Going Rogue: Arik bans FAAN MD, blogger and 22 others from its flights

by Reuben Daba

And you thought the Arik drama was over. Apparently the airline is determined to ensure that they remain a talking point in this week’s news cycle.

On Tuesday, Arik Air publicly released a list of persons banned permanently from taking any of its operated flights to any destination.

The list had an assortment of personalities, including the managing director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, George Uriesi. FAAN has been engaged a running battle with FAAN, apparently over debts being owed by the airline. Everyone thought that with the intervention of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Anyim, the case was now settled, but it happened not to be so.

For the FAAN MD, the airline simply said that his ban was a “management decision”. For others, their ‘offences’ ranged from fighting Arik staff, disrupting Arik flight operations, to being declared wanted by security agencies.

Other people blacklisted include Omojuwa Japheth, Victor Ogbondah, Lawal Lateef, Obayomi Osoba, Obiriki James, Guanah Raymos, a Somalian, Warsame Amed Abdulkair, a Sudanese, Abdel Rahman, Wala Eldin and Orji Daniel Ikechukwu, Grace Nkiruka Guobadia, Adesanya David, Uzoh Hilman, Davis Fasan Adesola, Musa Azeez Arisekola, and others.

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Comments (4)

    FLIGHT 706.

    On the 1st of April, 2012 at about 3 o clock in the afternoon, passengers
    got to the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos to board Arik Air Flight 706.

    The flight was supposed to take off at 5:00pm but sadly enough and as is
    the norm with Arik we were delayed till about 10:00pm before eventually
    leaving Lagos for Port Harcourt.
    The journey was a very terrible one as there was serious turbulence and the pilot’s carelessness was glaring, it was screaming and prayer all the way as passengers thought the plane would crash.

    We got to Port Harcourt where the plane bounced around in turbulence
    (hovering over PH) for upwards of 30 minutes!
    The Pilot suddenly announced -“Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry; we will not be able to land here in Port Harcourt, because there are no Arik Staff on ground to refuel the
    plane for takeoff back to Lagos and the lights on the runway have been switched off, we then turned round in the air to Lagos amidst so much protestation and got there around midnight.

    Everyone remained in the plane for about another hour then some Arik Air
    staff came and retrieved all expatriates as well as a very sick Nigerian man accompanied by a teenager (who was uncontrollably violent from the beginning of the flight and got worse during the turbulence, hitting everywhere looking for an escape route while claiming to want to jump out and die but for the help of a lady Mrs. Victor-Ogbondah also in business class and who managed to keep him under control but not without minor injuries, much later they came back for some more people, most who were known to their staff , for a while we were left on the plane
    We wondered what was going on as we were left there for some more minutes.
    At this time everyone was highly tense.

    Every one of us remaining in the plane (Nigerians) became really disturbed
    asking why Blacks were left alone in the plane for so long whereas all expatriates were
    taken away but we still kept calm until eventually they came and herded us
    into a bus, before long a lady Arik staff became extremely rude the same woman (who was also one of those banned from this flight- Ogbondah Elo) claiming at the same time that her name was not on the manifest, she went on to call her expatriate boss who wanted to physically get her off the bus but we all added our voice in her support.
    We felt that it was very unfair as she was not originally meant to be on that flight as she came in from Dubai and was meant to have connected earlier but her luggage was erroneously was sent to Benin instead of Port Harcourt, this made the Arik manager on duty issue her the business class ticket for that earlier discomfort.
    The female staff’s spite and rude behavior coupled with some veiled racist comments that the grey-haired expatriate staff of Arik made did not go down well with the passengers at all and there was a hot exchange of words between the more assertive of the passengers and Arik staff.
    Eventually nerves were calm and the expatriate told us he had arranged for a bus to take us to a comfortable hotel till morning.

    The bus (without security of any sort) took us together with our luggage and valuables around 1:30 -2:00 am towards Oshodi ,one of the most notorious and unsafe areas of Lagos,
    so many questions started running through our minds: where were these people
    taking us to? What if armed robbers attacked us? etc.

    We were eventually taken to a Hotel in Oshodi where we were told that
    they informed the expat they had only 4 rooms available and which the hotel does not use for accomodation anymore but he claimed that we were Nigerians and should manage, 4 rooms for all of 15 passengers !!!!!! The rooms were dingy and the only ventilation was from standing fans, we all decided that we were not going to be lodged in such a hotel and decided to
    return to the airport to express our displeasure and demand our rights, we
    got to the airport to find out that all Arik staff had absconded and the
    only option we had was sleeping in the bus at the Airport which is what we
    did hoping that Arik would keep their promise of flying out of Lagos before
    7am that morning.
    We were definitely angry yet we kept quiet and slept even in the bus.

    The day broke and we were offered sachet water by the Mobile Police around
    us so as to clean our faces.
    Natural Conventions state directly that we should have been boarded on the first flight the following morning, but the station Manager rudely asked us to leave the line and wait until we were called as “he wanted to attend to VIPs”, one of the passengers said Arik was
    a stupid airline and the manager promptly called him a fool, the verbal
    altercation which ensued was not more/less than has been seen in the
    service industry in much lesser situations.

    Arik caused us great humiliation in addition to endangering our lives (with
    that flight that could have turned out to be such a great disaster flying
    us back and forth in such horrible weather manned by a daredevil pilot and
    sending us to Oshodi in the dead of the night with no security , to add
    insult to injury also violating our basic human rights by not only refusing to
    give us adequate shelter but also throwing insults and racist comments at
    us all the while delaying us at the airport for approximately 16 hours and
    even more for some passengers.

    While still in the scene of these mal-expressions, there came a “calmer”
    manager who gave his email address as
    [email protected] , he addressed us and negotiation resumed they
    promised us each free tickets to any destination of our choice in Nigeria as compensation.

    Arik did not make good on this promise and instead the compensation we
    received was further humiliation by publicly listing the names of the three
    passengers who negotiated the free ticket with Arik amongst terrorists and
    fraudsters as permanently blacklisted from flying Arik air.

    The matter at this point is simple the passengers had told Arik of their
    intent to sue the airline and were falsely placated so as to prevent legal
    action , we the passengers on flight 706 are unhappy that we did not seek
    recourse in the law and in the regulatory bodies such as the SON and the
    Consumer protection commission.

    We had to go back to our daily lives and numerous responsibilities, however
    with the addition of salt to injury; we are of the resolution that justice
    delayed is not justice denied and we will file reports with all the
    appropriate agencies and seek redress for all this injustice in the courts
    of law.
    Will Arik Air also blacklist the lawyers, judges and investigatory bodies
    who will prosecute, investigate and possibly sanction them, as they have
    climbed the dizzying pinnacles of corporate bullying?
    This we are patiently waiting to see.

    Signed passengers on flight 706

  2. Pingback: Arik bans FAAN MD, blogger and 22 others from its flights | KorrectNation

  3. Arik Air has clearly bitten more than it can chew, banning Japheth J Omojuwa is just a wake up call for him to make the #ArikWhereIsMyIpad campaign bigger; be careful what you wish for this move;it can run you down;this arrogance I mean…

    1. Oh well, the FAAN rule says u have the right to ban a passenger if/when dey become violent……something of sort sha. So am sure dey have a reason for doing that. Am not supporting anyone oooo, but we all have our rights (power).

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