The Adrian Loveridge Column – Iconic Destination or What!

I really hate opening any column with a negative, but after tourism leading the way for so many years, one is left to wonder why we cannot even seem to get the simple things right?

Returning into Grantley Adams International Airport from London recently off a British Airways flight that was not quite full, at around the same time a Condor plane had landed.

So, what could have been 400 to 500 people in the line attempting to clear immigration, having already been travelling between 8 and 10 flying hours, plus probably another two hours to reach the departing airport and at least two more hours for check-in prior to boarding. The first thing our visitors notice on arrival is the idle shiny 14 Automated Passport Control Kiosks.  Still not in use, despite media reports as early as 8th May 2017 (nearly two years ago) stating they will soon be ‘operational’ and the very many assurances proffered since then.

At the time of ordering this clearly expensive equipment, surely all considerations for implementation were discussed and agreed prior to spending vast amounts of taxpayer’s monies?

What remains incredulous is that our national marketing agency driven by private sector interest has been spectacularly successful in attracting huge amounts of additional airlift into Barbados.

In the interim, perhaps some humanitarian measures could be put place, like having one or more dedicated immigration desks to process those with small children and infants.

Having scores of clearly tired and distressed vocal youngsters and their exhausted parents standing for arbitrary periods among a huge mass of people is not the ideal start to a much awaited holiday.

With the imposition of all the additional taxes that our cherish visitors end up paying, if we are going to continue this often muted reputation as an iconic destination, they have to be absolutely convinced that at least a substantial proportion of this windfall Government revenue is spent to improve and upgrade the status quo.

Of course, the problem does not just end at Immigration.

The next challenge and delay is at baggage claim and then Customs. In my recent experience, it is now quicker to join the red channel, even if you have nothing to declare, rather than swell the extended queue of what most would reasonably consider, a faster option of the green channel.

The concept of having a taxi dispatcher to help control excessive fares and rogue (often referred to as snatchers) operators is a laudable one. But our peak winter periods with literally thousands of passengers arriving during an hour, one dispatcher simply cannot cope.

As I queued in yet another line to secure a taxi the short distance to Inch Marlow, a German family with two very small children, argued the rate for their journey with the solitary dispatcher, after having researched the correct fare on the internet.

These niggling impediments help destroy all the extensive and costly marketing and promotional efforts.

And however well our guests are treated on-island, by all those employed in the industry, these first impressions have a profound effect of whether or not we are chosen as a return destination of choice.

33 comments

  • Overseas Observer

    It is a sign of the 11+

    Barbados is a failed island PUNCHING ABOVE ITS WEIGHT.

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  • i have experienced a go slow a few times at the airport. I dont know why barbadians cannot understand that the economy is based on those tourist dollars returning or giving good reviews.

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  • A FAILED STATE IN THE LAST THROES OF COLLAPSE One of the first signs is the out of control growth of a client class of public sector parasites. GAI is the best zoo to see these creatures.

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  • Re the passport reading machines at immigration: “Still not in use, despite media reports as early as 8th May 2017 (nearly two years ago) stating they will soon be ‘operational'”

    In Bajan usage the word “soon” has a flexible deffinition. It could possibly have a short term implication, like within the next few hours or by the end of day tomorrow. Or it could have a more long term meaning like sometime within the next twenty years or perhaps even never. You just have to be patient and let the passage of time indicate to you the actual meaning of the word “soon” in any particular context.

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  • As I have said before. Grantley Adams Airport is a law unto itself. The government does not seem able to control the immigration officers, customs officers and the red caps who are a nuisance.

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  • Grantley Adams arrivals and immigration is a disgrace at the peak times.Why on earth a Minister ( and there are plenty of them ) doesn’t do an unannounced visit at peak times and see it for him/her self beggars belief.It took my daughter over 2 hours to get through immigration from a Virgin fligh – 2 desks open. When I arrived late last year the automated check in was working fine – until you then had to queue again for an immigration officer to do the very same process manually.

    Processes in Barbados are archaic, go for a driving licence and go to three separate buildings and waste half a day – in Europe you do it on line. Go and get an ID card ( which only seems to enable you to get a driving licence ) and you will waste half a day. Go and get an extension on your passport and again you will waste another half day. Try getting a Police Character Reference – when you eventually get an appointment you will waste another half day ( in the UK PCR’s are simply done on line) – no small wonder the country is in a mess!

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  • Is there a role for the trade unions?

    Surely all the parties realize they are vested in an effective and efficient airport?

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  • THE TRADE UNIONS WILL BE A MAJOR PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    Liked by 2 people

  • The problem is that we believe we have a monopoly on sun sea and sand. The whole industry has been badly managed. One step forward ;two steps back…….,

    Liked by 1 person

  • Over five years ago a taxi from Chancery Lane, Christ Church to the airport set me back $35. With a strong arm, you can almost throw a rock from CL to the airport. No wonder the German family was taken aback by the quoted rate. For the airport to run like a well-oiled machine there, first of all, has to be the will.

    I won’t even offer a comment on the Red/Green line leading into customs. It would be interesting to see a report on how many guns and contraband is intercepted at the airport by customs from passengers. Just to receive a small package of a book via courier service requires physical inspection by Customs yet guns, guns, and more guns appear to be easily available on the street. Where are they coming from and the same way police are able to get almost every criminal to confess to his/her crime in Barbados, how come they are unable to get them to disclose the source of guns? Just asking.

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  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    @ Fearplay

    The criminals and many policemen locally are part of the same team.

    It is easy to buy guns from a number of Policemen.

    I was offered guns to purchase by a local policeman who had fellow officers selling guns, tasers, pepper spray and bullets.

    In fact I was forced to buy a taser and pepper spray after he help to recover a bounced check of around $8000 issued to me.

    I ended up being extorted for $1500 whilst he handed over a taser gun and pepper spray and also offered guns which him and other officers were selling. The taser gun and pepper spray was given to me at a Police Station where he was working alone at the time at Glebe.

    I never met the other policemen in his gun selling team because I refused the gun offer.

    The taser gun I turned over to a prominent local Attorney including giving him the name of the policeman involved..

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  • BUW – that was brave, or foolhardy.

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  • Your embassy is in ottawa why cant they have direct flights at least once a week from ottawa we have for them every day vegas dominican epublic cuba cancun etc…….

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  • what does where a diplomatic mission is located have to do with flight loads? You cannot fly direct to many E.Canada airports if you live west of Toronto. Also goes to show where most Canadians in Ottawa are vacationing? The direct flights to Cuba/DR/Vegas and Mexico wouldn’t exist without the volume.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well we call ourselves Ottawa international aiport which is bs but we are over a million people and fly daily to other destinations why not Barbados I don’t know how routes are set up. But melnyk lives here with that Bert’s bar thing a lot of ottawans go to Barbados politicians construction vips I don’t see once a week an issue is it your tourist authority that lobby’s airlines just a thought

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  • David

    45govt speaks like true Republican when he states “that the trade unions will be a major part of the problem.”

    Well, as someone who has been a member of a trade union for the last three decades I tell you unequivocally that:
    1) With trade union you have job security-
    2) With a trade union you have fair wages for your labour
    3) With a trade union you have a decent retirement package

    Tell who in their right state of mind wouldn’t want a trade union in their place of employment in the year 2019?

    And without a trade union in your place of employment you are at the mercy of an employer…

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  • The ibew screwed me out of pension money and treated travelers shabbily when I was in it so it is not for everyone in fact unionism is dying

    Liked by 2 people

  • Sir Simple Simon, P.C.

    @Barbados Underground Whistleblower January 14, 2019 2:20 PM “The taser gun I turned over to a prominent local Attorney including giving him the name of the policeman involved.”

    And you trusted “prominent local Attorney” to safely dispose of the taser?

    Don’t you hear all of the talk about lawyers? Why would you trust “prominent local Attorney” to do the right thing?

    You should have destroyed the taser yourself, like i did when I found a marijuana tree, over 5 feet tall growing on my premises. There is not a single attorney or policeperson, here, there, or on Mars that I would have trusted to destroy it.

    I destroyed it myself.

    No wonder we are in so much trouble. People place way, way, way too much trust in the wrong people.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sir Simple Simon, P.C.

    Now to Adrian’s substantive point. My experiences with the airport have always been amazingly positive. The thing is all that is necessary for Bajans and visitors to have amazingly positive experiences is simply that people do the jobs which they are paid quite well to do.

    There used to be a board on the outside where the taxis wait which gave the approximate fares. That board should be on the inside so that travelers can know the fare and have their money ready. And in the 21st century it should be an electronic board. Time to pelt the chalk and blackboard out the window. An electronic board outside too to remind the taxi men to stick to the recommended fare, because it seems like taxi people need constant reminders

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sir Simple Simon, P.C.

    @Lexicon January 14, 2019 6:24 PM “And without a trade union in your place of employment you are at the mercy of an employer.”

    And some employers–not all–are real, real devils. Some employees too.

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  • But melnyk lives here with that Bert’s bar thing
    ++++++++++++
    What does Melnyk care? He probably flies down on private jet. About Ottawa, A/C has direct flights daily to Barbados from Montreal during the winter last flight leaves Barbados end of April. since Ottawa is a suburb of Montreal perhaps “Lawson” could consider flying from there except he can’t bring himself to fly from PE Trudeau Int’l Airport.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Always found it interesting that after giving taxpayers one of, but not his only white elephant gift, Mirabel Airport in 1975 for $500M, the airport Mirabel was to replace, Dorval, was later renamed for the man who championed Mirabel, one P.E.Trudeau. Oh yeah, and that was Mirabel International too, only you couldn’t find a passenger plane flying from there for the last 20 years.

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  • sarge the only good thing that ever came out of Quebec was the back end of an empty bus….Of course melnyk probably has a jet, but a lot dont,, I can remember meeting rene levesque, joe clark etc down there a lot of canadian politicians and business people like to visit their money. The problem with montreal is there is no way back to ottawa after the return flight. You either bring your car and park it for a week or overnight it and fly out the next day. I think we are capable for once a week flight.. if people find it convenient they will go. thats why the DR, cancun,florida cuba are all doing well from ottawa. It works both ways Barbados people can visit their money also the dept of foreign affairs and international aid is located here as well.

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  • Trade unions have swopped their role as saviours for one of oppressors. Anyone who cannot see that is a moron.

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  • Theresa May’s Brexit deal is DOA

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  • If barbadians think it’s going to be business as usual……you may not want to be overspending till this gets settled

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  • Mrs May is a cloth eared moron

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  • I have travelled to Barbados yearly for the last 20 years. Sometimes twice a year. i have never had any issues with immigration, customs or agriculture. Even when I brought in more hams than the permit allowed, they treated me kindly. You just smile broadly, say hello and how are you and everything will be fine. I do the same when I arrive back in Canada with my contraband. lol.

    Personally, I use taxis a lot when in Barbados and find them cheap compared to Ottawa. Before the taxi here leaves the curb, the meter has on $7.00.

    The taxi rates in Barbados are posted inside the airport on the wall near the exit. The tip for the red caps is also posted on said wall. I noticed this year that the prices had increased slightly. I always tip my taxi drivers, even for short hauls when I find it too hot to walk or wait for a bus.

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is getting stupid

    Liked by 1 person

  • Fire all the old hands and get a new bunch of the many looking for jobs, it’s not rocket science, ck passport say a friendly hello and GET IT DONE! No politics!

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  • @ Loveridge

    I started this post yesterday but got busy doing something

    These are very salient points, many of which predate this lot of BLP incompetents but it is the same outcome A VERITABLE STOPPAGE AT THE AIRPORT or SEAPORT.

    BOTTLENECK, for coming and going

    I would shift ALL OF THE PEOPLE AT BOTH PORTS and replace them with the finest minds, hired or repositioned from other ministries, at the airport and the seaport

    They would have to be honest people though AND THAT WE KNOW IS A PROBLEM.

    Same thing for the redcaps AS WELL AS THE SINGLE DISPATCHER at the arrivals lounge.

    But this is a Bridge Too Far for Mugabe and Oblong Head and Eddie the Sucker of ***

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  • Why Bizzy wife got the monopoly on the Red Caps Under \Millenium’ I think is called, last time I went through the Red Caps were complaining that it all screwed up!

    Like

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