Arik Air Apologizes For Horrendous Treatment of Passengers On New York Bound Flight W3107
Arik Air Flight W3107 was a nightmare for the dozens of travelers who boarded that flight back on March 31st 2014. It was late, and adding insult to injury, it was also a flight noted for a lack of air conditioning.
Arik Air officials, who had earlier claimed on twitter that the videos were doctored, issued a statement saying, essentially, they are sorry.
To all guest who traveled on flight W3107 (from Lagos, Nigeria to JFK, New York) on 31st March 2014, the statement reads: ” Arik Air offers an unconditional apology, for the inconvenience and discomfort caused by both the 55 minute delayed flight departure, and the failure of the airplane’s air-conditioning system prior to said departure.
“In this regard, the experienced schedule delay was a result of complications related to the cargo loading process as managed by Arik Air’s contracted ground-handling agent,” the public statement goes on to add.
“Unfortunately, whilst efforts were rightly being expended to overcome the cargo loading difficulties, the backup air conditioning unit (which should have been provided by our ground handling agent,) was declared unserviceable and thus unavailable for use. Upon resolution of the cargo loading difficulties, the air-conditioning system was finally restored as the aircraft prepared for immediate departure under its own engine power.”
While the explanation as to what occurred on that jet plane is clear as it stood grounded on the airport tarmac, for many on board, the story paints only part of the picture for the inconvenienced passengers sweating away on a flight delayed for over an hour.
There remain several questions that come into play. For example, in using the air line’s own words from the statement, many on aboard continue to ask regarding the air conditioning is how, on the one hand it “was declared unserviceable and thus unavailable for use.” While on the other hand, so said the airline company statement, that the “air-conditioning system was finally restored as the aircraft prepared for immediate departure under its own engine power.”
The question on the matter of the aircraft’s air conditioning system is a matter of timing. In the video first provided to SaharaTV by a notable US -based pro-democracy activist and leader of Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum (NDLF), ukola Oreofe as the aircraft sat on the tarmac, dozens of clearly uncomfortable passengers are seen fanning themselves in an attempt to cool off. When was it determined, and by whom, that the air-cooling system was “finally restored?”
“Arik Air, and its management, acknowledges that the handling of the situation on board was less than satisfactory and falls well short of the “high standards of service” that its esteemed traveling guest have come to expect of us (and which we demand of ourselves,”) airline spokesmen shared in the statement. “Arik Air’s Management wishes to assure our esteemed guests that the necessary remedial measures have been initiated to prevent the repetition of such an incident to the extent possible/controllable.”
“Arik Air is committed to providing a safe and comfortable air transport service to every guest and on every journey. Arik Air wishes to thank all guests who endured this inconvenience patiently, despite both the trying circumstance, and the unfortunate exhibition of aggression, to both people and property, by a minority of unruly passengers onboard the aircraft,” the statement continued.
“Arik Air values, greatly, its relationship with her guest. Hence, to all the affected guests, please note that we intend to pursue the restoration of the trust and faith vested in us by your good-selves. In this respect, Arik Air shall be contacting each affected guest on flight W3107 31st March 2014, to express these sentiments (and seek such restitution of trust) individually.
“Once again, please accept our humble and sincere apologies,” the statement read in closing. “You and your patronage are dear to us. We exist to serve you and we look forward to doing so again in the near future.”
The Arik Airlines statement is unusual because of its length, and detail to what is clearly an embarrassing and highly publicized episode for the air carrier. The company statement was certainly fostered by the two videos posted on the Sahara TV You Tube web page, and by the high volume of ‘hits,’ and the word-of-mouth re-telling of a particularly awful flight. Bad publicity that has reached the ‘viral’ stage on the Internet, is clearly not in the interest of any company.
Yet, in the days since the late March episode numerous passengers aboard that flight did contact SaharaReporters to address what they call ‘a total disregard’ of the passengers on board. For those who contacted us, the airline statement brings more questions to the episode than answers. Why, for example, with a flight already delayed, would company management and officials proceed with an aircraft clearly not ready for an eight hour Trans-Atlantic journey?
“The unfortunate exhibition of aggression, to both people and property, by a minority of unruly passengers onboard the aircraft,” some will argue, was caused in large part by the perceived staff ‘disregard’ captured by video cameras, and viewed by tens of thousands of would-be customers, and visitors, to Nigeria.