LIAT industrial action: One woman’s plight

The dream of one Dominican to be home with her child has turned into a nightmare as industrial action by LIAT left her stranded in two different airports since Tuesday.

Jeniffer (not her real name) left the British Virgin Island on Tuesday bound for Dominica. But the trip was to take an unexpected turn as industrial action by pilots left LIAT airplane grounded across the Caribbean. The strike left her stranded at the airport in BVI on Tuesday and Wednesday with no accommodation or meals from the airline.

She finally made it to Antigua on Thursday and although LIAT provided accommodation, she is now stranded there also.

“I have a child home waiting and expecting me since Tuesday and all I do is call her and give her stories why I can’t make it home because she cannot understand me saying that the plane is not flying today over and over again,” she told Dominica News Online from the airport in Antigua. “I have always tried not to disappoint my child but thanks to LIAT I am now the mom whose words cannot be trusted.”

In a press release this morning LIAT said that all flights would be operating as normal today but this has brought no comfort for Jeniffer since she said was supposed to be on the 7 am flight but was knocked off. “For whatever reason, I have no idea but I hold a boarding pass for that flight,” she said.

“I am very upset and I cannot think clearly,” she continued.  “I am still at the Antigua airport. They offered to take me back to a hotel but I refused to go.  According to them, we MAY get on the 5 pm flight.”

To make matter worse was the fact that when stranded passengers complained they would be taking their stories to the media, Jennifer said a LIAT agent’s response was, “Oh well, more publicity for LIAT.”

Presently Jeniffer is still at the airport in Antigua unsure of what will happen next. All she wants is to get to Dominica and home.

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59 Comments

  1. maureen
    December 12, 2011

    i think that it is very unprofesional the way liat treat their customers and i think thats what they fail to understand, these people are paying customers. i have never heard of such displays of out and out rudeness towards the general public,where is the duty of care, the sence of pride in ones job. stricking is everyones right,i my self have been on strike this year,but my anger is towards managment not to my clients.getting your people home for xmas should be a priority.you have alot of people looking at this county and shaking their head

  2. push
    December 12, 2011

    so if pilot go on strike wah liat agency can really do???? some ppl just like to complain … did u try walking on water????? stupes

  3. FrequentFlyer
    December 12, 2011

    Okay there is an alternative, for those who its APPLICABLE….if you’re flying to the US,or Europe, you can fly on BVIAIRWAYS to the BVI or ST.Marteen. Several airlines operate outta SXM-ST.Marteen to the US mainland and Europe.
    As for the BVI u can catch the Ferry to St.Thomas where direct flights are available to MIA,ATL,BOS,JFF, FLL,CLT and PHL. You can also fly to San Juan direct from the BVI for as low as $190 RT.You can then catch airlines such as Virgin, British Airways, AirFrance and Iberia from San Juan to your Europe destination.

    I am just trying to help, i’ve been stranded by liat a few times and these alternatives helped really well.

  4. December 12, 2011

    This photo on DNO is prohibited, No photos are to be taken in the departure area at the VC Bird International Airport and DNO can be charged for this. This photo was taken upon the depature of the APUA hiking team to Dominica, therefore mincan Passengers will be prohibited from the sterile areas at the airport and will be watched for use cameraad cell phone in this area.

  5. December 11, 2011

    I wonder where were Dominicns when LIAT issued information about the Pilots sick out and advised people to rebook at the closest LIAT office or at the Airport.W in Antigua knew to rebook and what to expect during such an event.
    Dominicans need to be eduated alot abbout air travel, labour codes and also airline liabilities. One is often foolish to say somethinwhich does not hold weight to support ther theory. It happens ay AA, BA,BW and soon Red Jet. These airlines are out of the sky soon because they’re loosing millions. American just filed for bankruptcy , Red Jet lost around 8 million soo far, Caribbean Airlines is on the verge of a strike.

    LIAT is no differnt from any other Airline, I think that the airlines passenge need to e educated greatly.

    • Forgiener
      December 14, 2011

      I so agree with you. Be an educated traveler. My biggest complaint with Liat is their poor communication with their passengers and follow through. Just tell me what is happening, what can be done and make sure the people on the other end know what is going on.

  6. jah guide
    December 10, 2011

    Dem u may be retard not me. I was just replying to one of ur stugies earlier comment. All u think se sort selma qui ni pous pale!but u lie. Imagine all I read was the first line of ur post.stupesssssss

  7. WAITUKUBULI
    December 10, 2011

    Since LIAT pilots are on strike,Diominica is must be the only island planes are not landing as we depend solely on LIAT for air transport,big shame on us!

  8. still
    December 9, 2011

    I know exactly what u are going through I just got home. All those saying you should have stayed home because liat advised seem to misunderstand. Liat asked to reschedule so its not ure fault u got stuck. Liat needs to do better they need to have more respect for the persons who keep them in business. When their CSR’s can go as far as saying that not even a glass of water is their responsibility then it shows that we the passengers don’t mean anything to them. But one day they will wake up and smell the coffee. Then it will be too late

    • December 12, 2011

      Dominicans need to respect LIAT agents, whe you show respect, you get respect plus you travelling, walk with vex money. You know you travelling and you have no money o buy water? get yourself educated first before you make us laugh.

  9. Senior Citizen
    December 9, 2011

    “Jennifer” I am sympathetic to your plight and that of several other passengers, but remember that HONESTY is always the best policy! Tell your little daughter the truth and no matter how young she is, she will understand. You don’t have to “make up” a story. She’ll respect you for telling the truth.

    • Canadian Mom
      December 9, 2011

      “Jennifer”- I am a Mom too in distress. My daughter is in school on the island and she is supposed to be coming home for Christmas. She needs to catch a connecting flight on another airline so if the Liat pilots are not working or she gets bumped to a later flight, not only does she risk not making it home for Christms, she may also lose the money we spent on the connecting flight. I have a serious feeling that Liat will not offer to pay us back for that money lost. And what about all the students who wil be flying in to Ross for january semester? Surely the government can get involved and make sure the work stoppage gets resolved. The island and the school will lose a lot of money over this. I do not understand why Liat had such a monoploy there. It’s not fair to the foreign sudents and it’s not fair to the island residents to be held hostage by these striking pilots especially at this time of year.

      • push
        December 12, 2011

        woman pilot strike d plain cant fly it self talking bout monopoly you really need to rest your head eh . wait ??? u never traveled before man ? haha wat is this lady when pilot strike plane cant move is that simple enough for u ???

  10. Jah Guide
    December 9, 2011

    Lobour there for eleven years now and cannot build international airport with all the money they getting, is UWP that was only there for four and a half years that could build it. How ridiculous!!!!!

    • dem
      December 9, 2011

      @jah guide u retarded or something what does labour have to do with liat .its all over the caribbean k liat pilots is on a go slow read news b4 u write and stop being negative right now its not about politics i to is trying to travel and cant get home because of the go slow come on man everything is not politics and international airport pray that we all get home safely

    • push
      December 12, 2011

      hush your mouth labour labour labour stupe things hard now step aside eh look build good road rise ppl apy plz international airport can take it time thank you …..JAH GUIDE BUILD IT YOUR SELF MAN :twisted:

  11. Papa Way
    December 9, 2011

    BRING BACK SEA-PLANES! LIAT is the crappiest airline I’ve ever had the misfortune to fly on. Remember the days of the twin-otter death-traps flying out of Canefield??? I was sick every time I flew on them and you could SMELL the people sitting next to you – how nasty is that?

    If you’re relying on one ‘main’ carrier you’re pretty much screwed and unless you buy into it you don’t have much of a say.

    SWIM to Dominica, start now, and at least then you’ll only have yourself to blame if you don’t make it in time!!!

  12. 4progress
    December 9, 2011

    People the answer to this problem is people power both as consumers and as electorates. Consumers trying to fight on their own will be fended off but together action will be more fruitful, called CONSUMER POWER. Electorates by adopting the THIRD WAY, that is coming together to fight progressively in the interest of DA and doing away with party loyalty is not only more effective in changing the political parties conduct, but will them to take note and listen. That is PEOPLE POWER – your votes count more than you think.
    Airlines operating in DA have to be 100% private, so Gov’t can have the leverage to act without conflict of interest. Most importantly an International airport provide more competition and attracts more business investor to DA. An appraisal will need to be carried out access Cost/benefits

  13. Donald Tusk
    December 9, 2011

    So long skerrit in Govt and cannot build an international airport, well Dominicans SOT!

    • none
      December 9, 2011

      but wait Donald..you drink rum man!! what are you talking about ????

    • eagles125
      December 9, 2011

      Edison James was the one you should blame.

      When Dame Mary Eugenia Charles was Prime Minister, the United States President was going to build us an international airport which was promise made to Dominica. Edison James wrote the US President and told him he was interfering in Dominica state affairs and politics.

      So who is to blame other than Edison James for the non existence of an international airport? I guess Edison James does not love Dominica.

      • sad...
        December 9, 2011

        wow….is this true? if so can you quantify this? cause if it is true, it needs to be told to the nation. Cause this is ridiculous. If this is true, it makes me feel ashamed to be associated with such people…

      • so_silly
        December 9, 2011

        eagle shut up, edison james party was about to build one if labour didnt accuse them of coruption(which is yet to be proven) and dominicans who do not use their head vote labour.Agriculture is a mess in this country since labour came to power, government stop fix farm access roads and all of that,even though its ur opinion but its irrelevant

      • *123#
        December 10, 2011

        that is very true.That was just before the first U.S. vs. Iraq war when senior George Bush was president. 1990/91 thereabout

  14. Anon
    December 9, 2011

    Come on, people, let’s be real. There’s a strike by pilots, the airline advised ticket holders not to leave home because they won’t be able to travel, “Jennifer” leaves her home in the BVI, cannot get out, and she complains she’s “stranded” in the BVI. Come on. She finally gets on a plane to Antigua, the continued strike means she has to remain there – and she knew that because the airline kept sending out notices – she is housed and fed, she refuses accommodation, and you complain. Pilots are on strike. What do you expect?
    Those of us who travel frequently via international carriers know that inconveniences like this happen. True, we want to get to our destinations – and I know these agents contracted by Liat and the other airlines that fly to the Caribbean need some people skills – but you can’t blame the airline for your plight if the pilots go on strike.

    Recently, I flew AA on two occassions when whether forced cancellations. They did not feed me, I had to find my own hotel, or, as several passengers did, sleep at the airport. The same with BA and the recent strikes. The same with several other carriers during the volcanic eruption in Iceland. So, if you want to complain about the policy that airlines have on not taking care of passengers in situations like this, fine, but, please, stop making it appear it’s a single airline that does it.
    And those of you who keep RedJetting, ask the passengers from Guyana recently who were all left ther, having arrived on time for their fligt, only to find out the plane left them behind. RedJet’s excuse was to say it tried reaching the passengers but couldn’t. Or, when their plane broke down and so many people were stranded for days.

    • Wrong
      December 9, 2011

      Is the BVI her home? How do you know that she was not returning on the ticket that was bought days before the strike? What if she travelled to the BVI on Sunday (before the strike) with return ticket for Tuesday – day of the strike? Get your facts straight first.

    • Stop
      December 9, 2011

      Are your comparing acts of nature (weather and volcanic eruptions) to the mismanagement of LIAT? No one can blame the airlines for cancellations due to the weather or natural disasters or even mechanical issues…but management issues? Who is to be blamed?

      • Anon
        December 9, 2011

        All I’m doing here, stop, is asking people to take their emotion from this and think logically. The strike is not a management issue. The pilots went on strike in support of one man who was fired for putting people’s life at risk. The pilot ignored air controllers instructions, jumped the cue and landed ahead of an aircraft that had been cleared by the air traffic control in St. Lucia. Read and listen to the news and you will know that. He put passengers’ lives at risk so Liat fired him. And you call that poor management.

        By the way, were you travelling on BA during their recent cabin crew strike? I was. And I know what the thousands of passengers around the world had to go through.

    • December 11, 2011

      Anon, I thin Dominicans live in a Eutopia and I think the region is fed up with the illiterate behaviour of our people when we travel. Dominicans need to be educated about travel and liste to the news. LIAT gave soo many advisories during that period locally, regionally and internationally only for Dominicans to think that the airlin never said anything pertainig to how people should travel and what to expect.I will still support LIAT, its no differnt from the other carriers. Dominicans need to know how to behave in public too, our actions make other airlines pull away from us.

  15. Bull Crap
    December 9, 2011

    I am sure the am not alone when i say this. American airlines tickets are more expensive than lit but i garantee u, you ghetto where u wanna go. I travel on business alott and 95% of my trip is on liat. after this crap i cant take chances on an airline i cant depend on. AA all the way form now on.

    Liat can Kiss *********

    • Soldier
      December 9, 2011

      I didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news to you but AA is under chapter 11 and part of this will bring less destinations as they restructure to save cash. Guess what!? .. DOM is on the cut list and will only be served by chartered flight.

      • so_silly
        December 9, 2011

        lol that allu think, allu silly dominicans AMR =(american airlines,american eagle, american connection). which u think is the most profitable?dom on cut list smh.talk you wanna talk,for you information i know dom is one of the most profitable stations( have my facts) for american eagle so they will never cut off dom,AA is the last airline to file bankruptcy, all the other airline filed already so ease off AA back. allu dont know nothing wait and see.

  16. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011

    UWP knew that they could not build no damn International Airport….as usual they were just fooling Dominicans but we are smarter than them for sure. Skerrit is not to be blamed for LIAT’s problem. Liat have to deal with there issue and accomodate peole that spend their hard earn dollars to purchase their very expensive tickets……Fed up with Skeritt and the DLP being blamed for everything that happen in DA!!!!

    • Lady
      December 9, 2011

      thats right anonymous. dont blame DLP and Skerrit blame UWP. after all you belong to the group of ‘smarter people’.

    • D'can By Marriage
      December 9, 2011

      You are so right…They will soon blame them when rain don’t come and sun don’t shine..Stupid People..I warn people all airlines have disputes, delays and poor customer service…And some of the big names are the worst offenders…Someone calling for AA isnt it the same AA that file bankruptcy protection Chapter 11…according to Calypson Bommer from Trinidad” He rather jump from the highest steeple than to listen to foolish people”

      • so_silly
        December 9, 2011

        AA is the last airline to file bankruptcy all the other US airlines did in the pass.you are the stupid person, AA have partners tkt can be reissued to their final des, but ask liat to do that nuh,i rather AA than liat by far

    • SINISTER MINISTER
      December 9, 2011

      YUH AN IDIOT?? BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, THAT’S WHY WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH LIAT N THEIR NONSENSE, NO OTHER AIRLINE WANTS TO FREQUENT DOMINICA AND TAKE THE HIGH RISK OF LANDING THEIR AIR-CRAFTS ON OUR RUNWAY SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAIN N COCONUT TREES. SXM ACCOMMODATING AIR FRANCE, D AFRICAN AIRLINE, THE DUTCH AIRLINE….ALL DAT IS PPL WE COULD BE ACCOMMODATING IF WE WERE UP TO DATE

      • I see
        December 9, 2011

        GUess you don;t know that St Martin has one of the worst international airports. The runway is too short; cars on the highway have to take off when planes are landing. Don’t talk about persons on the beach can literally touch the airplanes and you talking about int’l airport.

    • Way papa
      December 9, 2011

      Well Tell Skerro send a boat for them. The boat he say he would get for farmers…lol

  17. Jbfox
    December 9, 2011

    Why uwp couldn’t build the airport while the were in office,they spent five years there.

  18. Envar
    December 9, 2011

    Time for RED JET

  19. investigate
    December 9, 2011

    doh worry, all their planes will sit in antigua watching dem just now; is dat we getting for supporting caribbean integration and those dam politicians pussy-footing with those boys like the vincy and antiguan prime ministers to stay with dam well Liat? thats why they had buy out stanford; to get the monopoly on the air by st lucia smarter than us they working with Red Jet and Caribbean Airlines

  20. Abu Sulayman
    December 9, 2011

    When LIAT learns to respect its workers these problems will be minimized. For sure many of these people will think twice before purchasing a ticket from LIAT. This airline is falling hard on its face. Co-operate greed, we hope our Dominicans learn from this.

    • Rabbit Ears
      December 9, 2011

      “Co-operate Greed”? Is that a type of greed where people come together to rip off the public?

      • Roz
        December 9, 2011

        :lol: @ rabbit ears…people want to communicate but sending wrong message…hehehehe i fancy your interpretation though

  21. Doc.Love
    December 9, 2011

    JENIFFER, PLEASE DONT BLAME LIAT,IF MUST BLAME SOMEONE,YOU MUST BLAME SKERRIT AND THE DLP GOVERNMENT.UWP HAD BOUGHT LAND AND MADE ALL THE PREPARATIONS FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BUT YOU ALL DOMINICANS RAN THEM OUT OF OFFICE,THEREFORE, LIAT SHOULD KEEP YOU AND OTHERS FOR THE WHOLE MONTH IN ANTIGUA.

    • Secretary
      December 9, 2011

      A-hole :-x

    • pj is out
      December 9, 2011

      wa does the government of d/ca has to do with she unable to fly? yu are so politically motivated tht yu miss the fact tht she has a child tht is waiting on her and due to the fact tht liat has no coompition they feel they can do wat ever they want. i would really love to see red jet come dominica and maybe then i could fly bac home ever so often.

    • Monopoly dat do dat
      December 9, 2011

      What all preparations they made when till this very day some of the people they run and acquire their lands cannot get paid yet?

    • hennessey sipper
      December 9, 2011

      Damn it’s amazing how foolish some people portray themselves to be or maybe they must really be FOOLISH!!! sa kway sort!! what does international airport have to do with Liat’s internal problems. For many years intra-regional travel has largely been undertaken by Liat, so its obvious any industrial action would affect regional travel which is dependent on it. GO AND FLY THE PLANE FOR THEM…oh my bad you’re too foolish to do so

      • ....................
        December 9, 2011

        Her EC dollar is maybe less important than the EC dollars in other countries. :?: :?:

    • politbureau
      December 9, 2011

      would the presence of an international airport have prevented the pilot`s industrial action?and how would such presence have mitigated its effects?

    • True Say
      December 9, 2011

      So Skerrit and DLP should be blamed for running the UWP out of office? LOL. Just watch yourself, if you not doing what is pleasing to your girlfriend/wife, she will dump you too…….same s!

    • Anonymous
      December 9, 2011

      wicked where is yr heart.

    • Anonymous
      December 9, 2011

      @DOC.Love, where is yr heart becareful one day it will be yr turn its not easy at all.

  22. Mohamad
    December 9, 2011

    ok

    • fireball
      December 9, 2011

      some people need to think before they make a comment and leave politic out for asecond

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