Sunday, May 29, started on a good note with me still basking in the exciting and memorable events of the previous day— my cousin Kofi Ikpeme’s son’s wedding. I was however looking forward to getting back to Lagos and falling right back into my daily routine and the hustles and bustles of Lagos.
My sister Sylvia Effah and I were booked on a 1.15pm Arik flight from Calabar. We got to the airport at 11.30am only to be told that the flight had been rescheduled to 5.15pm. According to the lady at the check in counter, they had sent text messages. We did not receive any. Thus we had to go back to town, to while away time.
We got back at 4pm, checked in and went to the Departure Lounge to seat and wait for our flight to arrive from Abuja. At 5.22pm a 40 minutes delay on the flight was announced, meaning the flight would come in at 6.02pm. The time passed and there was no word from Arik. Then at 7.10pm, an Arik staff sauntered in and in a very cheeky manner announces the cancellation of the flight and asked us to come back at 3pm tomorrow Monday May 30th. JUST LIKE THAT. JUST LIKE A BUNCH OF KIDS BEING DISMISSED AND ASKED TO GO HOME.
Everyone was enraged. “IS THAT IT?” we all barked at the lady. We should just carry our bags and walk away, to return tomorrow at 3pm? Where lies Arik”s contractual responsibility to its passengers? Not only were we asked t o go and come back tomorrow, we were asked to come early as it would be first come first serve. JUST IMAGINE.!. Not only does Arik fail in its contractual obligations to fly us from Calabar to Lagos; provide accomodation and an early morning flight for us tomorrow; it also warned us to come early enough to struggle for seats. UNBELIEVABLE!
To cap it all up, while we were still engaging the Arik Air officer on our needs and their responsibility to us as their customers, FAAN put off the airport lights. We were in total darkness but we remained resolute. We made sure the Arik staff did not leave the airport; we wrote down our names and phone numbers and decided that we need to sue Arik.
Arik is fond of treating it’s customers any how. The airline has no respect for customers and the time and money wasted due to their incessant delays and cancellations. THIS HAS TO STOP. Arik must be held accountable and responsible for its bridge of contractual agreements with Nigerians.
I am hoping that we the passengers on Flight W3 639 would kick start the process towards making Arik customer friendly and accountable.