Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday the massive delays Bahamasair passengers in Florida and the Family Islands experienced between Thursday and Sunday gave the country a “black eye”.
“It doesn’t send the right message,” said Davis, a former minister responsible for Bahamasair.
Davis, who was among the scores of passengers left stranded in Fort Lauderdale, said it did not appear the airline had a plan B to deal with the delays, cancellations and chaos that erupted at the Fort Lauderdale airport and elsewhere.
He said he traveled to Fort Lauderdale on Friday and was scheduled to return to New Providence that night.
However, his flight was canceled. He said he was then set to leave on the first flight out of Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.
“We arrived at the gate 10 minutes to nine and met a number of disgruntled passengers,” Davis said.
“They claimed there was no adequate or effective communication as to what was happening.
“Persons were at the airport [from] 2:30, 3 o’clock (on Friday afternoon) and a number of them slept at the airport.
“They told me that they slept at the airport to try and get on the first flight out the next morning.”
The flight Davis was set to depart on did not leave until 12:45 p.m.
“The pilots on the aircraft were apologizing profusely because we boarded the flight at about 11:30 a.m. and waited for another hour, hour and a half,” Davis said.
“The pilots were quite troubled.”
According to Davis, the Miami Air aircraft, which Bahamasair had leased, was being used to accommodate as many stranded passengers as possible.
According to Bahamasair, the delays were caused by a combination of a massive weather disturbance on Thursday and complications from a power failure that impacted the navigational system at Lynden Pindling International Airport and air traffic control.
Bahamasair said once it began recovery flights on Friday, it was faced with the absence of two of its jets, which only became operational on Saturday.
The airline apologized to its customers and noted that its operations returned to a “degree of normalcy”.