Many of us are familiar with local skybox courier services. If you haven’t heard of the service before, here is a quick rundown of how it works:
- Skybox couriers offer customers a US shipping address for online purchases.
- Prior to delivery of your package to the address, you are encouraged to pre-alert your package. This basically means giving notice of its arrival.
- Your package is then shipped to Trinidad and Tobago, where it is cleared by customs.
- Your package is ready for collection or delivery and you pay the relevant fees (customs, freight etc) upon receiving.
I have been with a particular provider for the past seven years. I’ve had my ups and downs with this provider, but I was hardly interested in considering another skybox service before now.
Caribbean Airlines Jetpak
I first learned of Caribbean Airlines Jetpak from a news source on Facebook. The service was relaunched in September 2022 and promises free delivery to your home or office. They had me at “free delivery,” so I decided to give them a try. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I must admit I was impressed with certain aspects of their service.
Sign up was a breeze
I completed the short registration form on the Jetpak website, verified my account, and received an email with my shipping address. Using my new address, I ordered a few items from Amazon.
They made the process really easy
Once the items were shipped from Amazon, I logged in to my Jetpak account to pre-alert the items. I was pleasantly surprised to see a well-structured, user-friendly system. My packages were pre-alerted with ease, and I noted that I would also be able to track the package at every stage. I love a good system, so this made me extremely happy.
Package status updates
My first package was delivered in Miami on Friday, September 30th, 2022. The package did not immediately appear on my Jetpack account, and since they are closed for the weekend, I expected that it would be updated on Monday. Unexpectedly, I got an email letting me know that my package had arrived at the Miami warehouse on Sunday. Two days later, the package was on its way to Trinidad.
The next time I received an email, it was to inform me of service disruptions because of a tropical storm watch. I appreciated this email as it helped manage my expectations. And just as I was starting to worry about the arrival of my package, I received another email on October 10th informing me that my package had been cleared by customs and would be delivered within two business days. The email included all fees and an option to pay online. This is an incredible time saver for me, so I gladly used this option.
The day before the package was delivered, I received a call from a Jetpak rep inquiring about my availability for delivery. The rep identified herself and the company and was warm and friendly throughout our exchange. The next day, the delivery driver, who was just as warm and friendly, arrived with my package.
The not so good
Package status updates
I did not receive an email when my package was in transit to Trinidad. I only knew that it was on its way because I would occasionally check my account for updates.
Apparently there is a Jetpak app, but I didn’t see the need to download it just yet. Given the nature of apps, I imagine that users would receive a more direct form of notification via the app, but I tend to avoid downloading apps unless I find it absolutely necessary. I prefer to hold on to precious phone storage.
One of the things I like about my current skybox provider is that in addition to email, updates are sent via SMS. I much prefer receiving updates via this method than having to download yet another app.
Package arrival & backlog
The Jetpak rep that contacted me advised that I may not see some package updates on my account because they are experiencing a backlog caused by a high volume of shipments. Some time after that conversation I began seeing a ridiculous amount of complaints by Jetpak customers on social media about the delay in receiving their packages.
I have since received a service update email apologizing for the lengthy wait times and was offered $100.00 TTD credit to be applied to packages received in Miami between November 7th and December 5th.
Upon his arrival, the delivery driver immediately apologized as one of the items I was to receive was missing. He mentioned the backlog and promised the item will be delivered when located. He then checked off my items on a sheet of paper and handed me an Amazon box and another pack.
The tattered appearance of the Amazon box had me worried about the items inside. Thankfully everything was fine. I also wasn’t asked to sign for receiving my items which I found a bit strange.
I received the outstanding item a few days later on October 16th.
While the system that supports the Caribbean Airlines Jetpak operation is a good one, the primary purpose of using a skybox is unfortunately not being met at this time. Generally, skybox customers expect to receive packages in two weeks or less.
I would have also preferred a credit offer that can be applied at anytime to make up for the gross inconvenience caused by their backlog, rather than forcing use during the holiday season only.
Once their backlog issue is sorted, I have no doubt that Jetpak will be one of the better skybox courier services in Trinidad and Tobago. Until then, I’d stick to using other providers.
Have you used Jetpak? How was your experience? Would you use them again in the future?
Free delivery to your home or office
Pay for package ahead of delivery
Professional customer service
Dashboard allows users to track the status of packages
No membership fee
No sms alerts
Package Arrival was longer than anticipated
Boxes were kinda tattered
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Jacqui enjoys cooking, music and other areas of the creative arts. She holds a BSc in Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich and is the creative director and founder of LOCAL(868). She's obsessed with anything and everything to do with information systems, startups, entrepreneurship, and branding.