The number of items stolen each month at OR Tambo

2014-07-28 00:00

LOST luggage, excessive parking fees and announcements no one can understand vex passengers most at South Africa’s international airports, according to a Travelstart survey.

The travel company conducted the survey at the start of July among 6 000 frequent fliers. Seven in 10 passengers said parking fees were excessive at airports in South Africa.

The current rate is R20 for the first two hours and then R10 for every hour, which can tally to R150 for a day in short-term parking, or R85 in long-term.

Spokesperson for the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, defended the high tariff by saying international airports are equipped with modern security cameras and other equipment to prevent car theft.

In the year, not one car has been stolen. She said passengers had a cheaper option in long-term parking.

Russel Jarvis from Travelstart however pointed out there was often no space in the long-term parking and clients were then forced to pay the higher price for short-term parking.

Lost and misplaced luggage is another headache for frequent fliers.

The survey said reckless handling affected about half of all luggage on South African airports.

Over two in 10 passengers said they have been a victim of luggage theft, 83% of these people said the theft happened at OR Tambo Airport.

Batyashe-Fillis said the number of items stolen each month at OR Tambo had been reduced from 150 to 70. Jarvis said 70 items stolen was extraordinary high for an international airport.

Announcements that no one can understand are the third bugbear for frequent fliers. Batyashe-Fillis said Acsa only appoints qualified staff with diverse backgrounds, but the quality of the public address system’s speakers do not always meet muster.

“We are in the process of replacing faulty hardware in some parts of the international airport, which will ensure that the sound quality and volume is up to standard.”

Batyashe-Fillis added Acsa conducted its own monthly surveys, which showed fliers are satisfied with the services at Acsa’s airports.

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