Pearson Airport improvements? I don't think so ... Bad hotel room tippers
The folks at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority made a great show of things earlier this month, establishing a new logo and promising everything from new shops to posted wait times for security and baggage.
Those may come some day, but what people really want is improved service. And, so far, I don't see any signs of it.
I flew into Pearson Sunday night and the lineup at customs was terrible; snaking around and around. It took folks about 20 minutes to get down to the baggage carousel. That's far too long to make people stand around waiting to declare they brought back three bottles of wine from the Napa Valley instead of the set limit of two.
Mind you, there's little point in getting through customs quickly when it simply means you'll waste time standing around waiting for your luggage. I've flown many places in the world and there's no single airport I know of that has worse baggage service than Toronto Pearson. They might exist, but I haven't seen them. On Sunday, it took 39 minutes from the time my Air Canada flight from San Francisco reached the gate funtil the first piece of baggage from my flight to arrive, and that was for folks lucky enough to get the "priority" stickers owing to their frequent travels.
Undoubtedly, some folks had to wait closer to an hour for the final suitcases to tumble down a conveyor belt that repeatedly stopped moving on Sunday night. That's simply not acceptable, but it's standard at pearson. Occasionally bags arrive in a reasonable amount of time, but most of the time I end up waiting a good half-hour. Most other airports I visit, the wait is usually only 10 or 20 minutes.
So instead of worrying about posting the wait times for luggage, folks, how about skipping the fancy signs and getting the bags to people faster in the first place? And how about designing a new exit from the baggage terminal so you don't have to wait in line to hand in your customs form after you finally get your bag? Last night, there were some 200 people in line at various stages, all of them being funneled past two - TWO - customs officials. What a joke.
The GTAA says it wants to start referring to airport users as "guests." I say it's time they start treating their guests with a little - no, make that a lot - more respect.
BOY WE'RE CHEAP
Spotted an item on cnn.com today that said, get this, 30 per cent of Americans tip the maids or cleaners at their hotel room.
THIRTY PER CENT? I'm no math whiz, but I'm pretty sure that means 70 per cent of Americans DON'T GIVE OUT TIPS AT ALL. And that's absolutely appalling.
My goodness, if you're going to spend $100 or even $40 (not in Canada, of course) on a hotel room, surely you can manage a toonie or two for those poor people who come in and have to clean up your mess. There's a reason we like arriving in a hotel room; the beds are made and the carpets are vacuumed and the bathroom fixtures are (usually) sanitized. Who on earth do you think does that work, people? And how much do you think they get paid?
Geez. I used to tip a couple dollars per night but have since upped that to $4 or $5 a night. It's not much to me, but it surely helps people earning minimum wage.
I'd be curious to see if a Canadian survey found similar results. I certainly would hope not.