St. Vincent Prime Minister Slams LIAT Airlines For “Sloppy Service”

“Zero time, my ass. Just look at this thing.”… LIAT maintenance personnel examining an aircraft part and commenting on the airline’s need to audit its sourcing for “zero timed” replacement parts.

For some time, LIAT’s operations have been best described as semi-controlled chaos – with planeloads of passengers regularly arriving without their luggage and a corporate culture that totally disregards the words “schedule”, “service” and “reliability”.

Insiders also say that preventive and scheduled aircraft maintenance is haphazard and becoming a serious concern. One chap we ran into on the line suggests that a serious audit needs to be done on suspect “zero time” replacement parts that often find their way into the maintenance shop. As he put it “Zero time, my ass. Just look at this thing.”

But that is what happens when an airline runs short of money and starts to cut back on maintenance costs by turning to grey-market parts suppliers. Our source tells us that LIAT has gone through a series of parts suppliers lately and it is showing up in increased problems and aircraft downtime.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is concerned about LIAT’s sloppy service, and well he should be.

But the sloppy service is only a symptom of a deeper malady that infects the entire organisation. Dr. Gonsalves should also be very concerned about aircraft maintenance and crew flight times: two safety issues that need to be addressed immediately and that are much more important than luggage or flight delays.

PM Gonsalves Slams LIAT For Sloppy Service

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has slammed regional carrier LIAT for what he describes as its “sloppy” service and says it is time the airline does something about it.

Gonsalves, whose administration is one of the airline’s main shareholder governments, said his stout defence of LIAT’s strategic position must not be taken to mean that he would not be critical of the island-hopping carrier’s faults.

“Persons must not confuse my defence and support of LIAT from a strategic standpoint and assume … that I will be defending LIAT with sloppy service,” Gonsalves said.

He said he had spoken to LIAT Chairman Jean Holder as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ representative on the airline’s board of directors, Isaac Solomon, and made it clear “that I want to see an improvement of service”.

… from the Jamaica Gleaner (link here)


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

19 responses to “St. Vincent Prime Minister Slams LIAT Airlines For “Sloppy Service”

  1. Pingback: » St. Vincent Prime Minister Slams LIAT Airlines For “Sloppy Service”

  2. ex-LIAT traveller

    I think ppl expect far too much from LIAT.

    It’s not an international-grade airline like Singapore Airlines.
    it’s a Caribbean puddle-jumper, nothing more.
    One notch higher than the ZR and other route-taxi services on land.

    You pay high prices for low service levels.
    – S.N.A.F.U.
    So what else is new in this allegedly-idyllic life in de Wes’ Indeez?
    Ho hum.
    get over it.

    Welcome to LIAT.
    You pays yer money, you takes yer chances with schedules.
    At least you will get there on the date on your ticket(usually).
    Set aside that whole day as Travel Day, assuming it could take you 24 hrs. to get from GDA to TAB,if need be.

    All it takes is one blown tyre at GDA after the man gone home.
    If dat happen, dey hadda go aalll in Grenville to dig him out(drunk?)
    get him to Pearls..oh God daaz not de airport again,yes?
    MORE driving…to Pt.Salines,dis time,
    but wait… no spare tyre to fix it wid.
    No mind,man, get some banana leaf,nah!
    Dah go fix it good,yes?

    Welcome to The LIAT Schedule
    -teaching other airlines how to run.. that cool relaxed way they all envy, but simply can’t replicate.

    Singapore and BA, eat yer hearts out!

  3. Thistle

    I hold no brief for LIAT, but it would be interesting if LIAT were to “slam” the St. Vincent Prime Minister right back for being drunk on flights and pulling at and interfering with the air hostesses. My source of information is a Vincentian of unquestionable repute.

  4. Caan Understand

    Is this the same Prime Minister who slammed St. Lucia for not investing in LIAT and for calling for American Eagle as the additonal regional air carrier??

    Talk about spitting up in the air!

  5. J. Payne

    The governments still doesn’t have any vision. To think… When the government of Canada was still in control of Air Canada, they wanted to *buy* LIAT, Air Jamaica, and BWIA… In a bid to consolidate the British Empire– however slant the Caribbean more towards them then the UK.

    Supposedly, the aim was to create them all as one company but make it a subsidiary of Air Can. the Caribbean government’s were to be restituted by an equiv. stake in the profitable Air Canada (parent) airline….. The snafu for the whole thing ended up being that Air Jamaica wasn’t in favour of selling and talks fell flat so the story goes. They dropped the ball real bad because all like now Liat/BWIA/Air Jamaica etc. would probably be flying all across the Americas as Air Canada’s long haul airline.

  6. J. Payne

    In effect it would have been like the Canadian government was a shareholder of all three…There aren’t too many other better shareholders that could have been found in the world.

  7. Anonymous

    When are we going to get more realistic and affordable air fares? This siutuation is rediculous….
    How can fares to Trinidad cia LIAT be about the same as Air Jamaica from B’dos to Miami?
    I say let us boycott the plane for the next two months…

  8. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados, St. Vincent: Sloppy Service from LIAT

  9. Floyd A Emmons

    Liat, in my opinion, has to be one of the worst operating airline in the world. Why on earth do we, as the travelling public, have to put up with such an atrocious service. What Liat curently offers are:-
    1. Unreliable service
    2. Impertinent staff
    3. Untrained personnel
    4. Lost and delayed baggage
    5. Overpriced fares
    6. Couldn’t care less attitude

    Is this any way to run an airline?
    Where are the benefits of the merger with Caribbean Star?

    To the management of Liat, I have a word of advice – “Get your act together”!!!

  10. And check this out – good questions also about why the harassment of we going through Barbados immigration each time, for what? See here, leave comments on that one too as it fresh and on a main news network:

  11. Mandy

    I am a Canadian woman traveling, with my husband and 8 year old son, to Martinique, via Barbados very soon. This article is very troubling. I hope that something can be done to improve the quality of service before we come though that way.

    Here’s hoping….

  12. Smiles

    Before you go trashing the SVG PM find out why he has the right to let LIAT know when they are performing bad as well a good. He has the authority just like an employer has with an an employee regarding job performance, this has to do with his position as the representative for Governments in the region regarding Air /Sea Transportation.
    The PM of SVG is not a “DRINKER ” therefore he cannot be a ‘DRUNK’. He is a committed family man, so whoever your Vincentian informant is I smell a “SKUNK”. Here’s a lesson for you …. never repeat what YOU cannot verify for yourself, pity you didn’t before you wrote this. If it really interest You can still find out who/what is unquestionable!!!!!??? You can obtain it from the horses’ mouth.

  13. Sorry

    I cannot believe that their are ppl who actually defend LIAT. I am one who cannot see myself in the near future ever travelling on any LIAT operated flights soon. I have experienced LIAT´s don´t care attitude. I remember sitting on a plane in Antigua for over an hour with no one saying a word as to why we cannot get off the ground. I was to catch a connecting flight in Puerto Rico that day. Well really when we look at it almost no one living the smaller islands to puerto rico make that country their final port of call, we are all connecting with other flights. I got to pùerto rico just in time to see my flight leave.

    Now that was not the worse part, the worse part was that all i wanted from LIAT was a letter so i could give to my school stating my reason for getting back late. The thing i have a scholarship and stood the chance of loosing that scholarship by arriving late. Fortunately i worked out an agreement with the school but LIAT! NOT even the letter. Nothing. I lost money that day because i had to buy another ticket on my pocket and book a hotel for the unplanned over nighting in atlanta.

  14. R Timmermans

    We also had a terrible experience with Liat Airlines flight 383, Nov 18, 2007 Confirmation number V5V7BM.
    They changed the flight time on Nov 16 2007 which caused overbooking on the replacing flights for the next 5 days. We would not been able to make standby for the next 5 days.

    So we ended up paying another flight with another airline, without compensation or any refund from LIAT. On March 14 (4 months later) the case has been closed by Nutillia Simon who is referring to their right to change the flight schedule without notifying passenger directly. LIAT is not doing anything to honor our confirmed status.
    LIAT airlines has given us financial problems, Personal problems, Emotional problems and all that LIAT is doing is pointing the finger back to us and their website. Not even an apology at the gate from Ledynette Ordiz or from Customer relations Nutilia Simon.

    That alone speaks of LIAT bad character. One thing is clear; we will never fly LIAT again and discourage everyone to use this airline. If you have no bad experience with them, like this or other delays,,you were very lucky.
    Airline safety begins with choosing the right airline.
    LIAT has received our overall rating off: “Not Safe to fly”

    Alternatively you can look into the small airlines like Air Sunshine.
    It is Cheaper and nicer to fly these small planes over the islands.
    Please email me for all the details of the case if you like.
    We waited 4 months to notify you all, to give LIAT a change to make it right.
    They did not and will not, just what can happen to you.
    Think about this before you book !

  15. i want to know y liat does be so late????

  16. forever liat customer

    I dont know for you guys but when i travel on LIAT , I receive a far better customer service than any other airline. Since American Airlines cancelled a whole flight on passengers at Puerto Rico, we got out on LIAT and got our luggages on time, we were advised of our overweights , we paid and we got them on time. I dont care what you caribbean people think about your airline, but LIAT made my visit to Dominica a sure one and thats what i would say in defense of the airline…..Damn , you caribbean people are soo ungratefull for the only air transport that you have, if yiu guys continue to slander this about your airline, you’re placing slander on yourselves which makes us think that the caribbean on a whole is incompetent, its not liat alone in this thing, your governments are a joke, your hotels are a joke why blast the airline?



  18. Mary Andrew

    Greetings From Mary Andrew,

    Though its a sad and long story but I will cut it short for your quick and easy understanding. I am Mrs Mary Andrew, widow to Late Mr. Peter Andrew , My husband was murdered by those who are envious of his position in his office and he made a vow before his death which made me to contact you for this orphanage project.

    Before his death he made a vow to use his wealth for the down trodden,orphanages and the less privileged in the society. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an individual or better still a God fearing person who will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. The funds was deposited overseas and i want an individual that will use this fund and provide succor to poor and indigent persons, orphanages, and widows and for the propagating peace.

    I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not inclined to helping poor persons and I do not want my husband’s hard earned money to be misused or spent in the manner in which my late husband did not specify. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner.What is required of you is your honesty, trust and sincerity. Kindly reply me through this email( as any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another individual for this same purpose.

    Yours sister,
    Mrs Mary Andrew.

  19. BFP

    Dear Mary Andrew,

    My name is Owen S Arthur and I am the former Prime Minister of Barbados. I would love to assist you in your God-given mission to help orphans.

    Just send me all your money. I’ll invest it wisely in rum stock so the orphans will have an excellent source of income and a fine home. Speaking of fine homes for an orphanage, may I suggest a Barbados hotel called Sam Lord’s Castle? It needs some paint but otherwise I’m sure it would be a fine investment for the children. Say, US$40 million or thereabouts. Make the cheque out to me personally – Owen S. Arthur – and I’ll make sure the right things happen.

    Yours in the service of the Lord,

    Owen $ Arthur