Airport 'Go slow' not affecting flights, says ABAA

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The Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA) is refuting claims that a ‘go-slow’ being executed by staff is affecting flight schedules.

Reports reaching our newsroom today, were that the actions of the staff at the VC Bird International Airport had been causing flights (including international departures) to be delayed.

However, while confirming that there was indeed a “go-slow” in progress, ABAA CEO, Euletta Francis, insisted that all scheduled flights were on time.

Francis explained that the airport management was not advised of the “go-slow” beforehand, and had only been made aware of the situation this morning. She added that the reason for the “go-slow” was not made explicitly clear by the staff.

According to the CEO, Saturday is one of, if not the busiest day of operations for the airport, so it is understandable why the staff would choose such action – though it is very unfortunate.

Though flight schedules have not been affected, the sheer traffic at the airport means lines have not been moving at an optimal pace. Francis shared that the Authority had put certain mitigating measures in place, which are working as expected.

She then assured that the ABAA management would work together, along with the staff and the union representing them, to bring a speedy resolution to the situation and work hard to prevent any similar recurrences. 

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  1. It most certainly effected the flights. Some people’s luggage never made it on the plane they literally sat and did nothing for about 30 minutes while line backed up. I would think twice going back to Antigua due to that airport experience. Our plane took off 30 minutes late.

  2. We were international travelers Dec 14 in the VC Bird Airport. I can assure you, we who stood in line for 3 hours in the heat, neck to neck with crying children and cursing adults, found this to be abusive and outrageous! If you were trying to hurt passengers, airlines, future travel plans you succeeded! For WHAT? To prove your point?? Some of us are older and injured. You purposely kept back half of everyone’s baggage, destroying connecting flights, causing Even more long line in America. We come every year and the first week of December, I always buy gifts at the airport when I’m leaving, and now all of that Has to be reconsidered!

  3. The lines were terrible, people nearly missed their flights, flights were delayed, and baggage was not loaded onto the plane. The workers were hostile and did not care about how everyone was effected. We are very disappointed that this has happened as we love Antigua and come every year. We are still waiting for our bag to arrive, and hope that nothing is missing or damaged. This was poorly handled by the airport management.

  4. Are the actions of these airport employees representative of the feelings of Antiguans towards tourists? Those participating in this labor action certainly did their best to inconvenience us and cause us to consider never returning to the island. We were delayed an hour and our luggage was deliberately withheld as were the bags for numerous passengers on our and other flights. Luggage was removed from loading on the aircraft by airport workers. We wonder if we will ever receive our possessions or the gifts we had purchased there during our holiday.

  5. Flight was delayed at least an hour. Major stress for some elderly passengers. Luggage deliberately removed from loading! Not very kind to tourists. Kind of cruel actually.

  6. And what exactly was the reason for industrial action? Knowing the history of ABAA and their apparent eagerness to take industrial action it is foolhardy of management to treat their concerns with impunity. Lets hope matters are resolved soonest. A delayed passenger can be an irritable and even angry person.

  7. “…the sheer traffic at the airport means lines have not been moving at an optimal pace.” Spit on my head and tell me it’s raining. This was disgraceful. And extremely disruptive to the people who write *everyone’s* cheques. Hopefully it will result in lasting damage to both management and labor.

  8. Euletta Francis is a bold faced liar. My family travelled yesterday 14th December & it was total chaos at V.C.Bird Int’l Airport. Everyone including my family was affected. Several flights were delayed because of the go slow including ours. We are a family of four & three of our suitcases were intentionally left behind by airport workers. At this point we have not received all our luggage & we are having a difficult time. No one seems to be able to give us proper answers. I need for Euletta Francis to tell the truth & stop covering herself. Take responsibility lady! Many people have been severely affected & we will not be silenced!

  9. The staff were laughing and making no excuses for the lines being stopped. We waited two hours and flights were delayed. It is nonsense to say they were not.

  10. Was there Saturday and it delayed our United flight as well as caused missed connections, a later departure and of course all the in-airport shopping suffered. We look forward to buying souvenirs for the kids in the airport and showed up 2 hours early to do so. Because of the purposeful slow down we didn’t even make it to the security line before our boarding time and they delayed departure of our flight because soooo many people were in the same position. The slow down will result in travelers choosing other islands next time and hurt the airport commerce – if that is the intended goal then it’s a success.

  11. All I can say is Never again! After a wonderful vacation at the St. James Club we left for the airport to arrived in plenty of time for our flight to Atlanta where we also had a connection. The lines for immigration and security were ridiculously long & not moving! When we finally got up the stairs for the zig zagging lines, everything seemed to stop! Nothing was happening where we needed to show our passports. There were only 2 people working that desk & they literally stopped! Then, to make matters worse, someone opened the barricade from the stairs & people were rushing the desk while the rest of us who had been waiting in line were livid! Finally, a couple of security guards had to come otherwise there was going to be a riot! Our flight time came & went but fortunately Delta Airlines was aware of the situation and didn’t leave especially since at least half of the passengers were still in the lines waiting. And then, once everyone was finally on board (an hour later) security decided all of our luggage needed to be scanned–again! The flight crew was apologetic but it wasn’t their fault. When we finally arrived in Atlanta, the lines again were really long however, they did move quickly. Because we were almost 2 hours late arriving, most of us missed our connecting flight but Delta stepped up & put everyone in a hotel for the night & our flights were changed seamlessly. Kudos to Delta Airlines for being a top notch airline who cared about their passengers.

  12. We stood in line for over 3,5 hours. The security employees laughed at us and thought it was funny. Our flight was delayed by over 2.5 hours and they still haven’t sent my luggage! I will never go back to Antique! I can’t believe anyone that was held hostage by the airport security would even consider going back! Too many different options for our vacations. Never again Antigua!! I will never spend another dime in Antigua! Just the fact that no one could take charge and correct the situation tells me that I don’t ever want to go back. I could not believe the way we were treated and not one person was trying to fix the issue! Just discussing and this is the last impression we have of Antigua!


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