Wednesday 17 July 2019

Flight delays take edge off 'cracking weekend'

Students from Indiana University at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Students from Indiana University at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Laura Lynott and Rory Tevlin

Passengers faced flight delays on both sides of the Irish Sea as Dublin Airport closed its runway for a time amid heavy snowfall.

Thousands of rugby fans were making the journey home from London and other UK airports, while the massive influx of visitors for St Patrick's Day saw heavy traffic leaving Dublin.

As snow fell in the early hours of yesterday morning, Dublin Airport crews worked throughout the night to keep the runway clear.

But the airport was forced to "temporarily suspend runway operations to clear recently fallen snow" for 40 minutes in the morning due to safety reasons.

They resumed clearing operations at 10am and advised passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling to the airport.

British friends Emma Bun and Kate Rawson were struggling to maintain a positive mood after they said their 8am flight to East Midlands Airport had been cancelled after the snowy weather in Dublin and the UK.

"We'd planned the day to be in bed, as we are so tired after the St Patrick's Day parade and going out afterwards," Ms Bun said.

"We had a great time in Dublin but this is so annoying today. Our flight was meant to leave at 8am and we've been here since 6.30am.

"We are so tired. They told us we couldn't get a flight until tomorrow (Monday) night with Ryanair."

As the day went on the snowfall eased and delays receded.

Meanwhile, snow delayed flights leaving London for Ireland yesterday, but hardy rugby fans kept their spirits up.

Waiting at Heathrow, David Martin, from Dublin, just wanted to get home after a cracking weekend.

He said: "We had a great weekend. The match was fantastic. We want to get home now at this stage. We got here at around 3.15pm so it's been a bit of a delay."

Claire Gallagher, from Malahide, was pretty philosophical about the delay.

She said: "We can't control the weather can we?

"It's not ideal. We watched the match in a pub in Parsons Green the atmosphere was something else.

"I was over for my brother James Gallagher's 30th birthday too, so it was great.

"I got to see the team leave earlier too, they looked delighted."

Millie Blaney, from Dublin, was delayed for a few hours too.

She was one of the lucky people to get a ticket for the historic win.

Ms Blaney said she was a bit fed up waiting after a hectic weekend.

"Getting stuck in any airport is no joy and it is hard to get information," she said.

"All you can do is keep looking at the TVs and wait and hope.

"Heathrow security has been very efficient though."

It was not the best way to finish the weekend for the Irish faithful but there was still many smiling faces.

Irish Independent

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