Over the past few weeks there have been a lot of anecdotal reports from travellers of delays at security at Dublin Airport. Friends and colleagues also reported having serious issues to me directly.
So what’s going on?
Apparently there is an issue with staffing at the airport. During the pandemic the airport was forced to reduce its headcount and lost around 1000 of its staff. Now that travel is “back” they’re having issues getting staff as quickly as the demand for them has grown. Also, like many businesses, they’re also dealing with staff out sick due to Covid. It’s not simply a matter of hiring staff. Airports have to maintain very high levels of security and any hires would have to undergo background checks as well as the training for new hires which takes several weeks. All in all this means that getting staff levels back up is slow.
This has been confirmed by the airport in recent days.
Last night the airport issued a statement and apology via its Twitter account:
The airport’s advising people to get to the airport at least two hours in advance of short-haul flights and three hours for long-haul. However some airlines are advising their passengers to allow even more time:
RyanAir is opening their flights three and half hours before departure time.
Aer Lingus is encouraging people taking early morning flights to checkin and drop their bags the night before their flights:
I’m not sure how useful that kind of service is unless you happen to live or are staying very close to the airport. (I live around an hour’s drive away) Also due to baggage fees rising over the last few years many people on short-haul flights don’t check their bags. Getting them to change that behaviour won’t be easy!
Hopefully the staffing issues at Dublin Airport will be addressed in the coming weeks as prior to the pandemic security screening there wasn’t a major headache.