Turkish Airlines Pays Compensation Over Luggage Delay, As NCAA Moves To Prosecute Unruly Passengers
Turkish Airlines has paid prescribed compensation to all the passengers aboard its Flight TK 624 from Istanbul to Abuja, whose luggage were delayed last December.
The payment of compensation to the passengers came on the heels of the intervention by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
It would be recalled that there was an incident at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja last December when some passengers, who flew Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, blocked the aircraft from leaving the tarmac after they were stranded at the airport for over 5 days without their luggage.
The action of the passengers, which was termed a security breach by the Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika, led to the suspension of Airport Manager, the Terminal Manager and Head of Security at the airport.
The Minister also ordered the Consumer Protection Unit of the NCAA to find out what happened, how compliant Turkish Airlines were and deal with the situation accordingly.
Following the meeting between NCAA and the airline, the affected passengers whose luggage were delayed, received compensation while the unruly passengers, who invaded the tarmac and block a Turkish Airlines aircraft, would be identified, using the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera footage, and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.
The Airline under the supervision of the Consumer Protection Officers (CPO) of the Regulatory Authority ensured that all the passengers were paid full monetary compensation as contained in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs), according to the report of investigation conducted by the NCAA submitted to the Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman.
According to the report, “In addition, a cargo flight and an Airbus were arranged to freight to Abuja, Nigeria, all contentious backlog of baggage that were earlier short landed”.
In a statement by NCAA General Manager, Public Relations, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, the authority confirmed that all concerned passengers had since collected their luggage.
Other recommendations of the report include provision of signages warning passengers of possible penalties of unlawful acts at the airport.
The statement added, “Furthermore, clear cut penalties arising from unlawful acts should be displayed to serve as deterrent to would be violators.
“The Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage will be deployed and the Turkish Airlines should assist in identifying the unruly passengers for prosecution to dissuade others from carrying out similar acts subsequently.
“In the course of the final phase of the investigation, salient questions will be asked concerning airport management. If established sanctions will be applied for violating access control requirements in the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP) chapters 4.5 (a),184.108.40.206.2.1 and 6.3.2.
“Also, the requirements of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations Part 17 section 17.37.1-3”.
The NCAA also directed appropriate agencies to put up appropriate control mechanism strong enough to prevent unauthorized access to restricted areas of the airports forthwith.
“These recommendations and others would be implemented to the letter to foreclose and mitigate future occurrence”, NCAA said.