Natural disasters like Hurricane Irma prompt people to show their true colors; hopefully, duress will inspire heroism, selflessness, and unity in people banding together against the unfeeling and indiscriminate wrath of Mother Nature.
Unfortunately, we often see the worst from people instead, whether they be individuals or corporate entities.
Marriott Hotels is facing heavy criticism on social media after it was revealed that a rescue boat sent to ferry their guests and employees to safety from the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands refused to take on passengers who had not booked a stay with the Marriott, leaving 35 people stranded as the boat sailed away with hundreds of empty seats.
Tourist Naomi Ayala took this video of the incident, filming as the Marriot ferry plunged the waiting passengers into darkness in hopes they would disperse.
One of the people left behind took to Facebook to tell their tale:
The Marriott company admitted to purposefully abandoning the passengers in a public statement and gave a half-hearted apology.
“There were a number of additional people gathered at the dock who were not our guests who also expressed a desire to leave St. Thomas.
“We very much wanted to assist these other travelers to Puerto Rico, however, the Marriott team on-the-ground was told they had no authorization to board additional passengers.
Marriott’s actions are beyond inexcusable. Leaving 35 people to suffer in a hurricane with 185 mph winds just because they didn’t book a stay at your hotel is appalling, and yet more evidence that corporations can never be trusted to do the right thing in an emergency.
They must be held accountable for their actions. Spread their shame and go elsewhere for your hospitality needs.