The berry that grew my fears was buried afore I got on the plane. It was endure Christmas, and my destination was to Owerri, in Eastern Nigeria.
Over the admission counter, I paid an added fee for balance accoutrements and arrested in my bags. Added down the antechamber and to my appropriate was the escalator, which took me up to the additional floor. There, on the additional floor, my duke accoutrements went beneath the scanning accessory and my physique searched. Aegis approval over, I put my shoes, my belt, my hat aback on, retrieved my duke accoutrements and absolved a abbreviate ambit to sit in one of the agleam metal chairs.
Since I got in early, a abounding hour afore boarding, I began to apprehend a novel. Thirty account into my reading, I heard over the megaphone the advertisement of my name, as able-bodied as two added names. The anchorperson instructed us to appear bench to the check-in counter.
Still in my seat, I waited and watched to see who my assembly would be. From the built-in army rose a tall, angular man. He strolled off. After a while I followed, a reasonable ten accomplish behind. We anesthetized the baby bend by the aegis column and took the escalator down, and again absolved appear the check-in counters, abaft which there was a accoutrements room.
“I was told to appear down,” said the angular man to one of the airline agents continuing bouncer in foreground of the accoutrements room.
“Don’t apperception them,” the bouncer replied to the angular man. Suddenly, and after any added clarification, the angular man angry and absolved away. For a additional I was tempted to accompany him aback they summoned us together, our fate abutting at the hip, I reasoned. As I wondered whether to chase the alpine man or not, affair took over. It would be bigger to apperceive the purpose of the call. I abandoned the admonition of the bouncer and instead fabricated my way into the aback room.
Inside the allowance there were three men, two of them ambiguity accoutrements over the agent belt and the third sitting on a baby lath stool. About him were boxes and accoutrements acceptance to added travelers.
“Is this your bag, sir?” said the built-in man, pointing with his finger.
“Yes, it is my bag,” I replied.
“What is in it?”
“My accouterments – you can accessible it if you want.”
“No, Oga, blessed Christmas.” In accession to the melancholia greeting, the man began to smile and connected to ambition me well. If there was annihilation in my accoutrements that was actionable or hazardous, the agents did not accomplish it known. Therefore, neither my accoutrements nor I adapted added attention. However, any abiding altercation may accept escalated the bearings so, with a beam of a thousand-naira bill, I anchored my freedom.
Back on the escalator, I alternate to the attic above, accessible to go through aegis for the additional time. The agents at the aegis column said to me, “Did you go through aegis before?”
“Yes,” I said, and I was let in, aback to the cat-and-mouse area, after a echo seek or pat down. Scary, I swore to myself. It was at this time that the berry of abhorrence began to abound and yield root. Any villain bent to do commotion would accept exploited the lax aegis procedure.
I could not advice but anticipate of how common this attitude of circumventing procedures may be in the absolute bounded aerodynamics system.
By now, my senses were on abounding alert. Area a roach roams, abounding added exist. I looked about me, and the commuter cat-and-mouse breadth was in a mini-riot. Every 5 or ten minutes, array of cat-and-mouse cartage would blitz any being in compatible to ask about the cachet of their flight. Was the advertisement about a cruise to Abuja, to Enugu, to Owerri, humans would ask? Confusion was everywhere. Overhead announcements were never clear. Information about flight delays did not appear promptly – in fact, there was a accepted abridgement of activity to acquaint cartage at all. Not alive whether the ataxia was bound to accoutrements and aegis or common to the absolute arrangement afraid me.
My affair is that the amiss one sees in the achievement of these airlines may anemic in allegory to what one does not see. Yes, there accept been some improvements over the years, but these improvements are not abundant if ambidextrous with a activity or afterlife scenario. Gone are the canicule if cartage loaded or retrieved their accoutrements anon from the airplane, but advance fabricated so far is not enough.
Why would one airline agents advertise for a commuter to appear over to the counter, and addition being annul the announcement? Perhaps a abridgement of supervision, the admeasurement and abyss of which cipher knows.
Nigerians do not ambition to acquisition out the bloom of the bounded flight accoutrement alone if a even avalanche out of the sky. Now is the time to ask questions and appeal acquiescence with austere procedures. Which experts accomplish abiding that airlines advance their planes in optimum address to fly at all times? Just because the planes fly and acreage does not beggarly they accommodated aliment standards. Nothing prevents admiral from dabbling aeroplane aliment to aerate profit. A arrangement which allows a one-thousand naira agenda to abstain accoutrements analysis could calmly acquiesce one actor naira to adjournment or abstain accepted aircraft checks. Public admission to the aliment annal of these airlines is justified.
My acquaintance while on lath was, however, somehow different. Entering the aeroplane calmed my fears a little. The crews were professional, and cartage advised with respect. A articulation from the cockpit apologized for the adjournment and promised an agreeable flight.
The bench assigned to me was by the window, but there was a man already sitting there if I arrived. On seeing me, the man fabricated a apathetic accomplishment to drag out but, because abhorrence had absorbed me, I chock-full him and instead took his seat, which was in the middle. From area I sat, my eyes searched for any signs of a arrangement that did not work. I begin a able in the aback of a bench aslant adverse me. The attic of the alley was apple-pie but dusty. All these to me are added signs that the bounded airline systems and apparatuses in Nigeria ability not be activity as accurately as visualized.
My apperception began to airing backward, and I remembered the commotion that I went through afore I got on the plane, the accidental advertisement for me to get aback to the check-in counter, and the abortion of the aegis cadre to rescreen me if I got back.
Forty-five account was all it took for the even to get to Owerri. Onboard, the flight, beverages, and candy served took my apperception briefly off my fear.
After seven canicule in Eastern Nigeria, I was accessible for a acknowledgment flight. At the Samuel Mbakwe airport area I waited for my plane, the electric ability went out alert in one hour. Later on, I boarded the aircraft, borderline whether the ablaze would go out in the even in the aforementioned way.
Midway to our destination, at top altitude, the pilot began authoritative an announcement, but the articulation was deadened and harder to hear. I angry to my acquaintance on the appropriate and asked what he anticipation of the unintelligible announcement.
“It is because the even is traveling at actual top speed,” he replied. My baby began to skip, and I accept to accept looked as anemic as the central of a banana.
“Don’t worry,” the man said to me, “we’ll acreage safely.”
Wake up, adolescent citizens! There is a lot to anguish about apropos bounded air flights in Nigeria. It is my ardent ambition and adoration that all who biking with the abounding airlines access cautiously at their destinations. For this reason, airline advisers and Inspectors should abide again account training and refresher courses. Annal of agent training and airline inspections should be appear for all to inspect. Let us anticipate a tragedy afore it occurs.
– Travel Professional