Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2013

My experience at the Curacao airport

Curacao AirportI was born and raised in Curacao but have been in NY for the majority of the last 12 years.

I recently went to Curacao for 3 weeks. On the day I arrived I went to use the airport bathroom because I was sneezing a bit, and could not find soap in any of the bathrooms. When I say "any", I mean I walked around the entire airport including female bathrooms to find soap. I finally found soap in the last bathroom I was going to check, located in the old building and section that rarely has traffic. I figured this soap issue was a one time thing. On the day I was leaving Curacao, I used the restroom again and learned that all bathrooms again in departures sections inside and outside had NO soap. This inexplicable repeated occurrence has left a very bad impression on me. Now, we are trying to get tourists to visit Curacao, and this is how we treat them? In an environment that is most susceptible to bacteria and viruses as people are traveling to and from all around the world. If you have to do a number 2, you cannot clean your hands! This is CRAZY! To save a few $'s for this!!!??

What’s even worse is that based on a simple understanding of psychology one's first and last impressions are some of the most memorable ones. Even for me as a Yu di Korsou, I left disappointed.  I have a restaurant/ bar business in New York. If the health inspection walks in and saw that we don’t have any soap, it would be such a big violation that they could potentially shut my business down on the spot.

This was all CAP....now sadly my experience got worse...

I was taking DAE to Aruba. As always, Curacao is hot.... now our flight sends us in the plane, after already making us wait in different places. The plane had NO AC, as there's only one to go around to all DAE flights to cool the planes while they get gassed up. Why make us wait in a STEAMING HOT plane with ZERO CIRCULATION? Simply tell us we're delayed, and let us wait in the boarding area inside the airport. As this was obviously the case, and make us wait in a cool area. But instead they make everyone wait in a full flight for 20-30min. It is sad to see older people be forced into such a bad situation. This takes simple organizational skills to manage these problems; most importantly, the most basic understanding of human needs and the hospitality/ service industry.

Ironically I saw the head of DAE talking on TV a couple days before and saying how they are trying to get more flights to go back/ forth with more countries and this of course will help tourism. This sounded great to me, but what is the point if you cannot provide proper service for people and make them happy so they fly with you again? Same goes with the airport, if a business wants to grow, it must invest  in proper management of services and hospitality. If they want more $'s, especially long term, all they gotta do is make people feel good and happy. To finalize, everyone is always talking about how to improve the island and bring more tourist, and the department of tourism is doing all of these great efforts. But what's the point if we're not going to treat them properly....all of these efforts become a waste of time and money. So lets stop being cheap in the areas that matter most and invest wisely! It will be a greater outcome for the customer as well as the business owners itself. The goal is to have long term success, sustainable- then proper $'s will always keep floating!

By: Jify Shah

 

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