Turkish Airlines, hotel deny maltreating stranded passengers

Stranded passengers at a Lagos airport

Stranded passengers at a Lagos airport

Turkish airlines and the management of Golden Tulip Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, has denied reports of maltreating some stranded passengers and subsequently ejected them from the hotel.

The airline said while it regretted the development caused by cancelled flights early January, the affected passengers were catered for as mandated by the rule.

Recall that some Lagos-Istanbul passengers were lodged at the Golden Tulip hotel on January 7, 2017, following the airline’s inability to carry its passengers due to bad weather in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was reported that due to protest by some of the aggrieved passengers, they had to be ejected from the hotel.

Rooms Division Manager of Golden Tulip, Paul Okojie, however, denied the report, saying the hotel had no reason to do so to “one of its most valuable clients.”

According to Okojie, “We were bewildered to read the reports in some newspapers. Let me state clearly that those reports were absolutely wrong and false, as we took care of the passengers lodging in our hotel providing them with befitting accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also lodged the crew and Turkish Airlines staffers who came regularly to visit the lodging passengers.”

Okojie recalled that the passengers were 232 in number and came in batches through Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th January, 2017. This is contrary to reports that the passengers were 410.

He explained that Turkish Airlines kept the passengers in the hotel due to the bad weather in Europe until it could guarantee their safety to be flown within international.

Okojie reiterated the hotel’s commitment to an enduring working relationship with Turkish Airlines, which he described as one of the most patronised airlines in Nigeria as a result of its affordability and high focus on safety.

Managing Director of SBI Media, Rotimi Bankole, said the passengers were stranded because Turkey was facing the worst weather in 10 years, which affected all flights coming into Istanbul, as the heavy snow of 1.2 metre above sea level, had resulted in loss of lives.

Bankole added that besides the accommodation, the airline provided two reliefs for its passengers in Lagos, advising them to proceed to its Head Office at 1, Adeola Odeku Str. Victoria island Lagos for a change of ticket to other available dates. The other was to ask for a full refund at their ticket purchase units, mostly at different travel agents, where they had purchased their tickets.

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