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On Wednesday, 7th of December 2016, the Director Consumer Protection Directorate of NCAA, Mr Abdullahi Adamu, announced that the agency is going to order Arik Air to pay its passengers $150 each. This sanction is due to Arik air’s failure to ferry passengers’ luggage 48 hours after arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos from Abuja.

“The compensation for delayed luggage, according to Montreal Convention of 1999 is $150. Arik has failed in its duty because that compensation should have come the moment the passenger lands without his or her bag,” Abdullahi said in an interview with aviation correspondents at the international wing of MMIA in Lagos, after addressing stranded irate Arik passengers.

This sanction by the NCAA could be said to be deserving for Arik, which seems to have continuously taken the interest of its consumers for granted.

There is no doubt that the airline is the largest airline in Nigeria and West Africa but I think it’s time to call a spade a spade. There is never a time you see Arik Air trending on social media without expecting to see a negative story about the airline. This is the umpteenth time that the airline is failing to protect the interest of its customers.

A look at a few times Arik Air has failed its customers

Recently, passengers of London-Abuja Arik Air flight complained of alleged ill-treatment by Arik Air. This has led the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to summon the management of the airline to appear before it to provide facts relating to the allegations. The council is summoning the airline’s chief executive officer, Mr Michael Arumemi Ikhide, the chief operating officer, Conor Prendergast and the managing director, Chris Ndulue, to appear before it on Monday, December 19, 2016.

In April 2014, passengers from Lagos to New York were trapped in a plane without air condition that did not take off. The passengers had to protest in the locked aircraft before they aircraft was opened.

It would be recalled that in 2012, Social Media Activist, Japheth Omojuwa had a long-running battle with Arik Air over his missing iPad. This seems to be the first time there was a long lasting social media complain about Arik Air in the country.

Arik Air will definitely win the social media airline in Nigeria for trending on social media almost every time. Little wonder an airline enthusiast opened a blog know as ‘Arikmetics’ in order to gather people’s experience about Arik Air. It is also not surprising that people also gave negative reports about their experience with the airline.

Comment credit: Arikmetics
Comment credit: Arikmetics
Comment credit: Arikmetics
Comment credit: Arikmetics
Comment credit: Arikmetics

It’s not as if other airlines don’t delay flights but to tell you how dissatisfied customers are with Arik Air services, passengers take to social media to applaud them when their flights are not delayed.

Negative comments about Arik Air have become so unbearable. Unfortunately for Nigerians, Arik Air is the only airline, with flights to almost every routes and it is readily available. In spite of all the negative complaints, the airline is the most expensive airline to travel with across Nigeria.

In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong if one says that more sanctions should be placed on Arik Air for disregarding its passengers on several occasions. It is high time Arik Air puts customers satisfaction first instead of dragging its name through the mud and causing the nation further embarrassment. This festive period is also a good time for the airline to prove to its passengers that it can be better than they think.


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