Dublin Airport was hit by travel chaos this evening, causing delays for shuttle buses.
Airport operator DAA said airport police and gardaí are assisting with traffic management following what it calls “temporary traffic jams on campus roads and within and outside Dublin Airport”.
He said traffic jams were causing delays in the movement of courtesy shuttles and thanked passengers for their “patience”.
The latest debacle to hit the airport comes as Aer Lingus said there would be further delays to a number of scheduled flights at Dublin Airport today, following yesterday’s system glitch which led to the cancellation of 51 flights.
The airline said: ‘We expect normal operations today, but with some delays. The latest flight status information is available at www.aerlingus.com.
“Any customer impacted by yesterday’s disruption will be able to request a refund or change their travel plans, free of charge via aerlingus.com, our call centers and social media.
“Our customer service teams are working hard to provide support to our customers and we have made additional customer service agents available to handle high call volumes. Please bear with us as we try to answer all inquiries. client.”
It comes as thousands of travelers lined up in the halls of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport again this morning as staff tried to accommodate the excess passengers from yesterday and those due to leave today in the first place.
So far, four Aer Lingus flights to and from Newark and Lanzarote have been cancelled.
Meanwhile, the airline’s afternoon flights to Glasgow, Los Angeles, Chicago and Leeds-Bradford have all been delayed.
Operators of Dublin Airport, Daa, said they had assigned “additional staff” to Terminal 2 to facilitate Aer Lingus passengers.
Many transatlantic passengers were forced to stay in the terminal building last night as they could not find a hotel room in Dublin, in part due to the large number of people in the capital for the Garth Brooks concert .
“Daa teams have gone beyond the end of their shift last night to assist passengers who have decided to stay overnight at Dublin Airport, providing over 150 blankets and ensuring that food and drink supplies were maintained Aer Lingus provided catering services including pizza and wraps to In addition, staff from our company-wide task force responded to the call ahead for additional shifts which started at 3:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. today,” a spokesperson for the authority said.
“Our operations team handled the requirement to queue arriving passengers well and were supported by airport police.”
At 9 a.m. this morning, people could be seen sitting on the floor in long lines and sleeping, with makeshift pillows, on benches and against walls.
Georgia Putnam (58), from North Carolina, was visibly upset as she described the effort she was making to try and get home for work on Monday.
Ms Putnam spent 10 days in Ireland with her sister Jackie Dillis (69) but said she will ‘never leave the United States again’.
“Our flight was leaving at 4pm (Saturday) so we thought everything would be fine, then they canceled everyone’s flight. We tried to get another flight with someone else and we couldn’t, everything was booked and then there was no hotel so we stayed upstairs,” said said Ms. Dillis.
“Today we were supposed to go with United Airlines, with Air Canada to Toronto, then to the United States, but that didn’t materialize either. We have been trying to get back on Aer Lingus and the best we can do is fly with United Airlines and hopefully we can fly home tomorrow night.
She added: “It was beautiful here and until we got to the airport we had no idea.
“We don’t know if we’re going to get a room or not.”
Meanwhile, Laois resident Natasha Daly arrived at Terminal 2 this morning hoping that she, her son Noah (4), his mother and their friend could catch a flight to Orlando, Florida.
The group were due to fly out yesterday but after waiting outside the terminal for ‘five hours’ they were told the flight had been canceled and they had to ‘go home’.
Ms Daly said they spent the night at her uncle’s house in Dublin and were later told Aer Lingus was arranging a replacement flight for today.
“We contacted Aer Lingus and a nice guy said, ‘You’ll automatically be transferred to the flight on Sunday, but if you don’t see any updates on your booking, call back.'” she said. .
“So at 8pm last night there was no update. We rang again and three and a half hours later we called someone and they said it was full and “we don’t have seats on it”.
“We’re just here wondering how our seats can be sold if we were on the flight on Saturday? My mom has been here around 7.30am. We’re not on the flight and we don’t know what queue They said we could put ourselves on a waiting list in case someone didn’t show up.
The group left yesterday morning with the intention of spending their first hours at Disneyland today, but Ms Daly said it could now be Tuesday evening before they arrive.
She added: ‘We haven’t heard anything from Aer Lingus, just a generic email. We have booked hotels, we have tickets for parks, experiences, restaurants, airport transfers [booked].
“The lack of communication is extremely frustrating. We have booked this for over a year and a half and I have to tell my four year old son now that we are not going to Disney.
Under European regulations, if a flight is canceled for any reason, and regardless of when the passenger is informed, the airline must offer the choice between:
1) Prompt re-routing, subject to availability, free of charge.
2) Re-routing at a later date.
3) A full refund within seven days.
If a flight is canceled and a passenger chooses to be re-routed as soon as possible, they are entitled to meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation and airport-to-hotel transfers as needs. If the airline does not provide them and the passenger ends up paying themselves, they should keep the receipts as they are entitled to reimbursement of reasonable costs.
The financial compensation depends on the duration of the flight and the reason for the cancellation. It is different from care and assistance obligations and generally ranges from €250 (short-haul, less than 1,500 km) to €600 (long-haul, more than 3,500 km).
Independent.ie has contacted Aer Lingus for comment.