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Aer Lingus is forced to cancel more flights today

According to the Dublin Airport website, the London flights were scheduled for 7.30am, 3.55pm and 8.15pm, while the Hamburg flight was due to depart at 7am, and the Berlin flight at 5.55pm.
Aer Lingus Photo: Library image

Aer Lingus Photo: Library image

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Furious passengers have vented their anger on social media after Aer Lingus was forced to cancel more flights from Dublin Airport today.

As staff shortages due to Covid-19 absences continue to plague the airline, five more flights have been cancelled, impacting journeys to London Heathrow, Berlin and Hamburg.

According to the Dublin Airport website, the London flights were scheduled for 7.30am, 3.55pm and 8.15pm, while the Hamburg flight was due to depart at 7am, and the Berlin flight at 5.55pm.

Arrivals to Dublin Airport have also been affected, with four inbound journeys cancelled. These flights had been due to depart from London Heathrow (11.20am and 7.35pm), Hamburg (11.50am), and Berlin (11.15pm).

Yesterday, Aer Lingus had to cancel 12 further flights as a result of a spike in Covid cases.

It came after three return flights were cancelled the day before due to the virus while Covid and strikes were blamed on 13 cancellations over the weekend.

Taking to Twitter, people have expressed their frustration at the cancellations.

“@AerLingus some assistance would be much appreciated,” one person wrote. “Got a message in the middle of the night cancelling our flight today for our honeymoon. 1.5 hours on hold, service rep totally unhelpful once we got through, and she then hung up on us when asked her name!”

Another added: “What’s going on with all the cancellations @AerLingus?? My last flight to Berlin was cancelled also and there was no reason given and certainly was no air traffic strike or anything at the time.”

One person said: “Mam's flight to Lyon was cancelled. Got a text less than 12hrs before flight was due to depart and @AirbnbHelp refused a refund as it was less than 24hrs notice. Some credit to @AerLingus on hold for just over an hour & processed the refund - find out in 5-7days.

Another flyer told how: “About five years ago, I was home for a weekend once when Aer Lingus texted me on a Sat night 11pm telling me my return flight on Sunday was cancelled and ‘I needed to make alternative arrangements’. So I booked new Ryanair flight and never flown Aer Lingus again.”

A desperate worker added: “Still trying to get hold of you to talk through my appalling experience. Flight cancelled- day missed of work. On hold for 4 hours. Finally get through and told to expect a call back from a supervisor. No call. Can someone please contact me?

In a statement yesterday, Aer Lingus said, should crew illness require the cancellation of additional flights in the coming days, it will seek to accommodate passengers on the next available services as efficiently as possible.

It said it had anticipated the return of demand for travel as Covid restrictions were removed, but said system pressures and ongoing issues at some airports have created considerable challenges which have been compounded by a significant spike in Covid cases among the airline's staff.

The issue has also been seen among staff on the ground at Dublin Airport, resulting in long queues at check-in and security over recent weeks.

Following a request from the airport's operator, the DAA, the Government has approved for members of the Defence Forces to be put on standby in the event of further staff shortages at the airport in the hopes it will avoid passengers missing their flights.

Speaking on Wednesday, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said she hopes it will not be necessary for the deployment to go ahead, but the plan is there in case it was necessary.

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