[Trinidad] Chaos as ferry passengers stranded at Piarco

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[Trinidad] Chaos as ferry passengers stranded at Piarco

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Mar 15, 2018

https://guardian.co.tt/news/2018-03-14/ ... co-airport

[Trinidad] Chaos as ferry passengers stranded at Piarco airport
Rhondor Dowlat
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tempers flared at the Piarco Airport on Tuesday night as two domestic flights to transport ferry passengers who had been waiting for hours to get home were cancelled.

The passengers were offered a meal of fried chicken and chips as consolation.

Among the passengers affected were businessman James Lowry.

“Imagine after all them hours I waiting on standby and thinking I finally get through with a flight to Tobago I was told twice the flight delay. Then in two blinks, I find myself sleeping at the airport. Real pressure these people have to go through. It sad,” Lowry recounted yesterday.

“It had quite a few ferry passengers who were now forced to overnight like me. It must be frustrating,” he said.

At 5 am yesterday the passengers were given their boarding passes for the first flight out BW1500 which was expected to depart at 5.45 am, however, another incident onboard the aircraft led to further delay.

An overhead locker broke, the passengers were told.

“When we ready to roll and the airhostess was closing the overhead lockers one broke causing the overhead lockers to break down so we were told that we had to disembark for the maintenance crew to fix it. I must say they did well and we were back on the plane at 7.30am. We landed in Tobago minutes to 8am,” Lowry said.

“This is the frustration we can’t take...what is Rowley doing for we? It is Trinidad and Tobago...what going on in this place?”

Those were some of the remarks made by angry, frustrated and exhausted passengers who were in the Domestic Departure Lounge at the Piarco International Airport waiting to board a flight to Tobago on Tuesday night. Cell phone video footage of the incident was shared on social media.

Passengers were told that their 7.45 pm flight BW 1540 was delayed to 9.15 pm but they found it strange when they saw Caribbean Airlines’ (CAL) crew members walk through the door and headed out the terminal.

At about 10 pm, according to Lowry, a CAL counter attendant told the awaiting passengers there would be no more flights to Tobago for the rest of the night.

Already irate ferry passengers whose names were listed on the standby list since 3 pm responded in anger.

The stranded passengers were then instructed to go to the airport’s KFC outlet for a $40 complimentary meal.

Yesterday, through the collaborative efforts of the Port Authority and CAL the operation seemingly went smoother than Tuesday. Shuttled ferry passengers were brought to the airport and placed on standby, however, they were quickly accommodated on the domestic flights.

A Port customer service desk was also fixed opposite to the Domestic Ticketing Counter 2 where a Port representative was stationed to assist ferry passengers. This system is expected to continue until March 22 when the T&T Spirit will resume the sea run after its maintenance works would have been completed.

On Monday, the lone passenger ferry, the T&T Express, was pulled off the route because of maintenance issues. Since then, CAL has been called in to transport ferry passengers at no additional cost. Ferry passengers pay $50 for a one way trip, one-third the cost of a one-way airline ticket.

CAL’S RESPONSE

CAL’s Corporate Communications Head Dionne Ligoure said that there was a problem outside of the control of CAL on Tuesday night and added that there were no ferry passengers on that flight. She said the last of ferry passengers were moved before 6 pm on Tuesday.

She said yesterday morning’s flight was delayed because “of an issue that had to be rectified.” However, she said it departed at 7.13 am.

In a subsequent statement, the airline said its domestic operations have been enhanced to support the number of passengers affected by the disruption of the ferry service and to reinforce its regular schedule on the air bridge.

On Tuesday, CAL said it operated 38 flights on the domestic route which accommodated 2,756 passengers—1,148 on stand-by flights.

It said all passengers with confirmed ferry tickets were able to board flights. A total of 40 flights were expected yesterday.

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bimjim
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Re: [Trinidad] Chaos as ferry passengers stranded at Piarco

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Mar 15, 2018

So Caribbean Airlines has finally become Chaos Airlines?

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