My experience on this flight was very frustrating and it should be for every Nigerian out there and African as a whole. Few days ago, my flight from Lagos to Amsterdam was delayed for about 3 hours because of an incident between a passenger and an air hostess. I don’t really know the details because I was seated behind. But from what I heard, a young lady had a misunderstanding with a passenger behind her and she called on the air hostess to help sort things out. The air hostess on getting there instead of helping to calm the tension on the plane was a fuel to the already tensed atmosphere. The argument shifted from the two passengers to the air hostess and the female passenger. I don’t know what their argument (the air hostess and the female passenger) was about but the next thing I heard was a loud slap. I leaned forward to see what really happened and I noticed that it was the Air hostess who had slapped the lady. I was so shocked! Like this is unbelievable! Passengers were clearly upset by the whole incident and started airing out their grievances while some were trying to prevent a physical fight between the air hostess and the lady who got slapped.

After a few minutes, the place got calmer and we prepared ourselves for take off. Suddenly, the pilot made an announcement that two passengers ( referring to the lady and her boyfriend) should leave the aircraft otherwise, the plane will not be taking off. He further went on to announce that the rest of us act in a “CIVILIZED” manner. At this point, most people were shocked that the girl who had been slapped was asked to leave and also because of the insensitive (rude) comments coming from the pilot. What happened to words like “orderly, calm, patient”. Why did this pilot choose to use the word “civilized” ? You experience racism all around the world but the last place you expect to experience this is in your own country. And to add salt to the injury, they had the guts to announce that we should not record anything and literally threatened that anyone caught recording will also get kicked out. All these happened in Lagos. We had not even left the shores of this country and we are already being treated as garbage.

It was honestly chaotic at this point as the lady refused to leave the aircraft and rightfully so. As a result of this, the pilot also refused to take off so here we were waiting almost endlessly. Finally, FAAN personnels came on the plane and basically persuaded them to make their exit. What’s worse is that these FAAN personnels came in to send out a fellow Nigerian from the plane even when she was the one who was assaulted. We Nigerians honestly make things worse for ourselves tbh.

Anyways, after many hours, they both left after a good passenger talked to them politely. A flight that was scheduled to depart on January 16th, 10:55pm eventually departed on January 17th, 1:55am. It had been a 3 hour standstill! This is all due to an air hostess who lacks effective communication skills, acting ‘barbaric’ by slapping a passenger whose flight ticket is used to pay her salary. And at the end, the innocent passenger becomes the culprit for no just cause.

We paid a minimum of $2,000 for this flight and yet KLM crew treat passengers like we got into the plane for free. How does an air hostess slap a passenger? In what world does that happen? Someone who is meant to ensure the comfort and safety of its passengers does the exact opposite? And instead of getting an apology, we get a rude comment by the pilot for us to act in a “civilized” manner and to sum it all up, the passenger and her boyfriend gets kicked out? It is really a disgrace to see Nigerians being treated like garbage in our home.

This is not the first time I’ve heard about such an incident where passengers are disrespected on the plane in Nigeria. It’s high time we put a stop to this nonsense! Let us create awareness and make sure that we are treated better. I hope that the girl takes this up and presses charges and I am yet to see a statement from KLM apologizing for their disorderly conduct from their staff.

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