Monday, April 11, 2005

Let's see if this works

Thanks Beanie! Here's a copy of my notice to LIAT. Let's see if this gets me anywhere:

Please provide me with a mailing address so that I may send you a copy of this letter.
I booked LIAT ticket nos. 1401225626841, -842, 1401226081854 and -855 for travel from JFK to AXA via STT through my travel agent, USAA Eagle Points Program. My family and I traveled to Anguilla on March 12. Our American Airlines (AA) flight 655 was scheduled to leave by 8:05 a.m. EST, and to arrive by 11:44 a.m. AST. We didn't even come close to reaching our connecting flight to Anguilla.

Although my family and I boarded on time, AA admitted that they delayed our initial flight 2.5 hours because of insufficient baggage handlers. The pilot apologetically stated, “There is no excuse for this.” Even the supervisor I spoke with, Paul Patterson(?), admitted there was no weather delay. It took an additional hour to unload baggage in STT. AA has admitted that it is at fault for this problem.

At STT, AA would not help us. The desk clerk blamed the delay on weather, and to make arrangements with LIAT. We found that there were no other flights to Anguilla. The closest thing LIAT offered was a flight to St. Martin at 7:40 p.m. On return, the AA clerk said that the next American Eagle flight was tomorrow. When asked if she was going to put us up in STT, she called the assistant manager Jay. His believed the flight was “illegal” and that “we were on our own.” After many phone calls, AA's Mr. Paul Patterson (?) said the local airport supervisor makes the decision to book lodging. We were thus, truly, on our own.

Needless to say, we incurred several additional expenses (taxi, ferry, etc.) in order to reach our destination, setting foot on Anguilla at 11:30 p.m. I have never been treated so poorly while traveling, especially with two small children (ages 4 and 7).

I have asked American, but they have refused to compensate us for the additional expenses. I attach a copy of the documentation sent to American. Accordingly, since this ticket is covered under the Warsaw convention, I'm putting LIAT on notice of my request for reimbursement to LIAT by tendering copies of receipts for the $135 additional travel expenses we incurred from American’s delay. I deserve payment, but LIAT may seek indemnification from American through your interairline agreements.

Although I realize LIAT did not cause our delay, I ask that LIAT please pay promptly, i.e., within 30 days. Please do not send me vouchers, as I will not honor them. Anything less than payment negotiable for cash is not acceptable. Please understand that this payment is trivial compared to the confinement imposed on my family, loss of vacation time, stress, etc. I look forward to your understanding and prompt reimbursement.

Sincerely yours,