Not a non-stop flight

Dear Editor,
My son and I booked a direct non-stop flight via Caribbean Airlines’ business partner, Titan Tours to fly to Guyana on May 3, 2013 returning on May 14, 2013 (E-Ticket 1062525184890). We specifically chose the non-stop direct flight despite the fare being Cdn$100.00 higher per person. Like most Guyanese travellers to the region, we dreaded going through Piarco and felt that the extra Cdn$100.00 was worth bypassing POS. The Trinidadian airport is noted for its less than respectful treatment meted out to Guyanese travellers.

Our flight 607 to Guyana on May 3rd was direct as contracted and uneventful. However, the return portion on May 14th was not.

As we nestled into our seats on flight 606 on May 14th, the pilot, in a monotone voice, informed us that the flight would now connect out of Piarco instead of going directly to YYZ. This meant that our previously anticipated arrival time of 8pm in Toronto was now moved to midnight. The disappointment throughout the entire plane was audible. Passengers like myself who were scheduled to begin their employment shift later that evening became concerned. Others expressed concerns about their relatives turning up at the Pearson Airport expecting them to arrive at 8pm.

Flight 606 which was scheduled to leave Guyana at 2.05pm, sat on the tarmac until almost 3pm. The plane became an oven and the excuse given was that the a/c was not at its optimum due to the plane’s engine being off. The pilot gave us the assurance that once we got to Piarco, the transfer to the waiting planes would be seamless. However, upon arrival in Trinidad, we were forced to go through another security screening, despite just having one done in Guyana. Passengers began expressing their dissatisfaction at this but were mocked by unsympathetic airport staff members who felt we were complainers.

After sitting around in the airport for some time, we finally began to board and realized that there was no systematic method to the boarding process. It quickly became chaotic because our previous boarding passes were from a larger 767 jet. The flight attendants and staff were clearly not prepared and were visibly overwhelmed.

The plane’s a/c system was not on while on the ground and it became even hotter than the previous jet in Guyana. This was made unbearable due to the extended length of time it took to board and the plane being at 100% capacity.

I am seeking a refund of Cdn$200.00 ‒ the difference for the non-stop fare as posted the day I purchased my ticket.

Yours faithfully,
Berkeley Van Bowen

Editor’s note
We are sending a copy of this letter to Caribbean Airlines for any comment they might wish to make.

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