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Abuse of Nigerian passport holders by foreign airlines

Vaseline 2 months ago

Chinedu Eze

There are stories going around about how some foreign airlines are mistreating passengers with Nigerian passports.

Many Nigerian travelers have alleged that some foreign airlines flying into the country treat them with contempt for carrying Nigeria’s green passport.

A recent incident showed how a Nigerian lady made a video to narrate how she was treated by Turkish Airlines. Although she did not mention her name in the video, she did share her terrible experience with the airline because she has the Nigerian passport.

However, her story was consistent with what many others have complained about Turkish Airlines and other international airlines in the past.

The Nigerian woman told her story: “So this is one of those moments when traveling is not all fun and games. I am currently in Istanbul. And I have a 22 hour layover here in Istanbul. Before this ticket was booked, it was clearly stated on their website that Nigeria is on the list of countries that will receive hotel accommodation, if passengers have a 21 hour layover. So you get the option of a hotel or you get the option of a tour package, a free tour package, both sponsored by Turkish Airlines. I arrived here today and went to the help desk and they said that because of my nationality, my Nigerian passport, I am not allowed to enter Istanbul.

“For me it should be a consulate visa, and not a visa that you can get here at the airport or something like that. Now none of this was listed on their website for layovers. I came here this morning and in not so many words they told me there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. My passport is Nigerian. Oh, they offered me a meal ticket. And that’s pretty much the best they can do. A meal voucher and then I have to wait here for 21 hours at the airport. This gives me a very bad feeling. The staff here is basically just doing their job. “What they were told is what they do. How did we get here? How did we get here? Where our passport is at the point where other people get free entry, free stuff, they get a free hotel, everything for free and then my Nigeria passport basically keeps me sitting at the airport for 21 hours. Who are the people responsible for negotiating these matters? Is there any government agency in Nigeria tasked with ensuring that Nigerians are not marginalized in this way when they travel? Like who should we talk to in Nigeria? Who needs to speak to Turkish Airlines to say, if you are going to stay at the airport for 21 hours, what arrangements have you made for them?”

She stressed that there is a hotel at the airport where if the airline does not want passengers with Nigerian passports to go to the city, she can keep them in the hotels at the airport but the airline contemptuously refuses to accommodate her because she a Nigerian passport.

“In fact, this airport has a hotel, but Turkish Airlines has no facilities to keep Nigerian citizens here in the hotel. But for any other person, I mean other nationalities, they can go to a hotel for free or get a tour package for free. Who is responsible for negotiating these deals? I’ll ask again. Why are tickets sold without an option? How did we get here? I said all the words I could. I have said all that needs to be said here, but it will seem as if their hands are tied. And right now they’re trying to see if there’s a way to take me to the business class lounge, and that’s the very best they can do for me today. Where did we go wrong? This is one of those times when I feel very sad to be a Nigerian, and very sad that I have a Nigerian passport. If this is the last thing I do on earth, I would get another passport because this is the most unpleasant experience ever. And the only reason I am going through this is because I am Nigerian with a Nigerian passport.

“This has to stop. I just got back from a trip from my 70th country, and you would imagine that after traveling so much, things would get easier. Sometimes that is not the case, and this is one of the sad realities of owning a Nigerian passport. This really made me feel bad in so many ways. I mean, that feeling of, it’s like a stepchild that’s actually not wanted. That’s how I feel right now because I mean, while I was here putting my case forward and arguing my case in any way possible, other people came and they got hotel reservations or tour packages very easily. But because of my passport, and I’m not saying here that the law has to change because of me because I’m traveling, the law has to change suddenly. But who negotiates how we are treated if we have to wait 21 hours? Who’s talking about it? Is there even an organization that is responsible for this?” the Nigerian woman asked.

This incident is similar to what happened a few years ago when an Indian national accused the Turkish airline of discriminating against him for traveling to Nigeria and because of his nationality.

The passenger who narrated his experience in an audio recording shared via messaging app WhatsApp claimed he was a Business Class passenger on board a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul, Turkey, to Nigeria.

The passenger, who claimed that the event took place on Thursday, August 17, 2017, explained that he had an eight-hour layover before his flight to Nigeria, so he decided to use one of the sleeping suites reserved for Business Class to rest while he waited for his flight. flight.

But he was shocked when an airline employee told him he could not use the sleeper suite because of his nationality and the destination he was going to.

“I’m sitting in the Business Class Lounge of Turkish Airlines. I have a layover here from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, which is more than 8 hours. So I went to see if there was a place where I could sleep,” he said.

“I go to the desk on the wall and there is a sign: “For Business Class Passengers Only.” I said fantastic, I’m a Business Class passenger. And it said it for people with a layover of six hours or more and I said fantastic, I was happy with that too. I have a layover of six hours or more.

“I said to the lady sitting there at the counter: Can I please sleep? Where is the suit, where can I go and rest? She said: No sir, where are you from? I said Mumbai, India and I’m going to Nigeria.

‘She said, but then you can’t sleep. I said why not? She said that’s the rule. I said: what rule?

He said the lady at the counter told him that the airline has a policy that only allows Business Class passengers who are nationals of primarily Western countries or passengers traveling to Western countries to use the sleeping suites.

“She showed me a list of countries. You only have to come from them or go to them, then the Turkish airline recognizes that you need sleep,” said the passenger.

“So if you don’t go to those countries and you don’t come from those countries, and of course all the European countries are part of that Washington, are part of that, New York is part of that, and so on. Apart from that, if you are from India etc and are actually a non-white country, it is assumed that you don’t need sleep.

“So here I am, even though I am a Turkish Airline Business Class passenger. Even though I have a long layover, I am not allowed to sleep in the sleeping suite of the business class lounge. I think; because I’m not white. According to their rules because I am from India and going to Nigeria.

“I think this is something that should be brought to the attention of the highest authorities. Including the president and including the head of the Turkish airline to say: on what basis are you discriminating between your customers and between your Business Class passengers,” he said.

This is an issue that many felt the Nigerian government should look into strongly.