Notes From The Margin

December 26, 2007

Delays, Lost Luggage, Chaos at Check In on LIAT – The World’s Most Expensive Low Cost Carrier!

One of the consistent themes of conversation this Christmas is the Worlds Most Expensive Low Cost Carrier LIAT. Across the Caribbean people are still waiting for luggage with Christmas gifts and just their basic necessities to arrive. Many of them are hoping their luggage will arrive before they have to go back home (on TWMELCC) when it probably will be lost again.

Those of us on the margin, can only comment on the chaos at the check in counter in Barbados which required Airport Security and Police to be called to keep order. It should be noted that this disorder stemmed from the fact that none of the passengers having the remotest idea what was happening with their flight. To the observer it appeared that the logic was whoever pushed their way to the counter got checked in. Whoever didn’t; got left.

No effort was made by LIAT to tell passengers where they should queue. No staff member out front, no indication on the fancy new flat screens above the check in, not even a note written in marker on paper and stuck where people could see it. Calls to all LIAT numbers were met with either no answers or voice mails which gave the obviously irrellevant flight schedule. The chaos at the check in could have been avoided by simply telling people what was going on.

Yes we on the margin can appreciate that LIAT was struggling to move the back log due to industrial action by it’s cabin crew, however how they managed that back log was pathetic and inexcusable. The staff members appeared to be carrying out the same processes as if it were a normal day, when it was clearly anything but. Having let things got out of hand they had to resort to airport security and police to restore order.

It should be noted that we have only good things to say about how the police and the security officers took control of the situation in a professional manner without needing to resort to strong arm tactics.

LIAT’s shareholders need to ask some hard questions about what is being done with their money. We now have a monopoly carrier that treats its customers with disdain and charges higher prices while insulting our intelligence by telling us they are a “low cost airline”



  1. […] post by notesfromthemargin and software by Elliott […]

    Pingback by » Delays, Lost Luggage, Chaos at Check In on LIAT - The World’s Most Expensive Low Cost Carrier! — December 26, 2007 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  2. LIAT’s problems have been the same for years and years now. What is the “real problem?” we ask. Is it lack of finance?…Is it a fragile airline industry?…Is it the “political bachanal” surrounding the carrier?…Or is it the corruption in Antigua?….I will have to say all of these factors. The solution is clearly to move LIAT out of Antigua. A place where managers’ girlfriends and even their girlfriends’ friends get jobs at the cost of taxpayers. Move it somewhere else, anywhere else. Anywhere but Antigua.

    Comment by Anti-guan — January 15, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply


    Comment by ANTIGUAN — March 10, 2008 @ 2:18 am | Reply

  4. Liat is a disgrace!!! This airline (if you can call it that) needs a complete overhaul in it’s management and staff structure. They have no regards whatsoever for their customers and because they are the only source of air transportation to some of the smaller islands like St.Vincent, they don’t give a damn how much we complain as we have no other way of getting there. It’s a shambles of an airline!! Get rid of them and lets have a properly managed airline we can all be proud of. Bring back Caribbean Star…please

    Comment by F. A. Emmons — March 14, 2008 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  5. My friends and I just suffered a 12 hour LIAT delay from the BVI, with missed connections etc. The worst aspect was the lies from LIAT (the local staff were probably only passing on what they were told). There is no way we will holiday in the Caribbean again while LIAT is the only choice. There are plenty of other places we can go.

    Comment by cdarke — June 11, 2008 @ 4:02 am | Reply

  6. I disagree with perceptions. My family experienced professional service from Trinidad to Guyana. Liat was 1/2 hour late, delayed by Trinidian officials flying from Trinidad thru Barbados to Guyana. All luggage arrived in spite of a ?10 minute intransit in Barbados. We were greeted at the plane and escorted to our connecting flight. Our return flight was also delayed however we were served hot tasty food and juices at the airport. We were also served snacks and drinks enroute to Trinidad, we made our connecting flights to USA. Some American based airlines (American Airlines, Spirit and Northwest -to name a few) could learn something from this airline.

    Comment by CKM — August 21, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  7. I experienced a good service on this airline from Dominica to Puerto Rico, for a Dash 8 operated Airline, I think that they offer a good service, the staff was kind both at the counters and the Aircraft. I dont want this Airline to move from Antigua to Barbados. Bajans just want to own all caribbean businesses, they are too much for me and they feel that they’re more superior.

    The high ticket prices came from the barbados office that is responsible for ticket fares i, Antigua has no power over ticket sales. Ask the BaRBADOS CORPORATE TEAM.

    Comment by forever liat customer — September 30, 2008 @ 6:21 am | Reply

  8. I’ve flown on about twenty Liat flights. Here’s how you decide if you should fly Liat.

    Do you have one SMALL bag? If you only have one SMALL bag, fly Liat.

    If you have two bags, they may insist you check one. If you have one LARGE bag, they may insist you check it.

    If you check your luggage on Liat, you may have it bumped to the next flight. This is what Liat regularly does. You may get it a day or two later. Or a week or two later.

    Or, in my case, you may never get your luggage at all. You may write to Liat, phone them, you may tell them you’re getting married and your good suit is in your luggage. It won’t matter. They won’t shoulder the responsibility. Your only option left is to sue them or resign yourself to zero compensation and lost luggage.

    I’ve had great flights on Liat with wonderful service. And they’ve still misplaced my bags regularly. And once, just once, they lost it all. Once is enough. If you only have one small bag, they’re a good deal. Don’t part with the bag, be prepared for the usual LIAT delays and agents who tell you it’s not Liat’s fault. Smile. Be patient. Your ticket was cheap and you only have one bag.

    Comment by Never again — November 20, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  9. In the past I’ve enjoyed great service from LIAT. The man pushing the stairs to the plane is the man filling the fuel is the man loading the bags is the man FLYING THE AIRPLANE 8-D It’s hard to lose anything when there’s only a single point of failure.
    “Where did my bag go?
    Right here sir.
    The cabin crew was impressive as well, quite professional.
    It makes me sad to think it may have seen it’s glory days. Let’s hope for a return to better times.
    In my 50+ years of experience with service industries this manner of thing has more to do with administration than the person you see at the counters.
    One other item-when traveling with a suspect carrier (any now-a-days) if you can’t carry it on board then send it FEDEX or UPS a week ahead of time and verify it’s arrival with the hotel. I have done this since the late 1980’s and have never since had a baggage issue.

    Comment by Mark — January 7, 2011 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: