Sunday, June 26, 2005

Hygiene at Dublin Airport

This letter from one David Barnwell of Dublin 4 in Yesterday's Irish Times:
A chara, - Recently Deputy Seán Crowe received little support in the Dáil when he raised the question of the hygiene risks associated with the current chaos at Dublin airport. Yet a recent experience in the airport convinces me that the deputy's concern is justified.
Upon finally approaching the security gate (after almost 40 sweaty minutes in the disorder of the airport 'queue') passengers were instructed to take off their shoes. I noticed that the person immediately preceding me had filthy socks and foul-smelling feet.

When my turn came, I pointed out to the security agent that I wished to have the security gate area cleaned and disinfected.

His answer was a rude 'if you want to go through another gate you'll have to go to the back of the queue.' As the airport chaos had already wasted 40 minutes of my time, I was thus forced to use a dirty security area.

I am a regular traveller to the United States, in whose airports one is usually asked to remove one's shoes.

However, I have never objected, as there is a huge difference in standards of personal cleanliness between the United States and Ireland.

Given the fact that many Irish people are infrequent users of shower or bath, there are grounds for fearing that an unclean security area can become a breeding ground for nasty microbes.

And in view of its inability to manage many other aspects of the airport's business, how can we rely on the Dublin airport Authority to see to it that the security area is kept clean and wholesome? - Is mise...

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