Bewildered airline passengers found themselves standing with their luggage at the bottom of the ramp to the entrance of Terminal 1 at Dublin airport on Sunday, not knowing if they had any hope of making their flights.
While the DAA’s online guidance and weekend radio advertising continued to advise passengers to arrive at the airport 2.5 hours before a short-haul flight and up to 3.5 hours before a long-haul flight, long haul, many passengers found that it took nearly three hours to get to the airport. terminal gate.
Rebecca Boughton had arrived with her two young children to catch a 10:45 a.m. flight to Lisbon shortly before 8:00 a.m.
“The car parking ticket was 7:58am so we thought we were fine, but after two and a half hours of waiting outside we had only reached the main gate of the terminal.”
No information was provided to passengers queuing outside the terminal building, he said, and some had become agitated by the time they reached the gates.
“It was very orderly until we got close to the gates, but at that point it was getting very stressful with people pushing trying to get through the gates.”
Once inside, he discovered that his flight had been delayed until noon, but the check-in counter had already closed.
“There was no one at the desk to even ask what we could do. I was flying with my four-year-old daughter and six-month-old baby; it was a trip for the end of maternity leave, we were going to meet my mother who flew in from London; she was crazy when we walked in, so by the time I got to the closed check-in counter, I was happy to get out of the place.”
She says that she cannot understand how the airport authorities did not anticipate the number of passengers.
“It’s not like taking a tube in London; they know the number of flights and the number of people on the flights they should be able to plan for that.”
Mrs. Boughton and her family were accommodated on the 10:45 am flight from Lisbon on Monday morning. “I’ll be leaving at dawn, or even sooner!”
While previously Terminal 2, which handles most of the longer flights, had escaped the chaotic queues at Terminal 1, lines of passengers were also winding around the building on Sunday. Here, passengers again reported a lack of communication from the airport authorities.
“We’ve already been inside to check our bags, then the line starts inside but goes out, before you go back inside. We’ve been in this line for about an hour,” said Paul Hughes, who arrived with his wife and three children to catch their 4:40 p.m. flight to New York shortly after noon.
“We saw the queue outside, so we approached someone at the gate to find out what was going on, and that’s when they told us that that was the queue for people who had already checked in, and we had to go inside. first. But if we hadn’t asked, we would have assumed we should have been joining the back of the queue, because no one was there to tell us anything different.”
Kelly Huie, a doctoral student in Queens traveling home to Manhattan, was also queuing for the 4:40 p.m. flight to New York.
“I got off the bus from Belfast. I got here just before noon and have been in line ever since,” she said, standing outside the terminal building around 1:30 p.m.
“It is impossible to know if I will make it or not, the line is coiled and undulating inside and out, so you cannot know how long it is, and we have not been given any information, not now or at any time. Alerts on my reservation. The only reason I know something was wrong here is because I checked Twitter on the bus. It is a disaster.”
Peter Kinsella, who works in finance and regularly travels to London for work, called the situation a “national embarrassment”.
“I arrived at 9:30am for a 12:30pm flight… I spent over two hours in a queue just to get through security, let alone get through. There are no signs, no one telling people what to do, just a complete lack of communication,” Kinsella told the Irish Times from Terminal 2.
“I’ve been to 60 countries around the world and this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen…my flight was delayed for about an hour, which is basically the only reason I’ll be able to get it…it has to be called that, It’s a national disgrace.”
On Sunday morning, the DAA informed passengers that they may need to rebook their flights due to long queues and problems related to check-in and security screening at its terminals.
In a tweet, the authority said: “Due to significant queues inside the terminal for check-in, bag drop and security, passengers queuing outside the terminal may not catch their flight and may need to contact your airline to rebook.”