Travel chaos ravaged Dublin Airport tonight, causing delays to shuttle buses.
Airport operator DAA said airport police and gardaí were assisting with traffic management following “temporary traffic congestion on campus roads and at Dublin Airport”.
It said the congestion was causing delays in the movement of courtesy shuffle buses and thanked passengers for their “patience”.
The latest debacle to hit the airport came as Aer Lingus said there will be further delays on a number of scheduled flights at Dublin Airport today, after yesterday’s systems problem led to the cancellation of 51 flights.
The airline said: “We are planning normal operations today, albeit with some delays. The latest flight status information is available at www.aerlingus.com.
“Any customer affected by yesterday’s disruption can request a refund or change their travel plans free of charge via aerlingus.com, our call centers and our social media channels.
“Our customer service teams are working hard to provide support to our customers and 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.”
It comes as thousands of travelers again lined the concourses of Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 building this morning as staff tried to accommodate yesterday’s overcrowded passengers and those first and foremost due to depart today.
Four Aer Lingus flights to and from Newark and Lanzarote have been canceled so far today.
Meanwhile, the airline’s afternoon flights to Glasgow, Los Angeles, Chicago and Leeds-Bradford were all delayed.
Dublin Airport operator Daa said it has deployed “extra staff” at Terminal 2 to assist Aer Lingus passengers.
Many transatlantic passengers had to remain in the terminal building last night, unable to find a hotel room in Dublin, partly due to the heavy attendance in the capital for the Garth Brooks concert.
“DAA teams stayed past the end of their shift last night to assist passengers who chose to stay overnight at Dublin Airport by providing over 150 blankets and ensuring food and drink supplies were maintained was maintained. Aer Lingus provided catering, including pizza and wraps. In addition, members of our company-wide task force have responded to calls for extra shifts, which started at 03.30, 07.30 and 15.00 today,” said a spokesman for the authority.
“Our operations team handled the requirement of queuing arriving passengers well and was assisted by airport police.”
At 9am this morning, long lines of people were seen sitting and sleeping on the floor, with makeshift pillows, on benches and against walls.
Georgia Putnam, 58, of North Carolina, was visibly upset as she described the struggles she went through trying to get home for work on Monday.
Ms Putnam spent 10 days in Ireland with her sister Jackie Dillis, 69, but said she will “never leave the States again”.
“Our flight was at 4pm (Saturday) so we thought we were ok and then they canceled all the flights. We tried to get another flight with someone else and couldn’t, everything was booked up then there were no hotels so we stayed up on the ground,” Ms Dillis said.
“Today we were supposed to fly with United Airlines, with Air Canada to Toronto and then to the States, but that didn’t work either. We’ve been trying to get back to Aer Lingus and the best we can do is get a flight on United Airlines and hopefully we can go home sometime tomorrow night.”
She added: “It was beautiful here and until we got to the airport we had no idea.
“We don’t know if we’ll get a room or not.”
Meanwhile, Natasha Daly, who lives in Laois, arrived at Terminal 2 this morning hoping that she, her son Noah, 4, her mother and friend would catch a flight to Orlando, Florida.
The group was due to fly out yesterday, but after waiting “five hours” outside the terminal building, they were told the flight was canceled and they had to “go home”.
Ms Daly said they spent the night at her uncle’s house in Dublin and were later informed that Aer Lingus was arranging an alternative flight for the day.
“We contacted Aer Lingus and a nice man said, ‘You’ll be automatically rebooked on Sunday, but if you don’t see an update to your booking call back,'” she said.
“So last night at 8pm there was no update. We called again and three and a half hours later we got hold of someone and they said it was fully booked and “we didn’t have any more places”.
“We’re just wondering how can our seats be sold out if we were on the plane on Saturday? My mother has been up here since about 7:30. We’re not on the plane and we don’t know which queue to stand in. They said we can put ourselves on a standby list in case someone doesn’t show up.”
The group left yesterday morning with plans to spend their first hours at Disneyland today, but Ms Daly said it could now be Tuesday evening before they arrive.
She added: “We haven’t heard from Aer Lingus, just a general email. We have booked hotels, we have tickets for parks, experiences, restaurants, airport transfers [booked].
“The lack of communication is extremely frustrating. We have been booking this for over a year and a half and now I have to tell my four year old that we are not going to Disney.”
If a flight is canceled for any reason, and regardless of when the passenger is notified, EU rules require the airline to offer a choice between:
1) Rebooking as soon as possible, subject to availability, free of charge.
2) Redirect at a later date.
3) A full refund within seven days.
If a flight is canceled and a passenger wishes to be re-routed as soon as possible, they are entitled to meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation and transfers between the airport and hotel as required. If the airline does not provide these and the passenger ultimately pays themselves, they should keep the receipts as they are entitled to reimbursement of reasonable expenses.
The financial compensation depends on the duration of the flight and the reason for the cancellation. It differs from care and assistance obligations and generally ranges from €250 (short distances of less than 1,500 km) to €600 (long distances of more than 3,500 km).
Independent.ie contacted Aer Lingus for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/news/traffic-chaos-at-dublin-airport-as-aer-lingus-says-operations-returning-to-normal-with-some-delays-41980390.html Traffic chaos at Dublin Airport as Aer Lingus says ‘operations are returning to normal with some delays’