LIAT’s Pilot Association Calls for Disruptive Passenger to be Punished

Press Release issued by the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA)
LIAT TO UPGRADE TO 11 ATRS over two years

LIAT TO UPGRADE TO 11 ATRS over two years

(St John’s, Antigua) The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) is waiting to be informed of the measures LIAT will take in dealing with the passenger who caused the disruption and cancellation of one of its flights on December 13th 2016. The passenger who was on-board an aircraft in Barbados, destined for St Vincent, made a serious allegation that they had detected the smell of alcohol on one of the pilots.

Read full Press Release issued by the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association

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110 Comments on “LIAT’s Pilot Association Calls for Disruptive Passenger to be Punished”

  1. David January 1, 2017 at 9:27 AM #

    Unfortunately a hike in tourism receipts alone will not do it for Barbados, and the hike has nothing to do with structual change in the economy. Based on the latest reports forex reserves are tanking and there is a wait to complete foreign exchange transactions at commercial banks.

    Like

  2. Bush Tea January 1, 2017 at 9:44 AM #

    @ David
    Small things amuse small minds.
    Are most of these celebrities not staying at villas owned by rich people in England and other jurisdictions? Also, since these people already own properties in Barbados, where else will they, and their friends, holiday?
    Will they not have paid for their accommodation outside of our financial system?

    Perhaps ac and Mr Griffith can explain how this all redounds to the national bottom line in a significant way…. Ordinary potential tourists may well conclude that a destination that attracts the likes of Cowell will not give them the bang for their buck that they can afford…

    Like

  3. dPd January 1, 2017 at 9:46 AM #

    Any port – redardless of how specious – for a blog post.

    That’s the AC mantra.

    Like

  4. Hants January 1, 2017 at 10:19 AM #

    @ Bushie, there is some value to the “advertising” that celebrities generate.

    Like

  5. ac January 1, 2017 at 10:19 AM #

    Say what you like it is a written fact . When tourist arrive on these shores it is a PLUS PLUS that should be recognized a plus that can bring revenue a plus that help to build and grow the economy a long term and sustainable plus rooted in the future as to many aspects going forward

    Like

  6. PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 10:39 AM #

    @artax

    “At this point, the guy (the other pilot) began SPEAKING RUDELY to the passenger telling her to stop being STUPID and if she is stupid and if it’s the first time she was travelling and all those things intended to make a person feel small.”

    The comments made by the co-pilot are enough to incite anyone who saw their legitimate concerns being downplayed and their intelligence questioned.
    ++++++++++++×

    Here is the thing, there is such a thing as a stupid question. The fallacy that there is no such thing as a stupid question is a myth perpetrated by a generation of social warriors out to appease everybody. The same types that hand out participation trophies and have brainwashed people into thinking every opinion is equally valid. It is always a good policy to engage your brain and assess the situation before engaging your mouth.

    Wet wipes smell of rubbing alcohol. The kind you use to clean a cut when you cut your self in the kitchen or scrape a knee. The kind they use to clean the area before you get an injection. Not the kind of alcohol you will be drinking.

    Yes the persons query was heard but it was dismissed by the other pilot for a good reason. The two pilots wold have been picked up together about 7 hours prior and would have spent the last 6 of those hours together crammed into that tiny atr cockpit where there is barely room to have a private thought much less anything else. The other pilot would also have been present there where after having consumed a meal at his workstation in the down time the other pilot opened a wet wipe (of which dozens are provided by the company) to clean his hands/face.

    If the accuser is not willing to hear out those facts and accept that as reasonable then yes they are being silly.

    Personally I am against pilots consuming meals forcibly In the cockpit for a variety of reasons. Among them hygiene and cleanliness being one as there is no running water in the cockpit to wash ones hands (hence the wet wipes). This person was most likely doing so in a personal attempt to get an already delayed flight back on time. There is a court of arbitration ruling In the 2010 case of LIALPA v LIAT which ruled among other things that after a certain amount of time on duty that pilots must be given time free of duty to eat. If that ruling is not followed and built into the schedule that is not the pilot (s) fault and they can hardly be blamed for the delays that result. Likewise no where in the ruling does it say that right is forfeited if there is a delay. Had the pilot in question taken the time he was entitled to and gone into the terminal to eat like a human being rather than trying to wolf down something in the cockpit so as to appease the same passengers who subsequently turned on him this likely would never have happened. The road to hell is paved with good intention.

    Ref the other comments I do not know what the misinformation they are feeding you all but GAIA is noticeably devoid of private jets this year. There is a noticable lack of them. Normally they are parked nose to tail as tight as they can get. This year and last year there are hardly any. Perhaps all the big wigs flew by airline.

    Like

  7. Artax January 1, 2017 at 12:04 PM #

    PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 10:39 AM #

    “It is always a good policy to engage your brain and assess the situation before engaging your mouth.”

    @ PltFlyng

    Your above comments are very true and clearly DEFINITIVE of the BIASED approach you have chosen to take on this issue.

    Whereas I was able to analyze both stories, as well as take into consideration LIAT’s apparent refusal to pursue the matter any further, and came to a probable conclusion, you came to your conclusion based specifically on the pilot’s statements ONLY.

    Additionally, how do you know LIAT’s lawyers said there were not any “grounds” to pursue the matter further?

    I understand that being a pilot you would obviously prefer to believe your colleagues’ version of the events as they unfolded, as opposed to irate passengers.

    What you and LIALPA are essentially suggesting is that:

    1) It is presumptuous and for any passenger to raise concerns about their safety, by saying they smelled alcohol on a pilot.

    2) Because the tests confirmed the pilot did not consume an alcoholic beverage, this is proof the passenger was mischievous in her intentions, or made a PREMEDITATED attempt to sully the reputation of the pilot in question on that specific flight LI769, therefore, she should be blacklisted from travelling on LIAT operated flights.

    However, you must also consider that, although the tests may have confirmed the pilot was not drinking, there were no reports of any other tests being conducted to ascertain if the pilot used a substance containing alcohol at the time the passenger said she smelled it.

    Your comment re: “If the accuser is not willing to hear out those facts and accept that as reasonable then yes they are being silly,” is pure shiite………… and you know it.

    In my opinion, you and LIALPA are grabbing at straws because the pilot’s ego was bruised and the association wants it to appear to the public that it is actually representing its constituents.

    LIAT and LIALPA reminds me of the WICB and WIPA, where the EGOS of MEN are more important than any issue.

    Like

  8. David January 1, 2017 at 12:34 PM #

    Does the LIAT management see value in issuing a statement on the matter? We can’t blame the pilot association for articulating a position as it affects their members.

    Like

  9. Anonymouse - TheGazer January 1, 2017 at 12:41 PM #

    A very harsh opinion. Coercion and intimidation seems to be one way of doing business. Hoping that this full court press does not deter other travelers from speaking up, should the need arise.

    Like

  10. PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 12:42 PM #

    Trust me i am in a position to be well informed on this issue.

    Do you think that after an incident costing the type of money that this cost that there was no internal investigation? Do you think a pilot having been sent to a clinic for this sort of testing was not put through an entire battery of tests? Of which the printed results are available for those who need to see them to see?

    Do you think something like this happens and the union would not seek guidance from the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations.

    Unlike some people i do not speak unless i have facts supported by evidence and have the backing of established precedent.

    Before you lecture me on passengers rights perhaps you should be familiar with IATA AGM 69 and the passengers rights as laid out by their compliance document and MC99.

    Like

  11. Bush Tea January 1, 2017 at 1:35 PM #

    Well one thing is clear now….
    There is no hope for LIAT …..not with this level of childish interactions on such a simple routine matter as customer concerns.
    Clearly, LIAT management is incompetent in the high quality field of the airline business, …but it is also clear that the pilots are no better in the attitude department either … even if they are competent fliers.
    One can only guess at the professionalism of the stewards, technical staff and clerical personnel. Bushie is surprised that they even manage to …..Leave Islands At Times

    Like

  12. de pedantic Dribbler January 1, 2017 at 1:47 PM #

    @PltFlyng at 12:42 PM re “Trust me i am in a position to be well informed on this issue. Do you think that after an incident costing the type of money that this cost that there was no internal investigation?…”

    You speak with a certainty that is ‘refreshingly’ similar to a certain newly elected President.

    Taking you and your assoc. at your word that “…this cost that there was no internal investigation?…” and the reference to the ‘the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations’ I would ask WHY are we even having this debate.

    By your OWN words the pilot contributed to an impractical, unprofessional, ‘dangerous’ and ultimately costly behaviour (Using food in such close quarters with all that electro-mechncal stuff, really!!!)

    I am confused therefore by your prosecution of this matter as you are.

    LIALPA are adopting a PR stance that gives them visibility on the backs of a very topical issue; a stance being used to drive other issues for them. Obviously, because this matter is incidental and you know that.

    Artax is fundamentally right in his stance. You also know that too because you are clearly an astute person…

    You and your fellow pilots along with difficult to understand LIAT practices are at fault here.

    It is NOT the passenger who made the claim… a claim that should have been handled as efficiently as you manage all the dials, switches and read-outs in those cramped ATR cockpits.

    Like

  13. Vincent Haynes January 1, 2017 at 1:54 PM #

    LIAT is a political tool……it has no basis for its continued existence……it is funded by 4 of the 16 caricom states,its debt is worse than Bims,ad hocism is the order of the day and the list goes on………but it cannot be shut down.

    Like

  14. PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 2:12 PM #

    @de pedantic Dribbler

    Ask any airline pilot food is often consumed in the flight deck out of necessity. This happens in most airlines. Once again that shows how people who have no idea can make comments that seem informed to them but have no factual basis.

    My objections to such are mainly based on clenliness concerns and other human factors concerns for the pilot, not out of concern for the equipment. From the point of view of the aircraft it is not much different to sitting an eating in the front seat of a MTW truck parked at a job site.

    Like

  15. Artax January 1, 2017 at 2:25 PM #

    PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 12:42 PM #

    “Trust me i am in a position to be well informed on this issue.”

    @ PltFlyng

    This will be my final response to you on this issue.

    Firstly, I cannot remember reading in any of the contributions to this topic, where a contributor attempted to “lecture you on passengers rights.”

    Secondly, unless you were you on that aircraft and WITNESSED the events as they unfolded, you cannot say for sure the “facts,” as relayed to you by your colleagues, are irrefutable.

    I bet none of you pilots would stand in solidarity for justice in a similar manner, if it were a luggage handler that was accused of having smelled of alcohol.

    Thirdly, you wrote about “the backing of established precedent.” Can you present any evidence to prove LIAT blacklisted any passenger for disruptive behaviour under specific or similar circumstances of that passenger claiming to have smelled alcohol on a pilot?

    Your reference to the cost LIAT incurred as a result of the flight’s cancellation, is irrelevant and seems to be your justification for the passenger to be blacklisted.

    Supposed LIAT had incurred a similar cost because the flight had to be cancelled for some other reason?

    You and LIALPA are grabbing at straws because A PILOT’S EGO was BRUISED.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Artax January 1, 2017 at 2:34 PM #

    I am a regular traveler on LIAT and one of many passengers who have experienced the arrogance and the contempt shown for customers shown by the airline’s crew, especially the “glorified waitresses” known as “flight attendants.”

    I remember travelling to St. Vincent via St. Lucia. I sat by an emergency exit and before we departed for St. Lucia, the flight attendant asked if I was willing to assist in the case of an emergency, to which my response was “I have no problem in assisting.”

    When the flight was preparing to depart St. Lucia for St. Vincent, she went through the pre-flight procedures again and asked me a second time if I was willing to assist in case of an emergency. I smiled and replied that I told her previously I was willing to assist. She obviously took offence at my reply because she excluded me from the refreshments she served to the other passengers.

    As we were leaving the aircraft, she stood at the exit to thank passengers for travelling with LIAT, but turned her face from me as I approached the door. She was perhaps of the opinion she did me some great injustice by not serving me a “box juice” and not telling me “thank you for travelling with LIAT.”

    LIAT has a HISTORY of PROVIDING TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, from the booking agents in Antigua who are very unmannerly, to the check-in agents, baggage handlers, pilots and waitresses.

    All this talk about blacklisting passengers and interpreting the rules to suit an agenda, if there was ANOTHER RELIABLE OPTION of inter-regional transport, INCLUDING a FERRY, given LIAT’s terrible customer service history, do you honestly believe people would travel on LIAT?

    Like

  17. David January 1, 2017 at 3:03 PM #

    @PltFlyng

    Regarding your observation about the low numbers of private jets on GAIA’s apron this weekend. Have you taken a look to the Eastern part of the airport where cruise ship passengers in-transit are handled?

    Like

  18. Gabriel January 1, 2017 at 6:35 PM #

    I have flown on Liat many,many times.I am yet to experience the service described by some on this thread.I have had a delay here and there but in a scale of 1-10 for customer service on the ground and in the air,I rate Liat 9.

    Like

  19. ac January 1, 2017 at 6:53 PM #

    Plt giving the negative comments you have single handly been able to generate about Liat brought about by the Pilots ridiculous letter . The best advice would be for you and the pilots associations to take the high ground before your not so well intentions bury Liat underground in a sea of negative responses

    Like

  20. de pedantic Dribbler January 1, 2017 at 8:21 PM #

    @PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 2:12 PM… Now yah see how we does go and get we-self n trouble. If I had called you and your colleagues gloried truck drivers you would have gotten your undies in a real tizzy. Not so!

    Yet you say : “From the point of view of the aircraft it is not much different to sitting an eating in the front seat of a MTW truck parked at a job site.” (Actually a better analogy would be a ZR driver but still tho a broadside to your brothers, yah don’t think).

    Anyhow let me restate my position on pilots eating in the cockpit cause I am NOT trying to make any policy from some uninformed position. I am basing my remarks on YOUR comments.

    YOU said ” There is a court of arbitration ruling In the 2010 case of LIALPA v LIAT which ruled among other things that after a certain amount of time on duty that pilots must be given time free of duty to eat. If that ruling is not followed and built into the schedule that is not the pilot (s) fault and they can hardly be blamed for the delays that result.”

    So let’s be clear that I went to school. And if a PILOT tells me that a court has legislated that his work rules give him the right to enough time to have a lunch/dinner break and said PILOT tells me that “… Had the pilot in question taken the time he was entitled to and gone into the terminal to eat like a human being rather than trying to wolf down something in the cockpit”.

    Then YES that PILOT contributed by his OWN fault to this total mess…

    I hope that clarifies this point I made.

    Now I know that you went to school too, and likely much more than I did, so please settle and come again cause it is YOUR ” factual basis” upon which I relied.

    Are you saying you are a stranger to truth or “have no idea [but] make comments that seem informed …”!!

    Like

  21. Artax January 1, 2017 at 8:41 PM #

    I doubt there has not been any other contributors to this forum who has defended LIAT as much as I have.

    However, because one or two individuals may not have experienced LIAT’s poor service, it would be ludicrous of anyone to suggest such service does not exist.

    Rating LIAT’s service 9 out 10 is perhaps indicative of one who is not accustomed to proper customer service or has not travelled with the airline as regularly as they would have us believe.

    Like

  22. Gabriel January 1, 2017 at 8:52 PM #

    Artax
    I am not your average guy.i gave of my experience.Further I am well qualified to speak.

    Like

  23. Bush Tea January 1, 2017 at 10:16 PM #

    @ Artax
    Boss, if Gabriel travelled by ZR …he would probably have a 9/10 experience….
    ….think he is a pleb like you and Bushie?
    .. 🙂

    Like

  24. PltFlyng January 1, 2017 at 10:21 PM #

    Honestly the other side of the equation for pilots is that this is a learning lesson. The company will not stick up for you so do what you have to do to look out for your own personal interest.

    If accused do not try to explain or defuse the situation just go immediately and give blood to be tested and just go home. End of story. Breathalyzer testing has a high margin of error and especially if they equipment is not properly maintained blood testing is far more accurate and the civil aviation regulations and the contract only speak to blood testing anyway. So the person will be “offline” for a minimum of 24 hours while the results are pending.

    It is not worth the potential complications to fly under a cloud of suspicion. If it means like in this case the flight cancels so be it.

    If liat willing to eat the loss associated with the cancellation and not seek to recover it from the accuser if the tests come back negative that is their buisness.

    Like

  25. Bush Tea January 1, 2017 at 11:22 PM #

    A simple breathalyser test for EVERY pilot clearing security …and passengers will feel 100% happy that their driver is not drunk. After a year of negative tests, the process can be randomly done.
    Most drunk drivers never feel that they are drunk….and a few of them then end up killing themselves, family and strangers every damn year on our roads.

    Our retarded justice system have followed logic similar to yours, to ignore the PREVENTIVE measure of breath testing. They are a pack of jackasses …and must bear responsibility for a number of traffic deaths and injuries every year that COULD have been prevented.

    Bushie thinks that you protests too much….
    Pilots should be seeking out ways and means of FACILITATING safe and efficient travel, ..taking into consideration the legitimate concerns of customers…. rather than focusing on their own selfish, albino-centric, EGOS.

    Like

  26. PltFlyng January 2, 2017 at 1:05 AM #

    @BushTea

    Every pilot is subjected to scrutiny from day one of student pilot training. Big brother has his eye on you from day one. Drug and alcohol testing is par for the course. Choose to fly for a major airline and you are subjected to background checks, psycho analysis prior to joining and invasive medicals every 6 months.

    Even aside from all of that you are always under scrutiny. Hotel staff and just about everybody else has their eye on you. Professional flight crews live under a kind of scrutiny that most people would never be able to fathom. We are used to it.

    Brethalyser before the start of every day? Sure. Does not both me. Pay me for the inconvenience and I personally will be most willing. If you want to do that though how about a medical before flight. There are a small handful of airlines that do that (medical) however most do not. I will leave you to ponder why (hint it’s not because they care about the employee or his right to privacy or anything like that).

    Like

  27. Bush Tea January 2, 2017 at 10:01 AM #

    @ Pitflyng
    “Every pilot is subjected to scrutiny from day one of student pilot training….”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So what happened in those cases cited on this blo…of pilots passing out drunk at the controls? …and who said anything about medicals before every flight? … all it takes is a brief chat on a dark highway for an ordinary cop to determine if a breathalyser is warranted… and to possibly save lives.
    You are creating a mountain from nothing.

    As to why airlines do NOT do these things, …clearly because pilot unions are dominated by thinking like yours, and have managed to cow the management into compliance.

    Finally if, as you say “professional flight crews live under a kind of scrutiny that most people would never be able to fathom.” …then what was the big deal about this simple query from this passenger?…. surely that was par for the course then….

    Give it up boss…
    The passenger was just being careful …and probably just scared to death.
    The pilot over-reacted …and should just apologise – as should LIAT.

    Like

  28. Pachamama January 2, 2017 at 10:47 AM #

    When will it be possible to punish a disruptive airline for causing untold economic damage to the Caribbean?

    When will that airline repay all the resources plugged into it over decades?

    Like

  29. David January 2, 2017 at 10:51 AM #

    You are blaming the airline or shareholder government. Perhaps one and the same?

    Like

  30. Gabriel January 2, 2017 at 12:00 PM #

    LIAT,in spite of its shortcomings has a good record of stick-to-it-ive-ness.It fought off successfully competition from Caribair and Eastern,Carib Express,Air Caribbean,Carib Aviation,Caribbean Star,Caribbean Sun,Air Guadeloupe,Air Martinique,Redjet and Bwee Express.Some of us recall the days when Barclays Bank had its own aircraft and pilots.Some of us recall when Clico had its own aircraft and crew.All of them have come and gone and LIAT remains standing.Were LIAT to go,there will be a weeping and gnashing of teeth fork sure.All of you complainers better wake up and smell the coffee.We are dependent on LIAT for our recreational and commercial activities.
    I recall on a visit to the U.K. in the 80’s,seeing a full page ad in the Times critical of British Airways on time performance and customer service within the U.K.I have seen articles criticizing Scandinavian Airways for delays on its domestic routes.Servicing islands especially these Caribbean island States,each requiring lots of paper work and all kinds of statutory checks and oversight is not for the faint hearted.

    Like

  31. Artax January 2, 2017 at 1:39 PM #

    Gabriel January 2, 2017 at 12:00 PM #

    “LIAT, in spite of its shortcomings has a good record of stick-to-it-ive-ness. It fought off successfully competition from Caribair and Eastern, Carib Express, Air Caribbean, Carib Aviation, Caribbean Star, Caribbean Sun, Air Guadeloupe, Air Martinique, Redjet and Bwee Express.”

    @ Gabriel

    Your argument is a “moot point.”

    You cannot present your comments re: LIAT “fought off successfully competition from” other regional airlines as “fact,” WITHOUT first taking into CONSIDERATION that the shareholder governments of Antigua, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent USED TAXPAYERS’ MONEY to FINANCE and SUPPLEMENT the airline’s OPERATIONS.

    If LIAT did not have access to this TAX REVENUE, the airline would have ENCOUNTERED SIMILAR OPERATING DIFFICULTIES as some of the airlines you mentioned above.

    Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun, owned by Allen Stanford, were viable alternatives to LIAT and were instrumental in decreasing the cost of inter-regional travel by offering airfares below what LIAT was offering at the time. This was possible because the airlines were FINANCED by Sanford’s company, Sanford Financial Group.

    Sanford basically “conned” the shareholder government into merging both his airlines with LIAT, which was finalized on June 15, 2007.

    Like

  32. Gabriel January 2, 2017 at 1:58 PM #

    Artax
    The fact is that LIAT is the only one standing.You are aware that most carriers are now demanding subsidies from governments including our own to defray operating costs.I recall Trump was paid to fly to Barbados.If major airlines are receiving handouts from Caribbean governments why not one of your own.Liat has been profitable before and recently.One of its major problems is the number of staff it has on payroll at its headquarters.
    Left to me those islands not supporting LIAT in anyway form or fashion would be given an overflight.
    Btw is Maloney still on the board of LIAT?

    Like

  33. Artax January 2, 2017 at 2:32 PM #

    @ Gabriel

    You still have to consider shareholders’ direct investments and their role as guarantors for loans to finance capital purchases.

    However, I agree with your comments re: “Left to me those islands not supporting LIAT in anyway form or fashion would be given an over flight.”

    The governments of islands such as Grenada and St. Lucia, for example, have expressed their intentions not to invest in LIAT, but want their tourism industries and economies to benefit from its services, on the backs of shareholder islands.

    Like

  34. ac January 3, 2017 at 7:19 PM #

    Glad to see Pltpilot have to good sense to close his mouth .Not a good idea to publicly bad mouth your boss .it could cost u your job

    Like

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