Lower airfares a must

As a frequent visitor and rental property owner on Grand Cayman, I have voiced my opinion that Cayman Airways needs to lower its fares from Florida gateway cities.

We can purchase very cheap tickets from most US cities to Florida, for US$100-$175 round-trip. Fares from say Tampa on CAL run $420 round-trip. New York to Grand Cayman is about $15 cheaper.

Go figure!

The NY direct flight is reasonable but a connecting flight from non-CAL cities is way out of line. Florida gateway cities should be about 50 per cent of the current fares. Most of my rental guests use connecting flights to Grand Cayman.

One other problem is if you book Southwest Airlines from Philadelphia through Tampa connecting to Cayman Airways, you need to collect your baggage and re-enter through security and check your luggage a second time on Cayman Airways; a real hassle.

Cayman Airways must partner with all the low-price airlines in the USA so the baggage will be transferred. (I have flown through Tampa from Philadelphia ticketed on USAir or American Airlines and connected to Cayman Airways. This is not available often and the price is less than Cayman Airways’ base price from Tampa to Grand Cayman; again, go figure!)

Private home rentals are down in 2009. Rentals are down at my property by 20 per cent, but inquiries are down 50 per cent from 2008. People are shopping and a group of 10 people needs to spend over $5,000 for airfares alone!

Lower airfares are the first step; all the recent shootings and other crimes are not helping.

I have reduced the rental rates on my property by 10 per cent for 2009-2010.

Now Cayman Airways needs to do what Mr. [McKeeva] Bush is asking.

Vincent Macaluso

Lower airfares are the first step; all the recent shootings and other crimes are not helping.

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