Fly Jamaica passengers hit by delay

A Fly Jamaica New York flight was hit by a two-day delay, stranding passengers, and Insel Air also experienced mechanical problems yesterday delaying its scheduled flight to Curacao.

On the heels of the disastrous start for Dynamic Airways this month, yesterday’s hitches caused further problems for Guyanese during the peak travel period.

Yesterday, a number of persons scheduled to travel to New York on Fly Jamaica since Friday remained stranded. They told Stabroek News yesterday that they were finally told in the afternoon that they would leave last night.

Fly Jamaica gave persons the option of staying at the Park Vue Hotel on the East Bank of Demerara or returning home and waiting on word of travel.

Several efforts by Stabroek News to contact management of Fly Jamaica and the reservations department of the airline proved futile.

“They (Fly Jamaica) put us up here (at Park Vue Hotel) but we don’t know when we leaving and no one communicating with us … first we hear maybe morning then we hear maybe tomorrow night because the crew will be too tired to fly again…we just don’t know,” one passenger scheduled for a flight to Jamaica told Stabroek News yesterday morning before receiving an update from the airline.

The passenger said that on Friday he turned up at the airport prepared for travel at midnight but was told that there was a delay. He said he waited for three hours and was only told that “there were some problem” but that the airline would put him up at a hotel.

He has been staying at the Park Vue Hotel since awaiting word on when his flight would be ready to leave.

The Josephs, a family of five travelling from French Guiana and   who were on their way to New York, said that they would have to cancel their trip and return home as the delays had cut into the vacation time given to the mother in the family. Scheduled to return to work this week the woman said that she could not risk leaving. They will wait until today to visit the airline’s Ogle office to seek refunds on their tickets.

This family related that on Friday they were not told of the delay and subsequent cancellation although local contact numbers were given to the airline. A Guyanese family member took them to the airport and left. Their relative here said she was shocked when she received a call on Saturday from a member of the family informing that the travelling five was stuck at the East Bank Demerara hotel.

“I called the airline to find out what happened but no one could explain…I told them I would inform the media because they have been saying not a word, not a word…then someone said that they were waiting on a plane to come from Canada and they would travel on that plane but not sure when,” the relative stated.

This delay is another in a series that has hit the airline this summer. Passengers and travel agents over the weeks have complained of the airline’s tardiness. The airline has two planes and it is unclear what problems it is having that are responsible for the hiccups.

Meanwhile, newcomer Dutch Caribbean Airline, Insel Air also had to delay its morning flight yesterday after its plane reportedly experienced mechanical problems. The airline flies from Georgetown to Aruba and Curacao with connections to Miami.

Passengers arrived at the CJIA only to be told about the mechanical problems. Passengers on that carrier left later in the day.

It was expected that with the emergence of three new carriers that there would be aggressive competition and airfares would in turn drop. While fares have been significantly reduced it seems that the newcomers are struggling for consistent service.

Dynamic Airlines, which started operations recently had to suspend flights from July 17th to August 8th   as it seeks to iron out administrative issues and secure a gate slot at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.

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