Stranded in T&T

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bimjim
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Stranded in T&T

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Sep 02, 2011

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Str ... 69968.html

Stranded in T&T
US family begs for help back home after Irene
Sep 1, 2011

A family of nine from the United States of America, who have been stranded in this country with absolutely nowhere to sleep at night, are today pleading for whatever assistance they could get.

Darryl Gatewood, 50, and eight other members of his family, which included his wife Roxann, 39, and children, Ronique, 13; Bryce, 6; and Kyle, 5, have been sleeping and using washroom facilities at Piarco International Airport since last weekend.

The family had just finished a spending a two-week vacation at St Vincent and the Grenadines when their plane touched down at Piarco International around 7. 30 p.m. on Saturday.

They were expected to depart for the US at 12. 30 a.m. the following day, but that did not happened after the airline informed passengers that flights to and from the US have been cancelled due to Hurricane Irene's passage.

Gatewood said his family's life has been a living hell since they had spent most of their cash while on vacation, unaware that they would have been stranded in another Caribbean island.

He was very critical of the response to his family's plea by Continental airline officials. He said other members of his family were afforded a place to rest their heads by someone they knew in this country, but his entire family could not be accommodated at the residence.

Gatewood said: "Continental have nothing set up to facilitate passengers because of the cancellation of their flights. They have no accommodation or alternative room or sleeping area. So we persevered and we got a place to stay but it is costing us US$270 per night per room.

"We are still at the mercy of the airline, Continental airline, which made no provisions f other cancellation of the prices and for re-booking. Because there were several persons who came to be re-booked and it was a problem.

He added, "We have children; we have jobs to go back to. Kids have to go back to school so I hope they are wrong in their prediction on when we can leave because we basically are running out of money and we are at the mercy of the rest rooms, KFC and things of that nature here at the airport.

"We had a nice flight; we had a nice stay up until this point when we landed here (Trinidad). We have four children and look where they are forced to sleep because we don't have any sleeping or washing accommodation at this time. So, hopefully, Continental will do something that will be more of a service towards its customers," Gateway said.

Contacted Tuesday an official at the airline's communications department in Texas stated that the airlines does not make accommodation provisions for its passengers when flights are disrupted due to natural disasters. She promised to have a spokesperson contact us with further details.

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