Throughout last week I was in Nigeria. First, I wanted to talk about the security fears of most people since Nigeria seems to be gradually feeling the plague of merciless terrorists known popularly as Boko Haram, who kidnap and slaughter in broad daylight and more recently have started bombing anywhere they like. Especially after an incident where the airport security wanted me to open my suitcase myself because he said it could explode!
Anyway, all that seemed like it would be on my radar to rant about until I encountered yet another lousy trip on Arik Air. I was initially going to spare them the bad publicity and let it slip but why have I chosen to talk about it? Because it was not the first time Arik Air has given its customers like me sub-standard service. Somewhere a little over two months ago, they delayed my flight from Lagos to Accra for a good 3 hours. Arik started by explaining that there would be a 10 minute delay, which turned into 30 minutes, one hour…until they stopped apologizing and started serving us juice and cupcakes. Amazing level of incompetence.
Well, on the 18th, my flight W3 075 Y was scheduled to leave Lagos at 5pm, I got to the airport by 2 pm because check in was to start at 3pm. I waited for a bit and approached the counter; I was told the flight had been moved to 7pm. I wasn’t amused but I kept calm. Then an hour later, many people started queuing to check in, while we were queued checking in, a dark, big woman who they said was the manager came and called for our attention. She said she had bad news. I got scared because I know these Arik people; they are number one with crap services.
The woman said our flight had been delayed yet again and moved to 9pm. But while she was explaining to us, mid conversation, she just stopped and walked away to attend to something else. One of the passengers, a grown man in his 50’s got so angry he just lost his cool and shouted at her to come back and professionally address us.
Told her it was very disrespectful to walk away mid conversation without excusing us or completing her message. I was appalled how this manager did not even realize that what she was telling us was a serious issue. I guess she is so used to delivering rubbish service she does not understand the things that can go wrong in people’s lives when you delay flights that long!
Another woman also got so angry because she had a church crusade to minister at upon landing. And the delay of the flight had just killed all hopes of being at that program. Well, after we all got angry, madam manager came back, apologized and begged us to understand, saying they want to stick to schedule and the aircraft to take us had gone to Freetown so we have to wait.
And if we are lucky, we may leave earlier than 9 pm. Well, I must say, we were very unlucky indeed because we ended up leaving at 9pm. To make matters worse, they did not finish serving us on that flight! They were halfway through serving when the flight started to descend so they had to end right there.
I pity those who didn’t get anything to eat at the airport during the long delay. When I complained, my friend who uses Arik Air to Lagos a lot also complained about delays. He said it is normal for Arik air to delay flights! Such a shame, I remember how passengers on Arik air to New York recently almost suffocated because the air conditioner in the plane wasn’t working.
Arik Air, are you going to continue with such careless work ethics till something tragic happens before you realise this is unacceptable? We pay to be treated that badly? #onlyinafrica
Share with us your experience with Arik Air…
If you own a restaurant, café, hotel, bar, night club, tourist destination or any lifestyle ‘joint’ in any part of the world, why don’t you invite one of our lifestyle writers to enjoy your food, stay at your hotel or explore your services so we can honestly review your business—and give you the needed worldwide publicity.
Write to us via [email protected]
***And if you want to become a contributor to our ‘Lifestyle Guide’ column, Click Here