Airline misery for over 70,000 passengers as Storm Emma forces airports to suspend flights
Storm Emma saw over 600 flights in and out of Dublin Airport cancelled today spelling travel misery for over 70,000 passengers. Blizzard-like conditions saw thousands more passengers scheduled to depart from regional airports also impacted.
While there will be no flights taking off or landing at Dublin Airport today, it will remain open, with snow and ice clearing crews still working, according to the Dublin Airport Authority’s spokesperson Siobhan O’Donnell.
“We are planning to continue operating 24-7 to keep the levels of snow down. We want to stay on top of it, so we are in a good position for Saturday morning, for start-up, hopefully all going well," she told the Irish Independent.
She said some of the food outlets will remain open in the Airport, for those forced to wait.
“We will be working very closely with the airlines in terms of them re-scheduling flights for Saturday morning.” she added.
The flights that were cancelled today were on top of the over 400 which were cancelled yesterday, in and out of the airport.
Airlines suspended flight operations from between 3 and 4pm because of the impact of Storm Emma, with Aer Lingus and Ryanair both stating they would resume flights Saturday morning.
Ryanair said that all flights scheduled to and from Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Knock and Shannon Airports have been cancelled today, and affected customers have been notified of their options by email or text message.
“We are doing everything we can to re-accommodate customers and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by these disruptions which are entirely outside our control,” the company said.
Aer Lingus confirmed that all arrivals and departures from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast airports are cancelled today. The airline plans a return to full operations on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson said that "anyone with a cancelled flight can request a full refund, or request to be rebooked onto the next available flight, there will be no charge in this instance."
A "technical error" had seen some people who were trying to re-book flights free-of-charge on the website being charged, and the airline said they would be refunded, and it has a team dedicated to resolving the this technical issue quickly.
Airlines have been keeping passengers updated through social media, but the developing conditions saw some passengers disappointed yesterday at Dublin Airport, having arrived for their flight only to see it cancelled.
Dubliners Paddy and Pamela O'Connor, and their friends Joseph and Geraldine Byrne, were due to catch a flight to Alicante in Spain, and made it as far as the gate before it was cancelled. "Sure what can you do?" said Pamela.