Domestic flight passengers advised of silent treatment at O R Tambo

IN an effort to improve airport ambience, and in response to customer complaints about noise levels, O.R. Tambo International Airport will be giving passengers departing on domestic flights from Wednesday, 15 November are in for some silent treatment.

In a media release on Monday, Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs, O.R. Tambo International Airport said the public address microphones at the Domestic Departures Terminal and gates will be switched off.

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“Standard operating procedures for most domestic flights require that passengers start boarding at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. From Wednesday, no passenger boarding calls will be made. Passengers are advised to check their boarding pass and the flight information display boards for boarding times,” she said.

The only instances where centralised terminal announcements will be made will be for irregular operations such as gate changes, flight time changes, security matters, system failures and customer service anomalies such as lost minors.

“We have noted that a consistent issue for passengers in independent customer surveys is noise levels in airports. A particular concern for customers is the number and frequency of calls to board and calls for individual passengers who have checked in and then apparently gone missing.”

She says that many international airports have adopted a “silent airport” policy in an effort to improve airport ambience.

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“We remain focused on providing the best passenger experience and this move is part of trying to meet customer expectations,” she says.

“We trust that passengers will exercise vigilance and appreciate their individual responsibilities in going to the boarding gate and boarding the aircraft in good time,” she said.

Airports Company South Africa spokesman for King Shaka International Airport, Colin Naidoo said the policy would not be implemented at the Durban airport.

“The silent airport is a concept that we will evaluate and look at a trial bases. We will monitor the outcome at O.R. Tambo and take it from there,” he said.



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