I’m currently in the Admiral’s Club in JFK, finally going home after 10 days in Japan with Esther and her husband and a brief stop in Dublin.
Why Dublin? I jumped on a Dublin to US business class sale and bought a couple of round trips. I would have flown to Hawaii for extra miles but I value actual time spend in the office, so I’m just going back and forth between Dublin and San Francisco.
I had a very interesting time when landing in Dublin Sunday night. I was a bit woozy after an 11 hour flight in ANA business class. Also, given that it was a very short stay (just for 2 nights) and the majority of my plan was just to work out of our Dublin office, I hadn’t really made any concrete plans at all.
I had to clear immigration again in Ireland, even though I had already cleared passport control flying into Frankfurt. First question I was asked was: “What’s the purpose of your stay?”
Me: (how do I explain a mileage run? Do I say I’m going to be working out of our office here for fun?) Tourism…. I guess?
Immigration officer: I guess? What would your answer be if not tourism?
Me: (I might have messed up already, shoot) No, no, just tourism
Immigration officer: How long are you here?
Me: Just a couple of days
Immigration: Just a couple of days, like 2 days?
Me: No, 2 nights, 3 days in total.
Immigration: Are you travelling alone? Can you show me your flight out?
Shows my TripIt with Japan and my flight out, which indicated Esther as a travel companion. Mistake, should have just pulled up the flight reservation, not TripIt, which has all of my plans.
Immigration: Who are these other people? Are you sure you’re travelling alone?
Me: No no, those people were only in Japan, they went back to the US already.
Immigration: I see you’re going to be back here on the 10th (in a week), what’s up with that.
Me: Yeah I’m crazy. I found a cheap flight and wanted to get miles.
Immigration: How do you find these cheap flights? Online?
Me: Yes? I look online for cheap flights and take them.
Immigration: So tell me something that you know about Dublin and you want to see.
Me: (has done absolutely no research) uhh… there’s lots of Guiness and it rains a lot?
Immigration: You have no plans to see anything? Do you know how bad that sounds to an immigration officer?
Me: Sorry, I just off a long flight and I’m out of it. I thought I would fly here because it was cheap and it seemed like an interesting country, and I would walk around and check it out for a couple of days.
Immigration: If you waltzed into America with these kind of answers, do you know what would happen? They would send you on the next flight out. You’re going to be absolutely interrogated when you come back on the 10th.
I finally get let through after getting shocked awake from the fun conversation with immigration. Moral of the story, be clear in your answers about the purpose of your trip, and try to have some plans or knowledge of the city you are mileage running to.
Anyways, I had a nice stay in Dublin, and walked around seeing the sights in the morning, and spend the rest of the day working out of Dublin office, and spent the night drinking with a group of Brazilians I met at the hostel I’m staying at.
I also had a very fun time with the AA agents while checking in, who asked me probing questions about my trip, as well as my occupation (even asked me who the CEO of my company was.) New security features perhaps?
I’ll be back there next Monday, hopefully with some better answers for immigration about why I’m only there for 24 hours!