Abuja airport, a glorified bus station – Olusola


On December 4, 2015, I had the misfortune of using the domestic terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
I arrived at the airport by 12 noon because I had a 1p.m. Azman flight to catch to Lagos. Unfortunately, my flight was rescheduled for 5.30p.m. Going back home and then returning to the airport later was ruled out because of the long distance and the cost implication. The only choice open to me was to check in my luggage and then proceed to the passengers lounge to begin my long wait for my flight to be announced.
I joined the queue for the security checks to get into the building. Then I took my turn at the Azman Airline counter to check-in my luggage. Chaotic is the best adjective to describe the ambience of the check-in area. I thought the madness would end there and that one could at least relax at the passengers lounge for a while but I was very wrong.
The passengers lounge was overcrowded such that some people did not have seats. The air conditioners were not effective because of the crowd so I converted the magazine I was reading to a hand fan. The lighting was poor so everywhere was just dark. With no flight departure screens, no television or any form of entertainment, I was bored out of my mind.
I spent more than six hours in that crowded environment. Passengers face this kind of torture on a daily basis especially Fridays, yet nothing is done to effect changes. My return journey was by road and I did not regret it. For me the domestic wing of that airport is just like a glorified bus station.
Olusola Afolabi, Abuja

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