Saturday 25 November 2017

We need to strike a balance when we're fighting for survival

When the country is on the brink of collapse, we have to change the rules rather than downing tools, writes Carol Hunt

Papers, documents, passport and wallet fly everywhere. "Do you have the correct date?" Check. "Right time?" Check. "Airline?" Check. "Perhaps Terminal Two has already opened and it's leaving from there?" offers the husband. I think this suggestion borders on the absurd, but now I'm so desperate I check anyway. "No, it's definitely Terminal One." "And there's no flight scheduled?" "Not that I can see."

It's just gone 5.30am on a Sunday morning and we are standing utterly confused in the departure area of Dublin Airport. My flight is scheduled to leave in just over an hour, yet no one seems to have heard of its existence. The self-service check-in is refusing to issue me a boarding card and there is no flight to Lisbon to be found anywhere on the information boards.

Eventually the mystery is resolved. There has been a 'technical problem', and the flight is cancelled. There will be another one we can take at 2pm. Which is all very well for those of us who can head off home for a few hours' extra sleep -- but not so pleasant for the young couple who have driven through the night from Limerick with their three children and are handed a few paltry breakfast vouchers as compensation.

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