Caymanian ‘embarrassed’ by airport congestion

My name is Breanne Gill and I’m 23 years old. I grew up in Grand Cayman, and my family still lives here. I came to Cayman on Saturday April 12 on US 821.

I saw your article in the Caymanian Compass [on April 15] about the overcrowding in the airport. If I hadn’t been in the airport on Saturday I may have believed that there was sincerity in the statements given in your article entitled “Airport overcrowding lingers on” from Mr. [Albert] Anderson, Honourable Minister [Moses] Kirkconnell, and Ms. Tina Choy. But as I witnessed the immigration line first hand, I can tell you that nothing was being done to alleviate the congestion.

Luckily, as a Caymanian citizen, I got to stand in a much shorter line. But, to my dismay, there were only four immigration officers on duty. I heard tourists next to me saying that they had been in the line an hour and hadn’t moved.

The line for tourists was so long that it snaked its way outside. There were families with young babies who were made to wait for hours in cramped conditions.

Thankfully, I’m from Cayman, but if I was not, and this is where I came to spend my hard earned money on vacation, I would have instantly told everyone I knew not to ever visit.

I waited in the Caymanian line for about 45 minutes, which was quick compared to the poor other tired tourists who were made to stand for hours on end.

While talking a great talk is a good start, the immigration line could, and can, be easily solved. The Immigration Department needs to schedule a full load of officers during peak hours. It’s like the saying “have a great experience and you’ll tell a few, have a bad experience and you’ll tell everyone you know.”

I’m glad to see that the topic of airport congestion is being brought to the public’s consciousness. But I can assure you that anyone who is from Cayman and has been through the airport on a weekend already knows congestion is a major problem.

I was completely embarrassed standing in that immigration hall on Saturday.

First impressions are lasting, and I don’t think anyone walked out of the airport on Saturday singing Cayman’s good praises.

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