With the whole of the Republic of Ireland currently in the highest level of Coronavirus restrictions, some savvy residents have reportedly found a loophole that allows them to still go to the pub despite the fact they’ve been forced shut.
While pubs have been shuttered across Ireland as the country endures a six week Level 5 lockdown, the pubs in the airside part of Dublin Airport remain open because the airport is considered an essential service.
Of course, airside pubs, restaurants and shops are on the other side of security checkpoints where only ticketed passengers are allowed.
That’s a loophole that a group of four say they’ve already managed to exploit by buying planes tickets for flights they had no intention of catching for just €9.99 each. The social media post has gone viral with others now saying they are tempted to try it out without any intention of actually taking a flight.
Officials at Dublin Airport, however, have been quick to try and put people off trying out the loophole, saying doing so could be in breach of airport bye laws.
A Dublin airport spokesperson explained the current situation, saying: “The Government has indicated that the operation of Irish airports is an ‘essential service’ within the Level 5 guidelines.”
“The provision of food and beverage facilities in the airside area – i.e. after security – to the very small number of people who are travelling at present is part of that service. The operator of the outlet in question requires anyone purchasing alcohol to also purchase a substantial meal at a cost of €9.”
The statement, provided to the Irish Mirror, continued:
“If, as is claimed, four individuals went through security with no intention to travel, but rather to avail of that food and beverage service, that would appear to be a breach of airport bye-laws which state that “a person may not engage in any activity which jeopardises or interferes with the … orderly operation of an airport.
“The intentional breach of airport bye-laws Dublin Airport would leave an individual open to a possible court appearance.”
The spokesperson also said that there was currently no evidence that anyone had actually exploited the loophole. No doubt the airport will be on the lookout for groups of drunk passengers who have mysteriously missed their flights.
Adding together the cost of the plane tickets, the cost of the required meal and travel to the airport, it’s estimated that the group of four who first highlighted the loophole would have spent €75.96 before they even bought a beverage. A price, some might say, worth paying for a long overdue trip to the pub.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.