Sir Richard Branson tweets about LIAT (Luggage In Any Terminal airlines)


“How to write a complaint letter — read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger,”

Most airline complaint letters are so filled with rage and tales of woe, it’s hard to see any humour in the situation.

But that’s not the case with a letter written to LIAT, a small airline serving 21 destinations in the Caribbean. Indeed, the complaint is so funny that it prompted another airline’s CEO to tweet it to his more than 3 million followers.

“How to write a complaint letter — read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger,” tweeted Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

The letter appeared in the weekly British Virgin Islands newspaper, the BVI Beacon, earlier this year. It was penned by Londoner Arthur Hicks and entitled “An Open Letter to LIAT.”

Dear LIAT,

May I say how considerate it is of you to provide your passengers with such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean.

Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry.

I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not one or two but six airports yesterday.

And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time?

We got to change and refuel every step of the way!

I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same.
And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I now feel as if I’ve been hugged by most of the Caribbean.

I also found it unique that this was all done on “island time,” because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges.

As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night
— and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.

So thank you, LIAT. I now truly understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”

P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway!


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

12 responses to “Sir Richard Branson tweets about LIAT (Luggage In Any Terminal airlines)

  1. 108

    That’s a Brit for you.

  2. It seems to me that the people of the smaller islands of the eastern Caribbean are quite weighed down by the responsibility of funding a public airline, which is nonetheless a developmental imperative given their geography and the nature of their economies. In that regard, this letter and its tongue in cheek facetiousness belies a mean and callous spirit, which is anything but funny. Typically English, though.

  3. just want to know

    Why are intransit, who do not go outside of the exit terminal have to be put all of that searching & patting down. I have seen it happen, so I understand what the man is talking about, tongue in cheek. Don’t the immigration officers trust each other islands officers to do a good job?

  4. LIAT's response?

    We couldn’t give a rat’s ass!
    LIAT is what LIAT is -and it is unchangeable.

    Any o’ allyuh who feel you cud change it..
    welcome to come an try! lol

  5. Iain

    At least LIAT has a decent inflight magazine to read when you’re stuck on the plane.

  6. 45

    well I will be on a liat plane in about a month,so if I can get that type of service, i would be happy island hopping, so liat you’re the Caribbean airline there are much worst airline than you…..

  7. Threefoot

    Sir Richard you are the best, thank you for your commitment to the Caribbean, we are aware your hands are tied by our trojan policies. Would love to see Virgin mobile give Digicel and Lime some proper competition, something like T-Mobile or Metropcs.

  8. Threefoot

    Some leaders in the Caribbean, Private sectors including, should be in a prison built for planes.

  9. Donna

    How does Barbados contribution of 73 million dollars, over the next four years to the Caribbean air zr Liat do anything for the Barbados economy? Not one red cent go to the manufacturing of more Barbadian products. .Benefiting Barbadian workers and their families, less importation of other people’s goods, more money stays home. Subsidizing for beef, pig, poultry and all types of farming. Stop the importation of of milk from other places by boosting cow and goat production through feed , veterinary and an all in one milking and distribution plant. Stop giving lip service to small businesses and lets have on the spot free clinics between small business owners and health, law, business even Pommarine students. To give ideas and to give any help and improvement necessary to owners. .Education needs to be overhauled to make students work ready sooner with actual working skills. Where they can receive training in their chosen field by working alongside professionals. Where exactly does the workers unions doing about the lost of employment among it’s membership, maybe they must be sleeping as usual . This poor Government seem to have won the lottery .My hope is that the voters wouldn’t get a hike in value added tax to pay off the debt. It sure would have been nice to have a Barbadian owned , funded and a share holding Barbadian work force. In Barbados in 2013 Government Leaders are loss and affirmative action is dead .Mayday , mayday somebody Barbados has gone down.

  10. Anomynous


    – Hon. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados
    – Dr. Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda
    – Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & Grenadines

    WHEREAS the eastern Caribbean airline LIAT has lost large sums of taxpayer money almost every year since becoming a regionally owned carrier almost 40 years ago, and

    WHEREAS one way or another LIAT continues to absorb and/or lose large sums of money and needs to be supported by the taxpayers and travelling public in multiple islands, and

    WHEREAS the majority of passengers using LIAT are regional citizens who rely on the airline for inter-island travel for trade, business, cargo, small packages, medical services, visas, education, family, friends, festivals and more, and

    WHEREAS the eastern Caribbean shareholders of LIAT continue decade after decade to appoint Board Members and management for political reasons who are clearly proven to be eminently unsuitable and unqualified, and

    WHEREAS the eastern Caribbean airline LIAT has just experienced a two-week “meltdown” inconveniencing thousands of local and regional citizens and foreign visitors by reason of incompetence of and lack of foresight by both Board and upper management, and

    WHEREAS it is pellucidly clear to everyone in the eastern Caribbean that the current status quo of the direction and management of LIAT cannot – and MUST NOT – continue,

    BE IT THEREFORE RECORDED that we, the undersigned, call on the primary shareholder Prime Ministers and governments of LIAT – ie: Hon. Freundel Stuart of Barbados; Dr. Hon. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua; and Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent – to perform the following actions forthwith:

    1. To REMOVE the current Chairman, Board and top management of LIAT in a timely manner, in no case longer than six months (the one exception being Gatesworth James of Antigua, who has current knowledge and experience in aviation), and

    2. To CHANGE the future quality and qualifications of individuals they appoint Board Members, away from local political appointees and to local and/or regional citizens – residing locally or abroad – who have intimate knowledge and/or recent experience about airlines and aviation, such that the Board in totality produces and provides a broad practical knowledgebase with which to guide the airline to profitability and efficiency, and

    3. To REQUIRE, from this day on, that each Board Member (including the Chairman) and members of the upper management of LIAT travel at least 600 miles (about 3 hours) on the airline’s network, at least once a month – but preferably more frequently – so that they may experience and view first hand what passengers and staff of the airline experience and view every day and seek to correct it before major problems occur, and

    4. To INSIST that all processes and procedures in the airline be reviewed annually by management and/or regional consultants to streamline or eliminate unnecessary bottlenecks, blocks and annoyances from the running of the airline and processing of its passengers, and

    5. To REDUCE AND/OR REMOVE all airport, airline and passenger travel taxes, fees and charges imposed by the shareholder governments, to set the example others may follow so that regional aviation may have yet another impediment removed from ease of movement among CARICOM nations – as is publicly postulated as part of the regional political will.

  11. Pingback: Sir Richard Branson, Journalist Ian Bourne and a host of other folks agree about LIAT Airlines | Barbados Free Press