Some angry passengers on Monday at the Nnamdi Azikwe airport lamented the failure of Arik Air to ensure the arrival of their luggage after they landed.
Two Arik Air flights which flew separately from Lagos and Ibadan to Abuja left behind the luggage of these passengers.
Some of them who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES said Arik Air acted irresponsibly.
The passengers said they were asked to identify their luggage before boarding but were not told the luggage will not be flown in at the same time with them.
Some of the passengers also said that Arik Air left their bags deliberately ”to accommodate the bags of passengers they picked from the Ilorin airport,” during a stop-over.
They said these passengers who were picked at the stop-over had their bags with them on arrival.
One of the passengers, who does not want to be named said he came to Abuja for a medical checkup over a kidney related matter.
“My coming has been defeated because all the x-rays, medical test results are in the bags and I have an appointment with the doctor in the morning. We are not certain when the bags will come in,” he said.
“I have been here since 12 noon, I took my flight from Lagos to Abuja this morning. I was told that they left our bags in Lagos after other passengers have picked their luggage. The official who attended to me said our bags will arrive soon and gave me his number but he has not been picking my calls since then,” another passenger, Mrs Ali said.
Mrs Ali, who does not want to reveal her first name being a civil servant, said her infant, who is eight months old was hungry and restless as a result of the delay.
“It is so painful because Arik Air feels they can take decisions, infringe on people’s right and get away with it,” she said.
Another passenger, Oke Adebayo, said it was sad that the airline has not officially addressed their grievances.
Mr Adebayo, however, said an unnamed official of Arik Air gathered the remaining passengers to tell them ”their luggage didn’t get to Abuja”.
“Something needs to be done to this Arik airline, they need to be sanctioned for this attitude. Some of us have connecting flights to Kano and other places, how do we want to move? Some are on here for meetings and official visits, this is uncalled for,” Mr Adebayo said.
Nosike Adindu, an angry passenger said the Nigerian government needs to act fast to protect their rights.
Meanwhile, an official of Arik Air at the Nnamdi Azikwe airport, who refused to give his name, told PREMIUM TIMES that the passengers’ luggage will be taken to Lagos from Ibadan and all will get their bags between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday night ”or tomorrow”.
According to him, the passengers can either come to the airport or go to Treasure Suites to pick their bags.
The official also said all the passengers should come forward with their boarding passes ”so he can write out their details”.
However, Emmanuel Otolorin, another passenger who said he spoke with officials of Arik airline in Ibadan said the officials there said the bags are still in Ibadan.
When contacted, an Arik Air official at Ibadan said he was not aware that the crew did not inform the passengers of the situation.
The official, who introduced himself as Niyi said the airline took the bags separately ”for safety reasons.”
“The bags will come with Arik Air which will be travelling from Lagos to Abuja by 5 pm,” the Arik official said.