Passengers spending the night in Dublin Airport: ‘This airport is going to be like a war zone tomorrow’

Hundreds of passengers bedding down in Dublin Airport following UK air traffic control glitches

Hundreds of disgruntled passengers were facing a night at Dublin Airport after a glitch in UK air traffic control had a knock-on effect across the network.

More than 100 flights to and from Ireland were cancelled as a result of the glitch which knocked out the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) computer system for more than three hours on Monday.

The issue affected not only flights between Britain and Ireland but flights that use UK air space. There were long queues at the Ryanair desk on Monday night as passengers waited to change flights or source accommodation in Dublin. One Ryanair passenger tweeted that there won’t be another flight for him until Wednesday and he has yet to be able to book a transfer or find a hotel.

Liam Curry, who was flying to Izmir in Turkey with his wife Bridget and Liam Jr, said they arrived at the airport at 1pm on Monday for a 4.40pm flight. They had gone through security when their flight was cancelled. “We were supposed to be offered hotel and transport by SunExpress [the flight company] if there is a delay of more than four hours. None of that is going on,” he said.


“We have been told that our flight is tomorrow at 11am, but now it is supposed to be at 2pm. The nightmare is going to be insane because every flight that was cancelled today is going to go tomorrow. This airport is going to be like a war zone tomorrow.”

Four members of a West Cork family on their way to Izmir were resigned to bedding down in the airport overnight. Two were due to have medical procedures in the Turkish resort and those are now in jeopardy. “The whole thing has been a joke,” said one who asked not to be named.

“We queued for an hour and a half to put in our baggage, but nobody was telling us anything. We had paid for the lounge and couldn’t get into it. We spent a few hours wandering around duty-free just to pass a few days. Another passenger came over and said our flight was cancelled. Nobody from the airline was telling us anything.”

Eight members of the extended Gibbons family were forced to book new flights for Tuesday morning with Aer Lingus. Their Ryanair flight to Malaga was cancelled because the plane taking them was stranded in Malaga.

They were unable to rebook through Ryanair because they had booked through a travel agent. “It’s a bummer. This is the first time there has been a flight to Malaga cancelled since January.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times