Hundreds of Arik Air passengers stranded at JFK airport in New York

Hundreds of Arik Air passengers were stranded at the JFK International Airport in New York on Thursday, following the inability of the airline to transport them back home.
The North America Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that situation resulted to disorder at the boarding gate of the airline as the passengers became restless having spent hours waiting for final boarding announcement.
They were billed to be transported out by 11p.m (New York time) on Wednesday but by 5 a.m. on Thursday the passengers remained stranded at the airport.
Among the stranded passengers were sick old people on wheelchairs, children and pregnant women.
Some of them who spoke to NAN said they were checked in for boarding between 8 p.m. and 9p.m and after which the airline officials did not let them know what the problem was with its aircraft.
According to the passengers, they were left at the boarding gate unattended to until about 5 am when they were informed to pick-up their luggage and wait for further information on the situation.
They expressed disgust over the failure of the airline to take them back home, saying that the situation had affected their business appointments.
Some also claimed they were travelling to attend burial ceremonies and could no longer continue with the journey since the airline was unable to transport them to their destination.
The visibly angry passengers demanded for immediate refund of their airfare and compensation for the inconvenience caused them.
They also threatened to institute legal actions against the airline for making them go through “hell”, adding that the airline had exposed its inefficiency.
“I don’t consider it safe to fly Arik again because flying in an Arik aircraft that is disable is putting our life in jeopardy,” Tony Idigo told NAN.
He said that the airline would need a major public relations effort to stay in business within the Western world because of its poor public relations.
Also another passenger, Joel Ejijeme described the situation where the airline management at the airport could not effectively inform them on what the exact situation was as “appalling”.
NAN recalls that on April 20, the airline issued its passengers a 12 dollars meal voucher each, following three hours of delay at the same airport.
The flight which was scheduled to depart for 11 p.m. did not depart until about 2 a.m.
In a response to a text message by NAN correspondent, Banji Ola, the airline’s spokesperson said the aircraft had developed a technical problem and the passengers have been duly informed of the development.
“We have also taken adequate care of them,” he added.

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