Fair City star Maclean Burke said the situation faced by Aer Lingus passengers on Saturday was a “disaster” after a major technical failure left people battered with major delays and cancellations throughout the day were faced.
Around 9,000 Aer Lingus passengers are said to have been affected by flight cancellations on Saturday after a system failure led to the cancellation of 51 flights to and from Dublin Airport.
Mr Burke was due to fly to Malaga with his family on Saturday but was told by airport staff to leave the boarding area as the flight was cancelled.
“There was talk of what was happening but our stuff was still on the board so we decided to sit by the gate; there was the gate number. We spent about an hour down there and then around 1pm security came by and said all flights are gone,” he told RTÉ’s Liveline programme.
“They have announced a couple of times from 2pm that all flights to Europe and England are gone. We were then escorted out of gate 408 and sent back to the arrival gate.
“It was a disaster, the whole place was upside down. There were lines at the door. The line for the taxis on the other side was about half a mile long. We tried to get to them online to find out what was going on.
“I was then told that I would not qualify for a flight because the flight ended up flying to Malaga at 5:30pm. However, there was nobody on that flight, but they tried to fob us off. Eventually they came out and said, ‘We can offer you a flight on the 14th’, which would have given us three days off.”
Mr Burke decided to book a new flight with Aer Lingus from Cork Airport to Malaga, departing at 18:50 tonight.
The RTÉ star has opted to travel to Cork by taxi, which he says will cost around €200 or €300. As their return flight lands in Dublin on September 17, Mr Burke and his partner have decided to leave their car parked at Dublin Airport for the sake of convenience.
“I have booked more flights and we are currently taking a taxi to Cork to disembark as we are flying back to Dublin,” he said.
“It’s an absolute disaster, there are so many people out there who are entitled to reclaim this money and I think you have a really long way to go here.
“We’re going away for four days now, but those four days have now cost me and my partner €1,000 a day just to go to Malaga. It’s just a shame and there’s no one to talk to.
“Look, things happen and things go out and IT, but you need someone you can actually call and who understands what’s happening.”
In a statement released today, Aer Lingus said: “Aer Lingus operates a normal flight schedule today. The latest flight information is available on our website and in the travel app.
“Aer Lingus sincerely apologizes for the severe disruption on Saturday. Affected customers can request a refund or change their travel plans free of charge through our booking management, our call centers and our social media channels.
“We have made additional customer service representatives available to handle the high volume of calls – please be patient as we attempt to process all customer inquiries. The rights of customers and the obligations of airlines according to Regulation (EC) 261/2004 can be found here: www.aerlingus.com/support/legal/regulation.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/its-an-absolute-disaster-fair-city-star-says-aer-lingus-flight-chaos-means-his-spanish-holiday-now-costing-him-1000-a-day-41982816.html ‘It’s an absolute disaster’ – Fair City star says Aer Lingus flight chaos means his Spain holiday is now costing him €1,000 a day