Its was a crazy experience with Arik airlines Wednesday 27th Nov 2019, from 4.50 last flight Port Harcourt to Abuja. After boarding the plane, everyone was happy as we taxed on the tarmac preparing for final air control Ok for take off, that’s when the drama started. As we sat waiting I observed we were the only aircraft waiting, non landed for about 15mins then the captain raced high to take off suddenly he was turning around and we came back to the parking bay. “We do apologise we identified a fault in this aircraft we need the engineers to come and have a look immediately”, all passengers should disembark”. Everyone came back to the departure hall wondering what fault was.
After 30mins we were asked to board the plane again that the fault was fixed by the engineers it was now around 7pm, as we boarded the plane this 2nd time, rumours, whispers, doubts, fear, anxiety as we all took our seats. Again the engine raced but the cabin was getting very hot people were complaining that it was getting too hot, but captain said in 5mins the aircon will blast fully, but after seating for 25mins even the Christmas goat sweat was too small to bear, then loud accusations were flying from passengers to the cabin crews, as the captain was moving slowly we still noticed the heat increasing then he stopped, doors open again, we were asked to disembark , Captain said they do not know why the aircon was not working, apologies, apologies but they will do all they can to fix it. Now we all bombarded Arik counter at the airport departure hall, demanding refunds, others agitating why the manager is not addressing us and the prayer warriors kabashing seriously.
After an hour 3rd announcement for the 3rd boarding into the same aircraft then my livers failed me. Some of us agreed to board, while some refused demanding to stay for the night I was the leader of those to stay.
One thing I noticed was that when the problem started all counter staffs started disappearing from all Arik counters, their ticketing office bright light was turned off except two brave staffs who were begging & explaining. Of course if you choose to stay you have to vacate the airport and sort your accomodation yourself and we heard the next day morning flight was full too but some us choose to stay the night.
I spent the night in town and arrived quickly at 6am to que & fight to be boarded next morning. Some rich dudes just bought another ticket on Aero or Airpeace, me I nor get that kind money so I pursued my dream. Finally we got fresh boarding pass for the morning flight after 3hrs of uncertainty.
Shout out to my comrades in that struggle Dr Mike & that fine babe, especially Osagie who gave me a ride back to town and back next morning. Also to that lovely family with two handsome young boys and a girl including a baby you took the best decision to safeguard your family by staying back.
To the ARIK management and other airlines your nonchalant attitude of no hospitality in such circumstances is obscured. Zero customer services it shows you dont care about your reputation, I can teach your staffs how to manage your reputation in crisis.
It’s my first time to be in such situation in Nigeria, FAAN must ensure all airlines obey their customers rights in every circumstance. In all I give glory to the almighty that I can tell this story, THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR CONTINUED PROTECTION. I see 2020 for real