By Lawani Mikairu & Daniel Eteghe
LAGOS — Passengers at the Domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two, MMA2, and the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, have lamented the maltreatment meted on them by some airline operators at the airport.
Only Arik and Aero Contractors are the two major scheduled commercial airlines operating at the airport as Air Nigeria had suspended its operations due to industrial action by workers while First Nation suspended flight operations for maintenance checks on its three Airbus 320-200 aircraft.
Also, Chanchangi Airline stopped operations because of inadequate aircraft while Dana Air remains grounded after its MD 83 aircraft crashed on June 3,
One of the passengers whose 2:0 clock flight on Aero Contractors to Benin was cancelled, Mr. Bodorin Abozu regretted his decision to fly Aero Contractors at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA2, Lagos.
According to him,”This is my first time of taking Aero Contractors. I can tell you categorically that I am not impressed. They told us that we are going to fly around 2:00pm today and now they have cancelled our flight without giving us adequate reasons for such cancellation”
“Now, I have been going up and down, they will say go to deck 18, go to deck 14, they have just been directing me here and there. I have been at the airport for more than three hours now. I was supposed to travel to Benin by 2:00 pm, and it was cancelled without any reason being given by the airline. They just say the flight has been cancelled and that was all” he affirmed.
Another passenger whose 11:00am flight from Lagos to Uyo was delayed up till 5:00pm, Mr. Jerry Anson Otu said: ”I am going to Uyo, they told us that it was 11:00am flight then they moved it to 1:00 O clock, from 1:00 O clock till 4:00 O clock, from 4:00 O clock, they are now saying one hour delay again, this is 4:30pm if we were to leave by 5:00 O clock they would have started calling us for boarding”
“It is stressful, why are they maltreating us like this, you know, I don’t live in Lagos, I just came back from South Africa, so you could imagine the stress I am going through, I didn’t sleep well yesterday night hoping that I will be able to get the 11:00 O clock flight and from 11:00 O clock, they are keeping me here till this time, so it is really painful” Mr. Otu pointed out.
He therefore urged the Federal Government to make a law that would sanction the airline operators if there is unnecessary flight delay.
Mr. Utu said: “In Sweden, if you are taking a train, and it is delayed for 10 minutes, you can take any transportation of your choice be it air plane or by road and you just bring your receipt the next day and they will pay you with apology but we don’t have such things here in Nigeria.
They are just capitalising on that and maltreating us, it is not as if flight business is done on charity, we are paying money for it, so why should they be treating us like this, it is a very bad situation, there should be a law that will bring these airline operators to book”
Last week, over twenty passengers of Aero Contractors threatened to drag the airline to court for allegedly allowing them to miss their flight schedule to take-off by 3:00pm from Lagos to Calabar.