Banjul and Dakar bound passengers of Arik Airlines, who failed to depart from Lagos at the scheduled time on Friday, 6 February 2015, expressed demand for better treatment.
Passengers who were scheduled to travel with the Arik flight no. W3 386 asked this reporter to investigate and bring to the notice of the Arik authorities the unexplained delay of their departure from Lagos on 6th February 2015.
Passengers reported that they were scheduled to depart for Senegal and Banjul by 19.50 hrs thus requiring them to go to the airport to check in by 17.50hrs.
When it was time for boarding no Arik ground official came out to explain anything regarding the flight. Passengers claim to have been completely put in the dark until around midnight when ground officials started to process the boarding passes.
Physically exhausted mothers were trying to cope with the cries of their babies and the rest did not know what to tell people who may have been waiting for them at the airport to collect them upon their arrival.
“The airline could have spared us the torturing experience by getting someone to come and courteously explain to us about the cause of the delay and appeal for our patience,” said a lactating mother.
“As customers who have paid so much money to purchase our return tickets, we deserve a better treatment and value for our money,” said another
“With such delays water, food, explanation and apology is what each customer deserves since our monies make the company to exist,” observed another.
I have a problem with my kidney and need water every time,” another disclosed.
One frequent traveller indicated that Management should take note that the delays are becoming more frequent and should improve and work on punctuality regarding schedules as this is the only way to earn the confidence of customers
However, before the Arik plane finally departed Lagos, the flight pilot, Captain Ron Johnson, and the chief stewardess, both apologised to the passengers for the delay, citing the late supply of aviation fuel as the reason. The flight attendants further explained that they even had to change to a different plane in order for the journey to materialise.Efforts will be made by this reporter to contact the Arik office in Banjul on the complaints made by these passengers.