Dublin Airport apologises for ‘chaotic’ queues of up to two hours at security

Several passengers miss flights due to delays at security checkpoint

Dublin Airport has apologised after “chaotic” scenes on Sunday morning where passengers missed flights because of delays going through security.

Passengers complained that many had to wait for up to two hours in the security queue because of the absence of staff.

In a statement Dublin Airport admitted that “lengthy queues” had formed on Sunday through security.

Airport management tweeted: “Additional resources have been deployed to the area & we expect the situation to ease shortly. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience. Our teams are working hard to help you on your way.”


Many passengers complained on Twitter about the delays at the airport. One, Fearghus Foyle, said he observed that just four of the 17 security desks in Terminal 1 were open.

Anthony Fearon said he spent 1 hour and 40 minutes getting through security. "Stressful and tense situation for travellers and overwhelmed staff alike. Lots of flights missed by upset people! #dublinairport."

Amy Murray tweeted: "PSA for anyone flying out of Dublin airport this morning, genuinely go 4 hours early. The queue for security was two hours long I literally made my flight by the skin of my teeth. Everyone in this airport is SWEATING. Joke worst experience ever. Two security lanes open?????!"

Mark Dolan said he arrived for his 6.30am flight to London Gatwick Airport at 4.45am.

He said: “It was chaotic. There was a mass of people standing for security screening in the area. There was one person directing the crowd and it was just a zig-zag back that went on for two hours.

“It was packed. There were hundreds of people cramped into a very small area. There was no social distancing and no incentive to do it.”

Mr Dolan said it took him 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to the security desk and he only made his flight by requesting to go ahead of a few people in the queue.

“There was a quite a lot of panic. After I went through security, I never seen so many people running for planes,” he said.

“There was a lot of panic and frustration. There was nobody who was relaxed and calm at that stage.”

Missed flights

One passenger, who declined to give his name, said it was a “bit of a disaster”. He arrived along with a work colleague into Dublin Airport at 4.30am for a 6.55am Ryanair flight to Reus Airport in Spain. When he walked into Terminal 1, the wait time through security was 45 minutes, but it turned out to be much longer than that.

“By the time we got to security, we actually had people who were trying to push past. We thought we had about 25 minutes left. We were cutting it very tight,” he said.

“Skipping the queue would have made no sense. Everybody was in the same situation. The security were doing the best they could. They were just understaffed in general. It was a rush after that. When we got to check the gate, we found it was closed.”

He and a colleague have been able to get a later flight to Reus Airport, but it has cost them €100 each.

Passengers have also complained about long queues on other days at Dublin Airport.

Rob Sadlier said his Polish wife Anna was distraught at having missed their flight to Krakow on Friday afternoon due to a “horrendous queue at security control in Dublin airport”.

They turned up an hour and a half before their flight and the queue was the “worst I’ve experienced there – there was no fast tracking of people who were in danger of missing their flights.

“It was like a cattle mart. There was no social distancing. People were getting antsy. The queue was so horrendous. We presumed they were going to delay flights but they didn’t.

“We had cases and two toddlers (3 and 1) and we sprinted for the gate, but it was closed. My wife was distraught as she had not seen her parents in two years. It’s the first time I have missed a flight which was not a connecting flight.”

They had to pay €300 to move their flights to Saturday and arrived in Krakow on Saturday evening.

He recounted that a member of staff had told him to complain because conditions for them were so difficult.

A Dublin Airport spokeswoman reiterated the apology to passengers issued on Sunday afternoon. She said “every resource was deployed to minimise delays for our passengers. We sincerely apologise for the obvious inconvenience this has caused”.

Te queues were down to seven minutes in Terminal 1 and 10 minutes in Terminal 2 on Sunday afternoon.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times