Tan Son Nhat Airport blames overload for poor service quality, promises improvement

By Dinh Muoi-Tran Tam, Thanh Nien News

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Passengers wait for check-in at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Bach Duong Passengers wait for check-in at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Bach Duong


Managers of Tan Son Nhat International Airport have blamed the poor quality of services at the airport on its large number of passengers, warning that facilities here will remain under strain for some time. 
Director Dang Tuan Tu said Tuesday that the airport in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to receive more than 25 million passengers this year, but its designed capacity is only 20 million a year.
Between January and October, it served around 22 million, up 19 percent annually.
Under an expansion plan recently approved by the transport ministry, the airport will be able to handle 25 million passengers a year, Tu said.
Director Tu was speaking at an urgent meeting Tuesday between aviation authorities and service providers, after Tan Son Nhat was ranked 8th in the annual list of the worst airports in the world compiled by travel website Sleeping in Airports.
He said the airport’s management and service providers "have tried their best" but the overload badly affects the quality of services.
According to Sleeping in Airports, Tan Son Nhat is among the top 10 worst airports in the world in 2015.
It took the fourth place in the regional blacklist for Asia, moving in the wrong direction from the eighth position last year.
The website says Tan Son Nhat's status has deteriorated further due to allegations of corruption. Numerous survey respondents reported that customs officers ask for bribes in order to move through the process faster, and those that declined paying quickly faced problems with their paperwork.
Other negative reviews mentioned poor Wi-Fi signals, dirty toilets and a limited selection of restaurants.
In the Tuesday meeting, Tu said it has changed the Wi-Fi contractor and promised that Wi-Fi services will improve soon. 
He also pledged to improve hygiene and make some reforms to simplify procedures before boarding a plane.
The airport also plans to upgrade its parking lot for the domestic terminal.
He said the airport had asked some restaurants on the third floor to put up signs so that passengers can see them.

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