[Trinidad] Air bridge woes – who is Caribbean AL serving

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[Trinidad] Air bridge woes – who is Caribbean AL serving

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Aug 09, 2018

https://newsday.co.tt/2018/08/09/air-br ... l-serving/

[Trinidad] Air bridge woes – who is CAL serving?
Sita Bridgemohan

Christlyn Moore, Political Leader of the Tobago Forwards, is calling on Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to address complaints by commuters about the lack of tickets available to travel on the air bridge.

Moore, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday at the Scarborough port, described the inter-island transport as a disaster, with people unable to travel between Trinidad and Tobago. She cited her own attempts on numerous occasions over the last three weeks past three weeks to get a seat on a flight, and also noted the horrendously long standby lines.

“You are unable to buy any tickets. What was the purpose of the $50 tax? You cannot buy any tickets, you cannot pay the change fee. What was the purpose...? CAL had said that this would streamline transportation between Trinidad and Tobago, it would weed out people who they claimed were hoarding tickets and it would eliminate the standby line.

"Well, where are we now?” she asked. “In fact, it is worse because there are now two lines, if not three. There is a line to purchase tickets, there is a line to change tickets and then there is the standby line. Who exactly is CAL serving and servicing on this airbridge?”

On July 30, informed Tobagonians were having problems getting tickets for CAL’s domestic service, and in the face of reports by operators on the tourism sector that visitors were saying that they also could not get on flights to Tobago, Dionne Ligoure, CAL’s Manager of Corporate Communications, said that the July/August period was a high demand period and people would have pre-booked flights. Ligoure told Newsday Tobago that CAL would adjust the operations according to demand, and pointed to the availability of the standby facility.

Moore responded to this information on Tuesday by saying, “If you know there is a higher demand on certain days, then the standby line is even more inexplicable because you ought to alter your fleet in order to meet what you know is higher demand.

“CAL is the only organisation in Trinidad and Tobago that always does everything right, what are the odds of that. CAL is fooling us with statistics and it is time we start sifting those statistics because our experience does not match the CAL statistical data,” she said.

Minority Councillor Dr Faith BYisrael, speaking at the Minority Council’s weekly media briefing on Tuesday at James Park in Scarborough, also raised the matter of travellers unable to access CAL flights this July/August, despite the airline knowing that it was a high peak period.

“Somehow, it seems as though the kind of increase in the number of flights required has not happened. I personally have a situation where I need to be in Trinidad in about three weeks and I cannot get a flight. I know Caribbean Airlines spoke about been a responsible traveller and planning ahead but if you have a situation where three or four weeks ahead you still cannot get a flight, then I really do not know what they expect the average Trinbagonian to do as it relates to travelling,” BYisrael said.

She said CAL must consider that inter-island travel was the lifeline for Tobagonians and called for mechanisms to be put in place to measure how many people were wanting airline tickets and were unable to get any.

“Some method of collecting the data because when you use the website, it tells you that you cannot have a ticket now for the dates you are looking for, but you can get a ticket for a date in the future. CAL needs to figure out some way of collating that information so that they know that there is a demand. We would like to know they calculate demand, how are they able to determine who needs to travel and when,” she said.

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