Tadgh Lynch and Liz Ryan were among the thousands of people who waited in terminal two this lunchtime.
hey 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 (3) and son Tadgh Og (1).
The couple, who live in Kilkenny city, had arrived at 10am for at 1.10 pm flight.
But a major technical failure meant Aer Lingus passengers faced huge delays and cancellations all day.
Ultimately the airline had to cancel flights to and from Dublin Airport involving UK or European destinations after 2pm. Shortly before 7pm it confirmed that the issue had been resolved and that flights are expected to run as normal tomorrow.
“We are hoping that they might put us on a flight tomorrow, or else we’ll cancel and just book for another time,” Mr Lynch said.
“We haven’t been out of the country together in three years. We were really looking forward to it and the kids were looking forward to it.”
The family were going to visit Ms Ryan’s brother Sean in Vancouver and she said the whole situation is “disappointing”.
“The trip is only for a week, so if we can’t get out tomorrow it’s not worthwhile going,” Ms Ryan said.
“We didn’t hear anything until we got here. There’s practically no information, the website is down. They could at least have a few more people explaining the situation.
“I’d definitely think twice about it [flying from Dublin] again. I’d happily go home now if they told us it was cancelled because there are thousands of people here and they just keep coming.”
The couple managed to find a tight corner with a small bench to rest on, and Mr Lynch said they were “lucky” to get it.
“We were lucky in a way because we couldn’t get parking so we had to go to terminal one parking and that we were able to come straight inside. So we count ourselves lucky that we’re not queuing outside with the kids,” he added.
Tallaght couple, Ciaran Kennedy and his wife Clare (40s) arrived at Dublin Airport at 9 am with their three children (5,7 and 9).
The family were due to flight Orlando at 2.50pm. The Kennedys have “been saving for the holiday for three years” and it was already cancelled once due to the pandemic.
By noon today they had already been queuing for three hours.
“We arrived at 9am and as we were getting out of the taxi we saw the doors being closed up and they were putting barriers in place. We were told that the Aer Lingus website was down and we had to queue up,” Mr Kennedy said.
“There’s very little information apart from the systems are down at they’re working to get them back up.”
“It took us an hour-and-a-half to get in the door alone. We’ve been here three hours and all we’ve gotten is a bottle of water and we’ve three children,” Ms Kennedy added.
“We have two and half hours to get through this and then we have to do pre-clearance. We’re here on Skyscanner trying to figure out do we take a hit ourselves. Once we get on a plane today I don’t care. I’d take anything, it’s just there’s no information.”
As the Kennedys and countless other families leaned on their luggage for support inside, Valerie Wall and James Corcoran queued outside with hundreds more people as the midday sun beamed down.
The couple moved back to Ireland recently, having spent over 20 years in the US.
There were “planning” to go to Greece for five nights but did not think the holiday would go ahead.
“There was no communication, we just had to hear about it on the news,” Ms Wall said.
“We just moved back from America after 26 years and this is just craziness to us. This is just a disgrace and with no communication.”
Mr Corcoran said a “lot of” his friends have started “avoiding Dublin Airport if possible”.
“They’ll go Shannon, stopping Boston, Newark or JFK when they’re getting to Chicago instead of dealing with Dublin. It’s a direct flight and they won’t do it.
“That’s the pearls of travelling, but this takes it to a new level.”
He added that if their trip is cancelled, plan B will be “the Bottle Tower [pub] in Churchtown”.
Aer Lingus apologised to customers but later confirmed that ‘systems were now restored’.
Confirming it had to cancel 51 flights in total today, the airline said: “Any customer impacted by today’s disruptions will be able apply for a refund or change their travel plans, free of charge through Aerlingus.com, our call centres and our social media channels.
“As systems have now been restored we are contacting customers directly in order to re-accommodate them as efficiently as possible.
“We have made additional customer service agents available to deal with high call volumes – please bear with us as we try to service all customer queries.”