Our Readers' Opinions
September 10, 2004
Setting your priorities right

Editor: It is encouraging to hear of the success of many students in this year’s external exam. The teachers, ministry officials, parents and students ought to be complimented. Yet in spite of this success there continues to be many young persons and parents who do not have their priorities right.{{more}}
There are far too many of our young ladies who are intelligent yet have chosen in the last year of school just before they write the external exams to become pregnant. There are also those who become pregnant while at school. This makes me wonder where their priorities lie. Are they just satisfied to complete secondary school? Are they not concerned about achieving goals? I wonder.
Sometimes I wonder where are the parents when their children are allowed to come home odd hours in the night. Where are the parents to guide and counsel their children? Is it that to many parents becoming a mother is more important than anything else in life? No wonder there are so many social ills in society and how can we minimise crimes and poverty when children are becoming mothers and are not gainfully employed?
I also wonder if LIAT and BWIA have their priorities right. Are they serious about saving the airline? Or maybe they don’t care since the governments of the Caribbean continue to “pump” money into the airline. For example, the weekend when Hurricane Earl was expected to hit our country, there were some passengers who came directly from JFK Airport in New York on a BWIA/LIAT connection on the Friday and Saturday of that said weekend. Many of the passengers did not get their luggage on arrival. Some of them got theirs some four days later. One passenger in particular received his luggage some four days later, after checking every day at the airport. That particular passenger’s luggage was in damaged condition. The suitcase was ripped from its seam with the total side ripped apart and the travelling bags were also damaged.
The passenger, having made a complaint to an agent present at the airport, was told that there is nothing that can be done. The passenger suffered the inconvenience of having to check at the airport for four consecutive days and then was greeted with two damaged pieces of luggage and, to add insult to injury, was told that the airline was not responsible. The passenger, therefore, had to stand his own loss with no compensation. However, after much reasoning (and the passenger not accepting the agent’s unsatisfactory answer and threatening to expose and no longer travel with that airline), a compromise was reached where the agent decided to hire a taxi to transport the passenger and his luggage home. The passenger still ended up having to replace the suitcase and a travelling bag.
One would think that if LIAT and BWIA had their priorities right they would ensure that passengers are satisfied, thereby making LIAT/BWIA their airline of choice. It is sad, though, that because the travelling public has very little choice in aircraft that we are treated with such scant respect.
I think it is time that these airlines put their priority right and make passengers happy.

Kennard King