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FNM political appointee costs Bahamasair thousands on plane ticket

Broke Bahamasair was forced to spend thousands of dollars to get its new Senior Director of Operations Betty Moss-Benoit back home from Paris because she did not have a U.S. Visa. Benoit, a political appointee, flew from Florida to Paris but did not have a visa to re-enter the United States. As a result, Bahamasair had to pay thousands of dollars for a new plane ticket and accommodations to reroute her through Cuba.

Moss-Benoit, a former FNM Women’s Branch Chairman hired by Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest a year ago, is loathed by many airline employees.

She visited Paris with a team of Bahamasair executives to attend meetings on a ticketing system. The interlining agreement Bahamasair previously enjoyed with other airlines no longer exists.

It is a voluntary commercial agreement

between individual airlines to handle passengers traveling on itineraries that require multiple flights on multiple airlines.

Such agreements allow passengers to change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again. Airlines can also promise free rebooking if the connection is lost due to a delay. Without the agreement in place, Bahamasair now has to come up with extra money to reroute passengers.

Despite being a burden on the public purse, Bahamasair brought on Moss-Benoit - who initially sat on the airline’s Board - as an employee with an annual salary of just under $100,000. The airline, who’s employees were warned their salaries may be cut during the pandemic, also plans to hire Ms. Dean, another member of the FNM Women’s Branch who presently serves on Bahamasair’s board. Dean is expected to oversee the Human Resources Department if hired.

Despite its financial problems, which Chairman Tommy Turnquest says keeps him up at night, Bahamasair’s payroll ballooned by over $400,000 to accommodate new political hires in the IT, Accounts and Operations Departments.

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