Dublin Airport (DUB) has said passengers will not be left “out of pocket” after many missed flights on May 29, 2022, due to long lines for security checks.  

The lines were so long that people were queueing outside of the airport terminal, with some speaking of waits of around three hours to get through security checks. The airport warned via social media that those people who found themselves waiting outside the terminal were likely to miss their flight and would have to rebook.  

Images of long lines and passengers missing flights have been seen across Europe in recent weeks, as airports struggle to recruit enough staff to cope with the rebound in travel after the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during peak vacation periods.  

Kevin Cullinane, head of communications at the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), spoke to the BBC about the problems.     

"We found ourselves, obviously, with not a sufficient number of security lanes open this morning very early on to cope with the unexpected presentation of passengers at that hour and for that we have to unreservedly apologize," Cullinane told the broadcaster on May 29. "It's been a very challenging day for everyone and for that we obviously apologize for those passengers that endured those lengthy queues." 

Cullinane said customers should be able to rebook or claim through their travel insurance but said they should also contact Dublin Airport’s customer service team for refunds “to make sure that nobody is out of pocket as a result of today’s inconvenience”. 

Cullinane said DAA has been recruiting additional security staff but the majority of them were still in training.  

Delays across Europe 

Elsewhere, Manchester Airport (MAN) in Britain, which has seen long lines in recent weeks, has been advising passengers to arrive three hours in advance and make sure they are as prepared as possible for their journey through the airport.  

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) has also seen long security lines stretching to outside the terminal building.  

KLM, the Dutch flag carrier, has a warning on its website for customers departing from the airport. 

“We’re currently facing operational issues for flights departing from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. These issues mainly occur during the security check. Unfortunately, the queues at the security check are much longer than usual, which strongly impacts the waiting time,” the statement reads. It suggests that passengers booked to travel between May 23 and June 1, 2022 can look at rebooking or refund options if they prefer not to travel.  

The Dutch airline even suspended some ticket sales due to the disruption.  

“KLM is putting a brake on ticket sales for flights leaving up until and including Sunday because Schiphol can’t get its security problems fixed,” a KLM spokesperson was cited as saying by Reuters on May 26, 2022.  

Meanwhile, easyJet has also reportedly canceled flights to try and smooth out potential disruption during the upcoming school vacation period. The low-cost carrier said in a statement cited by various media that it was scrapping 200 flights between May 28 and June 6, citing various factors including airport delays and air traffic control restrictions. The cancellations came after it was hit by IT problems on May 26, disrupting hundreds of flights.  

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British low-cost carrier easyJet was forced to cancel hundreds of flights after being affected by IT system failure.