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A National Embarrassment #294374
01/21/2023 06:43 PM
01/21/2023 06:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 44
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline OP
Traveler
Fitzhughlaw  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 44
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
This editorial was long-overdue, but a great piece about the idiotic and inexcusable delays tourists faced at the Road Town Fast Ferry port of entry where there were only 2 immigration officers on duty for an afternoon arrival of a ferry from STT. https://www.bvibeacon.com/editorial-an-apalling-arrival/.

Well-written and on point, these excerpts cogently summarize the gravity of the issue: "Such treatment is a national embarrassment, and it is a major threat to a tourism industry that has been working overtime to recover from the pandemic as it faces increasing competition from abroad. ... Of course, we understand that Immigration and Customs have important jobs to do and that arrival queues can be a hassle the world over. But this is no reason that a small jurisdiction like the Virgin Islands can’t do far better. And do better it must."

Where is the Minister of Tourism? Oh yeah, being a real leader by saying "things need to improve" [ya think?]: "On Friday, Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley, who is the minister of tourism, told reporters that the government has been working to improve the arrival experience at ports of entry. It is clearly not doing enough."

The first excerpt above characterized it perfectly - “a national embarrassment," and it's NOT the fault of the individual immigration officers (I've always found them to be very polite and professional), but rather mismanagement of them as personnel. Every time I read some epistle online replete with handwringing and all manner of Sturm and Drang about the importance of growing the Territory’s economy I just get disgusted, because that simply won't happen as long as it has a bloated government run by feckless bureaucrats who don’t realize that things like this aren’t just biting the hands that feed them, but are in fact, cutting off a finger.

Last edited by Fitzhughlaw; 01/21/2023 06:46 PM.
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Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294376
01/21/2023 07:02 PM
01/21/2023 07:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,415
Memphis, BVI, CT
R
RatmansWife Offline
Traveler
RatmansWife  Offline
Traveler
R
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,415
Memphis, BVI, CT
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: RatmansWife] #294377
01/21/2023 07:14 PM
01/21/2023 07:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 44
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline OP
Traveler
Fitzhughlaw  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 44
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Ah, Mrs. Ratman, I fear you are correct once again. Things like this are why I generally despise government; and I'm not trying to provoke a political controversy here, because without them we would have anarchy. However, if something like this happens in the private sector, someone gets fired. Not so when it's "da gub mint" - where nobody gets fired for anything (unless they're arrested and indicted, and even then, it can take months).

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294387
01/21/2023 10:05 PM
01/21/2023 10:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
Traveler
GeorgeC1  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
The BVI does not need more customs officials. It simply needs to come into the modern world and set up a kiosk entry system. They could then fire half the customs staff and process visitors quickly and efficiently. I travel the world. Currently the BVI has the worst customs experience anywhere. I can enter Israel with huge security concerns in minutes vice an hour or more at Roadtown customs.

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294390
01/21/2023 11:00 PM
01/21/2023 11:00 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,748
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
Traveler
Happy Birthday Manpot  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,748
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Luxury..on Oct 29 when I came in there was one...not very polite..immigration officer.Finally a second joined her, and with a smile, got tho three to her one..A digrace is an understatement...Dont get me started!!

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Manpot] #294392
01/21/2023 11:30 PM
01/21/2023 11:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,171
Middle Tennessee
T
TravelHat Offline
Traveler
TravelHat  Offline
Traveler
T
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,171
Middle Tennessee
Just flew back from the Bahamas. No issues everyone fine.

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294398
01/22/2023 09:41 AM
01/22/2023 09:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
Traveler
tradewinds  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,656
An island state of mind
That's why the water taxis are doing so well. Worth every penny.

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294472
01/24/2023 09:34 AM
01/24/2023 09:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
Traveler
cwoody  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
Just changed our BVI travel plans in May.

Canceled our UA IAD-STT flights and booked Jet Blue DCA-SJU-EIS

Difference in prices was only. $128. No brainer!

No ferry's for me!


Chuck W.
[Linked Image]
Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294491
01/24/2023 02:26 PM
01/24/2023 02:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
Traveler
GeorgeC1  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
Cancelation rates are still quite high on the SJU to EIS route particularly if on interCaribbean Airways. Have a backup plan!

Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: GeorgeC1] #294497
01/24/2023 03:52 PM
01/24/2023 03:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
Traveler
cwoody  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
Have a backup plan!


Guess that would be trip insurance. duh
And a bag full of patients.


Chuck W.
[Linked Image]
Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: cwoody] #294513
01/24/2023 07:29 PM
01/24/2023 07:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,672
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,672
Central Florida!
"patients"??? Not sure having extra folks along would help... wink


Carol Hill
Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #294517
01/24/2023 08:19 PM
01/24/2023 08:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
Traveler
GeorgeC1  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,604
GA/NC
I don’t know who you are using on the SJU-EIS leg. What I recommend is the night before use flight aware to check the status of the leg. Check it again in the morning as you board your US flight. If your proactive you may be able to audible before leaving the US. If issues come up later have the phone numbers of a couple of charter airline options. They can save the day!
Looking at tomorrow as a example IC has already cancelled their morning flight. If you catch this in advance you might get rebooked on that leg or could ask to fly direct STT.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 01/24/2023 08:50 PM.
Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: Carol_Hill] #294531
01/25/2023 08:21 AM
01/25/2023 08:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
Traveler
cwoody  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
"patients"??? Not sure having extra folks along would help... wink


If I am patient and have patience at the same time does that count as multi-tasking?

I will write a book if I have to book another flight.


Chuck W.
[Linked Image]
Re: A National Embarrassment [Re: GeorgeC1] #294532
01/25/2023 08:26 AM
01/25/2023 08:26 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
Traveler
cwoody  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 896
Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
I don’t know who you are using on the SJU-EIS leg.

Thanks George. We will be on Silver. Their record is not great but better than IC.

If you can call only 2% chance of being canceled but 49% change of being delayed better.

Silver flight stats SJU-EIS


Chuck W.
[Linked Image]

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