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Turkish Airlines: Nigerian Passengers Enroute UK Stranded at Instabul Airport, Sleep on the Floor

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Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines

By Uche Amunike

Some Nigerian passengers enroute the United Kingdom via Turkish Airlines have been protesting over what they called poor service delivery, after having been delayed for over 24 hours as a result of heavy snowfall at the Instabul Airport in Turkey.
They protested in the airport departure lounge demanding quality customer service delivery and accommodation from the Turkish Airlines management.
According to a phone interview with Life and Times, some of the passengers who left the shores of Nigeria with the 7.15am flight on Tuesday from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, complained that some other passengers from who arrived instanbul from other countries long before them were still stranded and protesting over the poor service delivery of the Turkish Airlines.
One of the UK-bound passengers of the Turkish Airlines, Tolu Elijah complained about the rowdy scenario he walked into when he walked into the facility on Tuesday evening and the reluctance at which the airline was attending to the stranded passengers.
Hear him: ‘We understand that there is heavy snowfall that is affecting flight operations because my flight, which was supposed to leave Abuja on Monday by 10pm was delayed till 7:15am on Tuesday and we were adequately taken care of in Abuja.’
‘But the situation was terrible in Istanbul, as it appeared that the management here is laid back. We know there will be difficulties moving people out of the airport due to the heavy snowfall, but the airline ought to have made adequate arrangements before the passengers arrived because they already have the data with them.’
‘When people are stranded beyond a reasonable time, they are bound to protest or fight back. The airline should have ensured better and faster accommodation arrangements were made to avoid such an embarrassing scenario.
They are still battling with passengers that arrived before us and that has dashed my hope that they will attend to us soon. At this age and time, how can we sleep on the floor with my wife.’
Another Nigerian passenger, who preferred anonymity, explained that he had been stranded at the airport for over 6 hours, and was unable to connect to the UK due to the bad weather.
Hear her: ‘My flight is tomorrow by 8am and we have been told we have to sleep at the airport and probably on the floor. All efforts to get accommodation at the hotel in the airport were fruitless, as we were told they are all fully booked.
‘If this happened at home, I may not be surprised but not in a nation that is believed to be better developed than Nigeria.’
‘Passengers had protested here that we need hotel, marched through the hall, near the duty-free shop and luxury stores. Some of whom said they had been stranded in the facility for more than a day with no help from staff and no provision of food or water.’
In reaction, the Turkish Airlines released a statement which they published on their site, explaining that the developments at the airport was as a result of severe weather conditions and that the delay was necessary for the safety of their passengers.
Part of the statement stated: ‘The roof of a temporary cargo building used by Turkish Airlines collapsed because of the snow accumulation, Monday but caused no injuries’.
‘The suspension of flights was later extended until midnight Wednesday, as crews worked to clear what the airport said was 16 inches of accumulated snow on the runways and other parts of the airport using nearly 200 snow removal vehicles.’
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