American Airlines apologises to Caribbean PMs over incident in Guyana

Editorial Staff


American Airlines has apologized to Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, and his St Vincent and the Grenadines counterpart, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, after they were prevent from checking in through the VIP Lounge at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) in Guyana.

The ministers were in Georgetown attending the 2023 International Energy Conference and Expo.

“Sincerest apology for not proactively approving the request for expedited treatment and the inconvenience caused during your departure from Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA),” American Airlines wrote in separate letters dated February 20.

Managing Director, International Government Affairs, Robert Wirick, said, “we sincerely regret that we fell short of your expectations while travelling from Guyana to Miami to connect on a flight to The Bahamas for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit,”

“American greatly treasures the relationship with you and the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. We will strive to ensure that all of your future travels on our airline are pleasant and exceed your expectations. American prides itself on delivering a high level of respect and service that our customers deserve. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns,” Wirick said in the letter. 

Meanwhile the Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said last week that he did not take any offence when American Airlines (AA) representatives requested that he and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley present themselves before gate agents to complete their check-in on a recent flight to Miami from Guyana.

 “Easily offended and disrespected” but he noted it was the first time he experienced such a request when travelling in his official capacity.

Gonsalves said he and Rowley were told by protocol officers that AA reps needed visual confirmation that the travel documents present at the gate were theirs.

“Nobody forced me to do anything… the Chief of Protocol came and said that the people who are doing the check-in at AA requested that we come there so that they could identify the face to the passport. That’s what I understand. So I said, ‘Fine. Keith, let’s go,’ he said.

“Well, I don’t think I’m a God. And I certainly didn’t take it as any mark of disrespect to me. We have so many challenges in our countries and in the region and globally, to tell you the truth that is the least of my concern.


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