Stink of washroom feedback

Dum Dum: Here's feedback Calcutta airport can't flush down the toilet: 16 per cent of passengers who use a washroom in the integrated terminal end up "very unhappy".

This indictment of wet and sometimes dirty washrooms in the integrated terminal, especially the much busier domestic wing, has come through an automated feedback machine with four options ranging from "very happy" to "very unhappy". Passengers need to press the button of their choice for the rating to be recorded in the system.

Data for August and September showed that 45 to 46 per cent of the respondents were "very happy" using the washroom near the entrance to gate 3C of the departure level. Between 27 to 28 per cent were "happy". The percentage of "unhappy" and "very unhappy" remained constant at 11 and 16 respectively over two months.

At the privatised Mumbai airport, less than 1 per cent of passengers who give feedback complain about the state of washrooms. Delhi airport too receives negative feedback below 1 per cent, sources said.

In Calcutta, this is the first time that the airport authorities have tried to find out what passengers think of their washroom management.

"It is a pilot project that we started about four months ago. We are planning to install feedback machines in all the washrooms of the airport's passenger area. We will also develop an app so that feedback can be monitored in real time," airport director Atul Dixit said on Friday.

Metro has highlighted on several occasions the quality compromises in terms of maintaining washrooms. One contractor had exited saying that the manpower and machinery permitted by the budget were not enough to maintain the washrooms properly.

In a recent interview, Sanjiv Kapoor, chief strategist and commercial officer at Vistara, had identified maintenance of washrooms as one of the areas where an otherwise "great new facility" needed to improve.

Several frequent fliers said they were glad that the airport had started seeking feedback that can be collated and used to chart a correction course. Feedback mechanisms exist in the immigration and security-check counters of the international wing and the food court in the security hold of the domestic section.


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