A household whose flight to Portugal was cancelled on the final minute over the weekend, stated they may keep away from flying once more this 12 months.
ayne and Aoife Comeford travelled from their dwelling in Greystones, Co Wicklow, to Dublin Airport yesterday for a 7pm flight to Faro, Portugal.
Wayne and Aoife, and there three youngsters Ailbhe (11), Killian (9) and Freya (5), arrived in terminal two at 3pm and joined the Aer Lingus bag drop queue.
Aoife stated she was “nervous” about travelling via the airport given how busy it has been just lately, however the household have been “so excited” for his or her first vacation in three years.
“We have been within the airport at 3pm for our 7pm flight and after we bought to the bag drop; it got here up saying we have been too late for the flight.
“Once we referred to as over one of many folks from Aer Lingus, they stated our flight was more likely to be on a listing of cancelled flights and that if we joined a queue of individuals ready to listen to if their flights have been cancelled, they’d come and inform us,” she stated.
One hour later the Comerfords have been knowledgeable by way of a textual content message that their flight was cancelled.
“There was a mad panic then to see the place you have been going to get your flight sorted,” Aoife stated.
“There was an enormous queue for ticket gross sales, which is the queue you’re supposed to hitch to rebook, which was the entire size of terminal two. On the stage, with very upset youngsters, we determined to not be part of that, and we determined to come back dwelling and apply for a refund ourselves for our flight.”
Wayne and Aoife paid €6,000 for his or her 10-day bundle vacation and this morning they utilized for a refund and commenced in search of various vacation choices.
The couple have been because of vacation close to Albufeira, which Wayne described as his “favorite place”, however Portugal is not a “on the playing cards” for this 12 months.
As an alternative, and pending a refund from their journey insurance coverage, the couple stated they hope to make a journey to France, however they may solely take a ferry.
“The youngsters have been loopy after we stated there was no vacation, so we felt we needed to do one thing,” Wayne stated.
“Flights should not an choice. Not after that have. We heard that it was going to be a loopy weekend, even at present. So, we stated if we e-book one other flight, confidence isn’t there.
“We’ve been ready for 3 years. I imply days have been spent researching it. The joy was increase for the children. Getting summer time garments and the thrill for everyone and to be within the airport and have it ripped away was the toughest half,” Aoife stated.
“I’d be afraid that it’s going to occur once more. That we’d journey to Dublin airport, just for the flight to be cancelled. I simply couldn’t put the children via that stress once more of attending to the airport and never getting on the aircraft.”
Aoife added: “There isn’t an enormous quantity of enjoyment on the airport that there was. That was a part of the enjoyable of occurring vacation, that whenever you bought to the airport the thrill started.
“That stress degree is rising. I used to be very anxious about the entire expertise, particularly with three small children that if we have been going to be queuing for 2 hours getting via safety, that it was going to be very hectic – which is another excuse why we’re not going via it once more.”
The 7pm flight to Faro, which the Comerfords have been because of take, was one in all a number of Aer Lingus flights which have been cancelled yesterday, with the airline citing a Covid surge amongst workers and Air Site visitors Management strikes in France, Italy and Spain, as the rationale why “buffers” failed.
A flight to Cut up in Croatia, together with arrivals from London Heathrow and Amsterdam have been additionally cancelled yesterday.
The Impartial.ie contacted Aer Lingus and obtained an announcement in return detailing how Covid circumstances had affected staffing, together with the air site visitors management strikes, which Ryanair had already said it anticipated would affect flights.
“Aer Lingus anticipated the return of demand for journey as soon as Covid restrictions have been eliminated and constructed acceptable buffers into our plans with a purpose to take care of an inexpensive degree of extra disruption.
“This weekend, system pressures from ATC strikes, and ongoing points at airports and amongst third social gathering suppliers have regrettably necessitated the cancellation of some flights.
“This strain on the system has been compounded by a spike in Covid circumstances amongst our personal groups within the final variety of days. The place cancellations have occurred, Aer Lingus has sought to re-accommodate disrupted passengers on the following out there various service.
“Aer Lingus needs to apologise to these clients which have been impacted, and has shared element relating to clients’ rights the airways’ obligations below Regulation (EC) 261/2004 which will be discovered right here: www.aerlingus.com/assist/authorized/regulation.”
In the meantime, a number of additional flights to and from Dublin airport have been cancelled at present, together with two Aer Lingus flights to Brussels and Amsterdam.