Ministers ‘deeply unhappy’ with scenes at Dublin airport

Dublin Airport has admitted mistakes were made after being forced to warn passengers that some may miss flights due to long queues.

Concern is growing ahead of the bank holiday weekend just days away as the Taoiseach and the Minister for Transport demanded answers over the mess at the airport.

Dublin Airport officials previously warned of “long queues” for passengers at the country’s main airport.

Some travelers have been told they may miss flights due to long queues, with 50,000 passengers expected to pass through the airport on Sunday.

Officials pledged to try to compensate all passengers who missed flights or whose plans were interrupted, if additional costs are incurred.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin, speaking from Lebanon, said the situation was “not satisfactory”.

“The minister will engage with them and the government will discuss and look at it in terms of huge numbers and delays etc.

“It’s not satisfying.”

In a statement on Sunday, the Department for Transport said Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Deputy Minister Hildegarde Naughton had “expressed their deep displeasure” at the airport scenes on Sunday.

Ms Naughton, who has held two weekly meetings in recent weeks with Daa’s chief executive, will meet Dalton Philips first thing Monday to discuss the issues.

The statement, issued on behalf of ministers, said: “The passenger experience at Dublin Airport falls far short of the service our citizens and visitors should expect at our largest state airport.

“They said it was unsatisfactory that some people, who follow daa guidelines, show up at the airport for check-in on time but still miss their flights.

“The situation is causing undue stress and potential cost to people, which is simply not enough.”

Kevin Cullinane, the communications group leader for Daa, the body that runs the airport, admitted they got it “mistaken” on Sunday.

“Significantly, we didn’t have enough staff occupying enough positions throughout the airport to cope with demand from the start and so queues built up,” he told TEN radio.

“We clearly didn’t have enough safe lanes open as of this morning, for the numbers that showed up at this time of the morning. And that obviously caused a cumulative effect throughout the morning.

He pledged that Dublin Airport will try to compensate all passengers who have missed flights or whose plans have been interrupted, if additional costs are incurred.

Mr Cullinane also said airlines were offering passengers the option of rebooking different flights later on Sunday or Monday at no additional cost.

“We will consider each case on a case-by-case basis, but we will do our best to ensure that no one will be reimbursed for missing a flight today because of these queues at Dublin Airport.”

Passengers have faced long waits and scenes of disorder at Dublin Airport in recent months.

A passenger arriving at Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport (PA)

The airport has previously said it was trying to recover from the impact of the pandemic and blamed shortages of fully trained staff working at the country’s busiest airport.

Mr Cullinane said there will be 370 additional security officers at the airport from June.

“Obviously we didn’t have and still don’t have enough numbers to answer that,” he said.

“We have to raise our hands and say we were wrong and we wish we had more staff available this morning to rectify this situation more quickly than we have.”

He said the situation was now “under control” at Terminal 1, but long queues could be expected at Terminal 2 for the next two hours.

In a statement released earlier, an airport spokesperson said: “Dublin Airport is experiencing significant queues for airline check-in, baggage drop and security screening this morning. , as 50,000 passengers are expected to depart during the day.

“The queue outside both terminals has been deployed since early morning as part of Dublin Airport’s contingency plans for the increased number of passengers travelling.

“Due to long queues inside the terminals, passengers queuing outside the terminal have been advised that they may not be able to complete their flight and may need to contact their airline to rebook .

“Dublin Airport sincerely apologizes for the obvious frustration and inconvenience this is causing.”

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