Passengers on Azman flight to Maiduguri have been stranded since Friday over alleged oversell of their scheduled flight ticket.
About 14 passengers were contained in a list sent to THE WHISTLER.
The passengers of the airline alleged that they had booked tickets, but discovered that the flight which was scheduled for Maiduguri, Borno state was already overbooked.
The airline instead closed the counter over an hour before the take-off, even when the passengers had come as early as 10am for the flight which was scheduled around 12pm.
A video sent to THE WHISTLER showed the allegedly affected passengers protesting the ill treatment meted out to them by the carrier.
A passenger who was contacted by 11:09am said they were still waiting at the airport after the airline promised to fly the fourteen of them in two batches.
“What happened yesterday we came to the airport at the right time around 10:30am. They were supposed to close the counter about 30 minutes to departure, but they closed the counter since 10:30 and when we talked to them, their staff ignored us. When you talk to them they will look at you mute,” the leader of the affected customers, Geidam, explained on phone.
She said the atmosphere at the Azman wing became tensed up as passengers protested furiously at that point.
“I was even shivering and they saw me shaking; my hands were shaking,” she said, adding they acted with “no remorse at all.”
According to her, the airline manager was no were to be found for hours and there was no explanation regarding the delay.
“That was how we started protesting and those guys (Passengers) entered the counter and insisted that non of the staff will use their system to issue ticket to any body. That was how we blocked everywhere and they started talking to us,” she narrated.
Geidam said the Azman’s manager came hours later after FAAN staff took them to a separate section.
“They went to negotiate with us. We waited for an hour and they asked us to write our names. Maybe they tricked us upstairs so that they can issue tickets for Kano and the rest.
“At last the manager came and he apologised. The FAAN officials interrogated him and he admitted that they closed the counter early. He admitted that the reason was because they oversold the tickets,” said Geidam.
Another passenger, Mustapha also corroborated Geidam’s account of the story while responding to questions on the delay.
“Yesterday we were called, the manager of the Federal Airport Authority, the representative of the Consumer Protection Council we met, we agreed and they acknowledged they overbooked the flight and the manager apologised to all of us,” Mustapha another affected passengers told THE WHISTLER.
“Azman airline over sold ticket and the flight did not show up. They closed counter 30 minutes before the time,” another passenger lamented.
“Azman airline over sold ticket deprived us to enter the flight. We were at the airport since 11am but the staff defrauded us,” another customer name withheld said.
The development is coming after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said during a Briefing in Aso Villa that airlines must refund passengers 100 per cent of their airfare cost after two hours of delay.
He said, “On domestic flights, delay beyond one hour, carrier should provide refreshment, and one telephone call, or one SMS, or one e-mail. They should send you an SMS or email or call you to say, ‘I am sorry, I am delaying for one hour’.
“Delay for two hours and beyond, the carrier shall reimburse passengers the full volume of their tickets.
“Delay between 10pm and 4am, carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport.”
But at about 10:20am on Saturday, the airline was yet to refund the air fare cost or at least provide a flight.
“I am at the airport now. They promised to pick me today and they have still not picked me,’ Mustapha said by 10:59am on Saturday.
Azman Air operations were suspended in March this year by the Nigerian Civil Aviation over safety concerns.
The Kano based airline was declared safe a month after the NCCA clampdown.