Sunday 22 October 2017

Dublin Airport braced for busiest-ever bank holiday as travellers face chaos in Europe

  • Over 400,000 passengers to go through Dublin Airport this Bank Holiday weekend
  • Sunday expected to be the busiest day at airport
  • Appeal for passengers to be organised for security screening process
Dublin Airport (Stock image)
Dublin Airport (Stock image)

Ian Begley

Passengers have been warned to arrive early at Dublin Airport, which is expecting its busiest-ever weekend, with more than 400,000 passengers passing through over the bank holiday.

The record number of Irish holidaymakers could mean longer queues and possible delays. However, passengers will not have to arrive three hours before their flight, despite widespread reports.

Instead, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is advising passengers to be at the airport at least 90 minutes before take-off.

The confusion arose following tough new security checks introduced in many European airports in the wake of terror attacks.

However, the extra passport checks within the Schengen Area do not apply to Dublin. Instead, delays could be experienced on the other end of the trip, in countries such as France, Spain and Portugal.

Nonetheless, this weekend will be exceptionally busy for the airport, with Sunday expected to be the busiest day of the bank holiday weekend.

More than 104,000 are set to pass through on that day alone.

Dublin Airport has issued some advice to its passengers in the run-up to the busy weekend.

  • Check your terminal before you leave the house;
  • Passengers should arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight departs;
  • Make sure to remove all sharp objects from luggage to avoid security delays.

In recent weeks, chaos has erupted at airports in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Belgium due to the new EU border controls. Some tourists were even hit by airport delays longer than their flights.

Meanwhile, travel agent reps are seeking talks with the Department of Justice over what they claim are "staffing shortages" in Irish airports.

President of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) Cormac Meehan said there was a lack of passport control lines open for those travellers coming into the country.

Mr Meehan said Terminal One and Terminal Two in Dublin Airport were a particular problem, with large queues.

"The ITAA has called for a meeting with the Department of Justice and Equality to get the issue of understaffing at Dublin Airport and other regional and national airports on to the national agenda, given the importance of the sector to the national economy," Mr Meehan said. "Not enough of them are operational."

However, the DAA has insisted there were no delays at its security screening section.

A spokesperson said it was usually a 15-minute process when passengers were going out of the country.

Paul O'Kane, spokesperson for the Dublin Airport Authority, said Dublin Airport is expecting about 400,000 passengers over this August Bank Holiday.

"It's a record Bank Holiday for the airport," Mr O'Kane told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland.

"But we are handling that level of passengers quite regularly now. So far this year, we've had 17 days with more than 100,000 passengers.

"It will be busy, but we're not expecting any delays."

Mr O'Kane said that the airport has extra staff on security at the airport, and over 21,000 people had gone through the airport by 8.30am.

He said there are no delays at the airport at the moment, but appealed for passengers to speed up the security process by having their bags ready for screening and to remove all liquids and gels, sharp objects and laptops and tablets.

Irish Independent

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