The incident occured on Friday May 26. The Mode Men Magazine publisher explains exactly what happened
My Nightmare With Arik Air - Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
Everyday we are taken for granted and ill treated in various places where we should receive good customer care. An invitation to Gombe necessitated my having to go fly with ARIK as they are the only other airline that go there. My friend (Jim Iyke), myself and his assistant arrived early at the Lagos airport for the flight scheduled for 8.30.
The duty manager was nice and helpful. Due to bad weather (it was raining) we didnt leave Lagos till about 10am. We were told we would disembark the flight, board another and head to Gombe. On getting to Abuja, we were told to go and get new boarding passes which I felt was wrong.
We got the boarding passes and the wait began. We kept going to the desk to make enquiries, we were told the delay was for an hour, then two. At one point the manager told us the flight that just left for Benin would return to take us to Gombe, this was about 4pm. I asked the staff if the were sure as we could still charter a taxi and get to Gombe for the dinner we were heading for. At 6.30pm, a staff informed us the plane was on ground, they were fueling it. Only for them to announce at 7pm that the flight was cancelled. We (all the passengers) went to the airline office to make enquiries. the staff had a non-challant attitude. We asked the manager to make calls and ensure we leave to Gombe, at a point he said " You can do your worse", a call was apparently made to the MD by a fellow passenger who said the MD said we could do whatever with the manager. The demand for action continued for over an hour. During all this I took names of as many passengers as I could with the intent of bringing a suit against the airline. A certain passenger slapped the duty manager, which we all condemned his action At about 9pm the manager and a Mr.lawal realised we were not backing down on our stand and it was around this time that a gentleman who claimed not to be an Arik staff starting shouting at me and the pushed me outside where the Mr.lawal then attacked me, other Arik staff joined him and before I knew it I had been hit severally and my clothes torn, glasses watch lost. Jim's assistant struggled to get me out of thier grip and outside, We then went to the police station to make a formal report.. I ask you all stand with me on this cause. Its not just about me but everyone that has been or will be abused by airline staffs.