I missed my Saturday morning, 6.50am flight, to Brussels. Darn! Half it was my fault, I accept some blame. After all, I did only leave my house at 5.11am and arrive into the airport at 5.35am. How remiss of me to cut it so tight. A series of comical delays ensured I eventually got to the “Closing Flights” desk at Aer Lingus five minutes too late to check-in, at precisely 6.14am.
There were several reasons for this 39 minute delay from pulling into the long-term carpark and eventually landing up at the check-in desk. Partly, it was due to the fact that the entire country, it seemed, all wanted to be in Dublin airport on Saturday morning. I have never seen so many people milling around aimlessly, blocking every available entrance, exit, aisle, and corridor with bags, trolleys, and baby carts.
But mainly, if I had one overriding gripe with Dublin Airport it is this: I arrived into the Red/Green carpark entrance only to be told by two attendants that “We’re full, you’ll have to use the Blue long-term carpark”. To explain why this information was too little, too late, let me show you a map of Dublin Airport and it’s carparks:
I was arriving via the M1 road after travelling north on the M50. The red and green carparks are the nearest to the airport, hence it is much quicker to get from there to the airport’s departures lounge. (Ignore the fact that the Blue carpark is the closest as the crow flies, one has to go a very long way around to get to the terminal building!) So, naturally, one heads in that direction.
But the Blue carpark has a shortcut off the M50. If you really did want to get to the Blue carpark, you’d never go the whole way around – you’d save 10 minutes by going directly off the M50, wouldn’t you? So if you were warned of the simple fact that the Red/Green carparks were full, well before the Blue carpark exit off the M50, then naturally you would go straight there, thus saving you the considerable hassle of going the long way round.
How simple would it be for the airport authorities to erect an electronic sign about 1km before the Blue carpark exit ramp off the M50 warning travellers of the full carparks? But a multi-billion euro airport budget does not allow for one simple sign. Now, that wouldn’t be too bad, if it were a supermarket in a small rural village. But this is one of the busiest airports in Europe! Aaargh….
In retrospect, I made the mistake of leaving it too late. I should have gone to the airport to depart for Belgium in 1987…