Yeah, the Caribbean Airlines are quite bad. My experience is with BWIA, and LIAT got involved in the mess too.
I was flying JFK
. My JFK
flight was scheduled to depart at 2355, but when I got to the airport it had already been delayed to 0315. Since I had a 1:20 connection in POS
, I was able to get a seat on the 2305 flight, which actually departed about 0045. The delay wasn't a problem as such, as it was the same aircraft that was scheduled to go to ANU
But once we get to POS
, they realize that the aircraft is not airworthy, so they had to delay the flight. After a number of "one more hour" spiels, we finally get on a new plane about 1400 and depart soon after (original departure time 0700). To my horror, they haul the same crew that I had seen walk on for the 0700 departure. The flight operates POS
. Once we get to BGI
, the captain declares that due to the fact that they were unable to turn around the plane in 30 minutes like they had planned, they would skip ANU
and fly straight to KIN
. So everybody going to ANU
, "please get off the plane". "Ground staff is standing by to take care of you"
Well, we got off the plane and walked all the way to just before immigration. No BWIA staff shows up for over an hour, and then they declare that there are no BWIA flights until two days later, and all other carriers flights are full.
At least they put us in a nice hotel, and fed us well, but the next day, their offices in BGI
refused to pick up the phone. So I got the smart idea of calling central reservations, located back in POS
. First call: sorry, no available seats on any airline today. You're confirmed "stand-by" for tomorrow. Same thing second call. The third call I actually got someone with some sympathy on the line who was able to procure 3 tickets (one for myself, 2 for people in the same predicament) on LIAT the same evening (i.e. 24+ hours after arriving in BGI
). Not sure where they found these tickets.
We head over to the airport, to check-in with LIAT... BWIA had assured us everything was in order. Well, LIAT's computers were all down, and we didn't have tickets in hand. Agent tried to say that there was no way we could have gotten a reservation that day as the flight was overbooked for many days already. After some coaxing he actually disappears for about 20 minutes, and returns with our tickets in hand, obviously not happy that we had been right.
So we get our LIAT seats and head for ANU
, via SLU. Finally we arrive over 36 hours late, and there were people still in Barbados trying to get out.
On the return, I called BWIA the day before my flight to make sure they hadn't changed the schedule. Scheduled departure was 0935, but that had been changed to 1105 without informing me, and on top of that, the flight was delayed until 1700 (they knew this the day before departure, which means their schedules must have been really crazy). I try to coax the agent to cover me on another airline, which I had a right to since even the scheduled time had been changed. She says I'll have to go to the BWIA main office, which of course was closed.
The next morning I head to the BWIA desk bright and early to try to get on another airline. They said that AA
was full, so sorry, no can do. So I requested to get a standby ticket on AA
, because SJU
still had seats, so I wouldn't get stuck there. This seemed like a good idea to the agent, so I got my stand-by ticket and on the AA
Total cost of my ticket: US$658
Costs to BWIA for their messups:
US$400 for lodging and food (paid for 2 nights, I saw the bill)
US$150 for LIAT BGI
US$682 for AA ANU
NO WONDER THIS AIRLINE ISN
'T MAKING MONEY!!!