Sunday , 14 August 2022
Arik Air

Irate Arik passengers barricade airline’s counter over baggage

DESPITE its earlier explanations on the baggage issues, Arik Air counters at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) were in a state of melee as irate passengers whose baggage have not come in barricaded the airline threatening to prevent the airline from boarding any other passenger till their baggage are delivered.
These passengers it was learnt landed at the airport on Saturday 3, 2016, and said that the airline abandoned them and treated shabbily despite not bringing in their baggage.
The angry passengers lamented that since the aircraft landed in Lagos; Arik Air staff at the counter disappeared, adding that most of them have missed the business transactions and other engagements they travelled to Nigeria for.
When our correspondent visited the international terminal, the Arik’s counters were filled to capacity with passengers who have been waiting for their luggage since Saturday and stranded London passengers, who were yet to depart Lagos at 3pm for 11 am flight.
These passengers were eager to air their views of the airlines, some of them saying unprintable profanities about the airline and its modus operandi, as according to them, the airline’s staff were behaving like criminals after pocketing their monies.
Some passengers with health challenges were visibly upset as one of those, a middle aged female told nigerianflightdeck.com that she has not taken her insulin since Saturday as she does not trust what she gets in the country.
Another female passenger on wheel chair who pleaded with our correspondent not use her name for security reason said that she has not taken her medication since she arrived on Saturday.
She berated the airline for the treatment meted out to them, adding that if had known, she would not have boarded the airline in the first airline.
On the delayed Arik Air 11 am London flight, a passenger told our correspondent that he blamed himself for ever considering Arik Air to fly him when the last time he travelled another airline of eastern African origin treated him like king and even upgraded him.
He said, “See what Arik Air is doing to me now. The flight that was supposed to depart for London at 11am has not departed as at 3pm. I put myself in this situation. It is not Arik’s fault.”
Arik Air in a statement yesterday explained that a change in aircraft due to maintenance on its operational aircraft scheduled on the Lagos-London route since December 1, 2016 has constrained the airline to leave some baggage behind.
The airline said that over the past three days, Arik Air has been using a smaller aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, to operate the Lagos-London Heathrow route due to maintenance on the wide-body A330-200 aircraft allocated on the route.
According to it, “One of the airline’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft had been hit by a handling company at John F Kennedy International Airport New York on Thursday, December 1, 2016 consequently triggering the B737-800 to be deployed on the Lagos-London route. In order to avoid cancellation of the Lagos-London Heathrow flights, an alternative B737-800 aircraft had to be allocated on the route to minimize the inconvenience to booked passengers.”
The statement continued, “The airline was constrained in capacity from a wide-body A330-200 aircraft to a narrow-body B737-800 aircraft and thus had to leave some of the passengers’ baggage behind in London. Passengers were however duly informed of this capacity restriction at the check-in desk at London Heathrow Airport and were advised of the possibility that some of their baggage will have to be sent on subsequent flights as per space availability.”
Arik Air said that it has the most generous in-cabin and checked in baggage allowance on the route and  that due to capacity restrictions on the smaller B737-800 aircraft, the airline has had to drop some of the baggage in order to accommodate maximum number of passengers.
Arik also said that an extra aircraft was also operated to London Heathrow on Sunday, December 4, 2016 to accommodate all passengers and some outstanding baggage.
“Passengers have been assured that all the backlog of their baggage would arrive in Lagos on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 6 and 7, 2016 respectively. Arik Air regrets any inconvenience this development may have caused its esteemed guests” The statement further reads.

About NigerianFlightDeck

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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