Restrooms leave the first and last impression on any foreigner who visits us. Often times, after a long flight, restrooms happen to be the first spot one would visit prior to immigration and parenthetically the last stop prior to boarding a flight to leave the country. I was flabbergasted to see the recent state of restrooms in the Chennai International Airport.
Here are some pictures taken @ Anna International Airport, Chennai
Here are some pictures taken @ London Heathrow
Clearly, you see the difference. The passenger pick up and drop off expansions @ the Chennai airport is great. However, the restrooms need immediate attention. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Outsource the restroom cleaning and make the team accountable (This may already be the case)/ however make the team working on it accountable and raise the bar. We are tired of ordinary / below par work and need to raise to international standards. There are a lot of companies hungry for work. Hire them and make the process transparent. (The restrooms at Escape, Sathyam Cinemas in Express Avenue are well maintained)
2. Wiring in the restrooms (FIX THEM): A CEO of a foreign company is visiting us and potentially evaluating an investment opportunity in Chennai. What would he think about wires being transparent on an urinal? What does it talk about our quality? (look at the pictures), This could be a trivial thing. However it matters. Please FIX THEM.
3. Naming Conventions: We have EWC, WC, IC written on the restroom doors. I am not sure what this means and have not seen such naming conventions in other airports. A couple of these look the same. This makes it confusing for the passengers. Either way, you open any of these the quality is substandard.
4. Non Wet Restrooms -Napkins/Toilet Rolls: It is best if the restrooms are not wet / at-least we have a set of rest-rooms that are not wet. Folks abroad are not used to restrooms being wet and it makes it very inconvenient for them to use them. Make sure there are enough usable toilet rolls and napkins in these restrooms.
5. Execution: I am confident that the intent of our authorities is very good and each one of us aspire to make a difference. However, let us focus on execution. This is what matters.