The number of passengers impacted by delays and cancellations at Dublin Airport this week is “quite enormous”, according to travel expert Eoghan Corry.
The cold weather over the last week has seen many flights cancelled or postponed – with tens of thousands of passengers impacted.
Airport operator DAA has said most of the cancellations were due to weather conditions in the UK – noting that Dublin Airport remains “open and operational”.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Air & Travel Editor Eoghan Corry said the number of passengers impacted is far higher than at the peak of the security staffing crisis during the summer.
“It’s been a terrible week since Friday,” he said.
“There are a load of different reasons but the numbers of passengers that have been affected at this stage is quite enormous.
“20,000 Friday alone, about 8,000 Saturday and we had about 6,000 yesterday.”
In all, he said, more than 35,000 passengers have been impacted.
“To put that in context, 1,400 people missed their flights with that terrible day with the security queues back in May in Dublin Airport,” he said.
“The numbers we are dealing with now are very, very large and a lot of people are taking quite a few days to get back to where they are supposed to be.
“There are people out there trying to get back to where they are supposed to be since Friday.”
"Asleep at the wheel"
In the Dáil yesterday, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald accused Transport Minister Eamon Ryan of being “asleep at the wheel’ while passengers are left stranded.
In response, the Taoiseach said Minister Ryan was “anything but fast asleep at this particular juncture” and noted that while Dublin Airport is obliged to be prepared for poor weather, it is not the only airport facing challenges this week.
Dublin Airport is open and fully operational today. Weather disruption in the UK continues to impact on flight schedules, with 8 outbound flights & 10 inbound flights cancelled so far. Passengers due to fly are advised to contact their airline for info regarding their flight. ✈️ pic.twitter.com/96sG2L6Msf
— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) December 13, 2022
Mr Corry said the airport is struggling to deal with the backlog of impacted passengers because there are fewer flights scheduled than would be the case at peak times.
“Until you actually hit Christmas Week it is a fairly quiet time for air travel and the number of flights isn’t that high,” he said.
“That means mopping up is a little bit more complicated and a little bit slower.”
Know your rights
He said passenger rights when flights are cancelled or delayed are “absolutely clearcut”.
“The airline is contracted to get you to where you are supposed to be as quickly as they can,” he said.
“Now, obviously, there are passengers making their own way when things start breaking down – keep the receipts and put the claim in to the airline.
“Consumer law has come down very firmly on the side of the passenger in situations like that.”
Passengers are also entitled to a reasonable number of meals and refreshments in relation to the length of time they are left waiting.
Mr Corry said passengers can find out their rights and get help if they find themselves in dispute with an airline through the Government-appointed arbiter Flightrights.ie.
You can listen back here:
Main image shows the German Bundeswehr Air Force Airbus being de-iced at Dublin Airport, 09-12-2022. Image: Christoph Soeder/dpa/Alamy