DELAYED BAGGAGE: CPC SUMMONS ARIK AIR OVER ALLEGED CONSUMER RIGHTS ABUSE

Following complaints of alleged ill-treatment by passengers of recent London-Abuja Arik Air flights, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has summoned the management of the airline to appear before it to provide facts relating to the allegations.

 
The Summons, which was issued by the Council on Wednesday (December 7, 2016), is summoning the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Arumemi Ikhide, the Chief Operating Officer, Conor Prendergast and the Managing Director, Chris Ndulue, to appear before the Council on Monday, December 19, 2016.
 
According to the Summons, the Council disclosed that it received “complaints/information from the public and passengers on board Arik Air flights from London to Lagos between 2nd and 5th December, 2016 alleging that the flights arrived Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria, without the passengers’ luggage and without prior information”.

The Council further stated that “the said passengers, many of whom had connecting flights to Cameroon, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan could not continue their journeys as a result of the non-arrival of their luggage from London, while some passengers on the said flights could not have access to personal supplies, baby food or medication.

 
“Arik Air Ltd did not provide the passengers with temporary accommodation for transit; neither was there any customer service desk to assist the passengers in resolving their individual complaints”, it stated. CPC disclosed that it had issued the Summons in line with sections 8, 15 and 18 of its enabling Act.
 
It would be recalled that passengers of Turkish Airlines had similar experience with the airline’s Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on 25th and 31st of December 2015 and 9th of January 2016, which prompted the Council to consistently demand for a situation report on the incidents.
 
However, the refusal of Turkish Airlines to respond to the Council’s Summons and the ultimatum of the Attorney General of the Federation to the airline on the same request, has led to the criminal prosecution of the airline and two of its principal officers, Liker Ayci and Rasak Shobowale, the airline’s Board Chairman and Commercial Manager respectively before Federal High Court 10 in Abuja over alleged criminal violation of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Act.
 
The criminal prosecution of Turkish Airlines and its principal officers has been fixed for February 9, 2017 for hearing.