THE EDITOR: My wife and I returned to the country recently and after landing at Piarco International Airport we could tell almost immediately we were back in TT.
After we left the Customs area, we needed a porter to take some of our luggage the short distance out to the pavement since a medical issue prevented me from doing so.
Once that was done I proceeded to take from my pocket the porter’s fee for two bags based on the equivalent of one US dollar per bag. Before I could hand it over to him, the porter almost screamed at me, “How much money yuh have in yuh han’ dey?”
I did not answer and he shouted again, “How much money yuh have dey?”
I responded, “What am I supposed to have?”
“Twenty dollars,” he said.
“Since when,” I asked.
“Since the beginning of the year” was his reply, and he proceeded to point to his cart while telling me, “Look it mark up dey.”
It was only then that I realised there was a third bag on his trolley — our hand luggage which my wife takes and which we never turn over to porters.
It turned out that, before my wife even realised it, the porter had placed that bag on his trolley without asking how many bags he was required to transport.
I was about to pay him based on the fee for two bags when the man became hostile.
Nevertheless, I paid him for the three bags, but not before telling him that his approach and attitude was definitely not what one expected to encounter on arrival in the country.
Another airport worker who was standing nearby told me that was his normal way of speaking to people since “he feels he is big.”
When he started his outburst the porter had no way of knowing whether I was a local or a visitor as he had not heard me speak. I was aghast at his behaviour.
Is this what we need at our points of entry? Is this the way we welcome passengers here, whether they are local or foreign?
I believe the airport authorities should look into this and remove any porter or other worker who displays this obnoxious attitude to passengers, whether incoming or outgoing.
VERNON A ALLICK via e-mail