Irish superstar singer Dermot Kennedy has expressed his frustration online over what he described as “potentially the craziest” travel experience he has ever had.
Ennedy was in terminal two at Dublin Airport yesterday morning to catch a flight to the United States.
The Dubliner was traveling to Portland, Oregon, where he will support singer Shawn Mendes at a concert tomorrow.
Just before noon, however, Kennedy posted a message on his Instagram story that said: “First flight canceled, second flight delayed far, so it may miss the connection.”
A while later, and in a “less grumpy tone”, the singer posted a picture of himself on the plane.
Kennedy eventually arrived at his destination, but without his bags.
Meanwhile, Today FM broadcaster Dermot Whelan and his family also had their holiday plans interrupted over the weekend.
The ‘annoyed’ comedian spent nine hours at Dublin airport on Saturday, only to find that his flight to Italy did not go.
Whelan also shared details of the ordeal with his followers on Instagram
“So, not the best day ever. I was at the airport at 12.30, it is now 21.00 and my flight to Italy has been canceled, and unfortunately Aer Lingus could not give us any information, we can not get through on the phone line,” he said .
“So, I have a broken family behind me and our holiday to go to Italy to see that my brother is not happening and we do not know what to do, so we should all just go home in the taxi and that’s it.
“My little girl was so, so excited. It’s just very, very, very annoying. “
In a separate message posted yesterday, Whelan said: “A swim in Howth, great neighbors, a hard brunch, my wonderful family, a nap and a rock documentary have all conspired to lift the canceled holiday blues.”
It comes when Dublin experienced one of the busiest weekends after the pandemic, with an estimated 55,000 passengers using the airport every day.
This is because Covid-19 cases affecting staffing levels, along with air traffic control strikes, which Ryanair had already stated would be expected to affect flights, have prompted Aer Lingus to cancel a number of flights yesterday and today.
“Aer Lingus anticipated that demand for travel would return once Covid restrictions were removed and appropriate buffers built into our plans to deal with a reasonable level of further disruption,” the airline said in a statement.
“This weekend, system pressure from the ATC strike, and ongoing problems at airports and among third-party providers, unfortunately necessitated the cancellation of some flights.
“This pressure on the system has been exacerbated by an increase in Covid cases among our own teams in recent days.
“Where cancellations have taken place, Aer Lingus has attempted to accept disturbed passengers on the next available alternative service.
“Aer Lingus would like to apologize to the customers who have been affected and has shared details about the customers ‘rights of the airlines’ obligations under Regulation (EC) 261/2004 which can be found here: www.aerlingus.com/support/legal/ regulation.”
Daa spokesman Graham McQueen has said that everything went “quite well” at the airport over the weekend.
McQueen said recruitment is continuing and that the government is “on track” to hire another 900 security personnel by the end of June. In a speech on RTÉ radio, he said that another 100 security staff will be recruited in July to meet the growing demand.
However, McQueen admitted that the “cleanliness” of the facility is not where they want it.
“We have to keep our hands up as an airport, is cleanliness where we wanted to be? That is not the case at the moment. This is simply because we have had a number one focus in recent months on making sure people fly. It requires that we move employees from time to time, he said.
“So, where they have relevant security clearance to work on the aviation side, we distribute them to different roles, but the cleaning companies that we hire to do these jobs at the airport as well, they struggle to get employees in.
“We notice the difference the last couple of weeks, the staff come on board. It’s starting to get cleaner, and hopefully the passengers will see it in the next few weeks.”