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Aer Lingus says flights to resume today after check-in software collapse chaos

Airline was forced to cancel over 50 flights yesterday as boarding software crashed​​​​​

Hundreds of people lined up outside and inside Terminal 2, as Aer lingus attempts to manually check in passengers for their flights. 10/9/22. Picture by Fergal Phillips © Fergal Phillips

Passengers form long queues at Dublin Airport. Photo: Frank McGrath

Passengers form long queues at Dublin Airport. Photo: Frank McGrath

Niamh HoranSunday Independent

There were chaotic scenes for Aer Lingus passengers yesterday when the airline’s boarding software crashed, causing the cancellation of all flights from 2pm.

In total, Aer Lingus had to cancel a total of 51 flights yesterday — mainly to and from Dublin and European and UK destinations.

However, last night a spokesperson for the airline said the break in connectivity had been fully restored, and Aer Lingus had taken steps to bring all its systems back online.

The spokesperson said the Sunday schedule “is still planned to operate as normal” but warned could be subject to delays. “Intending passengers should check the Aer Lingus website for updates,” they warned.

Aer Lingus confirmed it will be operating all of its transatlantic services from Dublin today, "albeit with delays and reduced passenger numbers in some instances, due to security restrictions applying as a result of the systems outage"

The statement continued: “We have made additional customer service agents available to deal with high call volumes — but please bear with us as we try to service all customer queries.”

Yesterday afternoon, fears grew for thousands of Garth Brooks fans who had been due to fly into and out of the city.

The airline has ruled out a hacking incident and confirmed that any customer impacted by the disruptions will be able to change their travel plans, free of charge, either through their call centre or social media channels, or get a refund.

Passengers form long queues at Dublin Airport. Photo: Frank McGrath

It also cancelled all Dublin-bound flights from Europe yesterday afternoon and evening, with the exception of flights from Spain and Portugal.

The cancellations were caused by “a major technical problem” that prevented thousands of passengers from checking in.

Throughout Saturday afternoon and into the evening, spiralling queues formed as thousands of frustrated passengers lined up outside and inside Terminal Two.

At first, Aer Lingus attempted to check in each passenger manually — but then decided to cancel all short-haul flights, telling remaining passengers not to come to the airport for the rest of the day.

In cities throughout Europe, passengers due to fly to Dublin complained of a lack of any clear information.

An initial statement from Aer Lingus confirmed the issue: “Due to a major incident with a network provider, our cloud-based systems enabling check-in, boarding and our website are currently unavailable.”

It said a UK network provider servicing its cloud-based system experienced a “major break in connectivity”.

Throughout Saturday morning, customers reported long queues at the airport, as the Aer Lingus check in for earlier flights was being handled manually.

Tadgh Lynch and Liz Ryan were two of the thousands of people who waited in Terminal Two from lunchtime. They did not know if their planned trip to Vancouver would go ahead, but feared it was "not going to happen".

It was to be their first family holiday with daughter Lilly (three) and son Tadgh Óg (one).

The couple, who live in Kilkenny, arrived at 10am for at 1.10 pm flight.

“It looks like we’re going to miss the flight today, so we’re hoping that they might put us on a flight tomorrow, or else we’ll cancel and just book for another time,” Mr Lynch said.

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