Departure lounge loo not a good look for tourists

Friday June 30, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

Smoke signaller who was in the departure lounge at Rarotonga International Airport recently says the lounge facilities need to be much more closely monitored.

“Clearly no-one bothers to check or maintain the toilets properly. In the men’s loo, the hand dryer wasn’t working and there was no soap in the dispenser. What sort of message does this send tourists? To me it says we don’t care about hygiene or providing clean and tidy facilities for them. I reckon it’s shameful, not to mention hazardous to peoples’ health.”


As he was leaving, same traveller found chaos on the tarmac. His flight arrived at the same time another was about to depart. A long line of passengers streaming off one plane blocked off an equally long line of people trying to board the Air New Zealand flight to Auckland. “One security guard vainly tried to hold back the Air NZ passengers until the others had got out of the way, but no-one took any notice of them.”


Our hapless traveller ran into airport problems of a different kind after disembarking from the Jetstar flight in the early hours of Tuesday morning. “I was dog-tired and was happy that I had any easy and pleasant passage through Immigration and Customs. Then I got to the luggage carousel and waited…and waited…and waited for my one suitcase. The same eight or so suitcases kept going round and round and a large number of very tired passengers were left waiting for their luggage. If they can get the luggage off multiple aircraft very rapidly at other airports, how come we can’t get one unloaded quickly here? Once again, it’s not a great welcome for visitors to the Cook Islands.”


And an observation about duty free prices at Auckland airport – our traveller says it’s cheaper to buy electronic items at one of the New Zealand chain stores such as Noel Leeming or JB Hi Fi. “I checked out a newly-released Apple computer and it was cheaper at a retail store. Other goods are a little bit cheaper, but not by much.”


Last month CI News had a story saying Pacific Schooners Ltd, owner of the “ship” Tiare Taporo had arranged to pay off all their debts and would resume service in June. Well, June has just a couple of days to run, and what is happening with the Tiare Taporo? A big, fat nothing, that’s what. The vessel is still idly rusting away at the wharf, with PSL not having to pay wharf fees on the basis that it provides a service to the Pa Enua. That’s a laugh, because it hasn’t sailed anywhere for almost a year. Is this a case of one of the directors having connections in high places?


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