By Sade Williams
Air Peace on Wednesday, blacklisted a passenger who flew into a rage and destroyed its check-in system at the General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on Tuesday.
The blacklisted passenger, it was gathered, destroyed the airline’s computer during the check-in formalities of its Lagos-Abuja flight on Tuesday. He reportedly claimed that the check-in process was too slow.
In a letter dated May 16 and addressed to the passenger, the airline described his conduct as “unacceptable.” Air Peace insisted that the passenger’s violent conduct constituted a safety risk to other members of the flying public and its staff.
Corporate Communications Manager of the airline, Mr. Chris Iwarah confirmed the development. The carrier, he said, took the decision to blacklist the unruly passenger in discharge of its obligation to protect members of the flying public and staff from harm.
“During the check-in formalities of our Lagos-Abuja Flight P47128 at the General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, May 15, an impatient passenger standing in the queue suddenly flew into a rage and destroyed one of our computers. The unruly passenger claimed he destroyed the check-in system because the process was too slow.
“We were, therefore, compelled by the need to guarantee the safety of members of the flying public and our staff to blacklist the passenger and to signal our resolve to henceforth penalise violent conduct towards our valued guests and staff as well as view unwarranted destruction of our facilities very seriously. We are currently reviewing about 14 similar cases to determine the appropriate action to take. In the last few months alone, our staff have frequently been attacked by aggrieved passengers at the slightest excuse. Facilities costing huge sums have also been destroyed in the process. This easy resort to violence by unruly passengers often results in flight disruptions, delays and frustrates our resolve to deliver the best flight experience to the flying public. This trend poses a grave danger to the lives of our esteemed guests and staff and such unruly passengers are no longer welcome on any of our flights.
“While we will continue to take all reasonable steps within our capacity to check violent conduct, we urge the regulatory authorities and security agencies to take a tough stand against this trend to ensure that the safety of law-abiding travellers and aviation staff is not compromised.”
Air Peace, however, assured that it would continue to regard genuine grievances by air travellers seriously and address them with dispatch.
“We affirm that a vast majority of our valued guests show understanding and cooperate with us and we are sincerely grateful for their support, patronage and loyalty. We solicit their support in checking the unfortunate violent behaviour of the handful of persons who often seek to frustrate our determination to provide quality flight services in a safe atmosphere. We have active online and physical channels through which members of the flying public can let us know their grievances with a view to addressing them and we appeal to them to consider this a better option than a resort to violence and self-help,” Iwarah said.
Air Peace had in the past issued different statements warning that it would no longer tolerate attacks on its staff and destruction of its facilities by passengers.
In April 2017 when some passengers attacked its staff and destroyed its facilities at different airports in the country, the carrier issued a statement warning that “we can no longer tolerate unruly passengers.”