Beginning in October, a public review of the food sold at the airport will be held on a regular basis to encourage caterers at the airport’s two terminals to present more appealing food, Taoyuan Aviation Office Director Wei Sheng-chih (魏勝之) said.
Complaints from passengers using Taiwan’s main gateway are all too common, with the food generally criticized as being of dreadful quality, overpriced and with little variety.
Responding to the criticisms, Wei said the airport has made some improvements, including introducing popular restaurants to cater to passengers.
He said it would also invite passengers, food critics and travel tour organizers to review the food at the airport to encourage caterers to offer more local gourmet foods and make dining at the terminals more attractive.
Wei’s office will also take measures to encourage the businesses there to drop their prices to more reasonable levels and to provide consumers with a wider variety of dining options, he said.
OK. That's nice. It's true that most of the food in the airport is overpriced and atrocious. There's only one place I find acceptable - overpriced but at least the food is edible - and that's the one with the lanterns and the fake hedgerows that has a Western side and an Asian side. The Asian side food is overpriced, but at least it's basically OK. (The Western side provides soggy sandwiches and subpar coffee).
Otherwise there's that painfully horrendous bakery thing where two small danishes that taste like they're made of plaster and kids' glue sticks and charred, bitter coffee could cost you NT $300.
Terminal 2 is slightly better, but astronomically overpriced for what you get - more so than other airports (pretty much every airport has overpriced food, but Taoyuan manages to go beyond).
Here's my idea, guys. Tell me if I'm crazy.
Instead of a food review system to review food we already know is bad, why not encourage more restaurants to open?
I know, it's just nuts to think about, isn't it? /sarcasm
I realize that having sixteen duty free shops that all sell the same stuff somehow brings in more revenue and that most airports have overpriced, unsatisfactory food because the entire point is to keep you shopping, not eating, while you wait for your flight, but you'd get happier customers snapping up manicure kits, stale Godiva and souvenir mugs if they're well fed and haven't spent all their money on baked goods that put the "paste" in "pastry".
It is true, by the way, that there are far more storefronts to shop in than eat in because they bring in more money, though I have to wonder why. I mean, how many bottles of Bulgari Omnia (for the ladies) and Chivas (for the men) can Japanese tourists buy? Do we really need all those shops that sell the same stuff?
And the Hello Kitty waiting area for kids? Really? I don't like Starbucks, but if there were one I'd go because their lattes are vaguely drinkable if you're desperate. So why isn't there a Starbucks? (If there is, I haven't found it, and I fly out of Taoyuan fairly frequently, as many expats do). Why is a Hello Kitty waiting area somehow higher on the Places of Importance scale than a coffee shop?
I don't need a review system to tell me that the coffee at TPE is made of spent jet fuel and costs half my monthly salary.
What we need are more restaurants. So why not spend the time and money you're wasting on the review system and open more restaurants?!
I mean, is this really so inconceivable?