Liat passengers still awaiting luggage after almost a week
January 13, 2017
Liat passengers still awaiting luggage after almost a week

Returning national Rupert Castello is calling on the Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) 1974 Limited to operate more professionally, as the way they do business can turn persons away from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

On Wednesday, during a telephone interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Castello said that four of his friends from Toronto arrived in St Vincent on December 27 and left on Thursday, January 5. He said that their flight took them through Trinidad.

According to Castello, his four friends left the ET Joshua Airport at around 10 a.m., but when they arrived at the Piarco International Airport, they were told by a LIAT employee that their bags were still at ET Joshua.

On Wednesday, one week after the four Canadians left St Vincent, they had still not received their luggage, some four suitcases.

Castello, originally from Richland Park, but who moved back to St Vincent last year and constructed a house at Biabou, has described his friends’ baggage situation as “disgusting, unprofessional and ridiculous,” as LIAT was up to press time unable to tell his friends exactly when they would get their luggage.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that the situation is very unfortunate, as the four visitors are employed by the Toronto District School Board, two of them as principals, one as a social worker and one as a teacher and the luggage contained documents that were to be used on the first day of school, Monday, January 9.

“One of the ladies is a principal and she had brought work which she needed for a staff meeting on Monday and for students and all of that stuff which I helped her with is in her suitcase,” said Castello, who is a 15-year veteran of the Toronto District School Board, having worked as a principal in Canada.

He said that he decided to take early retirement and return to his beloved country, but is extremely peeved with LIAT, the airline charged with bringing the majority of visitors to these shores.

Castello said he usually encourages persons to come to SVG and will continue to do so, but thinks that LIAT should try their best to rectify the various issues that are painting the country and the region in a bad light.

He questioned whether the problems with LIAT will continue when the Argyle International Airport is opened.

“I love St Vincent and would encourage persons to come here, but LIAT is a big problem and with the opening of the international airport, they need to do better. They are going to go to Argyle with this sort of thing?”

He noted also that his friends’ luggage contained breadfruit, peas and other perishable items that would have spoiled by now. Castello said that they would be looking at some sort of legal redress through a Toronto based lawyer.

“They need to get their act together,” noted the irate man.

LIAT said on Wednesday evening that the luggage from Thursday, January 5 was forwarded to Trinidad on January 10 and was being sorted, with the intention of sending them to Canada yesterday or possibly today, Friday, January 13.

In recent months, LIAT has been plagued with flight cancellations, late flights and lost baggage. Persons have taken to social media and various other outlets to voice their displeasure with the company’s operations.(LC)