Irish superstar singer Dermot Kennedy has vented his frustration online over what he described as “potentially the maddest” travel experience he has ever had.
Kennedy was in Dublin Airport Terminal Two yesterday morning to catch a flight to the US.
The Dubliner was travelling to Portland, Oregon, where he will support singer Shawn Mendes in concert tomorrow.
However, shortly before midday Kennedy posted a message on his Instagram story which said: “First flight cancelled, second flight delayed by a long way so might miss connection.”
A while later, and on a “less cranky note”, the singer posted a picture of himself on the plane.
Kennedy eventually arrived at his destination, but without his bags.
Meanwhile, Today FM broadcaster Dermot Whelan and his family also had their holiday plans interrupted over the weekend.
The ‘annoyed’ comedian spent nine hours at Dublin Airport on Saturday, only to find out that his flight to Italy was not going ahead.
Mr Whelan also shared details of the ordeal with his followers on Instagram
“So, not the best day ever. I was at the airport at 12.30pm, it’s now 9pm and my flight to Italy has been cancelled and unfortunately Aer Lingus weren’t able to give us any information, we can’t get through on the phone line,” he said.
“So, I have a devastated family there behind me and our holiday to go to Italy to see my brother is not happening and we don’t know what to do, so we’re all just going to go home in the taxi and that’s it.
“My little girl was so, so excited. It’s just really, really, really annoying.”
In a separate message posted yesterday Mr Whelan said: “A Howth sea swim, great neighbours, a durty brunch, my awesome family, a snooze and a rock documentary have all conspired to lift the cancelled holiday blues.”
It comes as Dublin experienced one of its busiest post pandemic weekends, with an estimated 55,000 passengers using the airport each day.
It come as Covid-19 cases affecting staffing levels, along with air traffic control strikes, which Ryanair had already stated it expected would impact flights, has caused Aer Lingus to cancel a number of flights yesterday and today.
“Aer Lingus anticipated the return of demand for travel once Covid restrictions were removed and built appropriate buffers into our plans in order to deal with a reasonable level of additional disruption,” the airline said in a statement.
“This weekend, system pressures from ATC strikes, and ongoing issues at airports and among third party suppliers, have regrettably necessitated the cancellation of some flights.
“This pressure on the system has been compounded by a spike in Covid cases among our own teams in the last number of days.
“Where cancellations have occurred, Aer Lingus has sought to re-accommodate disrupted passengers on the next available alternative service.
“Aer Lingus wishes to apologise to those customers that have been impacted, and has shared details regarding customers’ rights the airlines’ obligations under Regulation (EC) 261/2004 which can be found here: www.aerlingus.com/support/legal/regulation.”
Daa spokesperson Graham McQueen has said everything ran “fairly smoothly” at the airport over the weekend.
Mr McQueen said recruitment is continuing and the authority is “on track” to hire an additional 900 security personnel by the end of June. Speaking on RTÉ radio he said a further 100 security employees will be recruited in July to meet the growing demand.
However, Mr McQueen admitted that "cleanliness" at the facility is not where they want it to be.
“We have to hold our hands up as an airport, is cleanliness where we wanted to be it to be? It isn’t at the moment. That’s simply because we’ve had a number one focus in recent months of making sure that people make their flights. That’s required us to reposition staff from time to time,” he said.
“So, where they have the relevant security clearance to work airside, we are deploying them to different roles but the cleaning companies that we hire to do these jobs in the airport as well, they’re struggling to get staff in.
“We are noticing the difference in the last couple of weeks, those staff are coming on board. It is starting to get cleaner and hopefully passengers will see that over the coming weeks."