Ever been in a situation where you think that it can never get worse than this and then, boom, out of nowhere a new low is achieved? Yes, you know what I mean.
In February, I complained about Arik Air’s unapologetic habit of running flights that are delayed beyond their planned departure time. In February, my experience was a delay of four (4) hours at the Lagos Airport. In May, I had my worst experience ever – a delay of more than ten (10) hours at the Port Harcourt Airport.
Now, it is a different thing if one were to know that his flight will be delayed by 10 hours – probably one would have gone back to the hotel and rest to come back much later to catch the flight. My experience did not follow that pattern. I arrived at the Airport at around 12:30pm to catch my scheduled 1:30pm flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos. At 1:30pm, the voice of the flight announcer came alive to inform that our flight had been delayed for an hour due to operational reasons. Now, if that was it, there would have been no need for this post.
Well, things were to really get worse as time after time, we got the message at odd intervals that the flight was delayed for different periods of time (45, 30, 60 mins)and then it was complete silence. Eventually, the plane showed up at 10pm. Boarding the plane became an issue. With three (3) flights already delayed, all passengers rushed to the tarmac and created a scene at the point of boarding. Another twist in this tale was the plane itself. There must have been some problems as the Pilot requested the space around the plane to be cleared while he fired the engine and do some tests. By the time we finally boarded the plane, the air condition system would not be put on until, according to the hostess, the plane begin to taxi on the tarmac.
The simple message to ARIK is to pack its plane and leave the airline business alone. Disaster is lurking in the air and this can be prevented by getting ARIK straight.