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LIAT’s delays and treatment to passengers are unacceptable and sometimes lack professionalism

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Tue Aug 6, 2013

EDITOR: LIAT is many times referred to as “Leave Island Any Time.” This is indeed a true name. The media release by LIAT concerning their delays is indeed interesting, to say the least. I just wonder if they don’t have any concern or care for anyone.{{more}}

Indeed, the delays that passengers have been experiencing over the past month and the treatment meted out to passengers are indeed unacceptable and sometimes lack professionalism.

There are cases where passengers check in quite early here at E.T. Joshua to connect to an international flight. The flight leaves E.T. Joshua far too late and when the plane arrives in Trinidad, the connecting flight has already gone. The drama of it is that some of the luggage is left here in SVG and upon arrival at Trinidad there is no LIAT representative. Therefore, those passengers have to make the airport bench their bed until almost 5 a.m. when the LIAT representative arrives.

The representative claims that there is nothing she can do and that LIAT is not responsible for them, since the connecting ticket is for a different airline. They were told that in order to change the ticket on the other airline they have to pay the change cost, which is US$230 and then email LIAT for a refund.

However, after discussions, the LIAT representative decided to absorb the cost to change the date on the other airline.

The passengers were placed on standby for an earlier flight which they never got on. Would you believe it, they were told that they are responsible for themselves for the whole day. No meal, no accommodation and, in some cases no suitcase to change clothes. They couldn’t even take a shower. So then, they had to spend the entire day at the airport until they got a flight, due to some good favour from the agent of the other airline, who was very friendly, understanding and accommodating.

To make matters worse, they arrived at their international destination without their luggage. It was not until almost a week before their suitcases arrived. This case is not an isolated one, but a frequent occurrence by LIAT in the past month or so. Truly the lack of concern and care for its passengers is indeed unacceptable.

I trust that some form of compensation be given to these many passengers. In many cases, passengers arrived at their destination late and without their luggage for days. We in SVG are at the mercy of LIAT, since we have no choice. So, are we being punished since we don’t have an international airport? By the way, as a Vincy, how can I not support the international airport after all LIAT is doing?

I think it is time something be done to LIAT, and that the management be made to pay for their negligence and lack of concern and care for their passengers.

Kennard King

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