New York (Sept. 22, 2011)-Sitting at Miami International Airport while mechanics work on a faulty Caribbean-bound American Airlines aircraft, I recall how difficult it has been meeting my editor’s deadline for this weekly AmNews column over the past fortnight. If I share the details of my grueling travel schedule over the past two weeks, maybe she’ll be forgiving and include the following 360 words in this week’s edition.
I am now off to the U.S. Virgin Islands on company business (St. Thomas, then St. Croix) following a tough three days on the road last Wednesday through Friday.
On Wednesday, it was for client meetings in Fort Lauderdale, where I also had the opportunity to break bread and share some ideas with Caribbean video production powerhouse Frame by Frame Productions, co-led by the unflappable Lukkee Chong. Frame by Frame produces Air Jamaica’s popular, award-winning in-flight video, “Island Stylee.”
After a group dinner with a number of Caribbean hoteliers, it was time to put the final touches on my public relations presentation, followed by a spirited exchange the following morning with leaders from across the regional hospitality landscape. Then it was off to Miami to connect with my cousin and colleague before taking to the skies for Orlando for an Air Jamaica event.
There, at the Bob Marley restaurant at Universal CityWalk, airline officials announced the return of nonstop flights between Kingston and Orlando.
“Reintroducing our nonstop service to Orlando-the fifth largest metropolitan area in the Southeast U.S.-is an important milestone in our strategy to strengthen operations,” said Will Rodgers, acting general manager of Air Jamaica. “The flights, which originate in Port of Spain, will serve Orlando’s growing Caribbean Diaspora, as well as seasonal leisure travelers from the Caribbean.”
While there, for the first time I met the vivacious Sandy Isaacs of Break Away Moments, with whom I have enjoyed a number of enjoyable marketing exchanges over the past couple of years.
Sandy updated me on plans for her Peek at Paradise Caribbean Travel Show, to be held on Sunday at the Orlando Hilton Hotel, featuring New York-based celebrity chef Nigel Spence, who will make a presentation about Jamaica’s culinary heritage.
After Orlando, it was off to New York for the first annual Travel + Leisure Global Bazaar on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
And, after a day of video editing, visiting the chiropractor and doing a number of chores, it’s back to the friendly skies for a visit to the islands.
Well, not so friendly today, since our flight has now been delayed for three hours. But thank God, we’ll arrive at our destination in one piece.