Dublin Airport fined €10m for dirty toilets and security queue waiting times

Regulator also awards €3.4m service bonus, leaving €6.7 million net fine for cleanliness and security queues among other issues

Dublin Airport has been hit with a €6.7 million bill for poor cleanliness in toilets and terminals and for security queuing times, following a ruling by regulator the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

The authority said on Thursday it had awarded the country’s biggest airport a €3.4 million quality of service bonus last year but had penalised it €10.1 million for lapses in other areas, leaving a net €6.7 million fine.

Dublin Airport incurred penalties for not meeting targets on cleanliness of washrooms and terminals, based on surveys of passengers passing through there last year.

Airport operator DAA responded by saying it had tackled cleanliness and other issues flagged by the regulator through a 15-point improvement plan early in 2023, so they were corrected before summer when the gateway is busiest.


The IAA also imposed fines on the airport for several incidences where passengers had to queue in security for longer than the times set out by the regulator.

Those targets state that getting through security should take less than 20 minutes at least 70 per cent of the time, while the maximum wait should be less than 30 minutes.

IAA figures show passengers waited for just minutes short of an hour in terminal two on February 9th and terminal one on April 11th, the day after Easter Monday last year, along with other shorter delays through January, March and May.

According to the same data, all queues remained within the regulator’s time limits after May 21st.

The authority confirmed that security queue performance significantly improved in the second half of the year.

DAA said 97 per cent of the more than 15 million people who flew out of Dublin last year had passed through security in less than 20 minutes, exceeding its own target of ensuring that nine out of 10 travellers get through within that time.

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The airport earned bonuses for beating targets on overall customer satisfaction, ease of movement and passengers finding their way around, availability of baggage trolleys and wifi.

DAA’s improvement plan included boosting wifi, adding more seats at gates and eliminating clutter to aid ease of movement through the airport.

The business began working on the plan early last year to tackle shortcomings highlighted by passengers over 2022 when staff shortages led to delays and other problems at the airport as it grappled with the return of travel following two years of Covid curbs.

Dirty or poorly cleaned toilets were high on the list of travellers’ complaints.

DAA pointed out on Thursday that the changes it made had been well received by passengers. The company pledged that standards would “get even better this year too with a number of further improvements planned over the coming months”.

The State company will not pay the fine directly. Instead, the authority has factored the penalty into DAA’s passenger charges, which the business levies on airlines.

The IAA has set the maximum charge for last year at €8.46 per passenger. If DAA has collected more than this in 2023 it must repay the excess to the airlines.

If DAA collected less than €8.46 per passenger, the IAA will subtract the fine from the total that it will allow the company to charge airlines for passengers in 2025, thus reducing the levy next year.

State agency IAA regulates Dublin Airport’s charges and supervises its quality of service.

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