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British Airways passengers sleep at St. Lucia airport due to shortage of hotel rooms — The Sun reports

By Kara Godfrey

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(THE SUN – UK) — Dozens of British Airways passengers were left stranded at Hewanorra Airport in St Lucia after their flights were cancelled.

Holidaymakers took to social media to complain that they were forced to sleep on the airport floor due to a shortage of rooms.

Two separate BA flights were affected.

Flight BA2158 was due to fly from St Lucia to London yesterday at 8:05pm – but it ended up being cancelled after delays.

An earlier BA flight, BA2159 to Grenada, which landed in St Lucia from London Gatwick, was also cancelled.

The reason for the cancellations is currently unknown.

Passengers claimed they were told that there were no hotel rooms available for the night.

Photos on Twitter showed disgruntled passengers, who claimed they were forced to sleep on the terminal floor with no BA reps available for help.

Many had travelled to St Lucia to watch the cricket, which caused the shortage of rooms on the island.

One woman travelling alone said she was “frightened” by herself at the airport.

Twitter user Liz wrote: “Single female passenger stranded at St Lucia airport as flight BA2159 to Grenada cancelled.

“No rooms in hotels. I am left at airport. It is 0136 local time. I am frightened. No BA rep. The crew are tucked up safely. Have been awake over 24hrs. Please help.”

Some even accused the airline of trying to send them to a brothel.

Liz wrote: “I have not tried to find a hotel myself, as staff have filled every possible room for as many of us- including sending a group to a brothel.”

Sports writer Neil Allen tweeted: “31 people sleeping on floors at St Lucia airport. Some were offered accommodation, which turned out to be a brothel.

“There’s a couple here getting married in next few days. Three 72 year olds and a 71 year old on the floor. Others refused accommodation because not couples.”

Another social media user said they were left without any information or even food or water.

British Airways responded to passengers on social media saying a flight will depart at 5:15pm today for the stranded passengers, 21 hours later than planned.

A spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We provided hotel accommodation to the vast majority of our passengers.

“Due to a limited number of available hotel rooms, we also offered our business class lounge at the airport, providing bedding and food and drinks to ensure they were as comfortable as possible despite the circumstances.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience and have sent a relief aircraft out to Saint Lucia to get customers back to London Gatwick as quickly as possible.”

Hundreds of other passengers were recently left stranded with Virgin Atlantic in Dubai after their flight was delayed three times before being cancelled.

Passenger eventually boarded a replacement plane 24 hours after scheduled departure.

(1)(30)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

29 comments

  1. Bullshit. I work at a hotel n i can tell you there are more than 30 rooms available for the month of february

    (0)(0)
  2. Please be clear. This is a British Airways problem, not a St Lucia problem. I've had layover and delayed flights in other countries Never blamed an entire nation. I blamed the airline. Our people bend ourselves backwards for these foreigners and the minute they have an inconvenience they blacklist our entire island. They love our island but not our people.

    (10)(0)
  3. Poor BA, shame on you, again, always a problem huh. Sort yourselves out.
    I was stranded in Pisa year before, not the best Italian city to be stuck in tbh. Thanks for the upgrade last summer gone back to London from Lucia, and don't be so lazy in sorting out accommodation for passengers.
    Never knew St.Lucia had a brothel, I do now 😀😀😀.
    Great publicity.

    (0)(0)
  4. Hi as one of the passengers involved I can tell you we were put into a guesthouse,that really did appear to be a brothel,
    Of our group of six four were young women,what would you have done?
    We returned to the airport and we were told the island was full but if we could find a room ba would pay,two calls and plenty of rooms (5star) hotels, let me tell you the whole fault was British airways, the local staff at the airport did everything they could,especially the supervisor/ manager on duty, upon reaching the 5 star we found out the business,first class all tucked up, so British airways did know there were rooms spare but didn’t want to pay!
    Remember that when you are booking your next holiday, the left a guy in a wheelchair and the elderly sleep at the airport rather than pay the extra,disgusting! Finally a big thank you to all the locals for being so friendly and helpful.
    We will be back but never again with ba, p.s next time we will win the cricket!

    (8)(0)
  5. The reputation of st lucia was already destroyed by all the killings and racism against white people. So why suddenly bother about a flight?

    (0)(8)
  6. So what ppl sleep on all airports. Stop blaming PM. And country. take it like a man and hush.

    (2)(8)
  7. and you obviously have not flown more than once or twice and never on liat

    (1)(2)
  8. Guess the Pm was right when he said there would not be any vacant hotel rooms available. I just realized the danger of putting confidence in talk show host and oppositions.

    (8)(6)
  9. This is a bad look for this country but i'm sure there were rooms available it is the slow season after all. BA was just being cheap

    (16)(8)
  10. This is so ridiculous. BA just stiffed the patrons and blamed the country. Windjammer Landings, Les Sport, Rendezvous, all had rooms. They did not want to pay for accommodation and transportation fares. This is BA's fault!!

    (27)(2)
  11. Though I am not a supporter of the current administration in Saint Lucia, I do not agree with the slant of the comment by Lincoln wherein he makes it appear that the situation is due to the government's ineptitude. The headline of the piece is also slanted in like manner, which is predictable. However, air travel world wide is replete with such unpredictability due to lapses of service providers in scheduling, maintenance, and or natural causes.
    Observe also that it was the airline and not Saint Lucian authorities, offering places of accomodation which passengers found to be unacceptable. Additionally those passengers were comfortably house in the north with its concentration of hotel infrastructure, where the cricket games were held, and travelled to the international airport in the south, where essentially there is only one major hotel facility together with a few small inns. This had absolutely nothing to do with Saint Lucia, but all to do with BRITISH AIRWAYS DROPPING THE BALL on.its clients.

    Upon reading the reactions of the affected travellers, it is obvious the bkame is laid upon the airline.

    (29)(5)
    • I still stand by my statement below. The government has an obligation to help whenever the opportunity arises. Especially when the majority of taxes go to this industry. This should have been their opportunity to shine, but they dropped the ball. For those critical of my statement I would like to reiterate that planning would have alleviated some of the problems encountered. We need to be forward think and think outside the box sometimes. In the long run our reputation suffers. The airlines have other ways to recover, The St. Lucian market is somewhat of an afterthought to them. It's our fault that we have so little in the South, so government has to accept some of this responsibility. Note that the tourism industry is our bread and butter and we should look at ways to exploit it as much as possibile
      1.0 The government should have a plan in place for such unexpected emergencies, this should be in conjunction with the airlines.
      2.0 The government knows full well there is an availability issue with hotel rooms in the south. A lot of people are stating that there were available rooms in the north. People usually would like to be close to the airport after such stressful times.
      3.0 People were encourage by past governments to add B&B's to their existing homes
      4.0 As part of the plan, Government should have a list with numbers of all those with rental establishments, These people are 5 to 20mins away and not 90mims.
      5.0 Government should implement a registration and inspection process for qualifying the properties.
      6.0 For those who say that happens in other countries. Yes it does, but these people can sometimes gets cots and also have all the space they need to be and feel comfortable.
      7.0 I do not make these statements to get up or down votes, I make it because I care for my country, especially those in the south.

      This group has consistently said they want to help the people in the south. I hope the next time this happens there is a plan in place to implement, which takes into account some of the suggestion on this board. This would go a long way in helping those who pay taxes to help this industry be part of the process and be rewarded.

      (4)(13)
      • Why should the government pay hotels for BAs customers? -does BA share their profits with the government. Of st Lucia?
        What could the government have done
        BA didn’t want to pay for expensive hotel rooms , do you think it’s fair for the government of st Lucia to pay for it ?
        Don’t you think the so called “brothel” were air bnbs in the south but because of the location and it not being fancy like a hotel , the customers regarded it as a brothel ??

        (8)(4)
        • Where was it said the government needs to pay hotel for anyone. Read carefully before you critique, your comments suggest you either did not understand what was said or you are slow in comprehending. It’s definately better than sleeping on the concrete floor of an airport without privacy and does not cost $500 a nite. It’s insulting to think that all Airbnb’s in the south are brothel, maybe you should check airbabs in the south and see for yourself. There are some beautiful places in the south if you bother to look.

          (1)(4)
      • What happens to the hotel's built in the south and because of low occupancy has shut down. What is the percentage of cancelled flights that can't find accomodatuon. We do not want A DSH Here, there are much more important things that the government should do here. Let the airlines cater to their passengers

        (1)(0)
  12. St. Lucia has a brothel? So many times people sleeping on floor at airports all around the world!

    (18)(3)
  13. Where is Mr he lie umm sorry Mr honest believe who made st. Luciana believe that after the cricket there will be hotel rooms available and that was not a reason to cancel the horse race and that a 5 year old can see that is a lie
    Well Mr he lie you didn't see that one coming in trying to make xhasner look bad you now suffer from foot in mouth

    (4)(14)
    • Iliteracy is a scourge, read the article if you can or have someone read it to you. BA had an issue and they tried to blame St. Lucia for it.

      (4)(1)
  14. This is why the Prime Minister cancelled the horse race in Vieux Fort Ernest Hilaire found it impossible for Hotel rooms to be filled

    (9)(10)
  15. Foolishness they had rooms BA was just lazy to look for it

    (12)(2)
  16. I know of so many people renting on Airbnb, why were these places not utilized. It’s the shortsighted of those in charge. This should be part and parcel of whatever plan the government has in place. Even when there’s a desperate need for rooms, those in power do not regard the local establishments as part of the solution. I guess locals are still relegated to looking back at lost opportunities, to get a meager share of the pot from where the majority of their tax dollars are being utilized.

    (17)(27)
    • You make a valid point, where you went wrong is somehow people thus far have assumed you politicized the matter the moment you mentioned government... Look at the down votes you have gotten thus far...those are the imbeciles that are making life difficult for the country to move along...that small...irritating.
      .majority..

      (6)(11)
    • Politics in everything!! Such shallow and ignorant thinking. British Airways has the responsibility to seek boarding and lodging for its guests. Did the government know about the delayed flight? You see how ridiculous your perspective is? No wonder so many on us are lost down here...

      (18)(5)
    • yeah and the slp did such a good job when they were in charge. the only people that received help from them were the relatives. this situation was not a govt issue.

      (3)(4)
  17. While this is not a pleasant experience I, among others have suffered the same fate in airport terminals around the globe numerous times. Hope this will send a message to airlines to provide better for their passengers when there are delays leading to cancellations.

    (28)(2)

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