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Green Africa Airline

03.07.2024 Featured Passenger With a Disability Denied Boarding by Green Africa

Published 3rd Jul, 2024

By Sodeeq Atanda

Olarewaju Isaiah Oladosu, the special assistant to the Osun State Governor on disabilities, has narrated how Green Africa declined to board him at the Akure Airport on June 26.

Oladosu was scheduled to attend an event organised by the Center for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE) in Abuja between June 26 and June 29.

The organisers booked a round-trip flight ticket for him with Green Africa, a Nigerian domestic airline, and disclosed Oladosu’s special needs. His two-page flight ticket obtained by FIJ specified that the airline had a wheelchair ramp to enable him board a plane without difficulty.

READ ALSO: Weeks After Failed Flight, Green Africa Airways Has Not Refunded Customer’s Ticket Fee

Oladosu proceeded to the airport in the company of his political counterparts from Ekiti and Ondo State on June 26, only to be declined a seat because there was no provision for him.

“My details on the flight ticket had indicated my condition and the kinds of special services I would require. In fact, the ticket was booked because the company had said they had provisions for persons with special conditions,” Oladosu told FIJ.

“I was demoralised when I got to the airport with my friends from Ekiti and Ondo State, who were also attending a 2-day policy-making event, and the airline’s boarding officials told me there was no infrastructure for me to board the plane.

“Not only did they deny me access, their behaviour towards me and other persons with disabilities was discriminatory. The appeal by Mohammed Abba Isa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, and my counterparts from Ondo and Ekiti for the management to make available a wheelchair ramp yielded no change.

“I had never been that discriminated against. They did not treat me and others with respect. In protest, my colleagues said they would cancel their trip because of the occurrence. Our request for a refund of our flight fares was declined, and we later resolved that my colleagues should proceed on the trip. As for me, I ended up travelling with Overland Airways at my personal cost on the same day.

“I believe Green Africa has a policy that discriminates against persons with disabilities in wheelchairs.”

Although Green Africa later refunded his flight fee, the disruption caused significant discomfort to Oladosu. After the event, he could not travel by air. He returned to his base by road, an experience that could have been avoided if the airline had not prevented him from boarding.

FIJ sent an email to the airline’s press unit on Monday for its comment on this story but got no response.

Oladosu’s belief about the airline’s unfriendly attitude might not be unfounded, as some other persons with disabilities have been subjected to a similar experience by Green Africa.

READ ALSO: Masked Oyo DSS Officals Arrest Green Africa Staff for Refusing To Board Their Boss

In September 2022, Patience Ogolor, a physically challenged woman, was denied boarding on an Abuja-Lagos-bound airline for a lack of facilities to accommodate her.

“At the point of boarding, I was told I would not be boarded because the stair climber wheelchair that CARE uses could take me up to the aircraft but not to my seat. Instead of escalating the issue, I referred to the CARE disability desk and the staff intervened, where it was agreed that Green Africa would refund me while I booked a flight with another airline with a bigger aircraft,” she said.

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Published 3rd Jul, 2024

By Sodeeq Atanda

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