Super Saturday with a Price Tag

Reina Beatrix International Airport experienced a Super Saturday last weekend with a record number of 13,000 passengers passing through, 5,200 arriving and 7,800 departing.

According to a press release published by the MinTour all Saturdays in January are forecast for 65 arrivals, and 65 departures, of which 53% of all aircraft hail from North America.

And just when we were basking in the glory of the colossal moment, and mutually admiring the performance of all AAA stakeholders, a Trip Advisor report published in the USA told the flip side story, of long lines, congestion, four hours processing time and twelve passengers left behind on a midday flight, because they couldn’t make it to the gate on time. Whoever wrote that Trip Advisor report was mad, really mad.

I asked AAA management for its response, and I believed it when I heard that the report was greatly exaggerated and that indeed it was congested, but “management was monitoring all of the processes and the longest time appeared to be around 2 hours, and substantially less for most passengers.”

According to the airport, that eloquent writer of the negative Trip Advisor report probably arrived at the airport two hours ahead of time, which was not enough on Super Saturday.

The week started with a false bomb alert and ended with a bottle neck, it must have been stressful, and we can’t wait for the airport expansion to conclude. Gateway 2030 is supposed to solve all that, but meanwhile Reina Beatrix International Airport seems to have arrived at its handling peak, reaching and exceeding its own carrying capacity.

BEST PRACTICE: Tell you friends, family members and clients to do themselves a favor and show up at the airport 3 hours ahead of flight time, check in, clear that, clear the other, and get to the gate on time, this way their fantastic vacay experience remains intact!

The MinTour also published another press release crediting his expert office management to the fact that Aruba’s hotels made up for the loss of the tourist Venezuelan market, and practically replaced it with North American travel. Indeed, an incredible accomplishment, but it is largely due to the catastrophic hurricane season of 2016, that hit the northern Caribbean so hard. And the fact that Aruba is one lucky destination with some Je ne sais quoi factor that can not be explained or described, but is attractive and appealing to many. We’re blessed.

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January 08, 2019
Rona Coster