Officials have shrugged off survey results that showed Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport on a list of the worst airports. The 2015 Airport Survey was carried out by The Guide to Sleeping in Airports website.
Passengers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Already previously listed as the eighth worst airport in the region, the airport’s status has deteriorated a further four places due to allegations of corruption involving customs officers asking for bribes in order process immigration faster, and claims those that had refused to pay bribes had been made to wait longer for their paperwork.
Other complaints include poor wi-fi signals, dirty bathrooms and a limited selection of restaurants.
In a press conference held yesterday, director of the airport, Dang Tuan Tu, admitted that their wifi connection was unstable due to overcrowding in some areas with thousands of people connecting at the same time.
“We’re working with a new provider and this will hopefully improve this service soon,” he said.
However, the director refuted the survey’s findings about limited restaurant choice, saying the claims weren’t objective.
“Restaurants account for as much as 45 per cent of the airport’s total area,” Tu confirmed. Most of the restaurants are on the third floor so maybe it’s a bit difficult for some customers to find. We’ll put up more direction sign boards in the coming time,” he added, but didn’t address the issue that the restaurants serve largely the same menu.
Regarding complaints about unclean restrooms, Tu said that it was not a regular situation.
“Our restrooms are normally kept clean but they can get worse during crowded times when our staff aren’t able to complete their work,” Tu said.
Talking about comments in the survey about bribery at the visa service and reception sections, Tu said no such issues had arisen.
In an interview with the Vietnamnet on October 20, head of Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, Lai Xuan Thanh, said that they were asking Tan Son Nhat Airport to quickly investigate and resolve their problems following the publishing of the survey by The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.
“We’ve given the airport only two days beginning today to solve the wifi and toilet problems,” Thanh said. “We’ve also asked them to investigate and report the bribery accusations.”
Last year, Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi were both listed among the worst airports and Vietnamese airport authorities at the time dismissed the findings as failing to reflect accurately and objectively the services at both airports.
Noi Bai has surprisingly by contrast been listed along with Da Nang International Airport among the 30 best airports in Asia.