Air France Aircraft

10.09.2022 Featured Nigerian Stranded in Paris Over Air France’s Failure to Communicate Boarding Details Alteration

Published 10th Sep, 2022

By Adebola Adewara

Otuatu Amos, a Lagos-based businessman, has narrated to FIJ how Air France airline made him lose his flight in April 2021 and refused to refund him.

Amos told FIJ that he was returning to Lagos from London and got two boarding passes for his return trip to Lagos from Air France.

“When I was coming back to Lagos, I was given two boarding passes in London. The first was from Heathrow Airport in London to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, while the second leg of the trip was from the Paris airport to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos,” Amos said.

“Each boarding pass would give one a detailed overview of the flight number, the boarding gate and one’s seat number. All these details were on my boarding pass.”

READ ALSO: After 5-Hour Delay, Max Air Cancels Flight at Midnight, Leaves Passengers Stranded

Amos' boarding pass
Amos’ boarding pass

Amos told FIJ that the first leg of his trip was without a hitch. He didn’t expect the outcome of his second trip to be the opposite.

“I successfully completed the first leg of my journey from Heathrow airport in London to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris,” he said.

“The problem came in when I couldn’t make my connecting flight from the Paris Airport to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.”

Amos told FIJ how he ended up missing his flight over a change in boarding details.

READ ALSO: Six Months After Flight Cancellation, Ethiopian Airlines Yet to Refund Consultant’s £406

“My flight was originally scheduled to depart from gate K47 on that same day. So, when I got to the Paris airport, I promptly located the gate stated on my boarding pass as early as 1:30 pm (Paris time) and sat at the holding area for passengers travelling from the same gate,” Amos said.

“At the boarding gate where we sat, the information screen located in that gate K47 continually flashed the three air crafts departing through it, among which was my scheduled Air France flight that was leaving for Lagos.

“The flight was supposed to be by 2:45 pm. Little did we know that the boarding gate for our flights had been changed without any prior information. Our assumption was that there was a little delay in the flights taking-off.

“When it was about 3:00 pm, I and Mr Aigbovia, a fellow passenger who was also going to Lagos from Italy, decided to seek for information from the information desk regarding the delay.”

READ ALSO: 5 Months After Failed Flight, Ethiopian Airlines Still Holds Student’s N288,000

Amos was shocked when he heard from Air France officials that the flight had left for Lagos.

“We were told that the boarding gate was changed and our flight had left for Lagos via another gate. We became stranded and went to meet the Air France officials to know the way forward,” he said.

“We were given two options. I could choose to pay the sum of £512 for a new ticket to fly the next day to Amsterdam in Holland and connect to Lagos from there, or pay the sum of £64.99 for ticket and wait till Friday (which was two days after), when there would be a direct flight from Paris to Lagos.

The options listed out for Amos and the other passenger
The options listed out for Amos and the other passenger

“I didn’t have substantial money to buy another ticket to Amsterdam at that point in time, so I had no option but to wait till two days later. I was forced to stay at the airport on that Wednesday night till Thursday morning before calling my sister in London for help.

“I had to spend two unplanned nights in Paris, so I checked into a hotel within the airport premises at a cost of £279 for the cheapest room there. That was approximately N200,000 for a hotel stay that I didn’t plan for.”

Hotel receipt

READ ALSO: 4 Months After Canceling Flight, Green Africa Yet to Refund Customer’s N55,000

Amos said he had to wait till Friday before boarding another plane to Lagos.

Air ticket
Air ticket

He said he mailed Air France after he got to Lagos and demanded a refund but the company only said they regretted the incident.

The message from the airline reads:

"After launching the investigation, I regret that you were not given the information you expected to receive at check-in. 
Air France requires its personnel to inform passengers with connecting flights of the departure terminal, boarding gate and latest boarding time of their onward flight. I deeply regret that this was not provided in this instance. We are aware of the importance of reliable information, and are committed to improve the quality of communication with our passengers.
I would like to clarify that all information with regards to the change of the boarding gates are under the sole control of the local airport authorities. Passengers also can refer to the airport screens and signage for accurate information."

“The thing is I don’t have any contract with the airport staff. I only have a contract with Air France who owed me the duty to inform me and communicate the changes to me,” Amos added.

“I just want to be refunded for the expenses I incurred after missing my flight.”

FIJ placed several calls to Air France via its numbers displayed online, but they were not answered. At press time, the company had also not responded to an email and a text message sent to them.

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Published 10th Sep, 2022

By Adebola Adewara


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