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Travel Chaos

Poll reveals one in 10 Dublin Airport passengers to change travel plans due to queue chaos

More than 1,000 passengers missed their flights on one day last month due to long security queues.

MORE THAN ONE in 10 passengers with a flight departing from Dublin Airport this summer either have already or intend to change their travel plans due to the chaotic scenes witnessed at Dublin Airport recently, according to a new poll. 

At the end of last month, more than 1,000 passengers in one day alone missed their flights due to long queues at airport security. Although measures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of this situation, for some prospective passengers the damage has already been done.

In a poll carried out by Red C for The Journal, 42% of people said they had or have flights booked to depart from Dublin Airport this summer. Of those, 12% have already or intend to change or cancel their flights as a result of the long queues at the airport.

The highest proportion of those who have changed or intend to change plans were men and women aged 18-34.

Almost half of those polled said they have no plans to take a flight this summer, while 10% said they booked flights departing from another airport.

The government stepped in last month to force the airport operators DAA to develop a plan to manage the increased footfall over the summer.

The plan included improvements to the queue management system, a maximisation of staffing resources and an increase in the number of security lanes open at peak times. 

Though the airport has continued to be busy – including early yesterday morning when passengers had to queue to enter Terminal 1 – DAA has said the kinds of delays experienced by passengers at the end of last month have not been repeated. 

Dublin Airport has also come under criticism in recent weeks over the cost of its longterm car parking. One customer noted a €70 increase for a ten-day period in the longterm car park, compared to the same amount of time just a couple of months earlier.

 Another person paid €53 for nine days of parking in September 2021 and when booking recently for a trip this month they were charged €74.50 for just four days.

The airport operators have said they use a ‘dynamic pricing model’ which means prices for car parking depends on factors such as the time of year and demand at that time for parking. 

DAA has said it expects pressure on car parking availability will continue over the summer months. 

Senators this week signalled their intention to seek a debate with the Transport Minister on plans to improve the country’s aviation policy. 

Speaking in the Seanad, Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway said he had recently visited Shannon Airport and found it to be “very impressive”. 

“The new security features, including new scanners, that have been installed during the Covid pandemic have made a great difference,” he said.

Despite this, 87% of the aviation traffic in and out of this country goes through Dublin Airport. The Minister has acknowledged that we need a new aviation policy. I propose that we have a debate with the Minister in the Seanad on such a policy because I believe there is a lot of expertise in the area of transport and aviation in this chamber and that such a debate would be useful.

Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers said Conway had made a valid point about the need to rebalance the air traffic across regions. 

“The Senator made the valid point that we have other airports in the State such as Cork, Shannon, and Ireland West Airport Knock, that can certainly have more capacity to assist in getting passengers in and out of the country,” she said.

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