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London-Bound Passengers Delayed For Two Days in Lagos By British Airways Over ‘Technical Issues’  

Lagos-London flight BA 74 has been cancelled twice, causing passengers to experience significant delays and hotel stays.

Many Nigerians and others scheduled to travel to London on British Airways flight on Wednesday were abandoned at the Murtala Muhammed International Airports, Lagos when the operating aircraft developed technical problem. 

The British Airline flight number BA 74 was scheduled to depart from Lagos to London at 10:50pm on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, but the aircraft scheduled to airlift the passengers developed technical problem and was grounded at the airport in Lagos. 

The British mega carrier, THISDAY learnt, had processed the passengers for the flight, as they were admitted to the waiting lounge prior to departure through Gate E55. 

While the passengers were expecting the announcement for boarding there was eerie silence followed by delays, which was unusual of the airline. 

One of the passengers who confirmed the delay, stated, “The airline lacked the courtesy to inform the stranded passengers of the technical issues until after midnight. The flight was finally cancelled after 1:00am. Passengers were asked to cancel their immigration form and go back to baggage claims to collect their already checked in luggage.” 

By then, some of the passengers who arrived the airport early on Wednesday to complete the immigration formalities had spent close to nine hours. It was about 3:00 am that the passengers left the airport; when they were eventually taken to different hotels in Lagos. 

The British Airways informed the passengers that the flight had been rescheduled for midnight on Thursday after another aircraft from London would have brought the spare parts needed to repair the grounded aircraft had arrived, but later BA sent email to the passengers cancelling the flight again and apologised for their inability to travel by midnight; instead, the airline extended the stay of the passengers at the hotels for another day. 

In the email to the passengers, British Airways explained, “Despite our best efforts, we’ve unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to delay your departure to London Heathrow until tomorrow, 21st June, due to the ongoing technical issue with the aircraft in Lagos. 

“Our Engineering team are working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We don’t underestimate the inconvenience this will cause and we’re sorry for the additional disruption to your travel plans.

 “We currently do not have a revised departure time for your flight tomorrow, but our teams are doing all they can and will be in contact as soon as we have more information via text and email. Please kindly refer to these communications for the most accurate information. 

“If you have missed a connecting flight as part of the same ticket, we’ll automatically rebook your onward journey. Please check ba.com/managemybooking or contact us where we will be able to help.

 “For those customers who have been provided with a hotel room by us, we will arrange to extend your stay for a further night. You can find useful information on your rights when a flight is disrupted at ba.com/helpme, however, if you’d like to talk to someone, please speak to a member of our team at the airport or call us on +44 (0)203 250 0145 where we’d be happy to help.” 

The passengers were further delayed, prompting BA to issue another mail to customers acknowledging the delay.

 “Once again, we apologise for the impact this delay has had on your travel plans and we thank you for your patience and understanding,” the airline told the passengers. 

But in the morning on Friday the airline sent a message through the hotel, asking passengers to get ready for pick up after breakfast at 9am to the airport, but the passengers waited but the bus that would convey them to the airport did not come. 

However, British Airways was able to put some of the passengers on other flights operated by Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines; while those who could not be airlifted were put in hotels. 

Chinedu Eze

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