I know there are some people who don’t fly LIAT. I don’t blame them. However many of us who live in the Eastern Caribbean don’t have much of a choice caught as we are between the devil and the deep blue sea, a rock and a hard place, Scylla and Charybdis, Wesley Hall and Charlie Griffith – in other words between LIAT and CAL (aka BWIA).
Earlier this week I got a copy of a letter sent to LIAT by a passenger that I immediately emailed to my friends and acquaintances because it captures the essence of LIAT and distills it in pure irony.
The letter was highlighted on ABC Television’s “Good Morning America” show earlier this week with the comment, “Most airline complaint letters are so filled with rage and tales of woe, it’s hard to see any humor in the situation. But that’s not the case with a letter written to LIAT, a small airline serving 21 destinations in the Caribbean.
The complaint waged in a letter to the airline is so funny that it prompted another airline’s CEO to tweet it to his more than 3 million followers.” The CEO was Sir Richard Branson and he tweeted, “”How to write a complaint letter — read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger.” Branson even blogged about it.
The letter, written by Arthur Hicks, was first published in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) where Hicks, a Londoner, resides. It says:
May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean.
Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!
I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if I’ve been hugged by most of the Caribbean already.
I also found it unique that this was all done on “island time,” because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges. As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night — and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.
So thank you, LIAT. I now truly understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”
P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.
The Huffington Post says (in the understatement of the century)” that LIAT’s letter from Hicks is hardly the first the airline has received.” It quotes comments left on the BVI Beacon by angry passengers who “humorously interpret the company’s name to stand alternately for ‘Luggage In A Nother Terminal’, ‘Leaving Island Any Time’,” and ‘Lousy In All Things’.” The last one is new to me and joins with my ‘Lord I Am Tired’ as accurate and appropriate simultaneously.
When Sir Richard Branson received what was, until Mr. Hicks wrote to LIAT, the best complaint letter about an airline, one dealing with the food on Virgin, he telephoned the author of the letter and had thanked him for his “constructive if tongue-in-cheek” email. There is no record of any response from either Jean Holder, LIAT’s Chairman or Captain Ian Brunton, LIAT’s CEO.
After similar unfortunate experiences with LIAT I have tried to contact them and have left messages asking them to call me back. Even though Brunton and I are both based in Antigua, he has never responded. I compare LIAT’s behavior with American Airlines (AA) which, even though it is in Chapter 11 (US bankruptcy), still responds to complaints.
Recently, after I wrote about a problem I encountered in Miami, AA apologized and gave me some air miles to compensate. LIAT does not give air miles voluntarily- as the letter says you get them when you least need them in terms of extra destinations added to your ticket. Last weekend the shameless trio of LIAT, CAL and CARICOM met to discuss air travel in the region. I expect that when the newspaper reports of the meeting are written they will say, “Heated discussions took place about the CAL fuel subsidy today but the possibility of a solution remains up in the air.”
*Tony Deyal was last seen asking what is the difference between Ian Brunton and a jet engine? A jet engine stops whining soon after it lands.
Jun 21, 2021Kaieteur News – By Franklin Wilson Team Evolution’s Christopher ‘Chicken Legs’ Griffith crossed the line in One Hour 41 Minutes 36.22 Seconds to win the Banks DIH sponsored Malta...
Jun 21, 2021
Jun 21, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Kaieteur News – I am quoting the words of Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine in an interview of September, 2017, that he gave Dr.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]