My Ordeal with United Nigeria Airline

My Ordeal with United Nigeria Airline

My Ordeal with United Nigeria Airline Yesterday: another proof of the inefficiency of the Nigerian Aviation System.

Yesterday’s journey with United Nigeria airline turned into a rollercoaster of frustration and chaos. I arrived at the Abuja airport with high hopes for a smooth flight to Enugu, scheduled for 4:30 pm. Little did I know, the day had other plans.

As the clock ticked past 6 pm, there was tension as we were yet to board. No boarding announcements, just a growing sense of unease.
Meanwhile, the plight of Owerri-bound passengers took a turn for the worse. They had been grounded since 10 am, and they kept on shifting their flight. They had to start fighting the airline staff and causing chaos. It took the effort of soldiers around to quell the chaos.

Amidst the confusion, an unexpected decision was made – the airline opted to use the Enugu aircraft for Owerri passengers. Unfortunately, the aircraft was a small one and cannot accommodate all the Owerri passengers. This decision led to a complete lack of proper communication. There were no boarding announcements; only a fortunate few near the boarding stand managed to sneak onto the limited-capacity plane, leaving the majority of Owerri passengers stranded, informed abruptly that they would have to return the next day.

As the chaos unfolded, the Enugu passengers, myself included, were assured repeatedly that the aircraft used for Owerri would return for us. The suspense lingered until 8:30 pm, when an announcement shattered our hopes – the flight was canceled. A rescheduled departure was set for 10:30 am the following day, leaving us grappling with the unexpected overnight stay.

The airline’s lack of responsibility became glaring as they offered no assistance for the financial burdens thrust upon us – transportation and accommodation expenses that we had not anticipated. It took a heated confrontation, and us dragging them to the aviation security, and eventually, the airline reluctantly provided each passenger with a paltry 10k as transportation fare, a sum that fell far short of covering the costs.

This unfortunate incident added to the airline’s recent troubles. Just the week before, a flight bound for Abuja from Lagos mistakenly took passengers to Asaba in Delta state. The repercussions of that error, including a ban on the aircraft, contributed to the delays and chaos witnessed during my journey.

The apparent lack of accountability within Nigeria’s aviation sector raises serious concerns about the reliability and safety of air travel in the country. For those depending on flights for critical appointments, the lesson learned is unequivocal – always have a plan B to navigate the uncertainties and challenges inherent in the system.

It is sad that our institutions and systems are just not working!

– Sunday Elesi | December, 2023.


An experienced software engineer who loves to read and share his thoughts.

Leave a Reply