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Do more and better

In response to California-based luggage storage app Bounce rating the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the world business class airport worldwide, the Department of Transportation has taken offense at the “unfavorable rating,” saying that it was “unsubstantiated.”

The NAIA got a woefully disappointing score of 0.88 out of 10 in Bounce’s 2022 report, where its 14 lounges, 101 destinations served, 59.6 percent of on-time flights, and a three-star rating out of five from Skytrax, a United Kingdom-based authority on airline and airport review.

In its methodology for reviewing the best and worst airports, Bounce said it consulted with LoungeBuddy, a website detailing airport lounges worldwide; Wikipedia for the number of destinations the airport serves; the Official Airline Guide (OAG) for the percentage of on-time flights between June 2018 and May 2019; and Skytrax.

The obscenely low rating given NAIA has provoked our DOTr and the Manila International Airport Authority to go on the defensive, saying that Bounce “has no operation whatsoever” in the country. It then falsely claimed that NAIA’s rating as worst business class airport was based on reviews aggregated via the blog businessclass(dot)com.

The DOTr also tried to refute the report on best and worst airports based on the number of destinations, percentage of on-time flights annually, and Skytrax rating. It also cited the report of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines stating that local airlines’ average on-time performance reached 83% in September 2019.

Its impassioned defense of NAIA over the report also mentioned that it was even ranked 10th of 10th in Skytrax’s “World’s Most Improved Airports” in 2018.

“Since then, we have already undertaken more improvements in our facilities all geared to improve the entire passenger experience of a traveler,” it said, adding that “significant improvements” in the country’s main gateway “cannot be denied” under the Duterte administration.

Amidst the many justifications, nitpicking and excuses, the best part of the statement came when the DOTr said “Rest assured that the review shall serve as an inspiration for us to do more and better.”

Filipinos already know that our facilities are nowhere near among the world’s best, but it is also no surprise when government officials take major offense when we are placed among the worst. If the righteous indignation over the unfortunate Bounce review of NAIA becomes a catalyst for positive change and is matched with the determination to make things right, the primary beneficiary will still be the Filipino nation.*

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November 2022
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