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Long weekend Dublin Airport warns passengers 'we will have max staff available, but it's a challenge’

Almost 900,000 people are due to pass through Dublin Airport over long weekend

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Dublin Airport prepares for St Patrick's Day, with (L-R) Lisa Armstrong, Emma Breathnach, Gavin O Hagan, Tadhg Breathnach O Hagan, Laura Breathnach and Dominic Byrne

Dublin Airport prepares for St Patrick's Day, with (L-R) Lisa Armstrong, Emma Breathnach, Gavin O Hagan, Tadhg Breathnach O Hagan, Laura Breathnach and Dominic Byrne

Dublin Airport prepares for St Patrick's Day, with (L-R) Lisa Armstrong, Emma Breathnach, Gavin O Hagan, Tadhg Breathnach O Hagan, Laura Breathnach and Dominic Byrne

Dublin Airport has warned passengers that it will take longer to get through security this Bank Holiday weekend.

Almost 900,000 people are expected to pass through the airport over the coming days as hordes of people arrive to enjoy St Patrick’s Day festivities or travel abroad to attend Cheltenham.

Media relations manager with Dublin Airport Authority, Graeme McQueen, said people are eager to travel again after the pandemic.

“We’re expecting a very busy few days, I think we’re seeing people starting to fly again which is fantastic. When it comes to St Patrick’s Day, the festival’s been kind of dormant for the last two years but we’re seeing people again looking to come back to Ireland and people looking to go away as well,” he said.

“The fact we’ve bank holidays on Thursday and Friday leading into the weekend, I think people have been encouraged to fly away again off on city breaks, they’re off to places like Cheltenham, lots of sport happening this weekend as well and we’re going to see a lot of Scottish visitors coming in for the rugby.

“On Thursday and Friday, we’re expecting somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 passengers each day, so it’s going to be a very busy weekend.”

Mr McQueen said this year, the airport expects to deal with 80pc of the capacity of 2019 levels.

He advised peo ple arriving at the airport for short haul flights to arrive no less than two hours before their departure.

“I think we’re seeing people starting to free up again, I think we’re seeing people willing to travel again, they’ve been maybe a bit knocked by the Covid pandemic in terms of flying but we saw a very busy midterm last month,” he told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

“It’s going to be really key this weekend, the numbers coming through the airport are high so it’s going to be busy. We’re saying to people who are taking short haul flights to get there no less than two hours before your flight.

“For longer haul flights we’re saying three hours. I think the message would be you’re going away on a trip, you want it to be an enjoyable experience so allow yourself plenty of time.”

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Mr McQueen asked passengers to be prepared in advance of their arrival as security queues will be longer than usual.

“Make sure you’re prepared in advance, make sure you know what terminal you’re flying from, make sure you’ve got your hand luggage in the correct order, you don’t have any bottles of liquids over 100mls, so just be prepared and come and enjoy the experience,” he said.

“Security queues will probably be a bit longer than normal, just because we’re busy so prepare for that but give yourself plenty of time to get through the airport.”

Mr McQueen said the airport will have the maximum level of staff available this weekend and he is confident that they will be able to deal with the high volumes of passengers.

“We will have the maximum staff that’s available to us on this weekend, it is a challenge though absolutely, we’re going through a period now of trying to ramp up operations again after we’ve had a very quiet two years,” he said.

“Staffing levels have been reduced, we’re getting back to where we need to be and we’ve lots of people in training at the moment to beef up our security operations so we’re confident that we’ve enough people in place this weekend to get people through security in a reasonable time.”

Mr McQueen said the airport still advises passengers to wear face coverings when in the terminals.

“They will need them when they get through to the airlines so our advice is to wear them anyway, obviously that’s a personal choice for people, but we would like to see people still wearing them in the terminal themselves,” he said.

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