‘Only Permitted The Agents To Minimally Assist’

October 18, 2017

The Department of Immigration has confirmed they “only permitted the agents to minimally assist the local agents,” with the Department also noting that they were “only made aware of the agents’ pending arrival when they were in flight to Bermuda; no prior notice or guidance was sought.”

This follows after a Virgin Atlantic flight from London diverted to Bermuda earlier this week due to a toddler on board needing medical attention.

The flight, which was carrying over 400 passengers, stayed on the island overnight, and eventually continued on its journey when it departed Bermuda the following evening.

Virgin Airlines Diversion Bermuda, October 16 2017_7524

When asked about unofficial suggestions that staff flown in by Virgin may not have been permitted to work, a Department of Immigration spokesperson told Bernews, “An Airline Ground Agent falls within the closed job category of jobs, per the Work Permit Policies, and as such does not allow non-Bermudians to perform duties associated with this post.

“Because the group size was significant [at approximately 430 passengers] and the circumstances unusual, the Department of Immigration only permitted the agents to minimally assist the local agents of Delta Airlines with whom Virgin Atlantic already has an established business relationship.

Virgin Atlantic Bermuda Oct 17 2017

“In addition to this, staff of the Department of Immigration’s airport team, was also on hand in the departures hall to monitor the circumstances,” the spokesperson continued.

“It should be highlighted that The Department of Immigration was only made aware of the agents’ pending arrival when they were in flight to Bermuda; no prior notice or guidance was sought.

“Such scenarios are difficult at best, and while the size of the passenger pool was not within anyone’s control, managing the processing of the Virgin Atlantic passengers was sufficiently handled by the Delta agents [although it took some time], even as they processed their other regular departing flights.”

Virgin Atlantic Bermuda Oct 17 2017 Letter (1)

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Comments (47)

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  1. nerema says:

    Turning an opportunity to make Bermuda look attractive and classy into another sea of unnecessary red tape.

    • sage says:

      Sure, let’s toss all the rules and laws out the window.

      • Zevon says:

        It would have taken almost no effort to deal with this sensibly. I might have meant they got checked in quicker (checkin took EIGHT HOURS yesterday) and left with a better impression. Instead we had to roll out the stupid rule book for no reason.

      • covfefery says:

        Okay but we’ll start with the dumb ones. Like this one. Then we’ll take a break for a while.

    • wondering says:

      indeed and the Minister has the authority to make ad hoc decisions to eliminate these bits of red tape so where did the confusion arise?

    • Truths says:

      I agree. This is sad. A toddler has a medical emergency and all some of us “caring Bermudians” think is “unh, somebody takin’ jawbs away from us. *sucks teeth*” Give me a break, as if any of us called the Delta agents to volunteer our help.

      How pathetic have we gotten. Not proud to be Bermudian lately.

      Hope the toddler is doing well.

    • John Joseph says:

      Unbelievable. You could not make this stuff up. The Bermuda Government could advise the EU on how to create more rules and red tape.

      Please join the 21st Century.

    • Real Onion says:


    • BOOM says:

      you got it, as usual

    • Bermudian Patriot says:

      This Island isn’t divided, it’s fractured. One good tug, and it’s broken.

      On behalf of all persons, who would have helped out Virgin and our sudden guests, freely out of compassion, Virgin, we are truly sorry.

      Does anyone realize what Virgin has done for the Caribbean after the hurricanes? Google that, and add in Richard Branson. Minister, you truly let us down, your inaction was totally unacceptable.


  2. Fisherman says:

    Ahhhh.. all they had to do was reenact the EB/Col Burch late night slinky dinky case of the Uighurs.

  3. fuzzy says:

    Yeah, that’s crap customer service by Bda Gov. This was a rare and unusual circumstance and we should have facilitated the airline in looking after their passengers. What this tells international airlines is “stay away from Bda unless it’s a terrible emergency”.

    • Truths says:

      Agree. And what’s worse is we had 400+ POTENTIAL NEW VISITORS to Bermuda! We know they like warm weather as they were headed for Orlando. We should have rolled out the red carpet and made their un-planned visit one that would make them want to return.

      Our loss.

  4. watching says:

    how silly.

  5. Seriously? says:

    This is another classic case of mole hill to mountain. Who, in their right mind, is complaining above this??
    Wow. Like WOW.

  6. Warlord says:

    Clueless civil servants will be the down fall of Bermuda

    • Grizz says:

      @Warlord – YOU ARE OUT OF ORDER!! First of all, I didn’t see anywhere in the article where it stated that it was a Civil Servant that complained. It stated “unofficial suggestions”. Secondly, I, being a previous civil servant, along with many of my family members and friends, take offense to you saying we are clueless! Come from behind your screen name and boldly state who you are. And for the record, my name is Grejai Smith and I was a damn good civil servant!!!

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        “along with many of my family members and friends”

        sums the downfall up right there fam lool

  7. Family Man says:

    I’m sure Virgin Atlantic will be eager to work with that kind of bureaucracy if they’re ever asked to consider including Bermuda in their future route plans.

  8. Kevin says:

    How petty can we get …well maybe we havent reached dead bottom as yet .

  9. trudi pugh says:

    So well said!

  10. The Original Truth™ says:

    Immigration allows …. …. Co. to hire foreign staff to work in closed positions all year round so why are crew members of a flight that emergency lands not allowed to work a closed position for a night.

  11. cpm says:

    Even in an emergency some people have to moan and complain
    I stood a long time recently after a less than full AA flight to pass immigration even though being Bermudian and everything computerised
    Imagine being on a plane of 450 passengers
    Well done Bermuda – on the world stage again

  12. somuchless says:

    I don’t get it. Virgin had a dirvision sent a few staff to make sure everything was fine and and assist for less than a day and someone is moaning. You all need to grow up. No one is taking ya job.

    • wondering says:

      there is no such thing as a Bermudian job unless we are willing to accept that it could then be called – A Bermudian of West Indian heritage’s job or of Azorean descent’s job, or a “paper Bermudian’s” job….come on Bermudians who are complaining – what the ‘letter after e’ should have happened – call in imaginary agents to help?

  13. William says:

    It’s not about people thinking someone else is taking their job it’s about people coming up with excuses to get paid because that’s what voting for the PLP is all about innit.

  14. Hopeful............ says:

    In all of this ‘noise’ over the ordeal, I haven’t seen any comment about the sick toddler; did the ambulance arrive to take the child KEMH? although it was mention emergency vehicles met the plane. Was the child successfully treated and allowed on the flight out the next day? Why wasn’t the child and family allowed to disembark and taken care off, and the plane refueled, passengers allowed in the terminal for 2 hrs then re-boarded and left, with other arrangements made for the sick child and family to follow the next day. ( just wondering )

  15. Lynn says:

    It’s sickening that this issue is being framed as Bermudians against foreigners. Wasn’t the real issue a matter of security? After all, if anyone leaves the secured areas of the airport, those persons must be appropriately cleared to re-enter the departure areas. Thanks Dept of Immigration for maintaining Bermuda’s security compliance measures while performing your duties as per the “Pre-Clearence Agmt” with USA.

    • nerema says:

      The people who came would (if allowed by the small minded beaurocrats) have assisted with checkin, i.e. nowhere hear the US Immigration facilities.

    • Real Onion says:

      You are deluded if that’s what you believe,or brainwashed!

    • John Joseph says:

      No,these guys worked for the airline, just like the cabin crew work for the airline. Virgin are used to working in very robust security environments. This is about creating a culture that says we welcome you and we are open for business and want to help you.

  16. Legalgal says:

    Just as well Virgin didn’t apply first! The anti-foreigner/Bermudian First (or only) sentiments continue. We, and our families, tourists, emergency helpers are not welcome. Is our money still welcome?! We are now targeted. Shameful.

  17. HarryTuttle says:

    What a petty bit of whining on behalf of the complainant. At least Virgin Atlantic cares enough to send over some staff to make sure that their customers are taken care of. Lets hope that the department and the minister have common sense. It’s not like a team of agents were coming over for a month to do the Delta agents jobs – it was for one flight of a size we aren’t usually used to dealing with. If I was one of the passengers, arrived at the airport and found 2 or 3 locals dealing with 400 passengers I would be seriously upset.

  18. Baileys Bay says:

    So, as I read this – it seems that Virgin flew in a few gate agents to assist in re boarding a large number of their passengers.
    Virgin has no presence in Bermuda but is a code share partner with Delta.
    The Immigration Dept seemingly became involved, I guess to stand around making sure that Virgin staff didn’t do any work as they don’t have work permits…so Delta staff, on their own, had to board not only their own passengers but also the Virgin passengers.
    So BOTH Delta and Virgin passengers treated badly, but also Delta Bermuda staff treated badly while Immigration staff stood around (on our dime by the way) making sure that jobs WHICH DONT EXIST IN BERMUDA were protected.
    You can’t even make this stuff up

    • Bermudian Patriot says:

      Exactly, what happened, the Minister dropped the ball, and embarrassed the country. And as only he can do it, without the hint of an apology. And Jamahl went AWOL.


    • Once Upon A Time says:

      Perfectly summed up and stated.

  19. Second says:

    Why is it that some people think that we are to bend over backwards to please visitors or transients in Bermuda? We can show them courtesy, etc. while also sticking to our laws, processes and procedures. Where in the world do you find countries dropping their standards on the hope that visitors/transients might come back to visit? Come on People!

  20. bdaboy says:

    “Why is it that some people think that we are to bend over backwards to please visitors or transients in Bermuda? ”

    Because we rely on external cash to remain alive.
    The fact that you don’t understand this is not surprising. You’re a typical, uneducated, xenophobic bigot, with no clue.

    • Grizz says:

      @Bdaboy – So, anyone who doesn’t agree with your reasoning is a “typical, uneducated, xenophobic bigot, with no clue?” WOW! Pretty harsh words but maybe you’re not understanding. In the United States and all throughout Europe, whenever immigration is compromised the lines and wait are extrememly long and frustrating. Waiting for hours; lines reaching the doors; people missing connecting flights and the list goes on! If the situation/location was reversed, do you think a Bermudian would be permitted to work a Check In Counter in the States or UK? I’m just saying; it wouldn’t happen. And, I’m not really taking a side on this issue; I just really find it amazing that someone had the time to complain about it. SIGH

      • Zevon says:

        And there speaks a civil servant. Inefficiency is ingrained into you.

        • Grizz says:

          @Zevon – like being a jacka$$ was ingrained into you perhaps

  21. bdaboy says:

    “@Bdaboy – So, anyone who doesn’t agree with your reasoning is a “typical, uneducated, xenophobic bigot, with no clue?”

    Yes, just call me the plp.

    ” In the United States and all throughout Europe,…”

    Where they actually produce goods and services for export and thus have an active economy…..unlike Bermuda.

    “. And, I’m not really taking a side on this issue; ”

    Yet, you felt the need to ignore all the racist trash posted above…and call me out…not that you really care.

    You’re just a hypocrite like the rest of your ilk.

  22. Grizz says:

    @Bdaboy – I’ve been called worse; I hope that made you feel better.