letter to the editorDear Sir/Madam,

Christian Greetings! I write with great concern about Liat Airlines.

I am a returning Dominican. After the past four years and nine months living in Florida, I decided to visit for the Independence. I left Florida on the 21st of October at 7:00 am and boarded Jet Blue Airlines at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

On arrival in Barbados, I saw my suitcases taken off the plane since it was tagged all the way to Dominica. After spending a few hours in Barbados, it was time to board Liat for Dominica.

I saw my suitcases on the cart and I said, “wi papa bondier, look Liat leaving my suitcase down.”

A gentleman turned and said to me, “no man, you will get your suitcase when you get to Dominica.”

I said, “ok.”

On landing in Dominica, I proceeded to immigration, then went to look for my suitcase, lo and behold, there was nothing for me.

I then proceeded to Liat’s counter to make a report that my suitcase had not arrived. One Liat personnel said that Jet Blue left it at Fort Lauderdale.

I said, “this is untrue. I saw my suitcase in Barbados.”

He then said, “there is a next flight leaving Barbados at 7:30 pm for Dominica, your luggage should come in then.”

I stayed sitting at the airport from 3:15 pm to 8:00 pm, and still no suitcase. I then went back to Liat to make a report. No one came to my aid. Instead, I was ignored. I then left and went home.

The next day, being Saturday, I called the airport. I was told that a flight from Barbados would arrive at 10:00 am, so I would need to check at Canefield Airport. I went to Canefield at 12:00 noon, and my suitcase was not there. I was told to return at 3:00 pm. I went back at 4:30 pm, and at that time I got my luggage.

Liat needs to do better after 60 years of operation. So much money was given to Liat for night landing and upgrading Liat. I see that Liat is still at a Grade K level.

Liat has been treating we the Dominican people very badly and that needs to be changed.

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  1. Malatete
    November 9, 2016

    LIAT has only 9 (propeller) aircraft* with a total seating capacity of 512. Yet they still employ some 690 people (down from approx. 800 in Feb.) this means 1.35 employee for every seat. However their load factor in July 2015 (which they boosted about) was just under 76%, so in reality , based on that PLF (passenger load factor) they employ 1.77 staff per occupied seat. This is tantamount to commercial suicide.

    * 4 ATR 72 (68 seats) & 5 ATR42 (48 seats), which I understand are leased from GECAS.

    • Tjebe fort
      November 9, 2016

      Liat sounds like a pop & mom operation and we giving it so much importance? Tell Gaston Browne to keep his airline and we’ll find another way. Tjupes man.

  2. Caribbean National
    November 9, 2016

    LIAT takes weight and balance very seriously on all it’s flights. Dominica do possess alot of High winds and take off at Barbados has alot of that too. Overloading an Aircraft in various weather conditions would be catastrophic. Look at the Aaliyah accident. I agree with the company that if they have to remove my luggage for my own safety, it’s a good thing. Next time walk with all your sufficient needs in a hand luggage.

    • Me
      November 9, 2016

      Nonsense, they should take less cargo and concentrate on passengers’ luggage as a priority.

  3. Caribbean National
    November 9, 2016

    My Dear, coming from a developed country you should know that all Airlines lose suitcases so don’t single out LIAT Airlines at least they have the best safety record in the region. You got your luggage the other day. Thank GOD for that.

  4. Roger Burnett
    November 8, 2016

    Years ago in the BVI there was a tee-shirt that sold well. It’s message was: The reason why I’m wearing this lousy tee-shirt is because LIAT lost my baggage.

  5. nonamegal
    November 8, 2016

    I myself have too many scary LIAT stories to mention. Just had a recent issue with them. When will LIAT get it right? And they boasting on their magazine – 60 years. Gosh man! I will keep trying my best to avoid them. But sometimes no other choice.

  6. November 8, 2016

    You realise that longtime LIAT travellers will marvel that you actually got your luggage the very next day.

  7. Concerned
    November 8, 2016

    My concern is more with the staff of LIAT that give information without verifying facts. How did the staff put the blame on Jetblue when you saw your luggage in Barbados? When I got to Dominica I was told my luggage is an Antigua and will come in on the next flight after a day of waiting I called Antigua myself who tracked down my luggage to St. Martin. When I was leaving Dominica the flight was a few hours late and the employee said that it just left Trinidad and will be in Dominica in an hour. I went up to him and asked him if he realizes what he just said and his response was when we have connecting flights we should leave 4 hours gap. I reminded him that I had a 6 hour gap and further asked him if his time frame is from when LIAT leaves Dominica or when it was scheduled to leave Dominica?

    Get it together….Take time to gather information before informing customers.

  8. November 8, 2016

    Something is very wrong with this story. Luggage was seen been taken off jet blue, then seen on cart at airport, why do u belive that liat was going to leave down your luggage? Did u get a receipt from jet blue for your luggage.

    • Student
      November 8, 2016

      I saw LIAT personnel remove my luggage from the hold once while I was sitting in the plane. Took me days to get it back.

    • me
      November 8, 2016

      Nothing is wrong with the story. I too once experienced that situation i had a bright pink suitcase, i saw it in the cart at Barbados airport before i board the plane. i personally went to the cart driver and told him that this pink suitcase needs to be on that plane he said he will see what can be done. When i look at the cart going back lo and behold my suitcase was not on it. I did get it though.

    • Me
      November 9, 2016

      Stop making excuses for Liat. That does not wash any more.

  9. Negre Bod LaMer
    November 8, 2016

    Returning D/can, consider your experience pretty routine stuff for LIAT.
    I can tell you some of my LIAT experience that would make your Nenen bawl!
    Our tourist industry will continue will stagnate until something is done about LIAT!!

  10. zandoli
    November 8, 2016

    The communication an be a lot better, but to get your luggage the next day, seem reasonable to me.
    They should have been able to tell you your luggage would be delivered to Canefield by 4 the following day. Other than that, I really don’t see the reason for your angst.

    The aircraft has a weight limit and passengers get priority over luggage. Surely you would not want them to put your safety in jeopardy to get an extra piece of luggage to you on the same flight.

    LIAT has their fault, that one is a minor inconvenience.

    • common sense
      November 8, 2016

      What do you mean an extra piece of luggage? From what I read the person said he/she did not get ANY luggage. When you buy an airline ticket which you pay so much money for, that includes your luggage to go with you, and if it was an extra piece of luggage he/she would have had to pay a pretty price for that too. That is NOT a minor inconvenience, that is LIAT continuing to accept money from passengers and not providing proper service, and not addressing situations in a reasonable and customer friendly manner. Some of us like to accept what is dished out to us and find all kinds of ways to rationalize the reasoning behind a situation. Well LIAT been doing that for too long, so it is NOT a safety issue.

    • Kathy
      November 8, 2016

      It is not reasonable to have to go to the airport so many times to get the luggage that should have been on the same flight as you. Liat should have delivered the luggage when it came in. The customer should not have been inconvenienced.

    • True Dominican
      November 9, 2016

      My friend your name really dipicts who you are. We know that there is a weight limit but L-eaving I-sland A-ny Time has been MESSING up for way to long and something needs to be done. Their customer service is so poor it’s not funny. When you travel your luggage needs to travel with you. Stop making excuses for LIAT.

    • block 44
      November 9, 2016

      its not a weight issue, liat creates the problem on there self because the flight that the passengers paid for is filled with luggage from other flights two and three days prior.they create the back log

  11. Common sense
    November 8, 2016

    Returning Dominican, I am sorry you went through what the greater part of the traveling population to Dominica has been going through for years. Leave Island Any Time(LIAT), has no consideration for its passengers. Don’t get me wrong, things can happen as you travel, but the problem is how LIAT handles its, and the customer NO service that’s extended to its passengers.

    You have options, fly Win Air, better and more on time service. I stop flying LIAT years ago, could not take it no more. I have flown on Win Air the last couple years and the service is great. I have even flown on Hummingbird Air and the service was great too. Look at your options Dominicans, stop supporting LIAT, who has made NO effort to improving service to us, the paying passengers.

  12. block 44
    November 8, 2016

    i know and feel what you are talking about ,because am a victim of the same.there was a full plane load of returning dominicans from st.croix and none of us received a peace of luggage.it took 3days before we got our luggage.on my way back when got to antigua on friday.we meet people that had been put in hotels by liat from monday try to get to st. croix,i think it time for an layer to call in a group of us travelers so we could sue liat.

  13. Visceraangel
    November 8, 2016

    We, the people, need to put them out of business by NOT flying with them.

  14. Titiwi
    November 8, 2016

    Dear Sir/Madam, I do feel for you but please, do not get your hope up too high. Your experience is no more than routine for Liat and as long as they are pampered and mollycoddled by their respective government shareholders, nothing will change. Nex time fly to St. Maarten and take Winair direct to Canefield. I’m not promising anything but at least you will not have to deal with Liat.

  15. November 8, 2016

    While I Agee with you are still a LIAT customer? Business such as LIAT will understand when you, me, etc stop flying with. I stopped a Lon time ago.

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