Bali Airport Urged To Improve Customer Service Following Very Bad Global Rating

Bali Airport Urged To Improve Customer Service Following Very Bad Global Rating

Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has issued a call to action for airport staff to consistently provide exceptional service to passengers at Bali Airport. This directive follows the listing of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport among the world’s worst by a leading passenger rights organization.

Addressing this issue from Jakarta, Minister Uno stressed the importance of hospitality workers, particularly those at airports and borders, in creating a positive first impression of Indonesia for tourists. He stated, “They get their first impression at the airport, and we must ensure that our airports exemplify typical Indonesian hospitality.”

Reacting to the AirHelp survey, which ranked Bali Airport among the ten worst globally in performance, customer service, and amenities, Minister Uno acknowledged the need for improvement. He referenced similar poor scores for Syamsuddin Noor Airport in Banjarmasin and Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, noting that these findings will serve as a basis for departmental evaluations.

Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport was ranked at a lowly 189th position out of 194 in a recent global airport rating, scoring just 6.55. This ranking places it just above five other airports with poorer ratings: Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport, London Gatwick Airport, Malta International Airport, and Banjarmasin Syamsudin Noor International Airport.

Minister Uno confirmed the Ministry’s ongoing efforts in training airport staff, including immigration and porter services, to enhance the public-facing aspects of airport operations. He emphasized the necessity for airport staff to focus on delivering excellent hospitality to tourists from all regions.

Highlighting the broader implications, Uno mentioned, “It’s crucial so that tourists continue to visit Indonesia, fostering quality and sustainable tourism, leading to business opportunities, economic growth, and job creation.”

He further added, “Tourists value not only natural beauty but also their overall experience in Indonesia. Prioritizing service and hospitality is essential.”

Minister Uno urged airports nationwide to commit to providing excellent service and creating a welcoming environment for tourists consistently. He pinpointed Ngurah Rai Bali, Soekarno Hatta, and the entry points in Batam and the Riau Islands as critical areas for hospitality and service improvement.

While Minister Uno’s remarks reflect a constructive response to the survey feedback, there have been differing opinions among officials. The Vice President of PT Angkasa Pura, the state-owned enterprise managing Bali Airport, expressed skepticism about the survey’s results, citing the lack of detailed survey parameters and the awards Bali Airport received in 2023 for customer service, environmental commitments, and operations.

Looking ahead, Bali Airport is set to introduce an advanced immigration process for tourists. New autogates, to be installed in both arrival and departure terminals, will facilitate tourists using the e-Visa on Arrival process, aiming to expedite airport transit and improve efficiency.

Tourists will be encouraged to apply for the e-Visa on Arrival online, although the visa-on-arrival option will remain available for travelers from 97 countries. Minister Uno also hinted at the possibility of reinstating visa-free travel for Bali’s top tourists, though no official changes have been announced yet.