ACSA flips me the finger


The ever so competent guardian of Cape Town’s first point of contact with visitors both local and foreign at Cape Town International Airport has come up with new ways to drive visitors in circles. By literally letting them drive in circles.

The Drop & Go at the domestic terminal consists of two sections of road separated by a waiting area for passengers. ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa) decided October 1 to create one section into a Drop off & Go and the other into a Pick up & go. Which is fine except they never changed the signage. And if you landed in the wrong section you were told to move your car to the ‘correct section’ which means driving all the way around the airport to reach a spot right across from your current location.

As I pointed out to the ‘manager’ that came to listen to my complaint, who would not introduce herself, shake my hand or give me the number of a customer service line (‘find ACSA in the phone book’), three-quarters of the spots in the newly created, unidentified Drop & Go area were empty, while in the other section cars were forced to park on red lines and create a general hazard. This is bad traffic management, never mind bad customer relations.

I’m thinking of sending ACSA a very basic ‘How To’ memo.

1. Inform the public of changes to Drop & Go or Pick up & Go lanes at the airport.
2. Put up signs. It will do amazing things for you.
3. Allow wardens on the ground to manage the process and trust in their ability and training. They should be allowed to manage traffic flow in the two sections so that one side doesn’t end up at capacity while the other stands empty. It’s called empowering your people.
4. Provide easy access to the number of your customer service line. It exists so people can provide you with feedback to improve your services.

Around the airport I went to the ‘correct’ Pick up & Go. Soon another warden pitched to tell me I had parked on a red line. In front of four or five cars waited with their hazards on while somebody pulled out at the far end of the road.  Next to me twenty spots stood empty.

Cape Town Tourism should do well to put up a banner to the entrance of the airport so that everybody knows where they stand with ACSA. It should read, in real Capetonian, ‘Jou ma se…’


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