FCCPC summons British Airways over violation of consumers’ rights

* Airline culpable, they abandoned us to find our way home  ─Passengers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Due to recent rights violations and failure to provide accommodation and transportation to passengers aboard flight BA0075 from London to Lagos, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has summoned the Management of British Airways (BA) Plc to appear before it.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Commission in a letter mandated the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Country General Manager (GM) of the airline to report at its Headquarters in Abuja, FCT, February 27, 2020, at 11 a.m.

It was gathered that the letter dated February 20 said the airline would testify, make depositions and provide evidence in relation to their consumer obligations to passengers aboard flight BA 0075 February 12.

Pursuant to the authority of the FCCPC under Sections 32 and 33 of FCCPC Act 2018 and in furtherance to the Commission’s intervention at Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, on February 13, 2020, you are hereby summoned to the FCCPC Headquarters, it stated.

The document ordered the British Airways to provide names and particulars of all passengers on board the flight on the said date.

“In the matter of investigation of violation of consumer rights over the failure of British Airways to provide accommodation and transportation to passengers aboard flight BA 0075 from London to Lagos on February 12, 2020.

“Pursuant to the FCCPC Act 2018, summons the Managing Director/CEO and Country General Manager, British Airways Plc.

“The Commission requires BA to provide the following information: circumstances and rationale that caused BA 0075 of February 12 to be diverted to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, instead of its destination, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

“Arrangements, plans and provisions made for the passengers upon arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, including ground service staff or agents who met with passengers, temporary accommodation and feeding, communication, transportation, support,” it said.

The letter further mandated the BA to furnish the FCCPC with copies of releases, text messages, updates, e-mails or otherwise of any information provided to passengers.

“Any payment invoices for accommodation and feeding or vouchers provided to passengers, any record of ages, medical conditions or requirement for medical attention by passengers and any documented response or action.

“Specific information on time of arrival at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, projected time of departure to Lagos, actual time of departure to Lagos and time of arrival in Lagos.

“Number of passengers who departed Abuja and who arrived Lagos, full report of luggage handling associated with the flight including any baggage irregularity report including delay, loss and or damage,’’ are also demanded of the British Airways in the letter.

Recall that the British Airways, in a statement at the time, had blamed poor visibility at the Lagos Airport and promised to cover the affected passengers’ hotel, Internet and refreshments costs.

“We recommend that you make your own travel arrangements to Lagos as we are unable to operate safely in the coming days,” its statement read.

However, ConsumerConnect had reported that certain Fola Olatunji-David, a technology entrepreneur and one of the affected air passengers whose February 11 flight to Lagos was diverted, stated that British Airways had not made provisions to take them back to Nigeria after initial promises to do so in an interview with CNN.

“We landed in Accra on Tuesday night, and they kept stringing us along. They kept changing the time, Olatunji-David said.

“We will leave at 11 p.m., we will leave at 2 p.m., but we are still here,” he said of the British Airways.

According to him, “the airline (BA) became culpable when they left us to find our way home.

“There are minors on this flight, pregnant women, people who are now forced to get home on their own,” he added.

Meanwhile, the passengers on board the airplane February 12 have called for compensation from the airline over alleged careless abandonment.

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