By Chinedu Eze
Air travellers scheduled to travel to Abuja on Arik Air flight were stranded at the domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos as the airline cancelled its early morning flight to the nation’s capital on Tuesday.
Informed source from the airline said it cancelled its flight scheduled for 9:00 am because the aircraft designated to operate the flight developed technical problem and had to be grounded.
Airline official told THISDAY that the company sent messages to the passengers late Monday, informing them that the flight had been cancelled but the passengers argued that the text messages came under 24 hours before the scheduled flights and this would affect their travel plans and appointments.
When the passengers got to the airport expecting that the flight might be rescheduled to a convenient time, the airline’s station manager reportedly informed them that the only time available for rescheduling was for 6:50pm.
The angry passengers then demanded for a refund of their money, adding that they had appointments they needed to meet before the rescheduled time.
Some passengers, who took to their twitter handle to express their disappointment, alleged the airline had been insensitive to passengers’ plights.
One of the affected passengers with twitter handle @Miss_AlaEbi stated, “This is very annoying, I sent a mail for reschedule or refund, they replied that I should send my booking reference and preferred time in order for a reschedule. I have replied them with the information, I hope they reschedule my flight oh @ArikAirlineNg @ArikAir.”
Another affected passenger with twitter handle @Slynabena, stated “How can someone book flight for over a week (10days) and they cancel less than 24hours. Alternative flight is N95, 000.
However, Arik Air’s Communications Manager, Banji Ola, explained that the flight was cancelled because the airline had ‘Aircraft on Ground’. This implies that the aircraft had developed technical issues.
Ola said the passengers had been sent text messages earlier, explaining the situation of things to them.