The Lynden Pindling International Airport. (File photo)
By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
MULTIPLE Bahamasair flights servicing Florida airports on Thursday were cancelled or delayed due to a “massive weather disturbance” and power failure, the airline confirmed Friday.
Tensions ran high in Florida airports according to passengers, some of whom also took to social media to voice their frustration at delays of over 12 hours.
“(Flight) schedule for 4:40pm, finally in Nassau at 5am,” one passenger posted on Facebook yesterday.
A tourist, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Tribune yesterday that people were “screaming and arguing” in the Miami airport Thursday night.
It was a poor start to this guest’s first trip to the Bahamas, who said the entire ordeal was worsened by the lack of communication provided by the airline.
He explained that for hours, passengers were given no updates as to when they would be travelling, and simply told that their status was “on hold”.
Bahamasair confirmed the incident in a statement released Friday by managing director Tracy Cooper.
“Due to the movement of a massive weather disturbance that moved into the South Florida area yesterday (Thursday) during the afternoon hours all three of the major airports we service; Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale International were all forced to close for several hours,” the statement explained.
“This situation was further complicated by a power failure, which impacted the navigational system at Lynden Pindling International which created an additional traffic backlog and ultimately forced several international and domestic cancellations.
“As a result of these two major events we are now performing schedule recovery flights and accommodating those impacted by yesterday’s challenges.”
The airlines proceeded to offer apologies for the ordeal.
“Bahamasair wishes to apologize to the travelling public for any inconvenience caused and know that we will do everything possible to ensure that everyone arrives at their final destinations as soon as is practicable.
“We wish to ask the public for its continued patience as we seek to accommodate those impacted from yesterday and seek to move those scheduled for flights today.
“For those persons scheduled to travel on Bahamasair today, we ask that you contact our Customer Care Unit at 702-4121, 702-4141 and 702-4124 to secure the most up to date flight information.
On Facebook, users continued to vent about the incident.
“They bin coming in hours late from last week.. wasn't no bad weather then.. this just the busy season and they fullah s*, so this is the end result,” a user wrote.
“Bahamasair flights are delayed regardless of weather so anyone travelling on the airline should be accustomed to waiting for a minimum of 3 hours,” another posted.
However, a number of people used social media to defend the airline.
“The weather was terrible. Wind, rain, lightning storms. I applaud them. Y’all chill, passengers safety was definitely top priority in this choice,” one user said.
“Well I'm home,” another passenger posted. “Was on the 9:30am from (Ft Lauderdale) Fl. which left at 10:30 but it brought me back home safe and sound, my luggage didn't come but that's ok. We had a little turbulence but we was good!!”