Some Aggrieved Nigerian passengers of Delta Airlines have berated the management of the United States carrier for allegedly putting old planes, which often develop technical problems, on the Nigerian route.
The travellers, who spoke with our correspondent at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, noted that the repeated mechanical faults by the US carrier’s planes had led to flight delays and cancellations, among other operational issues.
These, they said, had led to severe maltreatment of passengers on the Nigerian route on several occasions. The complaints came on the heels of an air return to Lagos by a Delta plane on Sunday. The plane, which left Lagos for Atlanta at 9:20pm, returned to the MMIA at 2am on Monday, following a technical problem mid-air.
“This is the fifth time that I am experiencing this type of thing. I mean, this is happening and it is too often. They are taking us for granted too much; they can’t do like that between the United States and Europe,” a Business Class passenger, Dr. Lekan Are, who was on the aborted flight, told our correspondent at the Lagos airport.
Are, a business tycoon and Chairman, Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan, faulted the withdrawal of the upscale Boeing 777 long-range plane from the Nigerian route.
According to him, the use of old planes with less flight range currently servicing the route has led to severe maltreatment of Nigerian passengers on many occasions.
He gave instances of how he had passed the night at the Atlanta airport and when he had to carry his bag over long distances due to flight cancellation by Delta Airlines.
The industrialist said, “This thing is happening too often. On September 21 or 22 when we were to leave Atlanta for Lagos, we had checked in and everybody was comfortably seated. They shut the door and the plane taxied from the gate to where it would take off.
“Just before it could take off, they said there were some problems and we went back to the gate. We were kept there; after about two hours, they could not fix it; they asked us to come down and arranged for us to eat something. Around 5am, they said a flight came from Los Angeles. And at 8am, they put us on the flight to come down to Lagos.
“Before that, I was to take another Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to Lagos. We went through the normal checks, boarded the plane and sat inside for about two hours. Then they told us something was wrong and they were trying to fix it. We came down but they never got it fixed.