19 July, 2009


Do Not Under Any Circumstances Use LIAT. Here I am back in Anguilla. No thanks to LIAT. As we took off at least the stewardess did not try to bullshit us with apologies. She just did her normal thing, looking us straight in the face with no hint of a sarcastic smile. The 10:30 am ‘plane eventually departed for St Maarten at 10:00 pm. Too late to get to Anguilla the same day. I had to overnight in SXM. I arrived in Anguilla more than 24 hours after I set out to travel the 100 miles from SKB to AXA. The Schooner Warspite would have done it in less time 90 years ago. All day long, the ground staff in St Kitts promised us news from hour to hour. Sometimes three hours would pass with no word. One said there were six ‘planes in the hangar under repair. Another lied through his teeth and explained that the problem was there was turbulence in the region. A helpful police officer whispered that some unidentified staff were engaged in a sick out.

Anyway, I arrived home to a message from Spyblog. The unredacted final Report of Sir Robin Auld which names and shames various local Turks and Caicos Islands politicians who were involved in selling off Crown lands to overseas property developers, thereby making a mockery of the concept of ‘belonger status’, and of any effective financial or administrative control of public finances, has been published by http://wikileaks.org/.

It is well worth a visit and a read.

Set aside a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, I have sworn never again to fly LIAT. Not if there is a choice. If I want to get to Antigua from Anguilla I can take Winair from St Maarten. Or, I can take American Eagle to San Juan and then to Antigua. Not one dollar more. Not if I can ever avoid it.

They are absolutely useless.

I hope you follow my example. And, tell all your friends.


  1. Are you REALLY the last to know that L I A T =
    Leaves Island Any Time?

  2. LIAT spelled backwards is of course TAIL, as in always at the tail end. - Scotty

  3. My experience is that LIAT stands for:

    Luggage In Another Terminal

    I gave them that acronym because they managed to lose luggage on a simple inter-island flight. You know, this isn't a case of having to sober up a ground crew to sort through piles and piles of luggage from a 747 at Heathrow -- it's a tiny plane on a small island airport. It just can't be that hard to manage luggage in these cases. But LIAT reached deep and managed to accomplish it.

    That said, bonne chance with Winair.

    Winair once "lost" my luggage on a flight from Saba to St. Maarten. I saw it get loaded in Saba, but at SXM, I was stunned to find no luggage. By the time I was able to figure that out and report it, the plane had left again.

    How the ground crew could have missed unloading the bags is incomprehensible to this day. It was a direct and non-stop 15 minute flight from Saba to SXM.

    The next leg of my flight was back to the US, so the fact that I had no luggage (and needed it to clear Customs and get on the next flight) was a major setback.

    Winair personnel were indifferent at best, and I had to wait, nail-biting until just a few minutes before missing the next flight.

    I have tried to avoid Winair after that, and substituted "Lose" for "Win" in that airline's name.

    So, given a choice between (only) LIAT and Winair, all I can offer is sympathy.

  4. Hell, we can make up acronyms all day. The sad thing is that LIAT is typical of the horrible customer service that we receive while in the Eastern Caribbean. Winair isn't much better.

    When In Nevis, Ain't It Rusty? - Scotty

  5. LIAT is a no frills airline charging ridiculously high prices for lousy service! A rip off to travellers.

  6. My acronym used to be "Lateness, Inefficiency at All Times" and I have had a host of complaints over the years from lost luggage to unfair overweight charges, ridiculous scheduling, high prices and missed flights and being left in terminals without information but for the past umpteen years LIAT has been really the only way to get there from here and they have done so safely. And when Stanford presented his "Caribbean Star" alternative, I as well as the vast majority of Caribbean travellers shunned their leather seats for LIAT's shoddy service. To have survived and still offer service in this region with all its challenges they must have done lots of things right so please Leave It Alone, Thanks. And Don you know you will soon be back on LIAT as much as I will because there is no alternative.

  7. Lost my luggage on a flight from STT-AXA. I Reported it to one of the ground staff who rudely told me, "that is all the baggage for Anguilla." When I insisted that my baggage was on board the ignoramus told me, "well, go ketch the plane." LIAT cannot provide any better service with illiterates like this fellow handling the public's important business.To be able to read and write and at least have some good manners should be a prerequisite for a baggage handler. LIAT is falling fast!

  8. LIAT = Look Immediately (for) Alternative Transportation

  9. Wikileaks.org have also now done what they should have in the first place, namely publish both the unredacted and redacted versions of the .pdf files, which makes it clear what someone considered to be the most embarrassing bits of the report i.e. the names of the foreign property speculators and their projects.

    You just have to copy the blacked out sections of the Adobe .pdf file as Text, and paste them into another text editor or word processor e.g. Notepad, Wordpad, Word etc. to reveal the words underneath.

  10. Leave Island Anytime....sadly I think this is the reality of many Caribbean carriers..I have my share of flighmares with LIAT and Dutch Antilles Express. I also have great stories.


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