© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
‘All passengers sweating like Christmas goat’… man laments Dana Air’s poor service
By Vincent UFUOMA [Student reporter]
A PASSENGER who flew using Dana Airline, on Wednesday, expressed his dissatisfaction with the management and staff’s customer relation service on Twitter.
Ayo Bankole, the convener of Lagos SME Bootcamp, and other passengers had boarded the plane at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos. He complained that the air conditioners in the Abuja-bound aircraft, with flight number 9J353, were not functioning.
“I’m on this Dana flight. All the air conditioners are not working. All passengers are sweating like Christmas goat, everyone screaming and fanning. Yet, the flight is preparing for take-off. Anyhowness will not kill us in this country,” he wrote.
The pilot, according to him, was unruly and unprofessional in his approach when passengers told him he must put on the air conditioners before take-off. Instead of addressing their concerns, he taxied back to park the aircraft with them locked inside.
“So while the pilot was announcing take off, everyone screamed NO!!! and requested they fix the AC, as it was terribly hot. The pilot, instead of apologising and explaining, announced that there are some ‘unruly passengers’ and taxied irresponsibly around, then went back to park,” he narrated.
“It is totally unacceptable for Dana and its pilots to risk the lives of passengers in the hands of a pilot throwing temper tantrums with a plane. The engine has been on for a while, after taxing, still hot. Everyone is up, asking to get out. The pilot has locked us in. No go in, no get out.
“We are in an extremely hot plane. All passengers require is a reassurance that the plane is fine and we will get AC working. But no, the pilot and the crew are displaying some rude and arrogant verboseness. Again, failure of regulatory oversight, failure of standards. Failed country.”
“The Pilot is the nastiest, most arrogant and most unprofessional pilot I’ve ever flown with. If this represents Dana’s culture, then Dana has no business flying Nigerians. Even the hostesses are confused. Total madness,” Bankole added.
When passengers requested to change the pilot after they were told to disembark, the management addressed them very rudely and insisted that they must fly with the pilot, he said.
“Passengers have disembarked. @DanaAir is addressing us rudely, insisting we board with the same pilot who couldn’t manage his emotions and was mentally unstable with the way he taxied. We are insisting pilot be changed.”
He later informed other Twitter users that it appeared the pilot was later replaced and the air conditioners of the same aircraft were put on.
“We’re back on board. Plane is cool. I think pilot was changed. I wonder what has been done to cool the plane that couldn’t be done before,” he said.
He called on the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) to help investigate the incident and to ensure Nigerians are well treated with dignity by airline operators in Nigeria.
“Finally landed safe and sound. Not the best of flying experience in my entire life. But at least, I’ve landed. @TundeIrukera and his team at CPC can help investigate and help restore some dignity to how Nigerians are treated by airlines,” he urged.
Isaac Dorcas, another passenger on the flight, corroborated his account.
Responding to Bankole’s complaint, also on Twitter, Dana Airlines apologised for the inconvenience due to the pilot’s response to the issue.
“This will be looked into immediately. Kindly see this as a one-off miscommunication,” it added. “Please rest assured we would take necessary and decisive action today. We value our guests and we would stop at nothing in ensuring that our guests get value for their money.”
It also wrote: “The time between the change of power and when the aircraft will eventually taxi and fly, there will be temporary discomfort (heat) which will eventually go off as soon as the aircraft is airborne.”
Here are some of the reactions to Bankole’s thread:
They will depend on -30 degrees ambient temperature and perpetual air movement in flight to cool the cabin. Stupid cost cutting. Penny wise…
— Tunde (@styles_o6) October 2, 2019
Parable of the shower head – Pius Adesanmi
— Lynda with a why (@LyndaNwaizu) October 2, 2019
The things we get away with in this country. How can you insist people fly in a HOT metal container?! That is not just zero customer service but no regard for the safety of lives. Na wa o!
— Damo Akins (@damoakins) October 2, 2019
Once the plane starts moving there will be breeze! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— Kolo Jesse (@KoloJesse) October 2, 2019
— Muhammad Kusharki (@mbkusharki) October 2, 2019