Monday, April 14, 2008

More tales of British Airways disrespecting Nigerians

Email received in my in box today

My peeps, abeg make una no fly BA again O! What the Nigerian passengers may, or may not have done is a secondary matter. What you need to think about is this - would BA have "emptied" a trans-atlantic flight if a similar thing had happened......I don't think so! Yes, Nigerians can be rude but I mean this is simply ridiculous!

culled from the Mirror

A British Airways captain ordered 136 passengers off his plane in chaotic scenes after they all started complaining to cabin crew.

As the flight waited to take off at Heathrow the row was sparked by the restraint of a man being forcibly deported.

Many were distressed by his pitiful cries of "I go die" and one passenger, Ayodeji Omotade, 39, spoke up on his behalf.

The deportee was taken off the Lagos-bound jet by immigration staff and police.

But five officers returned and arrested Mr Omotade. This outraged the other 135 passengers in the economy class section and they complained to cabin crew.
Amid riotous scenes in the aisles, 20 police officers boarded to calm everything down.
Then the BA pilot took the extraordinary decision to boot off everyone who had witnessed the arrest of Mr Omotade, an IT consultant from Chatham, Kent.

The captain took the view they were all guilty of disturbing the flight, although no more passengers were arrested.

After the economy class section was virtually cleared, the deportee, aged about 30, was brought back on and the flight left.

The passengers were booked on to later flights but Mr Omotade was told by BA staff he was banned by the airline for life.

English-born Mr Omotade, married with a daughter aged four, was handcuffed and kept in police custody for eight hours after his arrest. He has not been charged and is seeking an apology from BA.

He was traveling from Heathrow's Terminal 4 to Lagos for his brother's marriage and had in his luggage the groom's wedding ring, shirt and suit. He missed the ceremony.
He told the Mirror: "There were agonizing noises from an individual being restrained. It went on for 20 minutes.

"I pleaded with the officers and my exact words were, 'Please don't kill him.'
"I was not swearing or threatening. BA staff said the officers were doing their jobs and nothing was going to happen. When he was removed we thought it was the end of the matter.
"But police officers came back and I was handcuffed and dragged off the plane."

He claims his luggage has been lost and £1,600 cash he had for relatives has been taken and not returned.

Scotland Yard confirmed: "A man was arrested for affray and causing a disturbance and was bailed."

Ba said: "Police were called to the BA75 service to Lagos on March 27 after a large number of passengers became disruptive.
Many were removed.

"We take any threats against our crew or passengers very seriously and this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."

I think this one is gathering pace (story also on Chxta and Ijebuman's blogs) and hopefully even if it doesn't cause BA to reform their attitude towards Nigerians at least a boycott will reduce the demand of BA tickets on their Lagos flights (thus leading to lower prices)?

Pls Sign This Petition & Boycott British Airways!