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01st Jun 2022

Dublin Airport to put passengers who arrive early into ‘holding areas’

Katy Brennan

It comes as part of a new plan to combat long delays.

Passengers who arrive too early for their flights at Dublin Airport this weekend will be put in a designated holding area as part of plans to avoid further travel disruption.

During busy times, queues will now be “triaged” and only passengers with a flight in the next two and a half hours for short haul or three and a half hours for long haul will be allowed into the departures area.

It comes as the weekend saw the queues that have persisted for months reach unprecedented levels, with long lines stretching around both terminals, causing 1,000 people to miss their flights.

The airport had been given until the June Bank holiday weekend to fix the ongoing problems. This morning (Wednesday), airport officials briefed Government Ministers on their plans to avoid a repeat of last weekend.

The Oireachtas Transport Committee is to be told of these at 1.30pm.  It’s believed the plan will include a better queue management system, more security lanes open at peak times, and the maximising of the availability of staff resources.

“Though challenges remain the measures we have taken will very substantially mitigate risk this weekend and beyond. And, should unanticipated issues arise, we have appropriate escalation and triage mechanisms focused on ensuring no passengers will miss their flights,” DAA Chief Executive Dalton Phillips is set to tell the committee today.

Sinn Féin’s transport spokesman Darren O’Rourke told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that passengers travelling this weekend need “absolute assurance” that this new system will work.

“I think there will be concern if it only talks about creating fast queues and slow queues,” he said. “The question for me really is what additional resources can be brought to bear to ensure that we don’t have the scenes we had last weekend.

“And if the plan they come up with this afternoon doesn’t bring additional resources then we can’t have confidence that what happened last weekend isn’t going to happen again. That’s a deep, deep concern.”