Monday, February 16, 2009

Delta Flights to Haiti Start in June

Good news for people who travel to Haiti from New York. Starting on June 20, Delta will begin flights from New York's JFK to Haiti. Tickets for the June 20-July 31 flights have to be purchased by February 23rd. "Delta's long-standing commitment to the Caribbean basin is now reinforced as we provide the growing population of Haitians in the tri-state area with more options to visit friends and loved ones in their native country," said Gail Grimmett, Delta's senior vice president.

American Airlines has had a virtual monopoly on flights to Haiti for 37 years. Haitian travelers on American Airlines have complained for years about the lack of respect and rudeness they experience with American Airlines. Travelers also complain of being overcharged for flights, changes and last minute bookings.

Last February Carine Desir, 44, died on an American Airlines flight from Haiti to JFK. "Desir had complained of not feeling well and being very thirsty on the Friday flight home from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after she ate a meal, according to Antonio Oliver, a cousin who was traveling with her and her brother, Joel Desir. A flight attendant gave her water, he said. A few minutes later, Desir said she was having "trouble breathing" and asked for oxygen, but a flight attendant twice refused her request, Oliver said."

Consumer complaints about American Airlines are not unique to Haitian travelers. A litany of complaints can be found on The article observes that American Airlines "manages to insult and alienate just about every type of passenger you can think of." It's great that travelers to Haiti now have more choices. Hopefully, more flights to Haiti will be added to Delta's schedule and more airlines will be prompted to fly to Haiti.

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