Posted by Sade Williams
British Airways (BA) has apologised to its teeming customers for the inconveniences experienced in the past few days of flight delays and diversions.
“We would like to use this opportunity to tender an unreserved apology to our esteemed customers for the inconveniences of varying degrees, experienced these past few days”, Kola Olayinka, General Manager, West Africa, British Airways said in a statement made available to Journalists on Thursday.
The airline attributed the development to inclement weather causing very poor visibility at the Lagos Airport, ‘coupled with a number of factors outside of our immediate control’.
“In these unique cases, the decision to delay or divert flights were made carefully by our pilots who are well trained to handle situations like this, especially in consideration of the safety and security of our passengers and crew.
“As a people-first airline, we ensured that our customers were properly accommodated in hotels where adequate rooms were available, meals, refreshments, and transport to and from the Airports were provided for their movement at the different Airports in Accra, Abuja, and Lagos.
“Regrettably, in this unique case, most hotels were taken up by passengers of airlines that were earlier diverted to Abuja. The direct result was the inadequacy of accommodation. To resolve this, we booked all 157 available rooms and accommodated 157 Passengers, we also ensured the safety of the remaining passengers by accommodating them in a dedicated area provided by Sheraton where we provided meals and drinks”, Olayinka explained.
He noted that the Accra incident was markedly unpredictable as the delay lingered for two days due to the persisting weather condition, adding that the airline chartered a Boeing 767 from Euro Atlantic to convey passengers from Accra to Lagos but a number of passengers had opted to make personal arrangements for their return.
“We regret the frustrations experienced and the disruptions it would have had on earlier-planned engagements of our esteemed customers. We would also like to use this opportunity to encourage passengers to send receipts of expenses incurred during this period to our customer relations team on standby to process the reimbursements and also attend to queries.
“We remain unwaveringly committed to the safety and comfort of every passenger and crew member. That is, and will always be the priority for everyone at British Airways”, he said.