Saturday, 25 July 2015

Passenger Service: From The World's Best Airport....To The Worst!

              (Incheon's trolleys available 
                for departing passengers)

The Incheon International Airport has always been voted as one of the best airports in the world. If you have passed through this airport, you'd agree with me that it's very clean and efficient, and their facilities make any traveler's passage very convenient. The people behind it must have always thought of the passengers, their main customer, and what he or she needs to have a comfortable journey.

During my summer break weeks ago, I flew out of Incheon Airport en route to Manila, Philippines. From my neighborhood in Seoul, I took the airport limousine bus (which is also the most convenient way to the airport from Seoul), and when I got off the bus, an airport personnel helped unload my luggage. And next to that stop, trolleys were all lined up for any passenger to use.

            (Tipping the scale at Incheon Airport 
                  within my 30-kg. allowance)

At the departure area, they even placed a digital weighing scale to help me make sure that I didn't go beyond my allowed baggage weight. How thoughtful of them! My passage through Incheon International Airport went very smoothly, as always.

But when my flight landed at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, it was a different story. 

When I went home in December 2014, I was welcomed by the sign 'DO NOT ENTER'; it was blocking the supposedly moving walkway. And this time, after seven months, the same sign was blocking the arriving passengers; this walkway has obviously not been repaired all these months?! Why does the NAIA management even install these substandard facilities and waste the airport fees from the passengers and revenues from the airlines?

              (Deja vu: 7 months still not moving)

My flight arrived at 12:30AM on a plane full of tired adults and sleepy, crying babies. Is it too much for NAIA to think about this walkway's actual purpose? 

And as if that inutile walkway was not enough, when I was flying out of NAIA3 after my week-long vacation, another useless walkway greeted me as I made my way to Gate 106 for my Cebu Pacific flight back to Seoul. The sign said 'ON-GOING REPAIR' but there wasn't any repairman attending to it. I wondered if it was actually defective, or maybe they just didn't want to turn it on.

      (Road block en route to Gate 106)

And as if ON-GOING REPAIR was not enough, the hundreds of idle trolleys parked at Gate 106 were an irritating surprise!

Any passenger going through NAIA3 must walk for hundreds of meters from the first x-ray security check to the flight check-in, not to mention queuing for OEC certificate clearance for OFWs or paying your travel tax, up to Immigration and the final security check.

But what pissed me off was that the NAIA3 management just didn't want departing passengers to use those trolleys parked at Gate 106, trolleys which could have made things lighter to carry, especially if you're a senior citizen, have kids in tow, or have a bad back. 

               (Idle trolleys hidden at 
                 Gate 106 of NAIA3)

I complained to the Cebu Pacific staff about this and she said that it's actually the NAIA management's responsibility to bring these trolleys back to the final security check so departing passengers can use them. I asked her to remind NAIA management about this. 

               (Useless NAIA3 trolleys)

In July 2014, I already saw these useless trolleys parked at another gate, Gate 115. This time, 12 months later, another pack of useless trolleys are hidden at the other end of terminal. This just shows what poor customer service NAIA has for passengers using its airport. 

NAIA deserves its 'worst airport' label. I am sure thousands of arriving or departing passengers would agree with me.

So, there. Flying from the best airport to the worst gives a passenger the best experience. And the worst.