Beautiful Bermuda deserves to make a better first impression
Recently my daughter and I visited your beautiful island for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed using the bus/ferry pass and taxis to visit many areas of the island. We learnt so much about history from the forts and museums, enjoyed the skirling ceremony at Fort Hamilton, the Gombey Dancers and historic re-enactment in St David's, as well as attending an assembly session and partaking of the beautiful scenery.
I do have a few observations about the airport, though: despite the excitement of seeing the island and reefs as we approached by air, I was dismayed by my first view upon landing; that of some kind of dump adjacent to the runway — perhaps some kind of land reclamation? Where were the beautiful pastel houses I was expecting? Next was the shock of finding that we had to deplane by means of a stairway. Very difficult for one with mobility issues. The wind was bad enough, but what must it be like in the rain? I suggest airport officials check out the system used by American Airlines at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC for Gate 35X.
Instead of stairs, they use a moveable zigzag ramp, covered with a canvas canopy, which provides much better shelter from the elements and is much easier for the mobility-challenged to negotiate. Finally, I found that restrooms are not available inside the terminal after passing through customs, except across the parking lot.
All this disappointment faded as we began to enjoy your beautiful island and the hospitality of your people for the next eight days. However, upon returning to the airport for our flight home, I was struck by the lack of signage in the terminal and the shabbiness and lack of food selections, not to mention the overflowing trash bins in the US departure area café. We did learn of the plans for and the challenges surrounding the redevelopment of the airport, and since returning have read that the plan has passed in the House of Assembly. I do hope the new airport will eventually be built — and in a way that will benefit all Bermudians. Such a beautiful island deserves to make a better first, and last, impression.