Passengers on board an Emirates airline from Dubai to Lagos in the early hours of Sunday protested as the scheduled flight developed fault just as it was about leaving the Dubai airport.
The Boeing 777-300 aircraft developed fault with its air conditioning system just before it took off, the pilot announced.
The plane was taxing preparatory to taking off when the pilot reported that it was not safe to fly due to the detected problem.
He recommended passengers to be evacuated for the problem to be fixed “in 30 minutes”.
But anxiety developed in the cabin as no evacuation began immediately.
Fast change in the cabin temperature heightened the passengers’ anxiety in spite of the attempts of the pilot to calm the situation.
The flight, which was due to leave the at 3:55 a.m., local time, was still unable to move over an hour later.
With increased tension, the pilot announced improvisation of the cabin air pressure, which gradually restored the air condition around 5:15 a.m.
At 5:32 a.m., the aircraft was finally connected to a boarding tube, to the relief of the pensive passengers.
The pilot announced a new boarding time of 7:30 a.m. to allow for “reorganisation of the aircraft and crew.”
Passengers disembarking however grumbled for being made to pass through “the stress” of fresh security screening.
One Nigerian passenger, who pleaded anonymity for fear of being targeted by airline officials, described the experience as horrible and the conduct of the airline officials as ignoble.
“I don’t think I will fly them again. Something like this happened and they cannot talk to passengers politely and calm them. I am disappointed”.
But another passenger, Tobi Adejimo, said this was the first of such experience he has with the airline despite flying them regularly.
“I use Emirates every time. This is the first time I am witnessing such, and instead of all this shouting we should thank God and the pilot who didn’t risk flying when he noticed the issue,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES was not able to get Emirates’ reaction to this story as at the time of this publication.