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Updated 2010 March 1
OFW excess baggage
Filipino seafarers did not have the money to pay for their excess baggage. ConGen Macatangay negotiated with American Airlines to waive fees estimated between $10,000 - $15,000.

44 broke, stranded Filipino Seafarers

Humanitarian Crisis Averted

(Page 4 of 5)

Upon arrival at the airport, US  Customs and Border Patrol officials (CBP) helped organize the entourage with their documents and baggages. "We appreciate Mr. Robert Rivera, US CBP Supervisor for his assistance and guidance," said ConGen Macatangay. "With 44 individuals to board, it would have been quite challenging without Mr. Rivera and his staff 's assistance."

After the flight arrived at the Los Angeles airport, ConGen Macatangay's group was met by top US CBP officials and the Area Port Director, Carlos Martell, who provided a holding area for crewmen where they were served meals.

All went well until it came to ConGen Macatangay's attention that the seamen were not able to pay for excess luggage.

ConGen Macatangay personally interceded with American Airline (AA) officials to waive baggage fees as the crewmen did not have the money.

After phone calls to AA management ConGen Macatangay was able to get a waiver on baggage fees.
"American Airlines waived approximately from $10,000 to $15,000 in excess baggage fees," he said. "We are thankful to American Airlines and their staff for their consideration. It uplifted the spirits of suffering individuals"

While travel documents were being processed, ConGen Macatangay appealed to CBP officials not to stamp visas of seamen that might prevent them from coming to the US, as they have been accommodated for humanitarian reasons. US CBP acknowledged the request positively.

The Filipinos cheered upon hearing the good news from ConGen Macatangay. When the group was settled and documents taken cared off, the Macatangays bade the Filipinos goodbye. To cheers and applause, the Filipino seamen saw the couple off with gratitude and well
wishes. The Macatangays have given their time, resources, and compassion to reach this outcome and are now ready for next day's work.

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