An online booking system for charity Santa flights at Shannon Airport next month crashed this afternoon such was the demand for the event.
Thousands of people logged on to the airport’s website to try an secure a flight following confirmation of the special event earlier this week.
On Wednesday, the airport confirmed plans to run a series of ‘Santa Flights’, in association with Ryanair, ollowing the success of last year’s free event.
This year, a €10 booking fee will be charged however the money raised will go to two mid west based charities who have also been allotted 80 seats on the flights.
Last year, around 3,000 children and accompanying adults enjoyed the 40 minute flights with Santa which were organised to mark the first year of the airport’s independence.
This year’s event will operate on December 13th and 14th when ten flights in all, carrying almost 1,900 passengers, taking to the skies over Co Clare.
Booking opened at 2pm yesterday on the airport’s website and the seats were expected to be snapped up quickly.
However, the demand exceeded all expectations and resulted in the booking system crashing.
Management were forced to suspend bookings while efforts were made to restore the system. The airport apologised for the inconvenience and thanked the public for their patience.
A short time later however bookings were suspended completely but are expected to resume early next week.
In a statement, the airport said: “While we anticipated huge demand on our booking system, the volume was unprecedented. We have suspended the current booking system.”
“We will make a further announcement in relation to bookings on Monday, 01 December at 12 noon. We thank you for your patience,” the airport said.