Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:50 AM
The island is wonderful, but getting there can be a proble.
This ime we chose to connect with LIAt in San Juan since our usual American eagle connection was not doable due to their schedule changes.
Every thing seemed to be going fairly smoothly till after we boarded the Liat turboprop and the captain anounced there would be a slight delay leaving San Juan due to Air Traffic congestion. After 30 minuties we took off for our non-stop flight to Dominica (so we thought). About 30 minutes prior to when we were supposed to land in Dominica, he announced that Air Traffic control has rerouted him to Antigua due to "congestion" and due to our being detoured we would not be able to land at Dominica as they did not have landing lights on the runway.
Apparently the air traffic controllers, pilots and Liat ground crews have been doing a job action (strike) since 12/19/08 and have redirected planes to Antigua, delayed flights, canceled flights, delayed luggage, lost luggage and riffled through luggage since it began.
We arrived in Antigua, the Liat rep at the transit desk told us to gather our luggage, go through customs as a transit passenger, then meet her outside and she would try to find us a place to stay.
3 of the 8 bags were missing, after we cleared customs she was nowhere to be found, the baggage people refused to take a claim as Dominica was our destination. All Liat reps were rude ignoring us, no eye contact. The initial rep was nowhere to be found after 4 hours of trying to get some help a security gurad finally dragged a Liat rep to hel us and the other 45 people on our flight they screwed. They put us up at the Jolly Beach resort(35-40 minutes from the airport) and told us they would call us in the morning when they could figure out haow they would get us to Dominica. They assured us our missing bags would be in Dominica when we arrived.
The next morning no phone call, so I called them at 9:00 as they did not answer phones till then. I was told that they were putting us and our fellow passengers on a 10 AM flight and they were sending cabs to pick us up. They arrived about 9:20 AM. We got to the airport and there was a huge line. By the time we got to the counter we missed the 10AM flight and were told no worries they made another flight for us that would leave at 11:00, ran through customs and security to find that the flight was delayed and wound up leaving at 12:15. Instead of going straight to Dominica a 30 minute flight for 45 of the passengers on the flight we landed in Guadalupe, sat on the ground for over an hour and arrived in Dominica at 230PM.
When we arrived in Dominica one of the 3 bags lost from San Juan was waiting for us, but the other five bags we checked in Antigua did not arrive, now missing 7 out of 8 bags.
The next night one of the missing San Juan Checked bags showed up, now missing 6 out of 8 bags, The rest of the bags arrived slowly with the last bag arriving at 5PM the night before departure back to the states. TSA locks were cut off the bags and contents missing.
I had packed dive regulators and dive computers, sb-800 strobe and fantasea fousing for it in the checked luggage. I guess we will be seeing this stuff on ebay for sale from Antigua in the near future.
On the way back our non-stop was routed back to Antigua, where we deplaned and we through security again, then to Tortola once again deplaning going through security and arriving in San Juan with 8 out of our 8 bags. The 1.5 hour flight took 3 hours.
The gate representatives at Liat are rude and ignore any attempts at communication. Stay away from this airline, they are a travel nightmare.
Posted 11 January 2009 - 03:46 AM
A couple of days ago I read the cover story on the latest undercurrent.org, about St. Vincent. My interest in diving St. Vincent was again stirred after reading this article. So, I researched options for flying into St. Vincent to see if things changed since last time I had checked. Getting to St. Vincent via San Juan certainly isn't an option. I can get to one of the neighboring islands easily enough on American Airlines, but then flying into St. Vincent on Liat Airlines? One look at their baggage regulations quickly ruled out Liat Airlines and St. Vincent: http://www.liatairli...?...e&page_id=3...
Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:38 AM
Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:07 PM
Edited by Revlon, 11 January 2009 - 12:08 PM.
Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:30 AM
Getting to St. Vincent via San Juan certainly isn't an option. I can get to one of the neighboring islands easily enough on American Airlines, but then flying into St. Vincent on Liat Airlines? One look at their baggage regulations quickly ruled out Liat Airlines and St. Vincent: http://www.liatairli...?...e&page_id=3...
I too have been planning a trip to St. Vincent. I went to Bequia (neighboring island) a few years ago and flew into Barbados then took Mustique Air. they also go to all the other islands. http://www.mustique.com/ You could also get there via Martinque instead of Barbados, I think.