This delay caused an upsetting stir among the passengers, some of whom were there at the Piarco International Airport from as early as 8 am yesterday.
The airport security had to be called in to quell the angry crowd, when some of the passengers demanded that they see an airline official. “We are not dogs and don’t treat us like that. We need an explanation as to why the long delay,” a passenger shouted as she stood in front of the Travelspan check-in counter.
Newsday understands that the flight XP49 was carded to depart for Ft Lauderdale at 16.45 yesterday but was delayed to 3 am today.
Speaking with Newsday an airport official, who wished not to be identified, claimed that the flight was delayed because the pilots were weary, in addition to which there was some sort of mechanical problem with the airplane.
Irrate first-time visitor to Trinidad Juanita Armorgan of Ft Lauderdale yesterday told Newsday that she was due to report to work for 8 pm last night and therefore could not be on time because of the untimely delay.
“I contacted my boss and I told him what had happened but he knew that I came to play Carnival here in Trinidad so that when he heard that he automatically thought that I was still partying and told me to take the week off instead,” Armorgan said.
“I had to demand from the airline to contact my boss and to send a correspondence via fax about the delay so that he would believe me and that I would not be suspended from my job for a week without pay,” she added.
Another passenger Fernando Ruiz also had doubts about him reporting to work in time today. “This is frustrating to have a flight delayed for 10 hours. It is ridiculous. I have to report to work for 8 am in the morning and look at I am still in Trinidad when I am supposed to be on my way home to Miami. It is my first time and surely it is not a good experience here in the airport,” Ruiz said.
By 5 pm yesterday most of the passengers were put up at the Piarco International Hotel, while some decided to wait around the airport until departure. Hollis Thomas, Travelspan’s manager at the airport was unavailable for comment.