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01st Apr 2022

Dublin Airport staff face harassment as chaotic queues continue

Many people have missed flights due to long delays.

Staff at Dublin Airport say they have dealt with verbal abuse, physical assault and even been spat at in recent days by frustrated passengers.

It comes as the airport has been struggling to cope with unprecedented lengthy queues.

Security staff now say they want Airport police or Gardaí to protect them from passengers who cannot control their anger when they miss their flights.

SIPTU aviation sector organiser Niall Philips told The Irish Mirror: “Members have confirmed incidents of alleged pushing and spitting and abuse and other issues. Passengers are understandably frustrated, but no level of frustration can excuse this behaviour. This is not the fault of the workers.

“It is not clear if these have been isolated incidents or if they are becoming daily occurrences, but shop stewards are holding meetings to find out the issues. There is talk of airport police and even Gardaí coming in to protect workers, who are under extreme pressure.”

Over the past week, there have been a number of reports on social media of people missing their flights due to the delays.

Earlier this week, the DAA, which runs Dublin Airport, issued a statement apologising to passengers for the disruption.

“DAA would like to apologise for the lengthy delays experienced by passengers at Dublin Airport in recent days,” the statement begins.

“We are sorry for the stress and inconvenience caused, particularly to those who missed a flight as a result.

“We deeply regret that our valued customers had this experience.”

It said it is taking “immediate action” to tackle the problems before highlighting some of the issues around the resumption of international travel and the Covid-19 pandemic. These issues include staff recruitment, training and mandatory background checks for all staff working at the airport.

“These processes take several weeks and are happening at the backdrop of growing passenger numbers at Dublin Airport.

“These factors, and others, including Covid-related absence, are having an impact on the length of time it is taking passengers to get through security, particularly at busy times, such as this weekend past.”

It went on to say  that queues at security are likely to continue at peak hours over the weeks ahead and advised passengers to arrive a “minimum of two hours before boarding a short-haul flight and three hours before boarding a long-haul flight”.