(CMR) Several Caymanian students returning to the United Kingdom Saturday for university were left stranded and missed their connecting flights out of Miami because of Cayman Airways flight delays because of mechanical issues.
CMR is aware of at least two instances where students and their parents will bear the brunt of at least a $1,000 in excess fees as a result of KX 122 being delayed in the morning for about five hours.
Sources indicate the flight was originally supposed to leave at 9:30 am but did not leave Cayman until sometime after 1:30 in the afternoon.
Our exclusive source indicates that the aircraft broke down Friday night whilst attempting to go to Jamaica. KX 606 eventually went to Jamaica late and returned; only to have issues again on Saturday morning that caused further delays for those traveling to Miami. As a result, students missed their connecting flights and had to incur a change fee for the additional legs of their trip and hotel expenses etc.
One parent had to re-book two connecting flights plus provide hotel accommodations for her daughter at Miami International Airport. She explained getting her another hotel would mean additional fees incurred for transportation and food. She expressed how upset she was over the situation sharing:
“What if I did not have that extra $1,000 today? What would have happened to my daughter? How would she have returned to school? This is a real inconvenice and they did not even offer to help with the hotel”.
Another student also had two connecting flights to catch to get to his school. The flight to Miami was delayed six times, causing the student to miss both of his connecting flights.
An eyewitness reached out to CMR and stated that they overheard this student's situation being handled by the CAL duty manager. When asked for suggestions on what he could do he was told:
“I’m sorry it’s sad and unfortunate but my responsibility is to get you to Miami only. You’re just going to have to lose the $700 you paid to get to the U.K. because you purchased a basic non-changeable ticket on Delta“.
The young man was in such a state of shock and visibly upset that he was soon in tears. His mother then arrived at the airport and asked:
“So you mean to tell me, that because of a mechanical issue on your no-good planes and not an act of God not getting here on TIME we’re going have to lose ALL THE MONEY that we paid for the ticket and have to buy the new plane ticket for another $700?!”
The duty manager replied:
“Next time mommy, do not buy the basic ticket”
The eyewitness said the mother “turned three different shades of red and back to white again.” and then yelled at the CAL employee:
“Don’t you think if I could afford to buy the premium I would have bought it?!”
The outburst caused a public spectacle and other passengers were seen observing the interaction in a state of total awe.
The duty manager name was Maxine. It was another agent who stepped in to assist. We understand that the manager said it was too much paperwork for her and she attempted to place him on a no-fly list to prevent him from getting on. However, CMR has confirmed an agency cannot place a passenger on a no-fly list it was likely just chatter.
From other accounts, Cayman Airways eventually put him a flight to JFK in New York. However, he had to spend the night in the airport because his family could not afford a hotel for him. They had to end up purchasing a new flight to London from JFK this morning.
Passengers are now left wondering what they should do when there's a connecting flight given the likelihood that Cayman Airways will be delayed.
That same plane is scheduled to go to Jamaica on Sunday and people are noted that delays are very likely.