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June 20, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Suggestion box at San Jose Airport

SuggestionboxsjGene Manuel submits a picture taken in San Jose, CA:

I spotted this suggestion box sign next to gate A2 at Norman Y. Mineta/San Jose International Airport while waiting for a flight.

A suggestion box is a great idea for soliciting advice on the retail and food services but the problem was that the actual suggestion box itself was missing. 

Maybe the people in charge of the suggestion box were reviewing the submissions, but from the look of the two holes in the drywall someone seemed like they were in a hurry.  The other problem was that it wasn’t near the food courts or shops, with the exception of the burrito place that the sign was posted across from.


So this was located in a lobby/waiting area for flights? I'd imagine a suggestion box would be something a customer could do to pass the time while he/she is waiting for a flight... It seems similar to that huge "impulse purchase" section seen at supermarkets just before the checkout stands (the area with the packs of gum, candy, batteries, razor blades, dental floss, soda, band-aids...that sort of thing).

I agree with the suggestion box being a good idea for feedback on customer satisfaction. I think they may need to take their time removing the box from the wall though...

Oh and the lobby/waiting area isn't really a bad area to place a suggestion box. Considering if someone is waiting for a flight (and is waiting a while), they might decide to get a bite to eat, peruse the gift shops, walk the airport, or use the restroom until their flight arrives. However, once they are finally ready to sit down and wait for their flight, it's usually in the lobby/waiting area. So they sit there looking around, and notice the suggestion box on the wall. They may want to share their experiences or make suggestions to airport management about their visit. So a suggestion box in the lobby/waiting area (IMHO) would be a rather logical area to place one (not saying it's the only place...but just that it happens to be a major congregation area for travelers, visitors, tourists, and customers galore).

Posted by: ashleyriot_vs at June 20, 2007 02:13 AM

The other broken thing here is superfluous capitalization - there is no reason to capitalize "Retail and Food & Beverage Services", "Contact Information" or "Monthly Prize Drawing".

Posted by: mcdan333 at June 20, 2007 02:18 AM

wow, this site was cool at first but reading these two comments made me sign up.

first of all, what are you talking about superfluous capitalization? it is a sign, its not an essay; they can capitalize adjectives and nouns. as long as no prepositions are capitalized, it is fine. the only thing superfluous here is your ignorance.

look at the picture...see the two drill holes? thats probably where the suggestion box was or is supposed to go. next time, take your time and look at your picture before posting on this site.

Posted by: membersarebroken at June 20, 2007 03:48 AM

"but from the look of the two holes in the drywall someone seemed like they were in a hurry."

Please read the description before posting a comment. They weren't saying it was never there, they were saying it was removed in such a hurry that it actually ripped out the holes a bit (which could explain why it is no longer there - it won't fit in the holes and nobody's thought to move it down/up a bit).

Posted by: The Trekkie at June 20, 2007 04:44 AM

Suggestion: remove suggestion box.

Posted by: mmcwatters at June 20, 2007 06:47 AM

I don’t think that the suggestion box was removed to be emptied. If it was, the box is of extremely bad design. A suggestion box should be emptied without having to be unscrewed from the wall. Either there should be a keyed trapdoor at the bottom, or there should be a way to remove the box without removing the screws or attachment bracket.

There is a good reason why the suggestion box isn’t there. It probably projected from the wall in a high-traffic area, causing people to hit it and get injured. If it projected more than 4 inches from the wall, it was also a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural guidelines. That rule is in effect to avoid having vision impaired patrons hit stuff.

In any case, it is bad design and bad implementation of design. A suggestion box should not be a hazard, and it should be easy to use. It should be easy to put a suggestion in the box, and it should be easy to remove the suggestions from the box without ripping it from the wall. And removing the box without removing the sign is also a bad idea.

Posted by: hkemp at June 20, 2007 10:02 AM

"the only thing superfluous here is your ignorance."

Geez, membersarebroken, what's with the personal attacks? Anyway, I think your post demonstrates who understands the concept of capitalization and who doesn't.

Posted by: mcdan333 at June 20, 2007 10:09 AM

Maybe the box wasn't removed by an authorized person....

Posted by: inspired at June 20, 2007 10:47 AM

It might have been removed because it was either:

-Being used as a trash can by mistake.

-Had NO actual suggestions.

On the other hand:

-Forgetting something? (the sign)

-There isn't really a place to get pen or paper from.

-Those holes won't fix or cover themselves!


Posted by: Maxaxle at June 20, 2007 07:31 PM

I'll bet that the box was permanently removed because someone figured it might be a place to hide a bomb (I'm serious, unfortunately).

Either that, or the airport ran out of money or staff to keep the box stocked with blank forms and pencils.

As to why the sign remained after the box disappeared, it could be due to 'not my job' syndrome, a common cause of many instances of broken-ness.

Posted by: Sashazur at June 22, 2007 02:30 PM

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