Dublin Airport ramps up security to avoid repeats of last summer's queue chaos

Thousands of travellers were affected by long security queues, baggage delays, and missed flights last year.

DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

Neasa Cumiskey

Passengers travelling through Dublin Airport this summer will not experience the chaos of last year, the new CEO of the airport’s operator has promised.

Thousands of travellers were affected by long security queues, baggage delays, and missed flights due to staff shortages and other issues at the airport as Covid restrictions began to ease.

Passengers were also advised to arrive at the airport several hours before their flight, which caused major pile ups at check-in desks and security.

But Kenny Jacobs, who was appointed CEO at Daa in November, has promised that there won’t be a repeat of the chaos this year.

“The main thing we’ve done [since last year] is we will have 800 security staff this summer,” he told Newstalk.

“That’s what we have now in place and if you take the important role of people actually looking at what’s in your bag, there’s twice the number of people doing that this summer.

“We’ve made big changes to the operating standards at the airport; it will be busy and there’ll be certain mornings when the Irish exodus is happening to sunny Spain and sunny Italy.

“But there won’t be a repeat of the scenes of last summer.”

Earlier this year, Daa unveiled its plans to “improve standards” for the influx of passengers making their way through the airport over the summer months.

The 15-point plan included promises to improve security screenings with aims to get 90pc of passengers through security in less than 20 minutes with a full refurbishment of Security Fast Track in Terminal 1.

Daa also pledges that the airport’s bathrooms throughout both terminals will be held to higher cleanliness standards carrying out 120 cleaning inspections each day this summer.

Additionally, a further 400 seats are being introduced across both terminals as well as dedicated family seating areas added in Terminal 1.

"We’ve listened to our passengers’ feedback, and we’re focussing on improving the things that matter most to them,” Mr Jacobs said.

“This summer, our passengers can expect to see more staff, shorter queues, more seats, new family seating zones, and less clutter across the airport. There will be more buses and taxis at the airport, and more places to eat and drink.

“Passengers using Dublin Airport can expect an improved experience this summer with higher standards across the airport and getting back to our usual travel advisory of two hours for short-haul and three hours for long-haul,” he added.