In these weeks we have been experiencing severe disruptions at airports in the UK and Ireland (Dublin, in particular).
The relevant authorities managing the airports during the heavy months of Covid-19 pandemic were forced to lay off staff to reduce fixed costs and this was perfectly understandable as there were literally no flights scheduled. Then, fortunately, the pandemic situation improved, countries lifted the travelling restrictions and airlines resumed their services. Now the number of passengers travelling by plane is getting close to the 2019 levels, which is an incredibly good news.
The problem is that airports didn’t re-hire staff that was dismissed two years ago and currently the situation at certain airports in the UK (London and Manchester, in particular) and Ireland (Dublin, in particular) has become unbearable! I was at London Stansted on the 31st May morning at 6am and it took me at least 20 minutes to reach the security gates and another 30 mins to get to the security lane. In total 50 mins spent before entering the departures area of the airport.
My destination was Dublin from where I had to depart in the evening back to London Stansted. Airlines inform passengers to get to the Dublin airport at least 3 (three) hours in advance due to the huge queues at security (for the same reason of London: staff shortage). They are right: I arrived to the Dublin airport at 17:30 (my flight was scheduled at 20:20) and it took me about 45 mins before accessing the departures area.
But then, an additional problem: my flight was first delayed of 1 hour then of 2h25′ for some operations problems. To make the long story short: I got up at 4:50am to catch a 75-min flight from Stansted to Dublin and for the same flight duration I went back at 12:30am of the next day.
In summary, for a 2h30′ return flying time I stayed at airports nearly 8 hours. And this with a theoretical excellent schedule of 8 daily flights from Stansted to Dublin and other 8 flights back. There are more flights than coaches services, at a very cheap price (10-12 GBP) but in this period they are hard to enjoy.
By the way, why was I going to Dublin? Because I have set up the brand-new EPN Consulting Research and Innovation Ltd. so that we are back to the EU and ready to take part in EU-funded projects as usual plus putting more focus on research-based activities.
More info on the two EPN Consulting companies will follow. Stay tuned!
EPN Consulting Founder, CEO
EPN Consulting Research & Innovation Founder, CEO