Our Readers' Opinions
July 8, 2016
Ten ways to enjoy LIAT

Editor: Seriously, guys, why have we not adapted to LIAT’s late and crazy schedule after flying with them for so many years in the region? We must understand the rhythms and seasons of regional travel to reduce our disappointments and levels of stress.

Preparation is the key, especially around June – August, when the cultural festivals in the region are in high gear, and from November – January, when returning residents journey home for Christmas celebrations and tourists escape the cold to warmer paradise.{{more}}

I have travelled with LIAT for years and have suffered flight delays, missing bags, overbooking and cheap hotels put-ups, etc. But like a nagging uncle, you just suck your teeth, dismiss them and accept them as part of the family. Like that nagging family member, when it comes to regional travel, LIAT is not going anywhere (and I mean anywhere), Therefore, here are 10 practical tips to lighten the burden of your travel:

1. Carry a snack from home. This is important, as airport food is expensive and you will need something to eat when LIAT has delays. Check in and wait in the air-conditioned waiting room. The cooler you are, the calmer you become.

2. Charge your phone battery and walk with a battery pack. This will provide hours of added entertainment and well needed distraction during delays.

3. Stay calm and friendly. You already anticipated LIAT’s reputed tardiness, so don’t act surprised and upset and wear your spirits down. Just remain calm and conserve your energy, smile and make friends with the person next to you. Adversity has a way of bringing people together and helping forge long-lasting friendships. Enjoy the conversation while you Leave Island Any Time.

4. Travel with a knapsack or the maximum allowable sized carry-on. Make sure it holds all the essentials and enough clothes to last you, because your bag is going to be Left In Another Terminal. This reduces your lag time at your destination waiting for your luggage and you can have fun with the clothes you intended for that special occasion.

5. Give yourself adequate time between bookings to allow LIAT time to get their act together. This way you can increase the probability that your bag will be on the next flight with you. This might mean spending six or more hours in the airport, but grab your Kindle or a good book you intended to read and escape into another world. Keep your ears open for flight announcements though; LIAT has been leaving people behind.

6. Write a song about the situation or write another chapter of that book that has been haunting for years to be written. Bestsellers and hit songs are written during adversity and delays.

7. Catch up on some well needed work and answer those emails that you been ignoring. Most airports have free wifi, so use the resources available to you while LIAT decides which island to divert to before it takes you to your destination.

8. Update your status on Facebook and take some selfies. You have the time to chat with your friends on Whatsapp, even the ones you have been ignoring by reading the notification, but never opening the message, so it wouldn’t be delivered, lol.

9. Check out airport goodies. Airports are hotspots for beautiful strangers. Check them out to your delight and if you are brave enough, make the approach. People are always looking, so don’t be surprised if you get hitched. If you are on the timid side, that’s ok, you can check out the great bargains in the duty-free stores. There are seasonal sales and great finds. If not, check out the food court. Some airports have good Caribbean food. Just don’t eat too much or buy too many things that you can’t carry.

10. Become more acquainted with your travel buddy. Oftentimes, we don’t converse enough with the people we love and live with. This is a good opportunity to chat them off, catch up on what you’ve been missing, laugh and have fun with your family. After all, all things work out for good. A delay might be the time to catch up on important events in our lives that would have gone unnoticed, thanks to LIAT.

For those who read to the end, I hope I was able to help you prepare and endure the nuisances of LIAT and regional travel. Have a safe trip.

Hayden K Billingy