Dublin Airport urges travellers not to arrive too early as 500,000 expected over Easter

People queuing at Dublin Airport. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos.

Dominic McGrath and Eoghan Moloney

Travellers flying through Dublin Airport this Easter have been urged not to arrive excessively early.

Dublin Airport staff are hoping to avoid some of the chaotic scenes witnessed in recent weeks, which saw lengthy queues inside and outside the airport at-times during the busiest periods.

Over 500,000 people are set to travel in and out of Dublin Airport over the coming days over the Easter break.

Passengers heading to Dublin Airport this weekend have already been warned that car parks are completely booked for Saturday, with only “limited availability” remains up to Friday.

Today, airport operator DAA issued updated guidance warning that passengers should arrive at Dublin Airport up to three and a half hours before their flight.

But a spokesperson urged passengers not to arrive too early.

“Daa is urging morning passengers due to fly from 08.30 am onwards, not to arrive into the terminals before 05.00am,” the spokesperson said.

“This will ease pressure on the security regime and allow passengers flying during the busy first morning wave (those with flights before 08.30 am) to progress through security and on to their boarding gates.”

The spokesperson said that passengers do not need to arrive earlier than three and a half hours before their flight.

They said: “Arriving earlier than needed has been found to increase pressure at busy times over recent days and weeks.”

It also recommends that passengers check with their airline regarding when their check-in and bag drop-off opens, “and to plan their arrival at the airport based on that information".

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Passengers are also encouraged, where possible, to check-in for their flight online.

The airport said it had been trying to rebound from the impact of the pandemic and blamed shortages in fully trained staff working at the country’s busiest airport.

“Dublin Airport is currently in the process of hiring almost 300 new security screening staff to help it meet the significant increase in demand for international travel.

“Good progress is being made in that recruitment process with more than 500 candidates, from a pool of more than 4,500 applications, having been invited for an interview over the past two weeks,” the spokesperson said.

The garda vetting and security check process for new hires takes 5-6 weeks and the lack of staff has resulted in massive queues at security in recent weeks. Passengers have reported hours-long waits and missing flights as hundreds of people queued.

This comes as Dublin Airport was named as the second-most stressful airport in Europe, in a new analysis by Legacy Communications.

Dublin trailed only Heathrow in terms of stress caused to passengers according to the report, which involved analysis of “10,000 reviews, 2,500 tweets, and hours of flight data”.

Dublin ranked number two in negative sentiment social media analysis with a score of -221 and ranked number seven (among 25 airports analysed) in the most delayed airport list.