Rants Travel

Messed up Domestic travel and Overland airways

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When I discovered that the only airline for Ilorin to Lagos travel to and fro is with Overland airways, I broke. Why? This is Nigeria and domestic travel in Nigeria is messed up.

So, you mean to say I have no choice than to go for just one airline, Overland airways, if I wanted to travel from Lagos to Ilorin or from Ilorin to Lagos? Whenever a brand, company or whatever in Nigeria knows that they do not have any competition, they puff up.

I always want to know the competition. There should always be one. Competition puts the average Nigerian in check. We are too unprofessional to be left to own a space, we will mess up.

Speaking of messing up, I missed my flight for Lagos to Ilorin this morning. It had read 7:15 am and I took this for pm. It was such a shame. I got to the airport to realize that I misread things.

I was going to even argue with this guy who told me Overland aircraft already took off. Like, wait, what? How? He must be so wrong.

‘Today is Saturday’, I reminded him.

Only then did I check to see 7:15! So my flight from Ilorin to Lagos (of course, with same Overland) was 18:00. That was evening. I must have had something stupidly ingrained in my head.

So, well, next thing was to find a way to reschedule. There is supposed to be a flight for tomorrow morning. I called Overland airways’ commercial centre.

Guess what I have to do to reschedule. I have to pay 13,900 Naira extra. Oh, well, babe on the other end of the line went on and on. No show cost is 9K+, this one is 1K+, that one is 3K+.

‘Babe, calm down’, I beseeched in my head.

When I was flying from Ilorin to Lagos in your esteemed Overland aircraft, you postponed my flight by an hour, 10 mins. All I got was an apology.

You know, the stupid generic kind of apology. ‘We are sorry for this……’

Forced apologies from staff forced to speak English like Americans. Oh yeah, you guessed, they come up with mumbled up words and sentences that do not seem to add up. You can’t even hear a thang of what they are saying. Crazy, right?

Overland airways didn’t care to know if I was going for something extremely important. They didn’t bother to pay me for reschedule. At least that was what it was technically! All I got was an emotionally withdrawn, customary apology. Overland must have had that typed for their staff to read as soon as they mess up.

I particularly hate the apology. If I am ever going to push for travel justice, I might not even talk about their thievery, I want to particularly mention their method of apology. We could barely hear the words. It was all mumbled up in a desperate bid to sound American.

So, I missed a flight and I am going to be paying 13K+ for my ‘grave’ mistake. This is something that won’t cost anyone extra. I mean, I flew to Lagos on an almost empty aircraft. So, really, really!

Well done, Overland! We have no choice na, abi. What choice do we have?

Just know that this one pained me. Overland’s agent was so cold. She sounded like flight ticket money was nothing, so what’s the fuss? I should pay that much extra for missing my flight.

3,000 Naira was all I had in mind to pay for that lapse. 14,000 Naira extra as charges was just too unfair. Who asks people for money like that?

I had bought my ticket with the Overland airways online booking service, in there were instructions and disclaimers. My eyes must have skipped where it was written that should I miss a flight, 14,000 Naira was my redemption cost.

And to think that many of the reviews online about this airline were negative. I usually check Nairaland for honest reviews. Reports from old aircraft to some accidents filtered around. This review of Overland airways by a fellow Nairalander was particularly disturbing.

Reading this other one was where I should have gone to the motor park to enter the bus as usual. Scammers!

I went on ahead still to book Overland flight online. I wasn’t even nice to myself, I booked a return ticket! Who even does that too? That was a total of 77,000 Naira. That was not too smart, I own that…

My colleague had shook her head when I told her I booked my flight with Overland. The first question she asked was, ‘is it because it is cheap flight?’ I shake my head at myself too. Not even after all the negative reviews of Overland airways should I have continued.

I told her I didn’t know where else to go book a flight from Ilorin to Lagos. She asked that I check Arik air. Will be sure to do elaborate findings. I should never have to be with a heartless set of people again.

13,900 Naira! Looooooooooool.

If Nigeria refuses to develop and our leaders sit behind doors to fight in the senate, we all will be here, groaning and that’s okay. I am a Nigerian born in Nigeria, I am used to groaning when something pinches me.

On the flip side, I am doing what I have never done before, traveling by road at night. My friend just blurted ‘risky travel’. That’s not even what concerns me. What’s painful is that I have paid Overland airways almost 40,000 Naira for comfort only to end up on the road for 6 gruelling hours.

My taxi driver was flustered. He kept asking me to ask the Overland staff if that is all they can do and I indeed have no choice. Of course, the cold babe was resounding ‘yes, please’. Like a robot on replay. Such a shame. What a bad time to be Nigerian! No concern, no empathy, nothing. Y’all can pop champagne with my ticket money though.

Hopefully my parents never get to read this post. Hopefully no one trying to be smart sends them a link to this post.

If nothing of such happens, I think I am going to be fine. In the meantime, I need to brainstorm how to leave Nigeria. Growth is taking too long and I have lost my patience.

Update from a blog reader (who’s choosing to stay anonymous)

“I missed my flight from Tallahassee to Charlotte in December. I was supposed to connect from Charlotte to Newark New Jersey too so I missed that also. All I had to do was go to the counter and was issued another ticket but with explanation that the seats in those flights were also filled. So the condition was, we’d get you to your destination but we can’t promise when.

But you’d have the next available seat on a plane. It was inconvenient but a good promise. I missed a 5:30am flight, I was told there are options for 12 and 3:30. I got a seat on the 3:30 flight and they also got me a seat on the Charlotte to Newark flight.

Some guys who also came from Nigeria were to go for a conference. Delta airlines messed up and their flights got delayed. They gave them the options of getting a $2k Delta airline or Amazon gift card in addition to a strong apology. Domestic flight here don’t even cost more than half a thousand dollars for a return ticket.

These ones are just a bunch of loosers!”

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