I've said this before.... does anyone disagree?
Yes, I disagree, I've found the media's bashing of AKL and other airports around this country and Australasia of late very tiring. There is no balance to these stories and the airport's conveniently don't seem to get a chance to respond yet the airlines mysteriously do....let's also not forget that people are also more likely to whinge and moan that offer compliments. It would be nice if the reporters found some alternate opinions to provide a more balanced article.
A construction site is never nice to be around whether its at an airport or not, so that in itself makes this really a moot article as well, maybe if everything had opened properly and there were issues then it would be appropriate, but not mid construction. Let's see what passengers think in Q3 of this year.
As for elderly being unable to find where they are going and walking distances, that seems a bit of a cheap shot, signage is tricky and its a difficult equilibrium between too little and too much which can be just as confusing. If in doubt, ask, AKL has bluecoats who I am sure are only too happy to guide people in the right direction, but people need to take responsibility and be proactive about it, staff aren't mind readers. Distance wise, yeah check-in to gate 18 is quite far for some no doubt, but there are always options and assistance for those that need it, again, people just need to be proactive about it. At the end of the day many of the famed terminals around the world that are constantly paraded as being easy to navigate and user friendly still have significant walks required, even if automated people movers are available, SIN, BKK and PEK T3 are some of the recent ones I have traveled through which still required a reasonable walk to the gate.
Another peeve of mine is how the airport always seems to get blamed for everything that goes wrong on the passengers journey. Queues at check-in and at baggage reclaim because of slow baggage is the fault of the ground handlers, whether it be Air NZ, Aerocare, Planebiz, etc. Not enough counters open at security screening, well that's AVSEC, primary and secondary processing - that's Customs and MPI. However, the travelling public can also make their journeys faster by actually having their documentation and property ready for inspection.
I am also sick of the term "Third World" being chucked around, I suspect few people who make that comment have ever experienced one. For me, a third world facility is one that is dirty, has bathrooms which are only cleaned once a day instead of once an hour, doesn't have potable water available, where theft in the terminals is rife, where bribes may be required (a little extreme but not unheard of), where retailers open when their operators feel like it, not when there are flight movements, where there is no in-line luggage check-in. I could go on, last i saw, AKL did not have any of these issues, I am sorry but just because a facility doesn't provide endless amounts of wi-fi or entertain the passenger from the second they arrive until they board does not make it "Third World". It is not the airport's job to entertain the passenger.
Yeah that's a bit of a rant and may rock the boat a bit, not all related to that article, but I think its time there was a bit more balance, especially when unnecessary hyperbole such as "National Disgrace" are being thrown around in the mainstream media.