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[Guyana, Letter] Recipe for corruption at CJIA check in counter

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[Guyana, Letter] Recipe for corruption at CJIA check in counter

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Jan 25, 2020

https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2020 ... n-counter/

[Guyana, Letter] Recipe for corruption at CJIA check in counter
Jan 25, 2020


On my departure from Guyana, I was required to pay baggage fees. I was asked if I would be paying with a credit card or cash. Not being too sure that Guyana had successfully transitioned with the capable of handling credit card transactions, I had long before premeditated payment in local currency. So, to answer the check in agent I said cash.

I barely heard her say ‘seventy-five dollars for your two bags’. From experience I know currency purchases at foreign airports mean change will be in the country’s local currency. I am mentally reminding myself our currency is only spendable here, therefore I need to use up my local currency. My response was, “don’t you take local currency for payment? If so, what is the amount?”

She said $14,740. I gave her $15,000, expecting change of $260.

The agent told me, she didn’t have change, drop my bags off and come back, by then she would have my change. I did, still no change. I told her I would wait. She miraculously hands me $100. I thought for the remaining $160. I could make life easier if I gave her $40 and she gave me $200.

She looked at me like a deer frozen in the headlights of a car! Now she tells me all she has is $500! I asked her to check with her colleagues. She comes back and advises no one has change; she will be working the gate and will bring it to me. Mind you this is our local currency.

Being a person of integrity, I trusted her. She never turned up at the gate, the jetway, or on the plane.

I comforted myself with the thought that G$160 wasn’t much it was less than US$1.

Around 3.30am, I was jolted out of my cat nap with the realization that if one check in agent randomly selected 10 travelers with the excuse of not having change and would bring it to the gate and doesn’t, at the minimum of G$100 she will collect G$1,000 per night. 7 nights=G$7000. A minimum of 28 days in the month=G$28,000. For 12 months =G$336, 000.

Most importantly, other agents may be running the same game.

American Airlines accommodates 2 daily flights – 268 passengers in total. These flights are booked to capacity, and this is only one carrier. Imagine, what is happening with the collection from the other carriers and those intending to service our country.

The agents at the check in counter are already overripe with corruption. They are not direct employees of the various airlines, they are contracted to handle check in.

So, I have thought about this and came up with the following possible solutions

There are about 10 agents – no single agent should handle credit card, local and foreign currency. Break the agents into groups:-
2 – credit cards
2 – local currency
2 – foreign currency.

Instead of having everyone in one line, lanes can be opened up leading directly to the agents, depending upon the traveler’s method of payment.

Upon entering the building, there are 3-4 agents stumbling over each other and travelers asking “what’s your final destination?” Those same personnel can ask “how will you be paying for your bags? And direct the travelers to the specific lane of the check in agent best suited to their form of payment.

Or…Set aside a booth – Similar to the now defunct departure tax booth – with at least 2-3 personnel knowledgeable in math to transact the fees collection after the bags have been weighed.

These people in the booth must have enough currency to facilitate the return of change, and there should be no excuses for not having change.

We are not playing dolly house, or running a cake shop. At the end of the day, each agent must be accountable for fees collected against the number of bags processed.

Another observation: – there was a party of 5 persons checking in – each person should only pay for their 1 bag – $30. Not 1st bag – $30; 2nd bag – $45; 3rd bag – $75; 4th and 5th bags different prices. It’s 5 persons, not 1 person with 5 bags.

Being spoilt so long with 2 free bags, inexperienced travelers are confused with the baggage fees and getting ripped off at the counter, due to lack of knowledge and the underhand savvy corrupted gate agents.

These “get rich quick” schemes have got to go; we are a people of integrity and in the international arena, transparency, accountability and honesty is a must.


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