Letters To The Editor, 30th December, 2015

Real ministers Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Delta, BC, Canada With all due respect, from the day Rosy Akbar became the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, seeing her pictures in the
30 Dec 2015 10:30
Letters To The Editor, 30th December, 2015

Real ministers

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Delta, BC, Canada

With all due respect, from the day Rosy Akbar became the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, seeing her pictures in the dailies almost daily doing her rounds of visits; I thought that this was part of her campaign for the next general elections.

But after reading of her visit to Narokorokoyawa Village, where she walked through the rough terrain, wade through strong currents of the Wainimala River, crossing it four times before seeing the beautiful village hidden in the Naitasiri highlands, to become the first women’s minister to set foot in Narokorokoyawa, I can only say that she has the heart of a real minister, the real deal.

As an iTaukei, my heart was really touched that a non- iTaukei minister, in this case a woman, would brave the rugged terrain to add value to the lives of Fijians who live in the hard to reach interior of Viti Levu.

One thing that attracted me to the Bainimarama Government, before the elections, was its service delivery to those who live in hard to reach areas, where no past ministers have ever set foot or visited and meeting their needs.

Our current FijiFirst Government ministers led by our Prime Minister have continued this legacy and it just warms the heart that our women ministers are no different.

As we approach the end of 2015, thank you PM, A-G and all the Government ministers for your excellent work performance and service delivery to all Fijians this year and being real ministers.

We all pray that 2016 will bring in more growth and opportunities, as you continue to lead and move Fiji forward into our new dawn.


Baggage accountability

Mahsood Shah, Sydney

Recently an elderly couple travelled Fiji Airways from Sydney to Nadi. The two elderly passengers paid AUD$112 for seven kilos of extra baggage. Upon arrival they were unable to locate their checked in baggage.

After complaining to the relevant staff member in Nadi, they were informed that their baggage did not arrive on their flight and would be arriving in the next flight. Unfortunately, the baggage did not arrive still and upon further enquiries in Sydney with Menzies Baggage it was revealed that the three checked-in bags were still in Sydney.

The staff member in Nadi provided two phone numbers to the passengers. These phone numbers (628 7103 and 6722 777) belong to Air Terminal Services. While phone contact is provided, no one actually answers the call and neither is there any provision to leave voice messages.

Menzies Baggage kindly responded to the passengers’ relative in Sydney and advised that the baggage was tagged to be loaded in the early morning flight to Nadi the following morning. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the baggage was not loaded in the promised flight. The relative of the two elderly passengers drove for seven hours from Coffs Habour in New South Wales to Sydney to find a way to send the baggage which had medications for the elderly parents.

The relative was provided with Fiji Airways phone contact in Sydney (9317 3866) and unfortunately no one answers the call irrespective of what time of the day or night the call is made.

The relative arrived at Sydney airport and expressed his concern with the Fiji Airways Sydney operations manager. The current manager advised that his staff is responsible for processing passengers at the check-in counter and they are not responsible for baggage queries.

He advised that the relative should visit Menzies Baggage in relation to the baggage.

The relative advised the manager that he had paid the fare to Fiji Airways; therefore it is the airline that needs to track the baggage and take responsibility.

After three hours of wait (not forgetting parking fees at the airport), staff at Menzies kindly located the baggage and tagged for loading in the next flight. What is appalling in this scenario is total lack of accountability.

The passengers are not informed about their missing baggage and when it may arrive.

They are never contacted to find out if accommodation and other expenses have to be catered for given the two elderly passengers had to travel to outer Island on the next day.

There seems to be a culture of passing the buck to Air Terminal Services and Menzies Baggage. Fiji Airways may have contractual arrangement or service level agreement with both organisations, however the final accountability lies with the airline.

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