A woman has described as "horrendous" her experience at Dublin Airport after her flight to London was cancelled one hour after it was due to take off.
Gemma Jones is one of the hundreds of passengers who have been caught up in Aer Lingus flight cancellations this week.
Ms Jones was due on a flight from Dubin to Gatwick just before 6pm on Monday, returning home after a trip to Ireland to visit her partner.
She told BreakingNews.ie: "It was horrendous. We got to the boarding gate around 4.30pm, the flight was supposed to take off at 5.55pm. Nothing happened for a very long time, we just sat around waiting. Nobody came to the gate to tell us anything.
"The time the gate was meant to close passed, there was still nobody from Aer Lingus around. Around 6pm somebody came and said they didn't know what was happening, but they would find some information for us."
Ms Jones then received a notification from Dublin Airport flight alerts telling her the flight was cancelled.
"I went up to the desk and asked if this was correct, and they said 'we haven't been told it's cancelled, as far as we're aware it's not so stay where you are and somebody will come down and talk to you'."
After an hour since the flight was scheduled to take off, "a worker from another gate came over and said 'oh, should you not have taken off by now?"
"We said 'yeah, what's going on? We don't know anything'. She rang someone, and when she got off the phone she said 'I'm sorry to tell you, but your flight is cancelled'."
The worker informed the frustrated passengers that another flight to Gatwick, that had also been delayed, was due to take off from another gate and there were seats available.
@AerLingus my flight to Gatwick was cancelled at least an hour after it should have departed, I'm now in a hotel (out of pocket again) still waiting for someone to tell me when I'll be able to go home to work...please.
— Gemma 🍰 (@Gemily83) June 27, 2022
She said the people at the front of the queue managed to "run off to get that flight, but we were towards the back, and we had no chance".
Ms Jones and the majority of the cancelled flight's passengers were then left alone with no information.
"I went all through the terminal looking for someone from Aer Lingus, couldn't find a single person," she added.
"I had to book a hotel, I had no other choice. Nothing from Aer Lingus, just a text to say 'due to staff sickness your flight has been cancelled, very shortly you'll receive details of your re-booked flight'. I still haven't received that text, I had to do all the chasing myself."
I don't think I'll be back in Dublin Airport any time soon, to see my partner I'd rather get the ferry.
The lack of hotels in Dublin is another issue at the moment and the only room Ms Jones could find was one for €220 in Portmarnock.
"I woke up at 6am on Tuesday morning, got straight on the phone to Aer Lingus, I was on hold until 7.40am, then got through to a representative who eventually got me on a flight to Gatwick, it was the last seat available."
Her re-booked flight was scheduled to take off at 7.30pm on Tuesday, but it was then delayed until 9pm.
"We boarded at 9.30pm, and it eventually took off at 10pm. I got home at 1.30am and had to be at work that morning, after missing a day of work already. I filled in the compensation form, but I've heard nothing back."
The staffing issues at Dublin Airport have also led to reports of issues with cleanliness and Ms Jones said she found the airport "really shabby".
"The state of the airport, it is really shabby, the toilets were disgusting, and the vending machines were empty, which is a problem when you need something with delayed flights, the shops were closed too. If you had a diabetic issue you wouldn't be able to get anything.
"I don't think I'll be back in Dublin Airport any time soon, to see my partner I'd rather get the ferry."
In response to a query on the cancellation from BreakingNews.ie, Aer Lingus said: "Aer Lingus wishes to apologise to those impacted and teams at the airline are working to re-accommodate impacted passengers on the next available services as efficiently as possible.
"Aer Lingus anticipated the return of demand for travel once Covid restrictions were removed and built appropriate buffers into our plans in order to deal with a reasonable level of additional disruption. System pressures and ongoing issues at some airports and among third party suppliers have created considerable operational challenges which have been compounded by a significant spike in Covid cases in recent days."
The airline added that nine return flights and one direct flight have been cancelled on Friday, July 1st.
DAA has been contacted for comment.