Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto last Saturday, after their Fly Jamaica flight did not leave as scheduled on Friday and then hit further snags.
Yesterday, one irate passenger related to Stabroek News his experience during a two-day delay.
Brahnanand Khelawan said it was a “disastrous experience,” coupled with “disrespectful service” from the airline’s agents.
Efforts to contact Public Relations Officer of the airline Nadine Hing about the Toronto to Guyana delay proved futile.
Khelawan said the flight was initially scheduled to depart the airport on Friday July 11 but passengers were notified a little less than 12 hours prior that it was put off until the next day at 9:30 am. They were given no reason for the delay.
Khelawan, who was expected to be at a meeting that Friday evening, said he was livid.
However, his annoyance broiled when he arrived at the airport the following day and was told that the flight was further delayed until 11:30 am.
“Around 12 we got into the plane and then they announced that they were experiencing technical difficulties. So we sat in the plane for another two hours.
Then around 2 pm we deplaned and returned to the waiting area,” he recounted, stating that there was no sort of proper communication during that period.
“It was disastrous… only after that they started handing out food vouchers but my mother who is 78 years old and ill was sitting in an airport for hours and they gave no excuse or apology,” he said. “About 4 pm… I approached the desk and asked for somebody to come and talk to us; tell us what was happening or if not get me home,” he said.
Around 8:15 pm a ground agent announced that the flight was cancelled and the carrier was seeking to have passengers with emergencies flown to Guyana on a different airline.
Only 20 passengers, Khelawan included, departed on an 11:30 pm Caribbean Airlines flight to Guyana. “It’s pathetic service…. It is bad communication and horrible scheduling and to top it off they have this bureaucratic language when you call. It’s irritating.
Can you talk to me like a human being? It’s not being respectful to a man who is paying you. It is like they are reading from a script and don’t really care,” he said.
The Jamaica Observer yesterday reported that another flight expected to land in Jamaica on June 26 arrived on June 28 due to repairs and maintenance on a plane.
The Observer said that after that, on July 10, the Kingston to New York flight was cancelled.
“People were at the airport at 2:30 am for a 5:30 am departure. Up to 9:30 nobody was talking to my family and they didn’t know what was happening. Eventually they were re-routed on another airline,” an angry passenger was quoted as saying.
Co-founders, Jamaicans Lloyd Tai, Christine Steele and Nadine Silvera, have resigned from the company, the Observer reported while noting that this discovery was made when it sought a comment from the airline.
The Observer said the resignations spanned the period November 2013 to March 2014.
Another flight that was scheduled to travel to New York from Guyana last Friday was also hit by a delay.
These interruptions came on the heels of other newcomer airlines—Dynamic Airways and Insel Air—experiencing problems which had seen hundreds of passengers stranded at airports.
Dutch Caribbean Airline, Insel Air had to delay a flight last week after its plane reportedly experienced mechanical problems.
Meanwhile, Dynamic Airlines, which started operations recently, has suspended flights from July 17 to August 8 as it battles with administrative issues and the strain of securing a gate slot at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.