From Pearl Ngwama, Lagos
An Air Peace passenger, Mr. Christopher Aniagbaoso, has disagreed sharply with the airline over the reason for his removal from a Lagos- Owerri flight.
While Aniagbaoso claimed that he ill-treated by Air Peace crew, the airline accused him of being unruly.
Narrating his ordeal in Igbo language to journalists in Lagos, Aniagbaoso explained that he was supposed to be on-board the airline’s Lagos-Owerri flight on 12th of May but was not only de-boarded but was also denied opportunity to travel with the airline the following day.
Aniagbaoso said he was at the airport on the said day and checked in but missed his flight while receiving a call that took almost 30 minutes.
He said he went on to ask if there was another available flight and he was told to pay additional N7,200 to join the next flight at 2pm same day.
However, he was allotted a seat by the emergency exit.
Aniagbaoso said before take-off, he was being instructed on how to use the emergency exit by one of the hostesses but he told her that he didn’t understand English very well and would therefore prefer to be briefed in his local Igbo language. The hostess called a colleague of hers who was Igbo but he said she said there was no way she could explain the instructions in Igbo.
He added that he later got help from a fellow passenger who explained the instructions that were being given but was surprised when he was asked to leave the seat by the hostess for another. In any case he said he obliged.
“Surprisingly, as I sat on the alternative seat I was asked to leave the flight on instruction of the pilot. Because I didn’t want to be unruly I left the aircraft quietly,” Aniagbaoso said.
But, Air Peace Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Chris Iwarah, responding on a statement said Aniagboso was removed from the flight after he became unruly despite appeals from passengers and flight crew including the pilot.
He said: “Christopher Aniagboso had missed his morning Lagos-Owerri flight on May 12, 2019. He later showed up for the afternoon flight in good time and was issued an over-wing exit seat on request.
“After boarding, he was approached by a crew member for the normal safety briefing for passengers in the over-wing exit seats, but he suddenly claimed he could not understand English. Other passengers around him offered to translate to him, but he insisted that the crew must brief him in Igbo.
“When all efforts to have Aniagboso cooperate with the crew failed, the crew advised him to change his seat as the flight was already running late. He declined the advice to change his seat. The captain of the flight, who was eventually briefed on the development, also did everything to secure Aniagboso’s cooperation to no avail. At this point, our crew members were left with no other alternative than to advise Aniagboso to disembark to enable the flight depart”.