Complaints about regional airline LIAT have almost become a part of Caribbean folklore.
And why not? The airline, inspite of its many shortcomings, has survived for 57 years!
And during that period, its acronym, which originally meant Leeward Islands Air Transport, has evolved into “Luggage In Another Terminal”, and “Leave Island Anytime” (whenever we please).
And, as with any airline, some of LIAT’s disgruntled passengers have taken to the media to express their displeasure.
But Arthur Hicks’ “Open letter to LIAT”, originally published in BVI Beacon in April, so moved founder and chairman of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson, that he tweeted it to his three million followers.
The letter has been island-hopping since then.
Branson’s tweet read “”How to write a complaint letter — read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger.”
We really think you should read Hicks complaint too:
May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean.
Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!
I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if I’ve been hugged by most of the Caribbean already.
I also found it unique that this was all done on “island time,” because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges. As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night — and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.
So thank you, LIAT. I now truly understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”
P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.
they can invest in liat as much as they want..the problem with liat is that it is government operated and when things are governement operated efficiency goes out the window. It is a waste of my tax monies..flogging a dead horse. Liat represents the Caribbean approach to life..life is always a party.
One day we will learn the hard way. The world has already left us behind. We pretend to be on par with the world because we appear to be smart using an iphone, a lap top and smart phone. But we are wayyyy behind. Living life the liat way..having a liat approach to everything we do
SAM, last year I had some friends come here to visit me, avid divers, they brought their own dive gear, which LIAT delivered three days after the passengers. They went to the airport every day in search of their gear, what a messed up holiday, they only had seven days.
I have had dozens of friends and family come to visit the old home land or holiday here, there luggage turning up one or two days after they do.
I believe that LIAT over the years have done irreparable damage to our tourist industry.
It seems to me that Gonsalves is about the only person in the world who praises and appreciates LIAT. I suppose for him its a kind of Soviet Union throw back, a kind of old Aeroflot style inefficiency that he admires and in some way finds charming, a thro back to the USSR era.
Thank heavens that we had the Dash aircraft, they are pretty foolproof for LIAT to fly and service. I hope the new aircraft are as great in service as the Dash 8 was.
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR. A stretched variant of the ATR 42, the aircraft seats up to 78 passengers in a single-class configuration, and is operated by a two-pilot crew.
Passengers are boarded using the rear door (which is rare for a passenger aircraft) as the front door is used to load cargo. A tail stand must be installed when passengers are boarding or disembarking in case the nose lifts off the ground, which is common if the aircraft is loaded or unloaded incorrectly.
ATR 72 500/600
Crew 2 Capacity 70 to 78 passengers
Length 27.17 m (89 ft 2 in)
Wingspan 27.05 m (88 ft 9 in)
Height 7.65 m (25 ft 1 in)
Wing area 61.00 m2 (656.6 sq ft)
Aspect Ratio 12.0:1
Empty weight 12,950 kg (28,550 lb)
Max takeoff weight 22,500 kg (49,604 lb)
Powerplant 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127F turboprops, 1,846 kW (2,475 shp) each Typical cruise speed 276 knots (511 km/h)
Maximum Cruise speed 344 mph (554 km/h) 299 knots Range 1,330 km Service ceiling 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
Takeoff Run at MTOW 1,165 m (3,822 ft)
I studied all the photos of the inaugural flight and I see no sign of the tail stand being used, despite the excessive weight of the fat man alighting the aircraft. Has the aircraft been redesigned or is the use of the tail stand still a requirement?
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