Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column–The Airport Experience

This week’s column was going to be dedicated to my the week I recently spent in Kentucky and North Carolina, but other subjects raised their heads, in a positive and negative way.

First my outbound flight!

While I have previously flown to Barbados from Charlotte, […]this was my first time in a northerly direction and what a pleasant surprise. While the aircraft used, an Airbus 319 is a small plane, it is comfortable and takes part of the huge risk out of filling larger equipment like B767’s, B777’s, A330’s and the older B757’s.

My flight touched down on time and rather than the typical queue to clear immigration and customs of up to two hours or more at Miami, I was first in line and processed within minutes by a very congenial immigration officer and an equally affable customs official. In less than an hour after the plane touched down I had checked into an airport hotel nearby!

If there is any lesson our tourism planners and policymakers should never forget it is that the components of getting from point A to point B plays an incredibly important factor in destination decision making process, especially if you are trying to attract repeat visitors.

And that takes me back to the negative aspect. Returning via Louisville and Miami, our flight AA1089 while departing late, arrived more or less on-time at Grantley Adams Airport, but then the chaos ensued. There were no landing/customs forms on the aircraft, so around 180 people were left to scramble around trying to find a form and pen before they could proceed any further. Bear in mind, just minutes later, most of the larger planes started arriving like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet, JetBlue etc., so imagine the mayhem this could trigger.

After speaking to a senior immigration officer, apparently this was the fourth consecutive day it had happened and the authorities were now discussing refusing to de-plane passengers on further flights unless the applicable forms were handed out pre or during the flights.

Frankly I am not absolutely certain whose responsibility it is to ensure the forms are on the plane, but surely it is not rocket science and should not the most important factor be the highest level of passenger or visitor travel experience?

On a more positive note, the office of Barbados Tourism located in the airport arrivals hall has been greatly enhanced and is far more visible. Kudos to all who have made it possible!

I have always been convinced that so much more could be achieved with this outstanding location. This may include silent mode monitor screens in the immigration queue or baggage retrieval area showing powerful images of our attractions, activities and multi restaurant choices possibly updated every 7 days showing upcoming events within the next week mirroring the highly successful ‘What’s on in Barbados’ website.

And while I realise most people have some sort of time devices on their cell phones, all sorts of other communication options and even watches, what is wrong with having a few sponsored clocks at the airport?

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26 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column–The Airport Experience”

  1. David September 14, 2015 at 11:27 AM #

    BU finds it incredible the PM of St.Kitts has boldly declared he will not invest in LIAT. Does LIAT service St. Kitts?

    Like

  2. Nostradamus September 14, 2015 at 1:07 PM #

    Why not make immigration forms available online so that anyone who wants to has the option to complete, print (in duplicate if required) and take with them prior to travelling. Similar to how you can print a boarding pass prior to check in. Yes it will probably mean passing some legislation allowing a different format for the immigration form but it will have all the required information.

    Will save passengers time, forms will be more legible and reduce governments cost of printing forms.

    Like

  3. James Lynch September 14, 2015 at 5:48 PM #

    LIAT does indeed serve St. Kitts, and has always done so. Founder Sir Frank Delisle was originally from St. Kitts, although he started the airline in Montserrat.

    In their most recent act of financial desperation, Comrade Chubbie Ralphie has collared another LIAT shareholder Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, to harrass and try to shame a non-shareholder Prime Minister into joining their con-job by also stealing large chunks of taxpayers money and dumping it down the gaping LIAT sink-hole.

    In the EC there are three Prime Ministers outstanding from the LIAT table – St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Grenada. But Timothy Harris is the newest, and therefore a natural target for two old-timer wolves to corner. Yet Harris is standing his ground and refusing to waste his own taxpayers’ money – a waste which could possibly bring his country in line with Barbados, Antigua and St. Vincent as to the state of financial distress.

    As I have said before SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! The man was barely in office a month before Gonsalves was snarling at his gate to bite a chunk of of his taxpayers for LIAT.

    St. Kitts is just like Antigua, Barbados, St. Vincent and Dominica – in that Harris’ country does not really need LIAT. And there is therefore no pressing reason to support LIAT – well, not in its present form. Because he literally has St. Maarten sitting on the horizon, and – as they do for Dominica – WinAir and Air Antilles can easily support St. Kitts and Nevis with no (dis)service from LIAT at all.

    As we all know, for decades various people have been telling the LIAT shareholders they have to make major changes. In the last three years we have had a “meltdown” (which seems to be still going on), we have a new do-nothing CEO at LIAT, various responsible people have called for Chairman Jean Holder’s resignation, pressure is indirectly being brought to bear on LIAT by Prime Ministers who would join the table if LIAT were cleaned up, yet the Comrade insists this is how LIAT must be, and there will be no change.

    So nobody is interested – and of course rightfully so.

    I recently read an article where the writer was documenting the elections going on this year around the EC – with one ridiculous rotten political apple after another being discarded by the voters.

    My hope is that the Marxist “Comrade” Gonsalves – who seems to have his stubby little fingers in every possible regional pie – is thrown out by the St. Vincent electorate before the end of the year, and that Bajans find some way to get the rid this do-nothing Tweedle-Freundel Prime Jackass long before his term is up – and that the new political party in Barbados be given a chance to show what they can do, instead of just changing the D to a B on the door and continuing with “politricks as usual”.

    On a point, what is happening in Barbados with the red tape and bureaucracy never ceases to amaze me with the resultant stupidity, and this latest description is no different.

    But if I were managing the airline in question I would have taken a copy of the E/D form and be printing my own for my passengers inbound – and if they have numbers I would be printing my own sequence – Barbados Immigration does not have a copyright to the format, they just need that information. How much could it cost?

    Certainly over the years I have learned that waiting for any government official in Barbados to do what they are paid to do results in extreme inconvenience – and perhaps they want it that way.

    The new Prime Minister in Trinidad has been on the job less than a fortnight and has already abolished some 22 unnecessary Ministries… perhaps we need a bold Prime Minister in Barbados to look at the installed and immovable “Army Of Occupation” and either find a way to make them work efficiently without all the endless bureaucracy, foot-dragging and “steupsing” that interferes with our daily lives – or do the same as Trinidad and throw them the heck out.

    I was in Barbados in October last year on a visit, and went looking for a Police Station to get a Visitor’s Driving Permit to drive my father’s car. Guess what? It is no longer done at Police Stations… no, unless they get it done by a car rental agency they have to go downtown during business hours and stand in line for several hours in front of Mr. or Mrs. Steupsing the Scowling Clerk.

    A few more taxi fares would be spent, I guess, but if I were a tourist getting that treatment I’d find somewhere else to vacation in the future.

    And you can bet that I will, too.

    Like

  4. David September 14, 2015 at 6:06 PM #

    The big question then is why is LIAT still flying to LIAT? Is the St. Kitts route profitable?

    Like

  5. Artaxerxes September 14, 2015 at 6:35 PM #

    LIAT provides at least six flights to St. Kitts on any given day and benefits from approximately US$79.88 (EC$107.84) to US$116.30 (EC$157.00) in taxes and fees per passenger, depending on the air fare.

    If St. Kitts’ PM Timothy Harris is adamant that St. Kitts will not invest in LIAT, then passengers going to that island should be made to “brek for themselves” after arriving in Antigua.

    Like

  6. Hants September 14, 2015 at 7:08 PM #

    Caribbean Unity ?

    Like

  7. David Weekes on the 12.41 a.m. Train to Eternity September 15, 2015 at 12:49 PM #

    @ Nostradamus

    You asked the burning question “…Why not make immigration forms available online so that anyone who wants to has the option to complete, print (in duplicate if required) and take with them prior to travelling?…”

    If you have the time take a look at the site http://www.google.com/patents/US7147155

    In the 1st claim listed there you will see that I stated “A method for managing traveler information of a traveler having a country of origin and traveling from a country of embarkation to a country of destination, the method comprising:

    receiving input data from a graphic user interface containing traveler information at the country of embarkation;

    sending the traveler information to the country of origin, wherein the country of origin is different than the country of embarkation…

    the equivalent of your computer assisted ED form submission so that PRIOR TO A TRAVELLER ARRIVING at GAIA all of your information would be at the counter and a scan of your passport, barcode or whatever, would allow you to pass through immigration rapidly.

    That was 2004!! and of course I am still fighting that case with CARICOM in 2015

    What if I were to tell you that Apple and Microsoft have joined forces in a lawsuit you would probably say that I was lying wouldn”t you?

    But Apple and Microsoft have joined forces INVESTED BILLIONS OF $$ to create a shell company. The sole purpose of this venture is to sue Google and derail its Android operating system!!

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/patent-war-goes-nuclear-microsoft-apple-owned-rockstar-sues-google/

    Two companies which always are competing against each other now collaborating to deal with their common enemy which in this case Nostradamus is inefficient and ineffective immigration practices.

    I have learnt that white people have a different way of thinking than we black people and that is why they are always going to be the 5% of the country which owns 95% of the lands leaving the 95% of our population to scramble for crumbs.

    “The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings…”

    CARICOM had men and women and several professionals who are much brighter than I could ever be, but they, and two respective administrations, would never think of addressing this immigration problem through burying the hatchet and implementing a West Indian Solution that The United States has benefitted from.

    No siree, it belongs to that fellow Weekes and it must die or in the words of an officer from a leading development agency tasked with microenterprise development “it is not the ideas, it is the man”

    A dear friend used what I said must be blasphemy when he said to me once do you remember the words of that famous song Jesus Christ, Superstar ?

    “What then to do about this Jesus mania?
    How to we deal with a Carpenter King?
    Where do we start with the man who is bigger
    Than John was when John did His baptism thing?

    Fools! You have no perception!
    The stake we are gambling are frighteningly high
    We must crush Him completely
    So like John before Him, this Jesus must die”

    I am no Jesus, sir, commenter who has taken the name of Michel de Nostradame, and CANNOT in any form of fashion be a Jesus. I think that his emphasis was on the MUST DIE component of those verses.

    My vision(s) unlike those of that renown “seer” lies in practical solutions which WILL BRING SELF RELIANCE for self, and WILL generate FOREX a term which though often coined by both administrations, is something which does not seem to manifest.

    I will borrow from David Commissiong ‘s earlier post on Schumacher and propose that my vision(s) do not rely on “such chancy and vulnerable economic arrangements as monoculture export of raw materials or tourism.”

    Like

  8. dompey September 15, 2015 at 5:32 PM #

    If the native Barbadian only knew what store house of knowledge the Barbadians who travels or those who live a foreign possessed, their would stop and consider some of our suggestions.

    But as the gentleman said a few ago weeks ago: It would appear as though the native Barbadian isn’t receptive to anything foreign and that’s a dying shame.

    This kind of thinking can be equated to the country man who has never left the ambience of the country life, but has formed this false perception regarding the character of town man based on mere stereotypical orthodoxy.

    Like

  9. dompey September 15, 2015 at 7:17 PM #

    David Weeks

    David Weeks writes: “I have learnt that the white people have a different way of thinking than we black people and that is why they are always going to be the 5% of the country which owns 95% of the land leaving the 95% of our population to scrambles for crumbs.”

    I am troubled by this statement because it tells that you’re ignorant of Caribbean history, or you have deliberately chosen to ignore it to give force to your argument.

    The 5% of the population that you have made reference to are descendants of whites from the British Isles who were part and parcel of the indenture that were brought to Barbados in the 1500’s to work on the cotton and tobacco plantations, prior to the introduction of sugar cane and the genocidal colonization of the African people in the early 1600’s, and who had in time progessed into the ranks of the ownership class.

    So in essence: this 5% of the population of which you have spoken so eloquently of are actual descendants of the plantocracy or the ownership class, who migrated in great numbers to the state North Carolina, against the backdropped of an increasing slave population.

    And finally, Sir Arthur Lewis stated in one of his books that the European, the Chinese and the East Indian have had four-hundred years ahead of the black man ( who was yet shackled to the evil instition of slavery) to perfected they commerce skills.

    Like

  10. dompey September 15, 2015 at 7:37 PM #

    Note of correction: I meant to say that these white Barbadians migrated to the state of “South Carolina; introducing the plantocracy on the soil of the Great White North for the first time in its history. Feel free to read the history of South Carolina, if you disbelieve what I am trying to convey here.

    Like

  11. Colonel Buggy September 16, 2015 at 10:15 PM #

    dompey September 15, 2015 at 7:37 PM #
    And perhaps , Bro these Barbadians planters took along some of their best ”Field Workers”,the real planters ,and that maybe why the Gullahs of SC still speak with a bit of a Bajan accent.

    Like

  12. Colonel Buggy September 16, 2015 at 10:20 PM #

    I was in Barbados in October last year on a visit, and went looking for a Police Station to get a Visitor’s Driving Permit to drive my father’s car. Guess what? It is no longer done at Police Stations… no, unless they get it done by a car rental agency they have to go downtown during business hours and stand in line for several hours in front of Mr. or Mrs. Steupsing the Scowling Clerk.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    And what a pity. The last time I visited Dominica, I was able to get a Visitors Driving Permit right in the Arrival Hall.

    Like

  13. Colonel Buggy September 16, 2015 at 10:26 PM #

    Well finally, we hear that GAIA is to be upgraded , and Air Bridges fitted. But during my travels I’ve come across only one airport where the Air Bridges rise from the ground floor to the aircraft door.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right September 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM #

    @ Colonel Buggy

    Wunna so wants banning.

    Imagine dat you exercising logic and showing how ingrunt it is to stand puh de ground to walk up in de air

    Now here is the thing that makes this really stupid Colonel Buggy.

    Ground traffic.

    You is a bright man, you remember dat when you walking tuh de pane you gots to cross a road that does permit de vehicles tuh carry supplied and personel to and from the plane.

    So de configuration is airport arrival/departure lounge, de road, den de airplane

    Now boaf uh we lounges at de ground level so it mean dat you gine hafta to suspend de Air bridges fuh de Air Bridges to let de vehicles pass under dem.

    Now Unlessing you say dat you gine leh de road get reposition BEHIND de aircraft closer to de tarmac where it possible fuh an airplance and dem cars tuh lik into one annuder.

    No a nex fellow gine tell you dat dem gine bring de aircraft closer to de lounges jes so dat the Air bridges gine be shorter

    Now you do know that fuh de airbridges tuh work it mean dat in a few years if I gots to tek a wheeel chair tuh get pun de plan dat dem gine eider got to hre Jones (de one at de airport not We Jonesing of de chilrun are is reading well) to lift me old donkey, mine not Asinus Domesticus, He is a army man and kin walk under he own steam, dem gine gots to lift me up to enter the AIr Bridge or install and elevator for access tuh dese airbridges.

    But dis is de tinking of de same idjits dat was did tinking of Fly Ovahs to tek you out of congested traffic and fly you ovah de air BACK INT DE SAME TRAFFIC!!

    Doan Worry Colonel Buggy, I gine ban meself fuh mekking a common sense statement like dat

    Like

  15. de Ingrunt Word September 17, 2015 at 9:27 AM #

    @Col Buggy, going downtown to get the visitor’s drive license is only part correct…you can attend to that matter at any BRA office.

    Yes it’s surely a bit of a longer wait that in a police station where activity at mid-morning would generally be minimal to non-existent but overall somewhat practical.

    I would agree with the point that it should be available at an airport office. Encourages ease of service and gathers the revenue quickly and smoothly.

    The powers that be obviously see it as an incidental revenue stream and do not perceive that there is any benefit to making it more readily accessible. Most definitely they lose revenue from those non-residents who don’t because of the ‘hassle’ BUT still drive bout de place.

    Like

  16. de Ingrunt Word September 17, 2015 at 9:29 AM #

    “readily accessible” i.e. at an airport location!

    Like

  17. David September 17, 2015 at 10:05 AM #

    Why are the rental companies not lobbying for the change? If they have been it must be a silent lobby.

    Like

  18. de Ingrunt Word September 17, 2015 at 10:19 AM #

    David that is a surprise to me that the option of issuing the temp visitor’s license is not available at the car rental offices. After all tourism is a key industry and ease of operations and revenue generation should be paramount.

    But as you suggest if that is not available then the rentals should lobby to allow a simple verification and issuance of temp driving certificate/license during the rental contract process. Would be an easy task to collect the fees and remit to government on a monthly basis.

    The verification process done at the BRA office can be done by any administrative person.

    Like

  19. de Ingrunt Word September 17, 2015 at 10:29 AM #

    But wait a minute…if the car rental companies are not issuing tourists’ temp licenses then how can they be renting cars to them considering that tourists can’t drive with their home-based locally issued license in BIM?

    So on reflection surely the rental company in fact MUST be issuing the temp lic during the rental process.

    I was speaking originally about non-residents who are using a relative’s vehicle and in those cases they have no interface to the rental comps.

    Like

  20. Hants September 17, 2015 at 10:45 AM #

    @ de (not so ) Ingrunt Word ,

    Car rental companies used to issue Temp licenses to visitors.Probably still do.

    Like

  21. Colonel Buggy September 17, 2015 at 12:38 PM #

    Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right September 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM
    Funny enough the airport which I saw the ground floor airbridges , had the passenger lounge on the second floor, requiring passenger to walk down a stairway,no elevator . The ground floor like the majority of airports was reserved as service bays. Service vehicles went around the back of the planes.
    A true Redneck Airport……….Charlotteville.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. nanci September 17, 2015 at 12:56 PM #

    you get to fly in your own private plane, and get through customs and immigration in minutes, yet you complain about customs forms. Try standing in a long line while your bags already going around on the carosol, or having your bags still in the US, while you already land in barbados. Typical spoil brat white bajans, they complain about everything. I think barbados overlook or embrace the rich white plantation owners decendents, who have all the money from the workers who they used to pay like 50 cents per day, to harvest their land. Barbados still have the bigots residing on their land, read their history, thats why you love NC, read the history about NC or SC, the deep south

    Like

  23. nanci September 17, 2015 at 1:01 PM #

    barbados still do business the pen and paper why, many business not up to date with technology, try applying for a police record, you wait in a small room for hours, then they tell you come back in two weeks. When you get back the police record not ready, you call some police station and get some drunk police, who are very rude and obnoxious, why not let people apply online and come in and take the pictures or whatever, instead of the police and rude clerk rolling up their eyes at you. If they see a white person come in, its fast service, barbados needs to treat their own with some respect.

    Like

  24. nanci September 17, 2015 at 1:06 PM #

    way

    Like

  25. nanci September 17, 2015 at 1:13 PM #

    one blogger here is so correct, they took the slaves back to NC to work on their plantations. They loved the carribbean slaves because they were the most complacent workers, they went along with whatever was handed down to them, but as chronixx song stated, capture land, thats what they did to the carribbean people, the capture them and took them over there, thats why you see all these rich white bajans can fly back and forth and have all this money, where is the 40 acres and the mule, I guess it not available yet.

    Like

  26. Colonel Buggy September 20, 2015 at 11:05 PM #

    @nanci The 40 acres have been given to the UWI,at Dukes in St Thomas. The mule is this government which continues to kick us all in the arse, and allow ever other sod on this planet to come in and do the same.

    Like

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