DUBLIN Airport says the queue problems that have plagued travelers in recent days improved over the past weekend, but it has now advised passengers to arrive three and a half hours before departure.
If you’re parking a car, allow an additional 30 minutes,” the airport says.
This means that travelers flying even short-haul routes during busy periods such as the morning rush hour, at weekends or over the Easter holidays may have to expect to arrive up to four hours before departure.
“The past weekend showed a significantly improved security situation in both terminals Dublin Airportsaid Graeme McQueen, media relations manager at the DAA Independent.ie.
“While passenger numbers were up over the weekend compared to the previous weekend, the time taken for passengers to get through security was manageable, with a maximum time of around 45 minutes in T1 on Saturday and Sunday and around 35 minutes in T2 on both days.”
This has been aided by the introduction of an employee task force, according to the airport, “with all DAA employees covering shifts in customer-facing roles within the terminals.”
“This all-hands-to-pump approach sees staff completing tasks such as queue management, providing general customer service advice, swapping out trays at security, and more.”
Live safety times have also been reset to his dublinairport.com website and will follow in an update to the app later this week, they say.
What follows is a period of protracted security delays for passengers in both terminals caused by a lack of security staff, Covid-related absences and a recovery in travel that has exceeded DAA expectations around 30 pcsor 15,000 passengers per day, according to CEO Dalton Philips.
The results have, in some cases, caused queues to stretch for hours, with some passengers reporting missed flights. The airport has also temporarily suspended its fast track system, saying demand for parking spaces is “very high” and “likely to sell out” on certain days.
“A perfect storm,” Mr. Philips called it.
The employees worked under stressful conditions. A passenger spat in the face of a security guard and was arrested. The Sunday Independent reported.
Many companies are facing Covid-related hiring issues and shortages, and similar delays occurred at UK airports such as Heathrow and Manchester this weekend, while staffing issues have forced easyJet to cancel over 200 flights.
Dublin Airport Contracts – who only guarantee a 20-hour week and a wage of 283 euros for newly hired security guards – were also cited as a factor, as was the failure to forecast passenger numbers when it had a clear view of recently introduced summer schedules.
Previously, Dublin Airport’s rule of thumb was to advise passengers to arrive two hours before short-haul flights and three hours before long-haul departures.
However, with increasing air traffic and the approaching Easter holidays, the airport is only getting busier. April 16 is expected to be the “high point” of the Easter season.
Ryanair has started rolling out what it says it is greatest summer plan ever for Dublin this year, while Aer Lingus is increasing its transatlantic routes. This Thursday, for example, flights to Philadelphia will resume, and a second flight to Chicago will take off on April 8th.
“It’s really important that passengers using Dublin Airport continue to take our advice to arrive at the airport at least 3.5 hours before their flight,” says McQueen.
Ryanair has also advised passengers to arrive 3.5 hours before departure and urged the government last week to recruit 250 members of the army to deal with the security delays.
The Department of Transportation says it has established one daily crisis management meetingg to address the issue.
The DAA has taken several additional measures to alleviate the situation, from ramping up a recruitment drive to add around 300 security guards to the existing 600-strong team, to introducing additional overtime and redeploying staff to support queue management and customer service.
This week it will conduct over 200 interviews with potential candidates and says it will hire new frontline staff “as soon as possible”.
However, verification and training typically takes five to six weeks.
As travel demand picks up again and countries move on Easing travel restrictions related to CovidThe airport now estimates that summer passenger numbers “are likely to reach about 90 percent of 2019 levels.”
Before the pandemic, that was a record year — welcoming 33 million passengers.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/dublin-airport-advises-passengers-to-arrive-three-and-a-half-hours-before-flights-41522697.html Dublin Airport recommends passengers to arrive three and a half hours before departure