The problem with the ESPN story is that it's a false report. Here's what actually happeed.
MVP and Rethymno - the true story
Thu Jul 20, 2006 22:18
There is a story out that Asafa Powell and other MVP athletes withdrew from the above meet because airport officials refused to allow Asafa to carry his spikes on the plane.
Well here is our account of what happened.
A couple of weeks ago MVP were in discussion with representatives of the meet about taking part in Rethymno. We had an agreement for Asafa to compete in the 100m, but then the meet representatives told us that the majority of the agreed on Fee would not be paid until sometime next year.
We then told the meet rep that we would not be competing on those terms, and that Asafa and the other athletes would withdraw. The meet promoter asked us (as a favor) to allow the other athletes to run and for us to still carry Asafa to the meet even though he would not be competing.
We agreed. Asafa was not down to compete at this meet, so he did not withdraw as stated in these reports.
Fast Forward to yesterday Wednesday July 19. The normal practice for European meets is that the manager of the athlete makes the arrangements for the athlete to travel to the meet. The manager is then reimbursed for travel (up to a pre-arranged limit) upon arrival at the meet.
In this case, the flight arrangements were made by the meet not by the MVP manager. We were booked on an airline called Alpi Eagle to fly from Venice to Athens.
I knew as I heard the name of the airline that it was a cheap discount airline and we were going to have trouble. We were on our way back to Jamaica via Cretem Stockholm and London.
Each of us had the maximum 20k of luggage allowed by the airlines in Europe for intra-Europe travel. When we got to the check in counter we were told that this airline allows only 15 kg of luggage. I knew of these types of cheap fare airlines, and our manager has instructions not to book us on these types of airlines.
I was feeling charitable at the time so the check in continued, with the manager deciding that he would bill the meet for the baggage charges.
We had all checked our bags and they were sent to the airline, when the counter clerk told us that we had to weigh our hand luggage. This in spite of the fact that there was an airline sign in front of the counter saying that there was no weight restriction on hand luggage so long aa it could fit in the space provided. We pointed this out to the clerk who insisted that the airline only allowed 5 kg in hand luggage.
He told us that we had to remove the stuff from the hand luggage. We pointed out to him that this was non-sensical because he had already sent around all the bags. Where were we to pack the excess things. We told him that he had to send back for the bags. He refused saying that it was too late. He said that we had to check in the hand luggage bags, not transfer stuff to our checked baggage.
At this point I summoned the manager and informed his that we would not be flying on that airline. There are hundreds of ways using proper airlines that could be uaed to get us from Venice to Athens or to Crete. We could have flown Alitalia, Lufthansa, KLM, Swiss, BWIA etc. These preople chose the cheapest airline that they could find.
Out manager called the meet people to tell them that we would not be coming on that particular airline, but we would be willing to come on a different airline.
I then agreed to four subsequent planned travel routes, but each time we were told that there was no room on the flight.
Finally they said that the only option they had was to set up the travel in such a way that would have us getting to the hotel at approximately 9 pm., after 11 hours travel, to run the next day.