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Fingal Senator says apologies ‘meaningless’ in wake of chaos at Dublin Airport that saw many miss flights

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Senator Regina Doherty

Senator Regina Doherty

Senator Regina Doherty

fingalindependent

Apologies from the Dublin Airport Authority (daa) over last weekend’s travel disruption are “meaningless”, with the service falling “well short of what a well-financed State agency should provide”, A Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Regina Doherty, Leader of Seanad Éireann, said, “Telling passengers to arrive early to ensure access to their flights and then blaming them for turning up too early...is the most maddening thing I’ve heard from a State agency.

“People are arriving hours beforehand and yet are still not making their flights... Apologies are meaningless when people have to pay hundreds to rebook flights or else miss out on their long-planned holidays.

“DAA have been aware of the plans of Covid-weary travellers for weeks, if not months, and are completely ill-prepared. As the first full summer season of international travel in years begins again, daa should have put every resource in place to ensure smooth travels for everyone.”

Instead, said Senator Doherty, there were long delays at Dublin Airport last weekend, with people having to wait outside the terminal given the length of queues.

Senator Doherty said the latest statement from daa advising people to contact their airlines directly, was “passing on the baton of responsibility and stress.”

She said the “service” falls “well short of what a well-financed State agency should provide.”

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She concluded: “I know that my colleague Minister Hildegarde Naughton is meeting with the DAA Chief Executive tomorrow, and I am calling on all parties involved to work together to find a speedy resolution to these issues.”

Kevin Cullinane, daa Group Head of Communications, said: “Dublin Airport experienced significant queues for airline check-in, bag drop and security screening on Sunday morning as 50,000 passengers were expected to depart over the day.

“Queuing outside both terminals was deployed in the early morning as part of Dublin Airport’s contingency plans for the increased numbers of passengers travelling.

"Due to significant queues inside the terminals passengers queuing outside the terminal had to be advised they might not make their flight and needed to contact their airline to rebook.”

Mr Cullinane said Dublin Airport “sincerely apologises” for the “obvious frustration and inconvenience” this caused. He said “many” airline partners offered their passengers the ability to amend a booking to the next available flight, without charge.

Passengers who missed a flight and incurred additional costs as a result of Sunday’s queues should contact Dublin Airport’s Customer Experience team to claim for vouched expenses incurred, Mr Cullinane said.

He added: “During April and May to date, the airport has served 4.5 million passengers in total, which is almost 500,000 passengers more than initial forecasts, and just 15% below the levels we saw during the same period in 2019, which was a record year for Dublin Airport.

“Our ongoing work to continue the recruitment, training and deployment of security staff will continue to receive priority focus over the coming weeks to restore the highest standards across every area of Dublin Airport and to ensure that all of our passengers have the best possible experience as the airport’s recovery continues.”


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