By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, July 5, 2022 – A dialysis patient and an elderly wheelchair-bound man were only two of 15 residents left stranded in Santo Domingo on Wednesday. After being forced to stay overnight they say interCaribbean Airways should have managed their flight cancellation more professionally.
The customers say they waited at the airport from 12:30pm last Wednesday for a flight that was supposed to be at 1:50pm; the passengers also said that for hours there was no communication from representatives of the airline, and then out of nowhere at about 4pm the flight was simply cancelled.
The irate passengers were eventually placed into a hotel, which was said to have had no idea they were coming; it made even that process tedious and tiresome. It was said, no one got into a room until well after 8pm, including the two medical passengers.
InterCaribbean Airways has shared in the past that staff challenges were the cause for cancellations and delays; that it was not uncommon for any airline in this new COVID normal. But passengers say, they want to be able to fly a dependable airline.
The dialysis patient had an appointment at hospital in Providenciales at 6 a.m.; the cancelled flight meant he would miss the crucial treatment.
Magnetic Media obtained comment from InterCaribbean Airways, which explained the airline was still operating at a reduced capacity.
“There was a flight attendant who reported being ill and there was no other flight attendant on duty at this time. The flight had to be canceled so the passengers couldn’t get a new departure time immediately while the department in charge was looking for another flight attendant to operate the flight. Once the flight had to be canceled, passengers were informed and the process to get accommodation started,” said Carolina Torres, Marketing Coordinator.
Ms. Torres further explained that the length of time between cancellation and the customers getting rooms was because of the lengthy process of relocating from the gate to the customs area to claim bags and then to the upper level for transport.
TCI-based, interCaribbean says the amount of rooms they had to book for the guests also slowed the process.
“We understand that this entire process is costly for all parties and interCaribbean apologizes for the inconveniences this caused in the travel itinerary of each passenger, and in their purposes with their trip, whether for business, family and some people for reasons of Health,” the company said.