Fresh Scandal Hits Arik Air As Hundreds of Passengers Left Stranded at New York's JFK Airport
The passengers created a ruckus at the airport as Arik's W3 108 New York-Lagos flight, which was to depart at 11.45am (5.45pm) local time in Nigeria, was initially delayed and then cancelled by the airline without giving any information to the passengers for almost 6 hours.
Nearly 20 New York Port Authority police officers were deployed to quell disturbances that nearly flared into violence at the Arik’s airline ticket counter. Dozens of irate passengers were forced to wait for up to 10 hours due to a series of delays that went largely unexplained by the carrier. Some passengers claimed to have flown into New York from other states as early as 7am.
Waiting passengers said they were given no food or temporary accommodation as compensation. Some passengers were seen hurling insults at anyone spotted wearing Arik Airline uniform.
The Christmas season is the perennial headache for airlines anywhere — quickly herding hundreds of passengers onboard, getting them out of the aisles, into their safety belts and making sure that the plane takes off for its destination on time and getting their luggage. But Arik airline shocking record in this regard has led to a new worry.
With the delays piling up and the airline struggling to deal with the consequences, irate travelers are turning aggressive and protests are not uncommon at the counter. Angry passengers have in recent weeks reportedly smashed up check-in desks in Lagos, Enugu, New York, London and Abuja.
According to Per Second News report, some airports have simply stopped announcing the airline’s delays over the PA system to avoid antagonizing delayed travelers.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Tuesday ordered the airline to pay compensation to affected passengers on board those flights whose luggage were delayed by the carrier for almost a week now.