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Stranded CAL passengers arrive in T&T


(Trinidad Guardian) Almost 48 hours after departing the Miami International Airport on a Caribbean Airlines jet bound for T&T, the passengers of BW483 have arrived in the country.

BW3483 touched down at the Piarco International Airport at 2:26 am local time, today. The Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800, bearing registration 9Y-TAB, was initially expected to depart Puerto Rico at midnight and arrive at 1:50 am, but there was a delay on the ground for unknown reasons.

On arrival in Trinidad, the aircraft and its passengers were met by a Senior Caribbean Airlines Management team and letters given to every passenger.  Each letter contained an apology from the airline and an offer of an Electronic Transportation Voucher. One passenger told Guardian Media they were offered a voucher valued at US$400.

Caribbean Airlines also sought to allay fears of being denied entry to T&T, telling passengers in an email sent before departure that PCR tests taken from Saturday, December 11th onward would be considered valid. However, those with PCR tests taken before December 11th would be quarantined at a state-approved hotel and retested at no cost. They will be released once their tests come back negative. Caribbean Airlines says it will cover all costs associated with hotel accommodation (meals and transportation) and PCR testing. Guardian Media understands affected passengers were taken to the Regent Star Hotel for testing and subsequent quarantine.

In an early morning press release, the airline apologised to affected passengers, saying the company intended to operate a relief flight on the same day the diversion occurred. The airline also reiterated that Puerto Rico is not a part of their regular route network.

“While support systems were in place on the island, several factors outside of the airline’s authority made the operation less efficient than planned,” CAL explained in its statement.

CAL says all passengers are now at their final destinations.

Caribbean Airlines flight 483 was diverted to Puerto Rico while en route to Port of Spain on December 13th because of a medical emergency. At the time, approximately 150 passengers were aboard the aircraft.


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