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Med-View passengers weep, kick as luggage couldn’t arrive from London




• Bride-To-Be Breaks Down A Day To Wedding
• All Luggage To Arrive Sunday, Says Airline Spokesperson

London passengers of a Nigerian flag carrier, Med-View Airlines, created a scene at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Thursday in protest over their “missing” luggage.

The passengers, The Guardian learnt, boarded Med-View aircraft from London to Lagos, only to arrive Tuesday morning without their valuables.

After two days of waiting in vain, the passengers resorted to open confrontation with airline officials, almost leading to the breakdown of law and order at the airport, but for the efforts of law enforcement agencies.

Reacting to the face off, Med-View yesterday said the development was due to “operational issues” on the side of the United Kingdom’s airport authority and delays in the screening of luggage, assuring that with fresh moves made yesterday, all luggage would arrive by tomorrow.

One of the passengers broke down at the Med-View stand and wept freely. A relative of the disconsolate lady said her wedding ceremony comes up today, “and all her accessories, including the wedding gown, are in the luggage Med-View told us have not arrived.”

The relative, who simply identified herself as Mercy, added: “We have been at it since 5:30 Tuesday morning when my sister arrived. I initially thought it was a joke till they said we should come for the luggage the following day.

“Later, it was that our bags would now come in Thursday. On getting here, it is now to come on Saturday (today).

“She is getting married Saturday (today) and there is nothing she can do without the boxes. How does one explain such embarrassment and wickedness? Why didn’t they tell their passengers that the luggage would arrive a week later? It is just not fair.”

A male passenger actually pounced on officials to demand immediate release of his luggage.

The Guardian learnt that the fellow had flown in from London to attend a burial ceremony in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.

Unable to fetch his bags on arrival, he missed the connecting flight to Calabar and has been stranded in Lagos since Tuesday.

Another passenger, Adetutu Odunsi, said it was so disappointing that the airline would treat its passengers “shabbily” and like they don’t care.

She said: “We all came in here very early on Tuesday. Do you know that till 11:00 am, there was no word whatsoever on what was happening? For many, Lagos is not their final destination and they later took those ones to a hotel without paying.

“For those of us resident in Lagos, they collected our details and phone numbers and asked that we come for our valuables the following day. Nobody ever called to give update. That is why people are angry. It is very annoying.

“If our own local airline is treating us this way, why should the foreign airlines do better?” Odunsi queried.

Part of the quarrel was that all subsequent London passengers who arrived on Thursday got their luggage on arrival.

Recall that Arik Air, the second Nigerian flag carrier on the international route, had similar issues some two weeks ago.

The airline blamed the development on the small capacity plane recently deployed on the route, pending the repair of its wide-body plane dedicated to Lagos-London route.

Spokesperson of the airline, Obuke Oyibotha, said the baggage were not missing as alleged, but delayed in London due to operational issues of handling excess luggage at the peak of the season.

Obuke said: “Lots of baggage could not be screened and you know that an unscreened luggage cannot enter an aircraft.

“Right now, we have resolved the issue with all passengers, following normal procedure. We have put them in the hotel that we paid for.

“Normally, we don’t fly to London on Saturday, but because of this issue, we have arranged a 747 to go and bring the luggage tomorrow (Saturday).

“So, by Sunday (tomorrow), they will all get their luggage,” the spokesperson said.

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