Passenger Review 7

A word of caution to Arik Air from a passenger…

Note: The views expressed below don’t necessarily reflect those of the blog author

I was shocked this afternoon at the sight I witnessed at the boarding gate for an Arik Air flight from Lagos, Nigeria. A very large group of exhausted, irritated, unkempt looking international passengers were trying to get information about their flight. They looked like they hadn’t slept in days. I was catching another flight at a different gate but I had to stop and ask them what had happened. One tired gentleman told me that they had been at the airport since 9pm the night before, in order to catch their flight to South Africa at 11pm. However, when they came to the boarding gate, they were not allowed to enter the plane. They were not sure what the cause of the problem was and were not given any information by Arik staff. They were simply told not to leave the boarding gate area.

So they sat down thinking the delay would last an hour or two and they would be on their way home. The hours dragged by. Arik Air did not provide them with any answers, nor did they offer them hotel vouchers so they could wait comfortably for the next available flight, nor did they find them accommodation at the airport, nor did they provide meals for them or even snacks or drinking water. There is no toilet in the boarding gate area so there was no place for them to even go to the restroom or freshen up. They were not even given access to the lounge area so that they could rest. Only a few of them could find seats, the rest were sitting in their business suits on the floor.

This is how over 200 international passengers were held against their will without information, without assistance, without even food or water for more than 15 hours! It should also be noted that these TWO HUNDRED PASSENGERS were international passengers, meaning they were in a foreign country so there was no option to go back to their homes and wait for their flight information. They had no home there and had been prevented from going home for reasons unknown to them.

It is required of every airline to provide current, up to date information to their passengers. When there is a delay that is not due to the fault of the passenger, arrangements are to be made such as hotel vouchers, meal tickets, beverages and especially access to complete bathrooms!!! These passengers are human beings – not cattle! Yet they were treated without due respect.

This is not the first time Arik Air has behaved in a criminal matter. Many friends and associates have recounted stories of abuse at the hands of Arik Air. One business partner had his wallet taken from his seat pocket while he slept and $2,000 removed from it by an Arik staffer. He was the lone passenger in his row with an empty row both in front of him and behind him. The only one that could have bent over him while sleeping and been unnoticed would be the flight staff. A sister company of ours sent a team on retreat and when they arrived at their destination, the luggage for the entire flight had been left behind at the airport and there was no announcement made on board the plane before takeoff. But how can an airline leave all of the luggage on the tarmac and not load it before taking off?? That is incredulous! I believe if an inquiry is made, many more grievances, even worse than these, will be discovered.

While I was discussing with the man, an Arik staff appeared and announced the flight was now running and would be taking the TWO HUNDRED PASSENGERS to their destination. When prodded for the reason for the delay, the staffer reluctantly informed them that the delay was a lack of fuel in the plane!

This is outrageous and completely unacceptable. They have abused their position as an airline and their directors, managers and staff are not fit to run something so sensitive as an airline. We place our lives in the hands of airlines every day, trusting them to carry us safely from one location to another with our lives, our luggage and our decency in tact. Arik Air violates all of these trusts. Serious action should be taken to prevent our citizens from finding themselves trapped and abused at the hands of Arik Air.




Filed under Passenger Reviews

6 responses to “Passenger Review 7

  1. Shelmadean Meyer

    I’m being refused assistance from Arik Customer Relations & they don’t even want to give reasons to why!!!!!

    My situation:

    I travelled as per the ticket reserved on 23.12.2010 from Johannesburg to Lagos on flight W3 104.
    The flight was delayed by approx 4 hours due to overloaded luggage for the capacity of the aircraft. This caused the airline to leave some of the luggage in Johannesburg, to be taken with your next trip to Lagos, which was on 24.12.2010. I had an onward flight to Port Harcourt departing on 23.12.2010 at 17h30, however due to the delay I missed this flight. There was no other flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt after 17h30 on 23.12.2010. The ground duty manager in Johannesburg advised me, prior to our departure, that they would send an email to the Lagos airport desk to arrange for accommodation for the night of the 23rd as well as a new flight on the morning of 24.12.2010. On arrival in Lagos, I found that this arrangement had not been made. I discussed the matter with the staff at the Lagos Arik desk & they informed me that I would need to arrange my own accommodation for the evening and my new flight. I could then submit a claim to Arik & the costs for the accommodation & flight would be refunded to me.
    My baggage was part of the group that did not arrive with the flight. My bag was sent on to Port Harcourt and it finally arrived today – 27.12.2010. I arranged for collection of the bag at Port Harcourt. The bag was received in a terrible state. The bag is severely damaged and will no longer be usable. The contents were soiled
    by some liquid and this lead to damage of some of the items contained in the bag. There were also some items taken from my bag.
    My departure flight on 02.01.2011 was also delayed by 2 hours. This time it was because they didn’t have fuel for the aircraft. The passengers were treated with the utmost disrespect. We were locked behind the boarding gate doors & ignored for the duration. When some people got upset, they threatened to call the security and police.
    I eventually arrived back home on 04.01.2011.
    I’ve been struggling from 27.12.2010 to get the claims resolved, which they said I could lodge because of their delays. Now today they say: “Referencing the request of a reimbursement of the said additional expenses incurred, we regret to inform that we are unable to provide a compensation on this occasion.”
    The plane didn’t even have simply things like safety posters for each passenger. When enquiring another passenger was told that he would have to share with someone in another row, if he really wanted to read the safety instructions.
    This is such poor service!!!!

    I won’t be leaving the matter here. I will fight & raise the concerns with their governing bodies.

    Let me know if you’ve experienced problems with them too.

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  4. freddy

    I wonder why arik air will choose to rip people off when a passenger do a no show. The penalty is very ridiculous. I am writing from johannesburg, I did a no show, the penalty for no show including changes was R2580, which about 60 thousand naira.. I find this strange..
    I flew emirate sometime and I did a no show, I was charged 50dollars.. Ethiopian airline.. 100 usd.
    The cabin crew are unprofessional,the food the and drinks the serve in the cabin is as if, you are begging it. The crew don’t smile, and they are very rude. I will advice nigerians to wake up and stop patronising this airline. To me the suck..unless the will change and be more professional and reduce their fucking high charges that doesn’t worth the airline with no style..and prove otherwise..

  5. William

    Arik Air cannot be a serious airline! My flight to Owerri from Abuja was cancelled by Arik due to “operational reasons” in a rather unpalatable manner. My ticket number and booking reference are 725 21089 75326 and IDQSWN respectively.

    I made a refund request at the Arik Air counter at the airport on December 6, 2016 and was told that I will get a refund in 21 days. Up to this moment I have not heard from Arik Air. I have sent several emails to Arik Air concerning the refund and there is no response from them whatsoever. How can airline that really wants to succeed in the industry be so callous and unprofessional?

    I really need the refund of my payment of N48,799 for the round trip ticket. I used my ATM card to make the payment and the cash left my account immediately. It is, therefore, incomprehensible to me why the refund should take so long. What is more annoying is the lack of response from the Ari Air on the matter.

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