True Haiti Stories: The Machann Fritay and the Airport Baggage Handler

The other day I went to Haiti International airport and witness a Haitian baggage handler turning down a 25 gourdes tip insisting that he gets two Dollars US... And for what? For snatching a bag out of the hands of a teenager, the daughter of a poor young lady who rode on public transportation from a Haiti province town to pick her up at the airport.

I am so serious when I tell you that the man did absolutely nothing to deserve a tip.

The story is not about the rude man at the airport but WHO the tip was from...

The young lady, the mother, who came to pick up her daughter at the airport is a "Ti Machan Fritay" from one of the provinces in Haiti who is barely making a living. I had the liberty of talking to her a bit while we were both getting wet in the rain waiting in front of the Haiti airport.

It was the first time her daughter had come back to Haiti since moving with her father to the United States. She was so happy to see her daughter, she didn't even know that the man with the red shirt who grabbed her daughter's 'VALIZ' wanted money in return for the gesture.

"Ou gen lajan nan posh ou?"(You have money in your pocket?) I asked her since the guy started to follow her around...

"Pa anpil," (no much) she replied

"Ba misye on 10 goud," (Give the man 10 gourdes) I said to her.

She reached in her pursed, grabbed probably the only 25 gourdes she had to spare, and handed it to him.

"Pa okipe-w... Ouy met kenbe sa-a..." (don't worry, you can keep that) the man said to her insisting that he gets TWO DOLLAR U.S.

Neg la pa rann li kont ke se just yon ti machann fritay ki vinn cheche pitit li airport. I don't know about you but even if I had $500 dollars in my pocket I would not give him a dime.

In every other country in that I have been to, you give a man a tip he says thank you. Next time you land in Haiti, try to give one of these men 5 Gourdes and see what happens.

QUESTION: What do you think about this? Have you ever has an encounter like this at the airport in Haiti? Share your story with us.

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All Comments (6)

Bwa San Fe says...

Even you give him $10.00(US), that will not be enough.

Haitian in general always wants more and do not

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David Grant says...

Since I left Haiiti's shores I have never been back; therefore, I am unaware of the many happenings.

However, what I wish to know, is whether it is compulsory to give tips to baggage handlers.

As far as I am concerned, they are entitled to

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Jacques L says...

This has been an issue for me since the first time I went back to Haiti as an adult in 1995 and it has only gotten worse.

There are 2 groups of people that can fix this: The authorities and the travelers.

Obviously, the authorities either don't care or are not equipped to deal with it. We, the travelers, would have to find some way to unitedly stop tolerating these jackasses that make it difficult for people to come to our country.

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Lejacobinnoir says...

I don't give money to baggage handlers at the airport.

Mwen guin dreads, they beg to carry them for me but don't take the chance of grabbing my stuffs...

Sa se sel bagay papa...

Depim di "non pa manyen" tout mou'n

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Kerline says...

So many times these baggage handlers are rude, I once gave a man 5 dollars US he felt it was too little he wanted more and 5 dollars would be 40+ haitian dollars.

I love my country I got back home every month by the time I landed to go home to Leogane I ended up spending close to 12-15 dollars US from paying 2.00 dollars US for a cart to carry my luggage, tipping the baggage handlers and the people asking you money and sometimes you look at these people you can't help to give them some

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Lisa says...

I grab my bag back and say no thank you in French I can drag my own

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