A physically challenged air passenger, Dr Chike Okogwu, went berserk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday causing bodily injury on a staff of Dana Air as well as vandalized properties belonging to the airline
The disabled passenger had thrown caution into the air when he was told he could not make his late-night flight as a result of his physical condition and offered to fly him in the first flight this morning.
The passenger, we learnt, took offence and inflicted injury on the airline’s Duty Manager who had offered to explain the policy of the airline to him, and went further to destroy the airline’s facilities on sight.
NigerianCurrent learnt that it is the policy of Dana Air not to fly physically challenged passengers in its night flights, particularly in the midst of passengers’ upsurge.
Spokesman of Dana Air, Okwudili Kingsley, said that; “as a matter of policy, comfort and safety of our guests, we do not carry Special Passengers at night.”
Dana Air had earlier announced that there would be some tight schedules when it sent two of its aircraft on checks to maintain its safety standard and appealed to its passengers to be lenient with the situation, as there are bound to be some rearrangements to make up for the surging passengers in the yuletide with less aircraft to make up for the high demand.
Reacting to the passenger’s rage, the airline wrote:
Our attention has been drawn to a violent conduct by a passenger named Dr Chike Okogwu, on our staff and booking systems at our Abuja station yesterday the 20th of December, 2020
To put the issue into proper perspective, the said passenger ( a PWD Person With Disability) who we regard as Special Passengers at Dana Air, got to our counter yesterday, 20th December 2020 at about 8pm for his flight and when our Duty Manager noticed him in the midst of the upsurge of passengers, approached him and politely explained to him that as a matter of policy, comfort and safety of our guests, we do not carry Special Passengers at night while offering to check him in first, on the 7am flight the next day.
The said passenger blatantly refused the offer and went violent on the Duty Manager causing her injuries in the process. This same passenger also went further to destroy our check-in systems, chairs, Covid-19 Protective glass shields and weighing machines at our counter in Abuja. (We have our video evidence)
Dr Chike Okogwu has enjoyed the luxury of flying with us for many years even as other airlines have totally refused to even sell tickets to him as a result of his reputation of verbally attacking able-bodied staff assigned to assist him whenever he is flying.
Apart from this reason why other airlines avoid him, Dr Chike knows that Dana Air is among the few airlines that accepts Persons with Disability with a policy which we expect them to follow strictly in their own interest and in the interest of safety.
While we acknowledge and regret the frustrations of our guests at this time and working round the clock to resolve the undesirable issues our guests are experiencing, we wish to state without an iota of doubt that Dana Air has never, and will never as a brand; discriminate against ANY passenger no matter the circumstance.
Dana Air will also not tolerate any acts of violence against any of her staff, passengers or property and as a law-abiding corporate citizen of Nigeria, we urge Dr Chike Okogwu to be civil in his engagements as everything we do at Dana Air will always be in the interest of safety.