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Permalink 05:19:33 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture, Commentary

Speaking Jamaica Patois – Part 2

So, were you able to say the test sentences from part 1 in Jamaican patois?


Test .

Can you say the following in Jamaica patois.

1. The bottle is empty. -  De bokkle hempty.

2. My mother loves ginger tea. – Mi madda lov ginga tea.

3. I cut my little finger with the paper. – Mi cut mi likkle finga wid de paypa.

Well done.

In this article, we will examine how Jamaicans address each other. Most persons will address their friends, neighbours and colleagues by their first or last name. In Jamaica, however, many persons don’t even know the correct names of some of their acquaintances. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear persons at funerals comment, ‘a so him did name, all dis time mi neva know’. Yes, at first introductions, actual names are exchanged however Jamaicans tent to give each other nicknames. In most cases these names are used as a term of endearment and not meant to insult or ridicule.

Nicknames among friends are usually personal and can be based on physical features, specific likes or childhood preference or behavioural pattern to name a few. Examples:

Physical features – Bulbie – for someone with a big nose.

Specific likes or childhood preference – Tweety – after a cartoon character which the individual likes.

Behavioural pattern – Sunshine – for someone who is always smiling.

These nicknames which are known and tolerated between friends however are not always accepted from strangers, especially if they are not complimentary.

Whether friends, casual acquaintances or complete strangers Jamaican tend to address everyone by a nickname. Some of the more popular nicknames among strangers and general acquaintances usually refer to the colour of the skin, the race, the size or the age of an individual. Examples:


Colour - The colour of one’s skin is often used among young adults.


Females – Browning, Empress

Males – Brown man, Black man, Reds

Race -

All Orientals - Chinese, Japanese, Korean

Females – Ms Chin

Male – Mr Chin

All Indians –

Females – Collie, Indian

Male – Collie, Indian


Females – Fluffly, Lushus, Tiny, Slim thing

Males – Bigga, Big man


Child – Pickney, likkle bowy, likkle girl

Young person – Sista, bredda

Adult – Auntie, Uncle

Full Adult – God modda, Godfadda, Moms, Mommy, Dads

Ironically, the world wide accepted addresses of “Sir” or “Madame”, is frowned upon by the many Jamaicans. Is this a cultural thing, I have no idea? When asked, they will tell you that they don’t like it for themselves so they don’t use it for others. Most service providers, especially in the rural areas will refer to an adult female between the ages of about 40 to 60 years as “Mommy”, which in their estimation is a high honour.


So, the next time you are amongst Jamaicans and they give you a nick name, believe me, it’s all good. You don’t even have to answer, just smile and go about your business.  However, beware, if you ‘gwan like yu nice’, and ignore them you may get another name which usually won’t be complimentary.


Nuff Love


Permalink 03:02:10 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary, Travel

Travelling with Animals

You are preparing for a trip by air and you want to take your beloved pet with you, so you ask, can I take my pet? To answer your question, you need to answer the following questions;

· Are you travelling domestic or international?

· Are you physically or emotionally dependent on your pet?

· Would you like your pet to travel in the cabin with you?

· What is the size and weight of your pet?

· Do you have a suitable carrier container for your pet?

· What are the carrier’s criteria for travelling with an animal?

· For international travel, what is the requirement for animals entering that country?

The acceptance of animals such as cats, dogs, household birds and other pets is dependent upon the regulations of your air carrier. Each airline will have different stipulations based on your destination country, aircraft type, as well as the reasons for carriage. Airlines must also be guided by the customs requirements of each country of entry. In some instances, even the arrival time of the aircraft into a country will dictate the acceptance of your beloved pet. There may also be guarantee rules set by the country of entry to be adhered to.

How are Animals carried.

Airlines will carry animals either in the aircraft cabin, as checked baggage or as cargo.

  • Service animals, emotional support or psychiatric service animal accompanying passengers with disabilities are accepted into the aircraft cabin of most carriers. Some carriers will also take small pets.
  • Domestic pet animals properly crated may be carried on the same flight as you as checked baggage in the cargo compartment of the aircraft.
  • All other animals must be carried as cargo.

Service, Emotional Support or Psychiatric Service Animals

Service animals assisting passengers with disabilities and emotional support or psychiatric service animals are allowed free of charge on most carriers. A carrier may charge if an adjacent seat has to be withdrawn from use to accommodate a passenger with a disability and accompanying assistance animal. Carriers require proof to show that an animal is needed a service animal such as an Animal ID card, Harness or Tag.

To travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal in the aircraft cabin, airlines require supporting documentation in advance (usually 48 hours) of your travel date. It must be from a licensed mental health professional or a medical doctor and state:

  • That you have a mental or emotional disability recognized in the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • That you need the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at your destination
  • That the individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and you are under his or her professional care
  • The date and type of the mental health professional or medical doctor's license and the state or jurisdiction where it was issued

If the airline is unable to validate your documentation or if advance notification was not given, the animal may need to be checked and the applicable charges will apply.

Cabin Rules for animals

Animals accepted in the aircraft cabin are not allowed to occupy a seat but must fit on your lap, at your feet or under your seat and shall be appropriately secured during the entire stay on board. The animals must be clean, well behaved and under your control at all times. If your animal misbehaves you may be asked to put its muzzle on for the transport. If the animal is too large, it will need to be checked and travel in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. For security reasons, you cannot sit in an exit row when traveling with service animals and the animal must not protrude into the aisle.

For those carriers that allow regular pets to travel in the cabin a charge is levied. Special guidelines are set out by carriers for kennels used for carry-on pets. These include but are not limited to the maximum size restrictions for non-collapsible kennels and specifications of soft-sided collapsible kennels such as Sherpa bags which can be larger if they're made of water-repellent material, are padded or have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides. It is also important to ensure that the animal can stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel. When travelling with your pet you may want to check if the airport through which you are travelling has an animal relief area.

Animals carried as Checked Baggage

Animals accepted as checked baggage will not be included in the passenger’s free baggage allowance. The weight of the pets and their containers shall be paid for at the rate applicable to excess baggage. Your animal travels in the checked baggage compartment, on the same flight as you. The animal must be placed in proper, acceptable and secure containers with adequate food for the duration of the flight.

Animals carried as Cargo

Transporting your animal as cargo is in some ways very similar as to checked baggage. They must be properly crated and travel in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. All the necessary documentation needed when transporting a live animal are still required. The major difference is that you will not be there for take-off or landing and airway bills will need to be completed.

It is comforting to know that whether it is a pet, an animal transported for zoological or agricultural purposes or for any other reason, all carriers are regulated to ensure all animals are transported safely and humanely by air. Carriers that are members of International Air Transport Association (IATA) are guided by IATA’s Live Animals Regulations (LAR) which is the worldwide standard for transporting live animals by commercial airlines. Some airlines even have designated holding facilities at select stations for your animal’s comfort and specially trained staff to care for your pet or animal.

Travel Documents

For international travel it is the passenger’s responsibility to procure and present all health and vaccination certificates, entry permits, transit permits, exit permits and any other documents required by the countries of entry or transit for all animals including service animals. Carriers can refuse carriage of the animal if all requirements are not met. Some countries restrict the entry of animals. To avoid disappointment, you should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate of the country of entry in a timely manner to ensure all necessary procedures are followed.

It is important when travelling with pets to remember that each carrier has their own stipulations and must be contacted in order to make arrangements. The number of animals carried on any one flight is usually limited so make sure to register your pet with the airline as soon as you make your reservations. It is strongly recommended that you register your pet within 24 hours of completing your booking. Most carriers will refund your ticket without charge within 24 hours of booking on line. This will ensure that, if your pet cannot be accommodated on the flight(s) and date(s) you selected, your ticket will be refunded without charge. After 24 hours, any changes to your booking will be subject to applicable change and cancellation fees.

The acceptance of animals is subject to the condition that the passenger assumes full responsibility for the safety, health, and conduct of their animal. The airline assumes no liability in the event of injury, sickness, or death of such animal as a result of refusal of entry into or passage through any country, state or territory. The passenger shall also be liable for all expenses for any damage their animal causes, and shall indemnify the airlines against all liability whatsoever, unless caused by the gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Not only does the criteria for the carriage of animals differ from one airline to the next but the cost to travel with your pet also varies from airline to airline. For competitive reasons however they are usually similar for different carriers on the same routes. Domestic travel is usually much simpler as it does not involve the documentation required for entry permits excreta. Be sure to go online and get the necessary information from your airline of choice. I know, some carrier’s online information is not very ‘hands on’ however if you cannot find the information on the carriage of pets under ‘Travel or General Information’, go to the ‘Legal’ or ‘Conditions of Carriage’ tab usually found at the bottom of the home page and it should be there.

Nuff Love

Permalink 02:40:26 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary, Travel

Baggage Allowances

When booking your travel arrangements, you should always take into consideration your baggage needs. Depending on the purpose of your trip and the length of your stay, how many bags do you need to carry? Does the carrier that you are booking allow free bags? If not, what is the cost for bags and how does the total cost of airfare and baggage compare among airlines that fly the route? These are some of the questions you need to answer to ensure you are getting the best deal. Remember airlines often change their baggage information, so even if you are a frequent flyer, it’s worth double checking the baggage allowance before you purchase your ticket.

Each airline has limits on the number of baggage and the weight of each baggage allowed for each passenger. The allowance may vary depending on where the passenger is travelling to and the class of service travelled in. Your baggage allowance should be printed on your ticket and passenger receipt. The cost for baggage on most carriers is usually less when purchased online before travel. If you require a larger baggage allowance you can also prepay extra bags on line and save on the airport excess baggage rates.

Baggage allowances normally includes carry-on baggage which are bags you take on the plane with you and checked baggage which are bags that are carried in the airplane’s cargo hold. Airlines also have special provisions and charges for sporting, musical and hunting equipment. Special packaging requirements are needed for some items for safe carriage. This information can normally be found on the carrier’s website.

Carry-on Baggage

Most airlines allow each passenger a small carry-on Baggage free of charge. The dimensions and weight vary significantly from airline to airline and should be communicated to you at the time of ticket purchase. Most carriers will have a baggage gauge at the check-in area into which your bag must be able to fit. In addition to your allowance, you may also carry on board one small personal item. Your personal item must be smaller than your carry-on baggage (like a purse/pocket book, briefcase or laptop bag) and should be able to fit under the seat. If your items cannot fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, they may need to be repacked as part of your checked baggage allowance and excess baggage charges may apply.

There are a number of rules and restrictions covering what can be carry-on baggage and what can be carried in it. These include but are not limited to the following:

What may be considered as carry-on baggage:

·         Passengers travelling with small children may take a diaper bag or child safety seat as a carry-on or personal item.

·         Passengers with special needs may take medical or mobility devices.

·         Musical instruments can also be considered as your carry-on item and must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

·         When traveling with a pet, the kennel or container counts as your carry-on however on some carriers a carry-on pet fee also applies.

What may or may not be carried in your carry-on baggage

·         You can transport liquid goods in your hand baggage, if you adhere to the following conditions:

o   Containers must be placed in a clear, plastic bag

o   Each container in the bag must not exceed 100 ml / 3.4 fl. oz.

o   The volume of the bag must not exceed 1 liter / 34.8 fl. oz.

o   The dimensions of the bag must not exceed 20 x 20 cm / 7.9 x 7.9 in

·         Things that could be considered a weapon (e.g. scissors, pocket knives) are not allowed in your carry-on bags.

Always check local airport and airline rules before you fly, especially if you are transferring to another carrier at any point in your journey. Rules for flights departing from US airports are available from the

Check-in Baggage

The number of free checked baggage allowed per passenger per flight ranges from none to two for economy passengers and up to 3 for business or first class passengers. The standard maximum exterior dimension (length + width + height) of checked baggage is 62 inches (158 cm), including handles and wheels. The standard maximum weight for checked baggage is usually 50 pounds (23kg). These measurements may differ on some airlines based on the class of service and on the passenger's Frequent Flyer status. Checked bags or any bags that exceed these weights and dimensions will attack additional charges. On most carriers, the cost of each excess baggage increases with the number of bags checked.

Most Airlines have special arrangements for sporting equipment like golf, cricket, skis and surfboards and large musical instruments. In many cases these can be carried as part of your free baggage allowance.

Baggage Allowance when travelling on more than one carrier

If your journey includes flights on more than one carrier, your checked baggage allowance may differ on each carrier depending on how your ticket was issued.

·         Providing each flight on your journey has the same carrier code (the two-letter code which appears before your flight number) you will get the checked baggage allowance for that carrier.

Example: Kingston to Miami on AA 123

Miami to London on AA 345

Baggage allowance on AA will apply

·         If your journey includes a mixture of two or more airline codes and is written on one ticket you will get the allowance of the most significant carrier – usually the airline operating the longest part of the journey.

Example: Kingston to Miami on AA 123

Miami to London on BA 345

Baggage allowance on BA will apply

·         If every flight in your journey has another airline’s code, and separate tickets are purchased for each leg of the journey, you will get the baggage allowance applicable to each carrier that operates each leg.

Example: Kingston to Miami on AA 123 – allowance 2 pieces

Miami to London on BA 345 – allowance 1 piece

Baggage allowance between Kingston and Miami will be 2 pieces however between Miami and London it will be 1 piece.

Be sure before you go, once you have purchased your ticket to confirm that you understand both your carry-on and checked baggage allowances. If your journey involves more than one airline, check to avoid any surprises along the way. All airlines publish their baggage policies on their websites. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the information to ensure a hassle-free trip.




Permalink 09:09:54 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary, Travel

Flight Choice

Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Hence when choosing a flight, a straight flight between two destinations should be best as it takes the least time. What about cost? Sometimes you will find connecting flights between your destinations that are actually cheaper than a straight flight.  So, you think if it saves me money, why not, a few more hours will not be a big deal.

The next consideration is the time of day best to fly. On a route with limited service you don’t have much of a choice, however where there are multiple flights per day, what is the best time to choose? Also, where there are multiple carriers servicing the same route, apart from the cost of the airfare, what should you consider when choosing which is the best carrier to book with?

These are some of the questions that we will examine together on the topic of flight choice. First let’s look at some terms used by the airlines that can cause confusion to passengers.

Non-Stop Flight - A non-stop flight is a flight by an aircraft with no intermediate stops.

Direct Flight – Any flight ticketed as a single flight coupon, irrespective of whether there are enroute stops and/or changes of aircraft.

Transfer – A change from the service of one carrier to another service of the same carrier (online transfer) or to the service of another carrier (interline transfer).

Non-Stop versus Direct Flight

A non-stop flight has to be the best choice. There is only one set of departure and arrival security checks which can be quite invasive and exhausting.  You get to your destination quicker giving you more time to enjoy. However, in most instances, a non-stop flight will cost a little more than a direct flight which has a change of aircraft. Especially on routes where there is not a lot of competition. A perfect case of, supply and demand. Where the supply is low and the demand high the cost goes up. This might not be the case on routes where there are several carriers operating as then the supply is high so the cost will have to be competitive for all flights direct or non-stop.

In order to make direct flights with a change of aircraft more attractive, carriers will make those flights more affordable. Direct flights with online transfers are usually more tolerable as once you check in you are given boarding passes with seat numbers to your final destination, your bags are tagged to your final destination and you simply deplane and go to the transit city gate to board your connecting flight. Interline transfer between carriers are sometimes more involved. On domestic journeys the only thing different may be the absence of your connecting seat number. On international connections, however, you may have to recheck with the connecting carrier.

So, which is best, a nonstop flight which is quicker or a direct flight which cost less. Only you can make that determination, however you need to take all the variables into consideration when you are making your decision. Where a connection is involved, always check the amount of times between flights. Will you need to purchase a meal, and if so be sure to add that into your total cost? What will happen if the first flight is delayed or is affected by adverse weather?  Is the connecting airport known for being congested? Yes, these problems can also occur on nonstop flights however, a change of aircraft always involves the possibility of misconnection.

Sometimes passengers will book a direct flight online not realizing that a stop is involved. It is important to read your itinerary carefully. For bookings made online, most airlines have a 24 hours’ window that they will allow changes or cancellations without charge.

What is the best time of day to travel?

All carriers utilize each aircraft within its fleet as much as possible with scheduled regular checks.  So, an aircraft will make multiple trips within any given day depending on the length of each flight. An aircraft therefore that starts in city ‘A’ may end up in city ‘C’ after going to city ‘B’.  If there is a delay for any reason at city ‘A’, then all subsequent flights may be affected. This is known as a “ripple” effect, the most common reason for flight delays and the main reason to try and reserve a flight that leaves early in the day in order to avoid delays. Being on an early flight also gives you more options for rerouting in the event that your flight does get delayed or cancelled.

When on vacation you always want to make the most of every minute. Most hotels allow check in between 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Allowing time for airport formalities and transportation, taking an early flight gives you the opportunity to take full advantage of all your hotel has to offer especially if it’s an all-inclusive.  I always feel as if I have wasted a full day of my vacation when I arrive at my destination late at night.

There was a time when airlines would offer special low fares for travel late at night, sometimes called ‘red eye’ flights. Fares on these late flights may in fact appear lower in some cases only because they are less popular and with more available inventory the airlines may have seat sales. Either way, everyone loves a deal so it’s worth doing your comparisons before making your choice.

Carrier Choice

Most frequent travellers have their favourite airlines that they are comfortable with and are loyal to. For those with Frequent Flyer mileage /points membership it is prudent to travel on those carriers as long as they fly the destination being travelled.  On journeys with only one carrier then there is no choice if it is a trip that we must make. Fortunately, there are not many routes that this applies to, mostly domestic travel.

Otherwise where there are several carriers competing on a route, apart from the cost of the airfare you should take into consideration the frequency of flights when making your choice. How many flights does the carrier have per day or per week?  The more flights a carrier has on a route the better as it means if there has to be a delay or cancellation then the next flight is not far behind. Also in most cases the more inventory a carrier has on a route the better the fares. For some persons, the aircraft type on a route is also very important. For carriers using smaller aircraft types, there is less seating space and baggage capacity.

Like anything in life, choosing a flight is personal.  You know what is best for you. I hope the information given above will help you to make the best choice when travelling.

Nuff Love


Permalink 06:03:46 pm, by Melba
Categories: Education, Commentary, Travel

How to read your Flight Times

The most common reason why passengers miss their flights is because they misunderstood the travel times on their itinerary. Each airline does ‘their own thing’ when it comes to how the flight times should be written on the Passenger’s Itinerary Receipt, whether in civilian/12-hour or military/24-hour clock notation.

Times quoted in civilian/12-hour clock can become misleading especially if the am or pm is left off. Someone with a 12:00 o’clock flight could easily show up for a 12:00 noon or 12:00 midnight of one day or 12:00am of another day’s flight. Or if you are told that your flight is at 1:00am and you need to check in at the airport at 11:00pm the day before, you could easily become very confused.

The military/24-hour clock is generally used in specialist areas such as aviation, navigation, meteorology and hospital to name a few, as it prevents ambiguity. In fact, in most countries, computers show the time in 24-hour notation.

Airlines reservations systems give military/ 24-hour clock times as it leads to less confusion. The airline or travel agents are trained to read the 24-hour clock. In some airlines, reservations are booked and ticketed showing the times in 24-hour clock notation, however, the flight times will convert to 12-hour clock on the passenger’s itinerary.

12-Hour versus 24-Hour Time

The main difference between the 12- hour and the 24-hour clock time is how the hours are written. The 12-hour clock uses numbers 1 to 12 to identify each of the 24 hours in a day. To clearly identify the hours before 12 noon, a.m. is written and for the hours after 12 noon, p.m. is written.  Example, 10:00am would be ten o’clock in the morning and 10:00pm would be ten o’clock in the evening.  In the 24-hour clock time, the hours are numbered from 00 to 23. Midnight can be expressed as 00:00 if referring to the beginning of the day or 24:00 if referring to the end of a given date.  In other words, 24:00 of one day is the same time as 00:00 of the following day.

The minutes and seconds of both the 12-hour and 24-hour clock times are written in the same way. Times for the 24-hour clock are written in the form hh:mm or hh:mm:ss, where h=hour, m=minute and s=seconds. Sometimes the colon is removed from between the hours and minutes, so the format can also be hhmm or hhmm:ss. The hour however is always written as a 2-digit number hence any hour before 10 is written with a zero before it, example 06:33 or 09:10. When converting from 12-hour to 24-hour clock times and vice versa, the minutes and seconds do not change.

Itineraries are always written in Local Times.

When reading your itinerary, it is important to remember that the flight times given are local times. The departure time is the time of the city from which you depart and the arrival time is the time of the city of arrival. Any time difference between the two cities would already have been taken into consideration. Example, between London, England (Europe) and Kingston, Jamaica (Caribbean) there is a five (5) or six (6) hour difference depending on the time of year `and daylight saving time. Your itinerary will say departure time from London at 2:15pm/14:15, which is 02:15pm London time. The arrival time will say 5:45pm/17:45 which is Kingston time. Yes, your flight is eight and a half hours long, however the time difference has already been taken into consideration.

Whether your flight times are written in 12-hour or 24-hour clock times, the onus is on you to get it right. Examine your Passenger Itinerary Receipt as soon as you get it. If you do not understand your flight times, be sure to ask. One common misunderstood reading is arrivals times that appear with a (+1) at the end. This means that you will arrive one day after the flight departures.

If you miss your flight because you misunderstood the flight times there is a cost to make changes. It could also involve additional cost for hotel, food and transportation if there is no other flight on the same day to your destination at the time when you arrive at the airport.

The Conversion Chart below will help you convert from the 24-hour to the 12-hour Clock and vice versa.


24-Hour Clock / Military Time

12-Hour Clock / Civilian Time


























12:00 midnight












12:00 midday












12:00 midnight

Permalink 05:39:59 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary, Travel

Airline Tickets Explained, what are the elements of cost on my Airfare

There are several avenues to get an airline ticket today. You can go online to the airlines website or a third-party travel site. You can call a travel agency or a tour operator. Or you could go into an airline ticket office. Irrespective of how or where you purchase your ticket there are several variables that determine the amount that you pay.

Most agencies and some airlines charge a service fee for ticket purchase. These fees vary and are independent of the price of the actual ticket. Apart from these fees the actual cost of an airline ticket comprise of three main components.

1.       Government taxes, fees and charges

2.       The Carrier's base fare,

3.       Carrier imposed service fees which are optional

Government Taxes, Fees and Charges (TFC)

Airlines collect various taxes, fees and charges (TFC) on behalf of government agencies and/or airport authorities.  Government taxes are imposed for raising revenue for the country's general treasury used for general public services. Examples of some government imposed taxes are Arrival or Departure Taxes, Value Added Tax, Transportation Tax and Passenger Tax to name a few. Charges are imposed for raising revenue for specific aviation related facilities or services. Examples of some airport charges are, Passenger Facility Charge, Safety and Security Charge and International Aeronautical Development Charge. The word Fees can be used instead of either taxes or charges depending on what the revenue is used for.

The Government TFCs applicable for each country visited on a passenger’s journey are in addition to the carrier’s fares and charges and are payable by the passenger.  They are identified by two letter codes entered in the “TAX/FEE/CHARGE’ boxes of the ticket along with the TFC amounts.  Irrespective of which airline is used for travel the TFC on each route are the same on each airline.

Example Route: Miami via London to Paris

Government, authority and airport charges-Per adult

·         Transportation Tax(Departure) – USA: USD 17.80

·         Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee – USA: USD5.60

·         Air Passenger Duty - United Kingdom: USD18.75

·         Passenger Service Charge - United Kingdom: USD42.99

·         Passenger Facility Charge: USD 4.50

Total government, authority and airport charges*: USD 89.64

There are instances where some passengers are exempted from some government TFC. Exemptions vary from one country to the next and are usually based on specific requirements.  Some of the more popular exemptions are Infants not occupying a seat, passengers travelling on a diplomatic passport, some transit passengers not being inspected by immigration, some domestic travel and some military passengers to name a few. Some governments will exempt national sport teams and government workers from certain TFC; however special authorization is required prior to travel in order to qualify.

The Carrier's Base Fares

There are different fare structures used by different airlines worldwide. There was a time when airfares were mostly calculated on a mileage basis. In a nutshell, this involved fares based on a maximum permitted mileage from the point of origin to the passenger's final destination which allowed passengers to make stops along the way if desired at no extra cost. Simplified, for a passenger originating in New York going to Rome wishing to stop in Paris on the way, the fare used would be a New York to Rome fare which allows the passenger say 4500 miles. Providing the miles from New York to Paris, plus from Paris to Rome did not exceed 4500 miles, then that would be the fare charges for the full journey.  This fare structure involved many checks and balances to ensure that passengers did not undercut the fares on any portion of that journey. This type of fare structure also allowed for more than one carrier to share in one passenger’s journey. Where multiple carriers were used, the total amount paid would then be prorated (shared) based on the mileage covered by each carrier.

Today the trend in the travel industry is to offer one-way fares making all the fare rules similar within the same area. So for the same journey from New York via Paris to Rome, the passenger would be charged a one way fare from New York to Paris plus a one way from Paris to Rome.

A one-way fare structure makes fare calculations, reissues, and revenue accounting easier for all to manage. On trips with multiple sectors fares are combined end on end to form a complete journey. Each carrier gets the total fare for each sector covered.

On each route, carriers will have several fare levels with an average sell up of USD10.00 or 20.00 at the lower end with a gradual increase to USD30.00 or more in some cases at the higher end. Some carriers carry advance purchase time limits on the lower level. The intent is to increase the base load on the aircraft in advance and sell up there after. The number of seats sold at each level is determined and controlled to get the best revenue mix.

Example Fares between Miami and New York

Fare Basis

Fare Amount











An integral part of air fares are the fare rules that govern them. A fare rule is the necessary provisions and conditions under which travel may occur to meet the special requirements of the carrier or the governmental regulatory agency. Some basic components of a fare rule include, but are not limited to;

·         Eligibility

·         Advance Purchase

·         Day of the week application

·         Penalties

·         Minimum/Maximum stay

·         Applicable discounts – Children/Seniors/Students etc

Application of Fares

·         Once a reservation is made and a ticket is purchased, the fare is guaranteed for transportation subject to the fares, fare rules and charges in effect when the ticket is purchased. If an increase in the fare becomes effective, the ticket shall be honoured for transportation between the airports at the fare for which it was purchased.

·         Changes to any portion of a Ticket initiated by the Passenger after its original issue will be subject to the fares, fare rules, and charges in effect on the date the change is initiated. A change constitutes a change in flight number, origin, destination, intermediate points, flight date, class of service, or fare.

·         Most fares today are non-refundable. On such tickets if you cancel your trip, you will not get your money back however some carriers will allow you to apply your ticket to another trip in the future, at a change penalty and providing that you cancel your original booking before the flight departure time.  Many airfares also carry a penalty for changing flights or dates providing space is available in the original fare type. If the fare-type is not available on the new booking you may also have to pay any difference in air fares.

Carrier imposed Service Fees (optional)

The third possible element to the cost of your airfare is any carrier imposed Service Fees/Charges. Some of these fees are not as obvious as they are included in the base fare amounts. They are usually written as a surcharge in the fare calculation box of the ticket while other Service Charges appear in the tax boxes along with the Government taxes. These surcharges can be labelled as a Fuel Surcharge, an Insurance Surcharge, a Security Surcharge or a Miscellaneous Surcharge to name a few. On any particular route, different carriers may have different levels of surcharges or none at all. These can be very high especially on transatlantic and transpacific journeys and is an important element for you to check when doing fare comparisons.

Along with the carrier imposed fees which passengers must pay once airlines impose them, are other service fees which are optional. A growing concept in the travel industry is the concept of unbundled fares. This involves carriers itemizing and selling each service individually. Services that can be added at the time of ticket purchase are baggage fees, early bird check in, movies, seat selection and travel insurance to name a few. Airlines try to encourage prepayment by making these services cheaper when purchased online before arrival at the airport.


The cost of an airline ticket varies from airline to airline not because of the Government TFC but because of the carrier’s base fares and carrier imposed fees. Also, very important is the level of fare available at the time of ticket purchase. Understanding the elements of cost of your ticket gives you a better opportunity to make the best deal when next you travel.


Permalink 06:56:03 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Happy New Year 2017

The year 2016 is over and what a year it was. Within our personal lives, we all enjoyed some positive and happy times as well as some trying and challenging ones. Some of us had to duel with health issues either for ourselves or a family member. Some enjoyed success in business or achieved a milestone in education or other personal growth. While most of us had real financial issues which we still can’t believe we got through.

Apart from our personal situations, we are also impacted by the events happening around us. Unfortunately, it’s amazing how the negative events around the globe are the news that tents to stay with us. In 2016 nations were thrown into chaos as they battled with all manners of evil.  The Middle East and North Africa were plagued by continued terrorist groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaad, and Al Qaeda. Countries in Europe went on even higher alert following terrorist attacks on countries such as Belgium, Turkey and France.  The United Kingdom went into a tizzy with Brexit and are just trying to negotiate their way out. The world was stunned with a “Trump” victory in the United States and is on pins and needles with anticipation as to what he will do in the White House. Closer to home one of the world’s most extraordinary political leaders Fidel Castro died. While here in Jamaica we had a change in the political arena and are still waiting to see where that will lead us.

It is now a New Year, 2017 and there is a feeling of hopefulness which comes with the start of a new year. This is the time when we take time to reflect on the immediate past, evaluate our present situations and make plans for the future, short and long term. We passionately decide on resolutions which we are sure will solve at least some of our problems and improve our lives. We convince ourselves that this year we are going to follow through.

I encourage you to be true to yourself and make the best of every opportunity that comes your way. If things don’t go as you had hoped, find the lesson in every situation and learn from it. Whatever you do, enjoy 2017.

Happy New Year!


Nuff Love


Permalink 05:10:04 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Gungo Peas

In Jamaica, you know Christmas is ‘around the corner’ when green gungo peas becomes available for sale. Venders can be seen busy picking the precious peas from their pods ready for those shoppers who prefer to buy the ready to cook peas by the pint or quart.  It’s cheaper to buy by the pound in the pod but most persons including myself do not like to shell the peas as its very time consuming and usually involves contact with worms. Either way gungo peas is a must have in every Jamaican home at Christmas time.

The most famous dish cooked in Jamaica with the gungo peas is gungo rice and peas. Throughout the year dried gungo peas is used however during Christmas time green gungo peas makes the dish even more delicious. The truth is green gungo peas is an all-time favourite of many Jamaicans and is used to make a multitude of dishes. Stewed green gungo with saltfish, pigstail or chicken foot is to die for. Vegetarians have a field day with green gungo as main dishes or in salads. The ultimate best for many Jamaicans however is green gungo soup with ham bone. After the Christmas ham is consumed the bone is reserved for the most delicious Saturday soup of the year.

Now I keep referring to green gungo peas however maybe I should be saying fresh or undried gungo as not all gungo peas are green in colour. Gungo peas which is also known as pigeon peas is said to have originated from India but is very popular in Jamaican cooking. It grows on a perennial plant meaning that the plant can live for more than two years although the seed yield drops considerably after the first two years. This leguminous shrub can attain heights of 5 to 7 metres. Before the pods appear, the plant bears flowers which are usually yellow but can be streaked with purple or red. Gungo pea pods are flat, usually green in color, sometimes hairy, sometimes streaked or coloured dark purple, with 2-9 gungo pea seeds which are mostly green but can have a variety of colour. The peas are normally harvested at Christmas time and are rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins.

Gungo Rice and Peas

Now like most dishes Gungo Rice and Peas can be made a variety of ways. The main thing is to tweak it to your taste. If a particular seasoning is not to your liking or is dangerous to your health, then don’t include it. Or if you have a favourite spice or herb that you fancy then don’t be afraid to include it. Example I always add a bit of oyster sauce to my gungo rice and peas and I haven’t had any complaints to date. The only ingredients that you must have are gungo peas, rice and water.


· Gungo peas (For 2 cups of rice 1 pint of peas should be great or depending on much peas you like)

· Freshly grated coconut milk

· 1 Small onion or 2 stalks scallion, chopped

· 2 Cloves garlic, chopped

· Piece of ginger

· A piece of fresh green thyme or 1 tsp Dried thyme

· One whole scotch bonnet pepper

· A few pimento seeds

· Salt to taste

· Water

· Butter or margarine

· 2 cups your favourite rice (rinsed and drained)


· Place gungo peas and water into a large saucepan to which chopped onion, garlic, pimento, ginger and thyme have been added on high heat. Allow peas to cook. (if tin peas is being used use less water and simply bring to a boil as the peas are already cooked)

· The water level should be reduced by this time. Add coconut milk, salt and pepper and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes while all the seasoning blend together.

· Add rice and butter stirring to allow even distribution of rice and peas. Cover and allow rice to cook.

· Once most of the water is absorbed, turn heat to Low, and cook covered until all water is absorbed

· Fluff with fork before serving.

My grandmother used to make the very best gungo rice and peas in the world. Her secret was to add small bits of pig’s tail to the dish. She would cut some pigs tail into very small pieces and either soak it overnight or boil it to remove the excess salt. The pigs tail would then be added to the pot while the peas boiled infusing the flavour of the pig’s tail. Delicious.

The good news for all those that may not have access to green gungo peas is that they are available in tins. Some of the producers such as Grace Kennedy and Linstead Market have even taken it one step further by adding seasoning to the tin so that all you need to do is add the rice.  As for me I normally stock my freezer with green gungo peas to last me for as long as possible. This year I had all the way into October. Once it’s frozen it stay nice and fresh.

If you have never had Gungo Peas I encourage you to treat yourself. It’s easy to prepare and good for you. Enjoy.


Nuff Love


Permalink 12:02:38 am, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Jamaica’s Performance at the World Travel Awards 2016

The World Travel Awards (WTA) recognizes excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. In fact, the awards have been referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry by The Wall Street Journal. Top hotels, airlines, travel agencies and car rental companies worldwide are voted on in several categories. The voting process is online and runs throughout the year. The winners are announced on the awards grand finale at the end of each year.

The 23rd WTA ceremony was held on Friday, 02 December, 2016 in the Maldives, southern Asia. Jamaica won a total of nine awards, three individuals and six by resorts and travel partners.



World’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Service to Travel

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, MP, CD

World’s Leading Wedding Destination


World’s Leading Cruise Destination


World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company

Sandals Resorts International

World’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand

Beaches Resorts

World’s Leading New Island Resort

Melia Braco Village, Jamaica

World’s Leading Villa Resort

Round Hill Hotel and Villa

World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Villa

Ian Fleming Villa @ Goldeneye, Jamaica

World’s Leading Caribbean Attraction Company

Island Routes Caribbean Adventures


The most common description of Jamaicans by Jamaicans is without a doubt, “wi lickkle but wi tallawah” meaning that although we are a small country we are strong and fearless. In sports, we have the world’s fastest man, Usain Bold and the fastest woman Elaine Thompson. We are well known for our reggae music and almost everyone throughout the world has heard of Bob Marley.

Jamaica has long since been recognised for our tourism product however this recent achievement should put any doubts to rest. With all your other major industries, such are bauxite, sugar cane, coffee, cocoa and banana contracting we need to ensure that our tourism product continues to grow.  We obviously have the world’s attention. Let capitalize on this recognition.


Nuff love


Permalink 01:09:09 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Speaking Jamaica Patois

The official language of Jamaica is standard English however many Jamaicans especially in the rural areas can be heard conversing in a language that is not quite English. Some will tell you it’s a bastardize English called Patois or Creole. It is not taught in schools but passed down through the generations. There is no official dictionary published hence you will find different spellings for each word. For example, the word Patois can also be seen spelt as Patwa or Patwah. In fact may Jamaicans will tell you they cannot read patois only speak it.

So how did this language originate. The original inhabitants of Jamaica are believed to have been the Arawaks or Tainos as they are also called. In 1494, Christopher Columbus discovered the island and enslaved the Arawaks. During the Spanish colonial period from 1494 to 1655 the Spanish also transported hundreds of West Africans to the island to work as slaves. Then in 1655 the English invaded the island and defeated the Spanish. The British rule ran from 1655 to 1962 when Jamaica became independent. During the British rule, sugar was the main industry.  The English needed labourers for their plantations and brought hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans to Jamaica.

As you can imagine communication must have been a challenge for all. I imagine the slave masters would simply beat the slaves into doing their bidding however the slaves who were mostly from different tribes throughout Africa needed to find a common language to communicate among themselves. It is believed that the Jamaican Patois evolved from a combination of the Spanish, English and African languages as the different cultures were forced with the need to communicate.

There are many variations to the Jamaican Patois however there are some basic steps that if you speak English and followed these steps can have you speaking some patois in no time. I will attempt to outline these steps in three phases. In this article, we will look at some simple changes that can be done to some standard English words that will get you the attention of any true Jamaican.

Most important thing to speaking patois successfully is attitude. Most persons are usually intrigued with Jamaicans as they speak because of the energy and passion with which the conversation takes place. Some are even afraid as they believe that the parties are having an argument which in most instances is not the case. You don’t need to be loud when speaking patois just articulate with your hands a lot and exaggerate your body movements for emphasis.

Lesson # 1- Pronouns

A pronoun is a word which takes the place of a noun, example he, she.

Pronouns you need to remember are:

· Mi – me

· Im – he, she, him or her

· Dem – plural of im

· Wi – all of us

Example: Wi a go.

We are going.


Lesson # 2- Words ending in “er” or “or”


“a” is substituted for “er” or “or”.

· Doctor – docta

· Bigger – bigga

· Sister – sista

· Factor – facta

Example: De docta a com.

The doctor is coming.


Lesson # 3- Words beginning or ending with “th”.

Substitute the “th” with “d” or “t”.

· The - de

· With – wid

· Thanks – tanks

· Teeth – teet

Example: Im tink seh mi nuh know.

He thinks that I don’t know.


Lesson # 4- Words ending with “le” with a double “tt”.


The “tt” becomes “kk”

· Little – likkle

· Kettle – Kekkle

· Bottle – bokkle

· Settle – sekkle

Example: De kekkle boil yet?

Has the kettle boiled?


Lesson # 5- Words beginning with a vowel


Place a “h” before

· Add – hadd

· Apple – happle

· Other – hother

· Enter – henter

Example: Who heat mi happle?

Who has eaten my apple?


Lesson # 6- Words beginning with a “h”.


The “h” is silent

· Honey – oney

· Holy – oly

· Honourable – onerable

· Oil – hile

Example: Mi love oney.

I love honey.


A few Jamaican words that just are:

· Cuyah – Look at that

· Badda – Bother

· Labba labba – Talks too much

· Pickney – A young child

· Tallawah – Strong


Test J.

Can you say the following in Jamaica patois.

1. The bottle is empty.

2. My mother loves ginger tea.

3. I cut my little finger with the paper.

See if you are correct in my next article.


Nuff Love

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."


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