Saturday, May 01, 2010

Airport blogging: Cape Town

Cape Town airport is transformed, and what a piece of work. They've done a brilliant job of making the place world class in time for WC2010.



However, I've discovered I'm a big raaaaaaacist after all. Despite frequent loudspeaker warnings, one chap kindly left his luggage opposite me unattended for a good fifteen minutes. As he was a bit Arab-looking I got a bit nervous, but the luggage at no time exploded. Luckily for me.



Well. A bit of racial profiling never hurt anyone...

5 Opinion(s):

Birdman said...

I spent many years working there. It looks great but what the pax (passengers) do not see is the complete mess in the baggage hall (where your baggage gets sorted and loaded into containers (if you are flying overseas). There is no space to move vehicles in there and the blokes who load the baggage have to manhandle the containers (approx 800 Kgs each) to get them loaded onto wagons to take to the aircraft.

The security cameras cannot access all the areas so theft will continue. If you have oversized baggage such as golf bags , surf boards etc, you have to go to an out-of-guage counter at the north side of the terminal.

These bags go down a chute to the baggage area. The problem is that this chute is not adjacent to the other chutes and have to be monitored by staff who then have to manhandle your baggage to the assigned areas to load.

As there is ALWAYS a staff shortage, quite a few bags do not get loaded. Do not get me started when you travel with dogs , cats etc.

I left Cape Town airport on the 6th April and flew up to Pretoria on the 9th April. I have a Macaw who was taken care of by animal travel (a good company who I have used before). I happened to watch how Maxine (my Macaw was loaded onto a BA (comair ) aircraft. It was raining that day and the way they threw the box into the hold was not new to me, yet I was powerless to do anything.

ACSA have a wonderful way of covering up all the mistakes and disasters at the airport - I know, I dealt with them on a daily basis.

Like, I said, lovely eye candy, but behind the scenes, a mess.

Another example. For those of you who have arrived on an international flight, you have to walk to the main terminal and then exit. Youwill have noticed that the doods to your right as you exit immigration and customs have been sealed off - the reason (THE REAL REASON) is that the shops were complaining that the passengers were not buying from them. So ACSA closed off those doors.

I have many many more things to say, such as inadequate firefighting staff and a lack of ATNS controllers. (ATNS = ATC for those who are not familiar with aviation lingo).

The permit system for the staff is a joke and has plenty of loopholes. I know, I used these loopholes myself (to minimize the distances I had to walk). Anyone can get a permit and if there is a problem with the access system, you just look like you are in a hurry and they let you through.

If the x-ray machine goes off - take out some loose coins. 95% of the time the staff there are so rushed they do not ask you to go back through again.

Etc etc etc....

Skingen said...

Is there still a single afrikaans sign ? 9Majority language of the Western cape btw)

There were some in the Old aiport...

Jim Beam said...

The first photo makes it look like a casino.

Lime Lite said...

Well, the airport may look good, but as for the rest of the country.....

Viking said...

Skingen - not a single one I saw, and I also noticed all the announcements were only in English..

Birdman - thanks for your comment! you've explained something that was on my mind... why the arrivals have to walk so far to get to fresh air, the exit used to be right there!