–passengers fret over disruptions
PASSENGERS are complaining about the hiccups experienced on the Fly Jamaica Airline after many of them were forced to remain abroad indefinitely.
Several Guyanese are still in Jamaica and the U.S. awaiting word on when they would be able to return home, since their flights were cancelled.
Carl Bowen, Fly Jamaica’s Commercial Manager, explained that the cancellation was a result of weather-related issues in the U.S. and crew- related issues since the airline has been leasing aircraft since November 30.
According to Delicia Bailey, a Guyanese who is currently in Jamaica, she was supposed to return to Guyana on January 3, but has not been able to because her flight was cancelled.
Bailey said she was only informed of this after she arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA).
Bailey said when she contacted the Fly Jamaica office on January 3, after her flight was cancelled, she was told by officials that they were awaiting word from the operations division.
The mother of one, whose toddler is with her, described the situation as “disrespectful and ridiculous.”
Stranded in Jamaica too is Joel Simpson, Managing-Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD).
Similarly, businessman Fawaz Dinool, who is in the U.S. was scheduled to return home on December 3, but was given a shock when he arrived at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport and found no Fly Jamaica aircraft.
Dinool related that he had travelled from Pennsylvania to JFK, some 222 miles, only to be told that there was no flight.
“I was not even contacted by the airline to say the flight was cancelled or delayed or anything. More than two days later I am still not sure what to do, because I don’t know which flight I am on, or when I would be able to return home,” he stated.
Dinool added that this has not only stymied his business operations, but has cost him financially, since travelling to the airport and back incurred a cost of over US$200.
When one of his relatives made contact with the local office in Guyana, the representatives informed him that she does not know of the status of the flight and for when it was rescheduled, if it indeed was.
However, the airline’s commercial manager told the Guyana Chronicle that flights from the U.S. have been cancelled since Thursday – one day after Dinool was supposed to leave – due to a snow storm in New York.
Bowen shared too that he was contacted on Saturday by the Operations Director of Terminal One at the JFK and told that no flights should enter or leave the terminal because of the weather.
As a result of flights not being able to leave JFK, Bowen said the passengers in Jamaica have not been able to return to Guyana, since those flights would have to stop in Jamaica for passengers there.
He said too that in addition to the weather, crew-related issues have also caused some delay, as the airline has been leasing aircraft since November 30.
“Flights will return to normal by Wednesday,” he assured passengers, adding that while these are issues which are unavoidable in the aviation industry, customers have a right to complain.
In the interim, Bowen said efforts are ongoing to have some passengers accommodated on other carriers, while some others were compensated.
“We have not neglected passengers or left them stranded. All of whom we had contact information for were contacted and those who needed compensation, once they communicated these to us, we examined them and have been providing as much assistance as we can,” he said.