So I met some roaches & flies at a First World Dublin Airport Lounge

One of the aspects I’ve come to expect of airports is to maintain hygiene standards that are higher than the common uncontrolled environment. To this effect, I notice airports around the world have become strict in enforcing standards and trying to control situations related to health. For instance, Hand Sanitisers are a common sight now, whereas to think a decade ago perhaps the product category was still a nothing.

Similar standards are of course expected for airport food, and specially those where the airport is directly involved. Given that I often run into people who take pride in looking at India, my country as a third world country, I’d expect that First World would be better off with such stuff.

Just yesterday, I was passing through Dublin Airport, to catch a flight to London Heathrow. We finished our check-in early, and popped over to the DAA Executive Lounge to wait for my flight. It was early morning, and I was going to be on my first flight with British Airways that’d offer Buy-on-Board. So, I thought of catching a bite at the airport before departure.

Except, my appetite died when I was pouring a glass of water and I saw a roach come out of nowhere, and then another. And then go away into obscurity again before I could react. Glass bottle, I figured, so no harm done.

And then, over the food. I saw a fly gladly partaking into the pain-au-chocolat that I was eyeing. For the purpose of this picture, by the time I popped my phone out of my pocket, it readjusted itself to sit next to the bakery items tray rather than on top of it.

Flies and food at Dublin Airport Executive Lounge

Flies and food at Dublin Airport Executive Lounge

Now, I think I’ve seen a fair bit around the world, and I do not remember the last time I could see something like this in an airport eating outlet. If I was standing at the roadside cart in Bangkok or Mumbai eating a snack, I’d know to expect this. But at a lounge…umm. My appetite was gone for a toss.

I’m wondering if someone has seen something similar at Dublin or another airport? While I will be writing to the concerned authorities about this, don’t you think this is a situation that is best avoided? Or is this me being a germaphobic in the making. 

P.S. Written at the Mumbai GVK Domestic Lounge, and no roaches and flies were found here last I checked a few minutes ago!

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Well this is indeed a surprise, and an unpleasant one at that. Either the owners dont take pride in the lounge they operate, or the staff are letting them down.

    In hot & humid places this can be hard to control, but clearly Ireland is neither. For ex, I am currently in Port Douglas, about 60km north of Cairns in tropical Australia. Here flies, mozzies and all kinds of creepy crawlies are par for course. While having my breakfast this morning, I observed flies perched on various tables, a woman continued wolfing down her bacon n egg roll, blissfully unawares, not in the least bothered by the fly that occasionally swooped down to sample some of her pancakes. All this with the aircon blasting away. Similar scenes are repeated every morning at most, if not all cafes around here. To make matters worse, this is dry season & the place is over-run with tourists.

    Anyway, I digress. My point is, while its a little bit more understandable to have roaches & flies around in India or Thailand, its still bad.

    But at an airport lounge in Ireland takes it to another lvl.

  2. Last month at the Hyderabad airport Plaza Premium Lounge I had bird crap fall in between two seats! A few inches away and it would have landed on a passenger’s plate. When we told the cleaner at the lounge, he kinda ignored it making us feel that it was a regular feature. No bugs though!

  3. A couple years ago we saw roaches and a mouse in the United First Class lounge at Washington Dulles. It was a complete dump.

  4. I was greeted by a heard of cockroahes, while using the loop in cancun Mexico.
    Should I say it’s okay it’s just Mexico?

  5. Ha, if someone would have found a roach or a fly in India or Thailand or something, they would have definitely cried foul about it. But they would completely ignored it had it happened in an American or a European lounge! Just like how people were fast to pass a judgement about the Emirates plane from India that caught fire in Dubai and people tried to get their hand luggage. Hypocrisy!

  6. So India isn’t a third world country? I’m confused. I shouldn’t imagine the “roaches” were terribly big were they? I mean it’s Ireland you are talking about. And a single fly? Well again…..I’m going to just say it – I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  7. Love the title.
    Lounges and food in North America is inferior than any other decent airport outside the US. And they make a huge deal to get into those like premium status, $50 per day, card perks etc when they offer crap. Some premium PP lounges and Centurion lounges are exception but overall look at your before calling others 3rd world.

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