Arik Air Passengers From New York Criticize Airline Over Missing Luggage

Story and photos By Ahaoma Kanu: There was pandemonium last Friday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) when passengers of Arik Airline from New York, United States, discovered that some of their luggage had been tampered with and valuables removed.

Passengers at the E-gate exit were so furious that they almost caused a scene at the airport but for the timely intervention of some custom officials.
After being cancelled on November 20 without compensation to any of the affected passengers, Arik Airline’s Flight W3108 departed John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York at about 7:30pm on November 22, and landed at MMIA at about 4:30am on Friday.  

With the air conditioning systems not working, the conveyor belt started moving about 45 minutes later in the baggage claim section, rolling out the bags. 

The area is currently undergoing renovation.

The conveyor belt operated fitfully, stopping for a short time on two occasions, and the bags arrived slowly.  It was when one of the passengers raised the alarm that his bag had been tampered with that some others went berserk.

One of the victims of the theft, Mr. Sylvester Mogole, described what happened as a shame.

“They took most of the things in my bag: cell phones, laptops and so on. I don’t really know all that is stolen yet but these ones have been stolen,” he said showing the reporter the torn packet of the Ipad and cell phones.

Another passenger, John Tobo, said he had two bags and discovered one had been tampered with.

“This has been tampered with but my concern is the other bag where I put more valuables, I am yet to get it. This is not fair at all,” he said.
Some of the affected pieces of luggage seemed to have been cut with a razor, going by the sharp cut patterns left on the bags.   Others had their padlocks broken.

As the passengers raised their voices and vented their annoyance, an unidentified member of the Arik staff to whom they complained tried to calm the passengers down before leaving, but it took the intervention of the Custom officials to achieve that.

When contacted on the issue, the Public Relations Officer of Arik, Ola Adebanji, said that he was not aware of the incident but would follow up on the issue.
“Normally when this happens, you report to the office and fill a form and we take it from there. I have not heard about this and will surely look into it. You know that we have a company that handles ground operations for us. Every airline has a handling agent so that when flights come they get the luggage out and put them on the conveyor belt for it to go.  It is a complicated thing because some of these things are not handled directly by the airline. But it is always the airline passengers will come to; they don’t know NAHCO or SAHCOL. It has been a long time I heard this kind of [this kind of] development and we will look into it,” he said.

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Worst Airline

I was warned by several of my colleagues about the poor customer service and reputation of your airline, nevertheless I chose to give 'arikair' the benefit of the doubt--a mistake I will never make again. I spoke with a lady named Felicia (who initially refused to give me her name) who compacted the problem rather than solve it. You have lost a customer, who is sure to tell his family and friends to refrain from flying your enterprise. I will gladly pay the extra $100 or travel to Atlanta to fly with another airline.


Cannes is certainly big enough. In fact, many would say the Cannes carpet is even bigger than the Oscar in terms of international fashion impact.

all sorts

It appears Arik is not getting any better or is it? I heard that after the Dana crash last year they increased their air fares. If this is true, it is terrible, because it was tantamount to taking advantage of a vulnerable situation.

I even tried to post a comment on one of their sites a couple of moments ago, but failed to get through.

I also had noticed around November 2011 that a lot of the travel agents for the airline were from outside the African continent. If this is still the case, it is wrong. I am sure that with proper supervision, there are Nigerians who can do the job well.

I had hoped when Arik Air first came into being, that it would be the airline with a difference. I have been proved wrong. However it is not too late for them to change. Nonetheless, with all their pilfering, they should compensate the victims. The victims should not let go, they must continue to pursue their cases no matter how long it takes.


My items were stolen on an ARIK AIR flight from JFK TO LOS on 13th April 2013. After several emails and telephone calls, the airline management have refused to compensate me for my missing items because I DID NOT USE MY CARD TO PAY. I went as far as getting a mail from my bank confirming that my card was not working in America but the airline insist that unless I paid for the items with cash or my card they will not compensate. I paid over $4,000 for my return ticket and my missing items are worth over $2,000. The maximum compensation is approx $1,600.

Please can someone recommend a good lawyer? It is time these airlines stopped taking advantage of people.

Lost Baggage for three weeks with chronic medication

What do I do in a case like this: Fly from JHB to Lagos on Arik - baggage got lost for three weeks ... with all my chronic medication. More than 50 emails were send out ... to try and locate the luggage. It wasn't Arik who helped me ... it was a girl from a travel agency ... The luggage travelled the world ... Is there a possibility that I can claim from Arik Airlines for inconvenience caused?

That was a bad experience for

That was a bad experience for the travelers, such incidents simply ruin the holidays for you. But you have to be careful about your luggage while you are traveling, I am feeling apprehensive, I am soon flying to Toronto for exploring torontos chinatown, hope I don't lose the luggage.

The authorities should take

The authorities should take steps to ensure that such incidents never happen. I had a bad experience too, I was about to catch flights to arizona so I was in a hurry and when I landed I could not find my luggage.

Not suprised 2

We lack good customer service in Nigeria and this is very sad. It is in Nigeria that I see we pay for services and would be begging for that service to be rendered or completely denied/deprived of the service! And to add insult to injury,sometimes this happens after one unruly staff who "begged to apply" have insulted some stuff out u o. When u go to report to a supervisor or manager, you will be shocked at their attitude too, bcos, the person you're reporting may either a be pally to him/her or "oga's girlfriend" who can not be touched.
I weep for my country.

Not suprised.

We lack good customer service in Nigeria and this is very sad. It is in Nigeria that I see we pay for services and would be begging for that service to be rendered or completely denied/deprived of the service! And to add insult to injury,sometimes this happens after one unruly staff who "begged to apply" have insulted some stuff out u o. When u go to report to a supervisor or manager, you will be shocked at their attitude too, bcos, the person you're reporting may either a be pally to him/her or "oga's girlfriend" who can not be touched.
I weep for my country.

Not suprised.

I've always said it that I'll never travel internationally with a Nigerian airline. It's just a waste of time & resources. I am glad I have been proved right by what I am reading here. When pple say: "Arik is good, Arik is good, it flies direct to US, it's just 9hrs flight", I laugh and say, wait and see the Nigerian corruption factor come into play soonest. Is it not coming to pass now?

I agree with the writer who said that when TSA opens your luggage they leave a note in it, informing you, your bag was checked. I have experienced that three to four times with my luggage. And this is when traveling out o, not upon arrival of your flight, bcos upon arrival, they have little or no business with your luggage.

International Tief Tiefs

Organize yourselves and sue them in New York. This will force the airline to clean house. And ensure they provide adequate personnel to monitor MMA staff handling thier customers luggages when it arrives Nigeria. This will not happen on a Delta to Nigeria flight, as these airlines take customer service seriously.

It is just amazing the level of moral decadence in Nigeria, we are so rotten and our conscience seared. We blame the Government for all the ills and woes of our time while even the least of us is seeking an opportunity to dupe his neighbour. shame on us.

Stealing Un sensored at MM Airport

MMA staff are International in pilfering. They did that to me in 2009 where I lost phones, camera, etc.

I doubt if TSA will ever steal from your luggage considering the gadget(s) watching over staff. Since the day TSA have checked my luggage and kept a note therein, I have desist from using padlock(s)and have NEVER lost anything.

This is a BAD news at this time and age, may GOD help Nigeria(n)

ARIK is a frued!!!

ARIK is a frued!!!
I was to board ARIK from Heathrow back to Nigeria on 11th November 2012, We were waiting to be checked in when thier official said they have clossed, over 20 people standing/waiting to be attended to were turned down, we have to pay extra from #422 to #200 pounds.
This can never happened with any forign Airline, One of the security agent ib Heathrow had to tell us that it was done because the plane is filled up.

Arik Air Again Part 1

I flew them once Lagos to Yola via Abuja but regretted it. They got us to Abuja 12.30pm and our Yola bound was to start boarding at 4.30pm, for 5.30pm take off. We waited at the airport all this while. 5.30pm came no announcement. 6.45pm came, they announced, "sorry flight to Yola cancelled come back tomorrow" Hey boy, sparks started flying, and hell broke loose. we gave them a real tough time, We organized ourselves, Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba, Christians, Muslims into one voice, went to their office adjacent to the airport, held all the staff their hostage, nobody was allowed in or out. If we are to sleep in the airport they are sleeping there with us. After 4 hours, they gave in around 10.30pm and agreed to transport 20 of us (who cared to fight for our rights) to a nearby hotel and bring us back to the airport in the morning for the A.M. flight to Yola.

Arik Air Again Part 2

It took the intervention of the Police Inspector on duty to calm things down, even the Abuja Arik Manager could careless, he was nowhere to be found, calls were made by the Police Inspector to Arik's head office in Lagos to find a quick solution to the mess they created. Later we discovered that because there was no Electric power to light the runway in Yola, the Arik flight was cancelled. Needless to say the sheer disregard to customer service baffles me, human beings just treated as cattle, such a disdain. The Arik Abuja manager was called but he refused to get out of bed, so we had to take matters into our own hands in a civilized protest.

they look into this matter.

they look into this matter.

They should have their own security in place

The airline should make sure that their passenger's bags are secured. Even if it is another company that is handling that part for them, in other for them not to have a bad name, they should employ their own employee that will follow the bags from the point it gets out of the plane to the point it reaches the baggage claiming section. That's the only way they can protect their own image.

Write a Review!

This is very shameful! I'd like to encourage you all to please send a review of Arik to We've started gathering and posting reviews of businesses and organizations that operate in Nigeria especially to enlighten Nigerians and bring awareness to the poor customer service that has become the norm. If more of us start speaking up I believe we can make a change! So please send your reviews (both good and bad) of organizations in Nigeria and share your opinions. Thank you.

Also if it;s ok, I'd like to feature this post on my site (, Sahara.


I travelled to Johannesburg in the last 2wks with Arik Air.This same shameful incidence happened to my luggage too .
The lock was carefully damaged. I was lucky nothing was in the compartment that the lock was damaged.If Arik air will not stop this shameful rubbish of soiling the name of Nigeria, it should be ready to face the consequences.At least one customer has complained of this ignoble act on every route of travel of Arik Air. We are already compiling the evidence we need ,Arik should get ready for a class action suit...

Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa I Laugh

Story story! Story. The items i can tell you were removed at Nigeria Airport. Give one of them 1K and those items will apear. They are just angry and hungry. I witnessed it early this year.

Very doggy airline-Arik

This does not surprise me,the same thing happens to me last December when i got to Nigeria by Arik airline.My luggage padlocks was carefully broken. All my stuff, plus stuff brought to Nigeria for family friends were stolen. A complaint was made to Arik airline all they can come up with is that they will be looking into it . A year long now they are still looking. The only solution to this is to stop using the doggy airline, as for me i will never use the airline again,it is a shame that our country and our people are known to be thieves all over the world.Why not? The leaders are all thieves,stealing our common wealth here and there without solution since independence.Our democracy is the most expensive is the world all to steal.

Reply to annonymous about TSA.

TSA does not steal your belonging. If they open your luggage, they always leave a note for you to know your luggage was opened. They do it when the scanner shows something they are not sure of. Do not support the stealing behaviour of Nigeria airport workers. "By their comments you know who they are"


Nigeria is not the most corrupt country in the world for nothing. This does not surprise me a bit. From customs to baggage handlers and the "agberos", that is Nigerias hallmark. Corruption has indeed become the national culture of the country. The company handling the baggages must have employed unscrupulous individuals to offload aircrafts. Nothing will come out of the investigation. Take it to court and the judge will take bribe and dismiss the case.

How about TSA taking these items?

Anyone living in the US should know that the TSA has a reputation for breaking suitcase locks and stealing items. Just google "TSA steals luggage items" for a start.


you will look into it,then what next?


I am not surprised at Arik's pilfering behaviour. One of their staff in Abuja transcorp hilton, a gorilla like lady called Kenny who used to brag she was a relation of the MD, was recently sacked for embezzlement! Now all she does is constituting herself into a nuisance and sits in a travel agency called allstates travels and is always stone drunk!! Arik air has a very bad history of dishonest and thieving staff!!!

Shame of a nation! The

Shame of a nation! The dilapidated and sorry state of Nigeria is immediately experienced through the scenes played upon one's arrival @ MMA.



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