A co-antrim couple left on holiday due to chaos at Dublin airport are still awaiting compensation.
udith McNeice (47) and his partner, Brendan Kavanaugh (51), were among thousands of passengers stranded in major disruptions at the travel hub in May and June.
Heavy queues at security resulted in passengers lined up outside both terminals and the couple missed their Aer Lingus flight from Dublin.
This meant they failed to start a cruise ship that was waiting for them in Barcelona, missing a £10,000 (€11,862) holiday.
“On June 1, we sent our leave documents and evidence that we were at the airport but we heard nothing,” Ms McNeice explained.
“We can’t even find anything to say that they have got them.
“But we have the document tracker, because we paid for the signed delivery.”
Car valet driver Brendan remembered arriving at 2.30 to beat the first check-in queue.
“It took forever to get to the front of the queue, then it took another 40 minutes for the girl to see us,” he said.
“We then went straight to security and the queues between check-in and security were terrible.
“It took four hours. After that we were again stuck in the lift for 15 minutes when the doors didn’t open.
The couple made it to the departure gate ahead of time to see the plane being pushed back and taking off without them.
He spent hours in another queue to see if another flight was available, but ended up returning home “with four children crying in their eyes”.
“The whole airport was a joke,” said Mr. Kavanaugh.
Ms McNeice said she and her partner had no choice but to take time off from work.
The registered child minder is now afraid to wait another year before he can enjoy a break.
“I had to take time off: I am self-employed and I had my work scheduled around the planned holiday,” Ms McNeice explained.
“I ended up sitting in the house for a week after coming home.
“We haven’t rebooked anything, we’re just waiting to see what happens next. There’s no other choice.
“By the time this is sorted out, we’ll have to wait until next summer for better weather.”
“We still don’t know if we’re getting any money back. We’re worried,” Ms. McNeice said.
Mr. Kavanaugh said he had sent several emails to the airport.
“If we had the cosmic crystal ball we would have waited until next year before making any trips,” he said.
“Any future vacation depends on getting our money back.”
A Dublin Airport spokesperson confirmed the claim had been received and was currently being assessed.
“Dublin Airport acknowledges the poor experience and issues experienced by this family and has acknowledged this in our initial correspondence last 31 May,” she said.
“To enable us to further investigate their specific experience, we requested them to complete and return an investigation report form, as well as receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. We provided details of this claim. have been found.”
She said this is subject to due process and must be reviewed and approved before any payment can be made.
“Sometimes this requires additional information or clarification, which adds to the time required to clear the claim,” she explained.
“However, Dublin Airport has made significant efforts in this process to be as efficient as possible for affected passengers, and as a result we have completed 75 percent of all claims as of the middle of this month.
“Dublin Airport will be in contact with the family again this week and will endeavor to close the claim as soon as possible.”
Even if the couple manages to get their cash back, they will be wary of using Dublin airport for their next family vacation.
“If there was another option, I wouldn’t fly there,” said Mr. Kavanagh.
“But things are worse in other airports.”