A Co Antrim couple who missed a £10,000 holiday due to the chaos at Dublin Airport are still awaiting compensation.
Judith Maknis (47) and her partner Brendan Kavanagh (51) were among the thousands of travelers who faced serious problems at the visitor center in May and June.
Excessive queues at security screening resulted in passengers lining up at both terminals, causing the couple to miss their Aer Lingus flight from Dublin.
This meant that they were unable to board the cruise ship waiting for them in Barcelona.
“On June 1, we sent documents about our vacation and confirmation that we were at the airport but did not hear anything,” Ms McNeice explained.
“We didn’t even get anything back to say they got it.
“But we have a document tracker because we paid for the signed delivery.”
The driver of the car, Brendan, previously recalled arriving at 2:30 a.m. to avoid queuing for check-in.
“It took forever to get to the front of the line, then it took the girl another 40 minutes to be seen,” he said.
“Then we went straight to security and the queues between check-in and security were awful.
“It’s been four hours. After that, we were stuck in the elevator for another 15 minutes with the doors not opening.”
The desperate couple made it to the gate just in time to see the plane push off and take off without them.
They stood in another line for hours to see if there was another flight, but ended up having to return home “with four children who were crying.”
“The whole airport was a joke,” Kavanagh said.
Ms McNeice said she and her partner had no choice but to take a vacation.
The registered nanny now fears she will have to wait another year before she can enjoy her break.
“I had to take a vacation: I am self-employed and scheduled my work for a scheduled vacation,” Ms McNeice explained.
“I ended up coming home and sitting at home for a week.
“We haven’t rebooked anything, just waiting to see what happens next. There is no other choice.
“By the time everything is decided, we will probably have to wait until next summer when the weather is better.”
Last month, missing airline passengers’ suitcases were found in a trash can at Dublin Airport.
Airlines and ground handlers are dealing with more than 4,000 missing or lost bags as the industry struggles to cope with post-COVID travel.
The airport said some items needed to be destroyed for health and safety reasons, and records were kept so owners could make claims for compensation.
“My partner sent an email to get updates on our lawsuit but didn’t get any response,” Ms McNeice said.
“We still don’t know if we will get any money back. We are concerned.
“When you see suitcases in the trash cans, you start thinking, ‘What’s going on?’
Mr Kavanagh said he sent numerous emails to the airport, which were ignored.
“If we had the proverbial crystal ball, we would just wait until next year before making any trips,” he said.
“Any future holiday depends on whether we get our money back.”
Dublin Airport spokesman Alex McCabe confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that the lawsuit has been received and is being reviewed.
“Dublin Airport acknowledges the bad experience and challenges this family has had and acknowledged this in our initial correspondence dated May 31 last year,” she said.
“In order for us to further explore their specific experience, we have requested an Investigation Report Form to be completed and returned to us along with receipts of out-of-pocket expenses incurred. We have received detailed information about this statement.”
Ms McCabe said this is subject to due process and must be reviewed and approved before any payment is made.
“Sometimes this requires additional information or clarification, which increases the time required to resolve the claim,” she explained.
“However, Dublin Airport has made significant efforts to ensure that this process is as efficient as possible for affected passengers, and as a result, we will resolve and satisfy 75% of all claims by the middle of this month.
“Dublin Airport will contact the family concerned again this week and aim to close the claim as quickly as possible.”
Even if the couple manages to get their money back, they will be wary of using Dublin Airport for their next family holiday.
“If there was another option, I would not have flown out of there,” Mr. Kavanagh said.
“But things are just bad at other airports.”