Caribbean Airlines denies leaving special needs passengers behind in Trinidad

In a so­cial me­dia post on Sun­day, a pas­sen­ger claimed 12 to 15 seats were left emp­ty on the last flight from Pi­ar­co to the ANR Robin­son In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port.

(Trinidad Guardian) Caribbean Air­lines (CAL) has de­nied claims that they left spe­cial needs pas­sen­gers off a Sat­ur­day night flight from Trinidad to To­ba­go al­though there were avail­able seats.

In a so­cial me­dia post on Sun­day, a pas­sen­ger claimed 12 to 15 seats were left emp­ty on the last flight from Pi­ar­co to the ANR Robin­son In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port.

The pas­sen­ger com­ment­ed: “This crim­i­nal­i­ty oc­curred when the flight at­ten­dant closed the door with 12 -15 emp­ty seats on the last flight to To­ba­go And there were about 40 peo­ple, se­nior cit­i­zens and chil­dren, who were told they had to wait un­til 3 am to know if they will be able to pur­chase a tick­et and then be list­ed on stand­by.

“Be­fore the plane lift off, I left my seat at the front of the plane to in­quire of the flight at­ten­dants why they are leav­ing with emp­ty seats and there are peo­ple sleep­ing in the air­port try­ing to get to To­ba­go.”

The post con­tin­ued: “The flight at­ten­dants said they don’t work at the counter this is the ground staff jobs so they can’t do any­thing about it. Need­less to say . . . The last flight to To­ba­go was ap­prox­i­mate­ly 12- 15 seats emp­ty and se­nior cit­i­zens and chil­dren were made to sleep in Pi­ar­co Air­port last night.”

How­ev­er, in a state­ment on Sun­day, the air­line said all tick­et­ed stand­by cus­tomers were ac­com­mo­dat­ed on the flight.

“Around 8 pm an an­nounce­ment was made ad­vis­ing that the air­line could ac­com­mo­date some un-tick­et­ed per­sons for trav­el and tick­ets sales were open to do so. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, when the an­nounce­ment was made the crowd be­came un­con­trol­lable and abu­sive to the cus­tomer ser­vice agents.

“Air­ports Au­thor­i­ty se­cu­ri­ty of­fi­cers al­so at­tempt­ed to have the cus­tomers line-up, how­ev­er, the cus­tomers did not co-op­er­ate and con­tin­ued to ver­bal­ly abuse the se­cu­ri­ty of­fi­cers and staff. Even­tu­al­ly, in the in­ter­est of safe­ty, tick­et sales had to be stopped.”

The air­line said at 10 pm there was an­oth­er call for cus­tomers with spe­cial needs, those trav­el­ling with chil­dren and Club Card hold­ers to pur­chase tick­ets to be ac­com­mo­dat­ed on avail­able seats.

“This was done and these pas­sen­gers were ac­com­mo­dat­ed,” CAL said.

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