Dublin Airport partly shuts Platinum Service

VIP security line closed until further notice

Dublin Airport has partly shut the VIP security line that sparked controversy when it emerged that chief executive Dalton Philips used it the same weekend that queues caused passengers to miss flights.

Airport owner DAA confirmed that it has stopped retail sales of the €295 Platinum Service, a VIP security and check-in line that included a car to the passenger’s flight, to “optimise resources” at its main operation.

It will continue for visiting dignitaries, general aviation and medical emergencies, said DAA.

Mr Philips confirmed last week that he used the service on a business trip to DAA’s Middle East operations. He abandoned this when he was told of a crisis sparked by frontline staff absences at Dublin Airport. He stressed that he also used the regular and fast-track security lines when he travelled.

Meanwhile, a spokesman confirmed that passengers queued for an average 30 to 35 minutes at security over the bank holiday weekend, when Dublin handled more than 240,000 travellers.

The airport occasionally used outside holding areas for passengers arriving earlier than the recommended times for their flights, but the spokesman said waiting periods were not long.

Dublin recommends that short-haul travellers arrive two and a half hours before their flights with carry-on bags, or three and a half with check-in baggage. Those on long-haul trips should arrive three and a half hours before with carry-ons, and four and a half with check-in bags.

Meanwhile, European airlines cancelled June weekend flights in the face of airport bottlenecks caused by staff shortages of security officers, says a report from air travel data specialist OAG. The company says that on Saturday and Sunday last, carriers axed 11 per cent of Netherlands flights and 4 per cent of UK journeys.

OAG notes that airports and airlines blame labour shortages and the time taken to get security clearance for new recruits. It adds that it is too early to say “if this is temporary blip” while airports resolve staff problems.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas