More credit cards are being left behind at Dublin Airport

WH Smith has seen increase since introducing self-service checkout machines

Staff at Dublin Airport. File photograph: Kate Geraghty/Irish Times

Staff at Dublin Airport. File photograph: Kate Geraghty/Irish Times


An increasing number of customers are leaving their credit and debit cards behind in Dublin Airport after WH Smith introduced self-service checkout machines.

The airport said it was working with the retailer to tackle the issue since the new machines were introduced in shops last November.

Almost 600 credit and debit cards have been left behind in Dublin Airport retail shops since November, an average of about 75 a month, according to a list of found items on the airport’s website.

Just one card was reported found in shops in the month prior to the introduction of the machines.

The locations of the found cards would include shops not operated by WH Smith but it is understood the number of cards left behind increased significantly when the retailer replaced its human checkout assistants with machines.

A description note for one entry on the lost and found page listed a “selection of 21 credit/debit ATM cards left behind over the weekend of July 3rd to 6th. All left at the self service pay stations of WH Smith in T1 [Terminal One].”

‘Time-pressed customers’

WH Smith said “time-pressed customers” will sometimes accidentally leave their cards in the self-service machines.

The retailer won the tenders to run shops in terminal one in 2013, seeing off a challenge from Irish book and stationary retailer Eason.

In 2010 it secured the contract to provide shops in the new second terminal.

WH Smith introduced self-service checkouts in its larger stores in both terminals in November and in its smaller shop in terminal one in March.

A Dublin Airport spokeswoman said the airport was “aware that WH Smith has seen an increase in the number of debit and credit cards being left behind at its outlets at Dublin Airport since it introduced new self service check out machines at the shops.

“We are working closely with them to reduce the number of cards left at the stores and ensure that any cards are returned to their owner”.

WH Smith said: “On occasions, time-pressed customers may mistakenly leave their credit or debit cards in our self-checkout machines.

“We have a procedure in place to contact the customer immediately and the majority of customers return very quickly to collect their card.

“If cards are not collected they are passed to the airport lost and found department for safe keeping until they are contacted by the passenger.”