When I entered the departures area of Terminal 1 Dublin Airport Early this morning it was exactly what I expected – busy.
I arrived at 6.15am for my 9.50am flight to Brussels, so I had just over three and a half hours to get through – exactly the time Ryanair is warning customers to allow themselves as the airport is battling a shortage of security staff leads to longer waiting times.
The security queue meandered as zigzag barriers and DAA personnel all the way back to the fourth check-in counter kept all passengers under control.
Although Dublin Airport recently suspended the sale of ‘Fast Track’ security passes to speed up the current security chaos, it is still honoring all those previously sold.
But it’s certainly not a fast lane, as Celine McCann from Dublin, who was on her way to Birmingham, found out. She said it took her and her husband an hour and 15 minutes to get through security with their Fast Track passes.
Meanwhile, her friend Lisa Shevlin from Co Meath made her way through the ‘normal’ security queue in just 45 minutes at the exact same time.
“Security actually told us we were better off just going through the normal queue. I think it’s just a fad, it cost us €7 each,” McCann said.
When I went through the normal security queue at 6:30 am, it was moving pretty quickly. However, the fast track queue right next to us didn’t seem to move at all.
My queue was very long and discouraging but continued encouragingly, albeit slowly.
Despite a man behind me I grumbled “this is going to take ages” from start to finish and it took me 48 minutes to get through security.
After scanning your boarding pass, it took about another 25-30 minutes to get through.
The fact that there has been so much coverage of Dublin Airport queues this week is probably somewhat in the DAA’s favour, as I’ve heard few complaints from passengers who seemed to have expected worse.
Before yesterday I had never seen the security queues go way past the turnstiles where you scan your boarding pass.
Two Americans asked in front of me, “Where is everyone going?” when they wondered about the queues and suspected that maybe it was school holidays here.
How long it takes to get through security depends entirely on the travel time, with early morning being the busiest.
As I got through security at around 7:20 am, I realized I wasn’t entirely comfortable with waiting for breakfast when it came to the queue takes about 40 minutes.
Even “fast food” was not an option for the passengers there, because the waiting time at Burger King was also 40 minutes.
The problem here was that people ordered and paid for their food on the screens and found out only because there was such a long wait.
At one point, six or seven bags of food were left on the counter – presumably intended for people who had to catch their flight and then left.
The whole experience wasn’t as bad as I expected. But had I rocked like I normally would just two hours before my flight, I would have been stressed.
Although it only lasted 48 minutes, the sheer size of the queue would have worried me about missing my flight.
In a statement, Dublin Airport said it was managing security delays by redeploying staff “from across the business – across all levels and functions, including senior management – to support front-line colleagues in customer-facing roles on the airport campus.”
One hopes to be able to improve the situation for passengers in the coming days and weeks “while we hire additional permanent security personnel”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Transport Secretary Hildegarde Naughton said yesterday she had set up “a daily crisis management meeting” regarding security queues at Dublin Airport.
https://www.independent.ie/news/inside-the-dublin-airport-chaos-passengers-face-hour-long-fast-track-queues-and-then-a-40-minute-wait-for-food-41512736.html In the chaos of Dublin Airport, passengers face hour-long fast-track queues and then wait 40 minutes for food