30 percent more passengers than expected and staff shortages create a “perfect storm” at Dublin Airport
The head of the daa (formerly Dublin Airport Authority) said the organization was facing a “perfect storm” as staff shortages and passenger numbers were 30 per cent higher than forecast.
Alton Philips apologized “unreservedly” for the delays passengers have been experiencing recently, saying “this is not what passengers should expect from Dublin Airport”.
Mr Philips said the “pent-up demand” has resulted in 15,000 more travelers passing through the airport each day than industry experts expected.
“We have to deal with this high demand at a time when the labor market is incredibly tight,” he said.
“We have 600 officers in our security department, we need to get close to 900 and recruitment is incredibly difficult, on top of the fact that after recruitment there is new Europe-wide legislation for all airports, which means you have to have one enhanced background check for all airport employees.”
Speaking of RTÉ News at OneMr Philips described the background check procedure as a “Garda check plus plus” and said it caused significant challenges earlier in the year.
However, the daa has come under criticism for the working conditions it offers its security personnel, which only guarantee them 20 hours of work per week.
Mr Philips defended the practice, saying it was standard in the industry as travel is seasonal and fewer staff are needed during the quieter winter months.
“If you take our security teams, they get €14.14 – that’s the entry level – that’s 35 percent more than the national minimum wage,” he said.
“I think 35 per cent above minimum wage is a number we can stand behind and that’s 20-40 hour contracts and there’s a lot of softer benefits out there.
“All of our staff would of course be asked at the moment to put in as many hours as possible… In the industry the reason it’s not guaranteed is 40 [hours] is because as you can imagine there is a lot of variability. Ups and downs in between, not just the days of the week but also the season between winter and summer.”
As announced yesterday, the daa has “paused” the sale of new Fast Track Passes for the time being.
The Fast Track system uses cashless technology to allow passengers to purchase tickets through self-service kiosks, making it easier for them to bypass security queues.
However, after the chaos at the airport in recent days – which has left hundreds of passengers waiting in queues for hours – no additional Fast Track Passes are now available.
Meanwhile, Ryanair is advising customers to arrive at Dubin Airport three and a half hours before their flight due to security delays.
The airline said check-in desks, kiosks and baggage drop would also open three and a half hours before departure.
Long queues have been reported at the airport for the past week, with tales of passengers missing flights for waiting so long at security. Some reports describe security check waiting times of 90 minutes.
The Consumer Association (CA) said it had received a number of reports from customers missing flights due to security delays.
https://www.independent.ie/news/30pc-more-passengers-than-expected-and-staff-shortages-create-perfect-storm-at-dublin-airport-41504448.html 30 percent more passengers than expected and staff shortages create a “perfect storm” at Dublin Airport