American Airlines must offer explanations, assurances following undesirable service
Three years after it began servicing the Georgetown route, American Airlines continues to be faulted on an almost weekly basis by passengers who have complained of less than desirable customer service among other glitches to its flight plans.
The most recent being Sunday night, where almost 200 passengers who were expected to land at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) were instead left on an aircraft for more than three hours at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad.
Persons aboard the flight took to social media to complain of the less than expected service they received, coupled with a lack of communication.
What is known is that all flights scheduled to land at the CJIA on Sunday night had to divert because of heavy fog. And while AA went to Trinidad, JetBlue went to Puerto Rico.
The News Room understands that there were lapses on the part of AA which prevented an early deplaning once in Trinidad.
In an invited comment on Monday, Foreign Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Robert Persaud, said the reports were being investigated and he urged the airline to provide a proper and full explanation of what exactly occurred.
Further, he said based on the complaints, the airline will also be required to provide assurances that there will no recurrence.
Persaud said what happened at Piarco, based on reports, was not the fault of the Trinidadian authorities as they were ready to accommodate the passengers.
The News Room understands that airline representatives first sought to look after the interest of the flight crew at Trinidad before presenting the passenger manifest for the diverted flight.
This delayed an attempt to disembark at Piarco which only occurred at about 02:00hrs.
The airline is reported to have first sought approval for the crew time to be extended and when they were unsuccessful, they approached immigration to agree to have the passengers disembark and stay in the holding bay.
“The Crew has already reported that according to federal Law they can’t move the Aircraft until they receive 8 hours of rest,” passenger, Roger Yearwood wrote on Facebook.
No hotel accommodation and transportation were made available.
Those passengers subsequently left Trinidad on a flight at 9:45 hrs that was brought in as a ferry to accommodate the departing passengers.
It was only in February that the Guyana Government criticised American Airlines for continuing to ‘pay scant regard’ to its requests.
It followed a refusal on the part of the airline to allow Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his St Vincent and the Grenadines colleague, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, to check-in through the VIP Lounge.