoach and buseirenn??

I replied (see here)
Aircoach is non stop from Dublin to Cork and Bus Eireann stops in a few places so takes 45 minutes longer.

The person arrives at 11.40pm on a flight and the last GoBE service was 11pm. Why would I recommend or mention a service to someone that it was not possible for them to use because the service did not operate when they needed it?

As i said if 2 companies are offering a similar service at a similar price(both of these factors are important) and one is Irish I'll buy Irish.


I agree both of those factors are important, although in this case not only is GoBE 40% more expensive for the cheapest adult single ticket bought online, it runs at half the frequency (9 vs 18) on all days apart from Friday/Sunday (12 vs 18) starts later and finishes earlier.

Certainly if you work around Busaras or need to travel onwards by Railway to Connolly and the times suit you and you would like to wait in a bus station instead of Westmoreland Street or Patricks Quay then GoBE is an option and maybe a less crowded option, but whether that is worth up to a 40% premium that is up to the customers to decide at the end of the day.

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horseburger Registered User
#14

devnull said:
At the end of the day the people on boards will judge how they see fit.


Have you looked at the Aircoach Dublin to Cork thread? You will see I criticized them a hell of a lot in that thread. If not you really should. If anyone says anything positive about a company it doesn't mean that they are spamming the forum or have a hidden agenda, I know it's popular to accuse myself and Lxflyer among others of that lately and led to a valuable member called KC61 and others leaving the forum because of it, but it has no basis on reality.


Please do not misquote me again because it's an extremely childish way to win an argument. I never said any operator is great or any operator is crap in that post

The original poster asked:
What is the difference between aircoach and buseirenn??

I replied (see here)
Aircoach is non stop from Dublin to Cork and Bus Eireann stops in a few places so takes 45 minutes longer.

The person arrives at 11.40pm on a flight and the last GoBE service was 11pm. Why would I recommend or mention a service to someone that it was not possible for them to use because the service did not operate when they needed it?


I agree both of those factors are important, although in this case not only is GoBE 40% more expensive for the cheapest adult single ticket bought online, it runs at half the frequency (9 vs 18) on all days apart from Friday/Sunday (12 vs 18) starts later and finishes earlier.

Certainly if you work around Busaras or need to travel onwards by Railway to Connolly and the times suit you and you would like to wait in a bus station instead of Westmoreland Street or Patricks Quay then GoBE is an option and maybe a less crowded option, but whether that is worth up to a 40% premium that is up to the customers to decide at the end of the day.


One advantage that Aircoach has over Bus Éireann or Go Bus regarding bus options between Cork and Dublin, are the services Aircoach operate from Cork at 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5am from Patrick's Quay to Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport.

Also, from Galway, Go Bus and Citylink have an advantage over the Bus Éireann service because they run services from Galway New Coach Station during the night to Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport.

I remember reading the discussion on the Cork Dublin Aircoach service, and I remember the detailed reviews of the service by devnull and others, highlighting what they considered positive and negative aspects of the service.

As far as I remember, the combined Bus Éireann/Go Bus GoBe Cork - Dublin service started - as an additional service to the x8 Cork Fermoy Dublin Bus Éireann service - about six months after Aircoach had started its Cork - Dublin service.

I wondered why didn't Bus Éireann or Go Bus, either separately or together, operate nightly services from Cork to Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport, before Aircoach?

I could be wrong on this, but I felt that it was only after Aircoach showed such a service could be successful, that Bus Éireann and Go Bus, in a combined GoBe service, increased services during the day, to and from Cork and Dublin.

Is that a fair assessment?

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=77871157
http://www.buseireann.ie/timetables/1473417408-X8.pdf
http://gobe.ie/
http://www.gobus.ie/timetable.php?map=25
http://aircoach.ie/timetables/route-704-x-cork-dublin-city-dublin-airport-express
http://www.buseireann.ie/timetables/1472638914-20.pdf
http://www.citylink.ie/timetables
http://www.gobus.ie/timetable.php?map=27
http://www.gobus.ie/timetable.php?map=28

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pkvader Registered User
#15

Been a few years since i got the Aircoach,Is the express Dublin (to Cork) bus stop on Ashton Quay?,It was Westmoreland st before,just double checking to be sure.
Thanks

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