The recent incident involving American Airlines and the prime ministers of Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana is extremely concerning.
The fact that the airline refused to allow the two leaders to check-in through the VIP Lounge, despite government protocols being in place and requests being made to accord them necessary treatment, is unacceptable.
Prime Ministers Dr. Keith Rowley and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves were in Guyana to attend the 2023 International Energy Conference and Expo.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana stated that this is not the first time American Airlines has acted in such a manner, and the carrier had been asked formally to provide proper treatment to government officials in the past. Despite this, the airline refused to acquiesce to the ministry’s request, insisting that the prime ministers leave the lounge and present themselves at the check-in counter.
Racism Is Alive and Thriving
This is outright racism and counterproductive tactics. It is not only an insult to the prime ministers and their countries, but it also shows a lack of respect for international protocol and basic human decency. The fact that the Guyana government has previously protested against this position taken by American Airlines, yet without success, is deeply troubling. In response to the incident, the Guyana government has stated its intention to formally communicate its displeasure with the airline.
Read More: Rise of the Underdogs: Trinidad’s Energy Oath is about to Change the Game for the Caribbean
This is a necessary step that needs to be taken to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. American Airlines has expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the two prime ministers. However, this apology is not enough. The airline must take immediate steps to address the underlying issues that led to this incident, and ensure that its employees are aware of the importance of treating government officials and international guests with respect and dignity.
The incident is not only an embarrassment for Guyana but also for the Caribbean region as a whole. It undermines the region’s efforts to promote economic growth and development and send a message that these countries’ leaders are not worthy of basic respect and courtesy. In conclusion, American Airlines’ actions were deplorable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The company needs to take immediate action to address the systemic issues that led to this incident and prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. The Guyana government and other regional governments must work together to ensure that their leaders are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve when travelling internationally.
Leave a Reply