By John Ikani
Passengers aboard an Egypt Airline (MS877) flight from Dubai to Cairo to Abuja found themselves in a predicament at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
The flight, arriving in Abuja at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, left passengers without access to their luggage.
Despite patiently queuing for hours in anticipation of retrieving their bags, passengers were informed that they would need to return on Thursday to claim their belongings.
The frustrating situation left many stranded, with only a handful managing to collect their bags after a prolonged wait.
A Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) official empathetically conveyed the disappointing news to the affected passengers: “We are sorry there are no more luggage in the aircraft; kindly come on Thursday to claim your luggage.”
Among the affected passengers were those with connecting flights to various parts of Nigeria, exacerbating their predicament.
“I’m not living in Abuja; I’m going to join my flight to Port Harcourt. What do they want me to do?” lamented a distressed female passenger.
Despite passenger grievances, Egypt Air’s track record of such incidents persisted, with another passenger stating, “Egypt Air is fond of this; they did not tell us that our baggage will not be arriving today.”
In response to the chaos, affected passengers were instructed to fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) form for their checked baggage.
When approached, a FAAN official suggested that complaints should be directed to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Explaining the airlines’ perspective, he noted that informing passengers in advance about luggage delays might discourage them from flying.
“You know if they tell passengers that their luggage will not be arriving with them, many won’t fly. That could be the reason why they did not inform you people,” he explained.
At the NCAA’s passenger support booth, an official named ‘O. U Aboh’ outlined the procedure, indicating that a complaint could only be lodged after confirming the baggage’s absence.
The PIR form, filled by affected passengers, would be instrumental in tracing the missing bags, and complaints could be officially filed after a waiting period of 21 days.
Despite efforts to reach the airline’s management proving futile, passengers were left in suspense as the airline officials remained absent at the airport, and an email to the airline went unanswered.