Passengers travelling from Kano to Abuja on Air Peace Airline (P47425) have been left stranded as the airline rescheduled its flight time from 4.50 p.m. on Friday, February 2 to 1 a.m. February 3.
Passengers said that the airline first sent emails to travellers that its original flight time of (16.50) 4.50 p.m. had been moved to 8.55 p.m.
After check-in and a long wait at the airport, the airline announced at 9.15 p.m. that the aircraft meant to lift the passengers from Kano would arrive at 10.20 p.m.
The airline at 10.20 p.m. announced that the aircraft would arrive instead at 1 a.m.
Some passengers were served carbonated drinks and biscuits after they called out the airline for shabby service and taking advantage of its passengers.
The aggrieved customers challenged the airline workers, demanding explanations.
One of the passengers, Wole Adeyeye, expressed frustration with the delay during an interview.
“Who is going to be held responsible for us getting to Lagos or Abuja by 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. This is not right at all and definitely not fair to passengers. It is really frustrating and disheartening the way passengers are being treated because what happens is that they take your money, get you to the airport and then dump you there. Nobody cares where you are going to or how you even get there,” he said.
Another passenger, Prof. A. Mohammed of the Ahmadu Bello University demanded accommodation for passengers.
“I feel very bad. The confusion here and time wasting, is it correct? If we are to leave here by 1 a.m., they should make accommodation available for us because it is not safe for us to go to our destinations in the wee hours of the morning knowing the insecurity of the country.
“After such a long time, they only offered us Fanta; is it Fanta we came to the airport to drink? How can you treat people this way,” he queried?
Also, Mercy Abu said that the airline in December delayed her flight multiple times until 1 a.m. after which she got to Lagos by 3 a.m.
Other passengers travelling from Kano to Lagos faced the same fate. The airline, after a protest by the passengers, said it could only accommodate 50 passengers to Lagos on a smaller jet stationed in Kano.
Air Peace Station Manager, Muhyideen Sanni, appealed for calm as agitated passengers insisted all passengers must fly to Lagos together.
He explained that the flight to Lagos was delayed due to a technical fault and urged passengers to volunteer to stay back at the airport while vulnerable passengers, including mothers with infants and the aged, are allowed on the smaller aircraft.
As motivation, he said the airline would provide dinner for those who volunteered to stay back and a 25 per cent discount on their next flight with the airline.
After negotiations and considerations, some passengers offered to stay back. The 50 passengers to Lagos boarded at about 11.54 p.m. while the volunteers slept on chairs at the airport.
There were no explanations for the delay of the Abuja flight.
Passengers bound for Abuja boarded at 12.45 a.m. and took off at 12.55 a.m., leaving behind the Lagos bound volunteer passengers whose fate had yet to be determined at the time of filing this report.