Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Airport Communications - When It Suits Them

On 11 July I posted about an experience I had while visiting the OR Tambo International Airport

I wrote to the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) for a response to my blog post via their website and was promised a reply within 72 hours (a bit long in my opinion but nonetheless). Needless to say I have not yet received a response - almost 2 weeks later!

I see today that the ACSA Communications Manager, Nothemba Noruwana, has been quick off the mark to quell rumours that the airport is to be scrapped and another built. Given that a public participation meeting regarding the airport expansion was attended only by the public on June 19 (no ACSA officials present), one would think that public relations would be high on the agenda, not just when a media report is circulating.

This is the struggle I have with monopolies. ACSA controls the major airports in South Africa and so Joe Public has to utilise their facilities as do the major domestic and international airlines. To ignore the public, in a community forum or through the medium of their website, shows blatant disregard and disrespect for those whose use the facilities

To see recent comments by travellers through OR Tambo, take a look at this forum on the SkyTrax site.

I generally enjoy visiting the airport but this non-communication has left a sour taste in my mouth! Come on ACSA! Give your customers a little bit more respect!

As always, comments welcome. I would love to hear your experiences of South Africa's airports (good and bad!).


Yzerfontein said...

Two things ACSA does well (you did ask for the good as well!):
(1) make profits
(2) reasonably priced and fast enough wireless internet at their airport.

They're shocking at their baggage handling - I'm not just talking about stuff getting stolen, but also the fact that they are extremely slow.

It's interesting that in a recent survey of flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Kulula flights from Lanseria were the cheapest.

Arthur said...

As a profit-making enterprise I would agree ACSA does very well. Increasing profit margins while running the risk of alienating those enable those profit margins is not good business practice though!

Thanks for your comments!

Anonymous said...

ACSA does not so much provide a service as simply operate a required facility.

It seems beyond monopoly - it is almost totalitarianism.

It is only when they are challenged by a rival facility, of which I believe Lanseria has the potential to be in time, that they will consider focusing on service.

Until then, they are merely shepherds, herding the unwitting sheep through the terminals.

Anonymous said...

My wallet was stolen from my back pack while going through international departures airport security check in at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, Please rather have your wallet in your pocket while going through this process.