BY INGRID BROWN Associate editor — special assignment firstname.lastname@example.org
DISGRUNTLED passengers who travelled to Kingston on Cayman Airways flights last week were forced to wait for days before they were able to get their luggage that were left behind.
The passengers were further incensed after they were forced to wait for hours at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday before they were able to speak to an airline agent about the status of their luggage.
One passenger said she only received one of the eight pieces of luggage when her party of four arrived in Jamaica on a flight on Saturday. On Monday, she had to wait for hours to speak with an agent after which her bags were eventually located.
When the Jamaica Observer visited the airport on Monday, the sole custom officer on duty at the luggage collection desk informed passengers that they had to wait for the airline's agent to "come around". But two hours later none of the agents had arrived to speak with the impatient passengers.
"Is a lot of bags around there to be sorted out so they [are] going through them and sorting by location, so she might soon come around," the customs officer told the passengers. However, this did nothing to appease the disgruntled passengers who said they had been severely inconvenienced.
Some passengers, meanwhile, alleged that the airline was guilty of leaving bags behind when flights are full.
One passenger, who had arrived on a flight on Thursday, did not receive her luggage until Monday, while scores of passengers on Saturday's flight were similarly affected.
The woman said despite several calls to the airline, she was unable to receive any news on the promised delivery. However, after visiting the airport and waiting for hours she was eventually told that the bags were located, but was still forced to wait for some time before she could receive it.
A male passenger who arrived on a flight yesterday from Grand Cayman said he had frozen items in his bag, all of which would have been spoilt by the time the luggage finally arrived. The man said that the airline's agent to whom he spoke said he could not give information on when his luggage would arrive.
"We in Kingston have no control over when the bags get here so we will just have to call you when they arrive," the agent was heard telling the passenger.
"Is taxi me have to tek to come back here this morning to collect me bags and we been here since 8:00 this morning and nobody to say anything to we," a female passenger said.
She told the Observer that the airline would normally increase the number of flights on the route during peak travel times, such as summer and Christmas, but that was not done this year. She contended that this could be the reason for the airline's failure to transport all of the cargo along with the passengers.
"Them know that the flight already full up and dem know that them going to leave all we bag behind and them don't say nutten to us because dem no business how much inconvenience we suffer," she fumed.
Cayman Airways, when asked to comment on the matter, promised to send a response but did get back to the newspaper up until yesterday.