Former Big Brother Naija ‘Level Up’ Housemate, Bella Okagbue, has threatened to call out an airline over her missing suitcase at the airport in Athens, Greece.
Naija Newsreports that the reality TV star, who had gone to the European city for a summer holiday, took to her Twitter page to lament over her luggage which was nowhere to be found after she landed.
While expressing displeasure over the situation, Bella said the luggage contained valuables, and she could not afford to lose them.
She also threatened to call out the airline if she didn’t get positive feedback from them on Monday.
She wrote, “I’m not happy at all. How is it that I flew all the way from Nigeria to Athens only to get here, and my luggage is nowhere to be found? It never arrived with me and is missing! I have valuables in there that I can’t afford to lose. I really shouldn’t be crying on vacation!
“If I don’t get a positive feedback from them tomorrow, I will post the name of the airline. God forbid I lose that suitcase”
By midafternoon on Wednesday, United, which maintains a hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, had canceled about 15 percent of the nationwide flights it had planned for the day, according to FlightAware. Endeavor had canceled about 12 percent of its flights, while JetBlue had canceled about 9 percent and Republic canceled about 8 percent.
United and JetBlue attributed to the problems to the weather, but also to the F.A.A.
In a statement Wednesday, United said air traffic staffing shortfalls over the weekend had contributed to “a tough operating environment.” This blame echoes what United’s chief executive, Scott Kirby, told employees in a memo earlier this week, saying that “the F.A.A. frankly failed us this weekend.” JetBlue said in a statement that it had struggled to keep up with its flight schedule after air traffic control limited trips for all airlines into and out of New York airports.
What’s really going on with F.A.A. staffing?
The F.A.A. said it had no air traffic control staffing issues along the East Coast on Monday or Tuesday. In a statement, the agency said that it “will always collaborate with anyone seriously willing to join us to solve a problem.”
Yet air traffic control has long been short-staffed, and controllers at many facilities often work six-day weeks to cover for those shortcomings.
In a report published last week, the Transportation Department found that most of the 26 critical air traffic control facilities it identified were understaffed by 15 percent or more, as of March 2022. One of those facilities, New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, which oversees some of the nation’s most complex and challenging air space, employed only 54 percent of its target number of controllers.
The report stated that the problem had been years in the making, something that United’s Mr. Kirby noted on Monday, too.
“It’s not the fault of the current F.A.A. leadership that they are in this seriously understaffed position — it’s been building up for a long time before they were in charge,” he said in his staff memo.
Obese people have come out to complain that they are finding it difficult to fit into airplane seats, and are being charged excessively when they get seats.
In the United States for example, policies around plus-size travelers tend to vary from airline to airline.
Companies like United Airlines, ask “customers who require extra seating” to buy an additional seat in advance, while some airlines refund the purchase if one or more seats are available after takeoff. Some airlines have no guidelines whatsoever when it comes to plus-size people which led plus-size travel influencer Jae’lynn Chaney to launch a petition urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to mandate all airlines for a comprehensive customer-of-size policy that “prioritizes the comfort and well-being of all passengers.”
“We need the policies to be a little bit more standardized,” Chaney (pictured above) told CNN Travel on Monday, June 12.
“At the bare minimum, we need every airline to have a policy that tells people of size how to navigate their airline.”
One of the various demands listed in Chaney’s petition, which had received over 17,000 signatures at the time of writing, is that all airlines “provide accessible additional seats to customers-of-size” who may require more space or “encroach onto another passenger’s space.”
“These passengers should be provided with an extra free seat, or even multiple seats, to accommodate their needs and ensure their comfort and safety, as well as those around them, during the flight,” reads the petition.
For Chaney, who has needed a seat belt extender from a young age, the issue is a hugely personal one.
“I kind of knew that planes were not built for people like me by the time I was 12,” she says, recalling trying to tuck her seatbelt underneath her stomach so that flight attendants couldn’t see that she hadn’t been able to buckle it.
“There was a really tight fit on the seats. And being such a young child at the time, traveling without my parents was really stressful for me. Because I didn’t know how to advocate for myself.”
In far away Australia, Australian Consumer Law prohibits airlines from charging passengers different amounts based on their body sizes.
Meanwhile, the “one person, one fare” (1p1f) policy, which prevented domestic airlines Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet from charging passengers requiring an extra seat for more than one fare, was passed by the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2008.
Obesity is recognized as a disability in Canada, meaning passengers must be considered “functionally disabled by obesity,” to meet the requirements for a free extra seat.
However, the rule only applies to domestic flights, which means that plus-size travelers still need to buy an extra seat when going on an international flight.
Chaney feels that airline policies that require plus size travelers to buy an extra seat while flying are “discriminatory,” pointing out that passengers like her are “paying twice for the same experience.”
“People with smaller bodies get to pay one fare to get to their destination,” she says.
“And we have to pay two fares, even though we’re getting the same experience. If anything, our experiences are a little bit more challenging.”
The British carrier Flybe, once the largest independent regional airline in Europe, canceled all flights on Saturday after filing for bankruptcy protection for a second time, marking what may be the final chapter for the chronically troubled company.
“We are sad to announce that Flybe has been placed into administration,” the company said in a statement on its website in the early hours of Saturday morning. “Flybe has now ceased trading. All Flybe flights from and to the UK are canceled and will not be rescheduled.”
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but administrators have been appointed by Britain’s High Court to take over the company, the statement said. The Department for Transport, which oversees aviation policy in the United Kingdom, also did not immediately respond.
Flybe, which at one point dominated the U.K. domestic flight market, had only restarted in April 2022 after becoming one of the first large-scale corporate casualties of the coronavirus outbreak. Like much of the global aviation industry, the airline was hit hard when travel plummeted and filed for bankruptcy in March 2020 with the loss of 2,400 jobs.
The airline was rescued last year by Thyme Opco, a company linked to the U.S. hedge fund Cyrus Capital. It was offering service from Belfast, Ireland, and Birmingham and Heathrow to airports across the United Kingdom and to Amsterdam and Geneva.
But the sudden news on Saturday that Flybe had folded again left passengers stranded, as the airline made clear it would not be able to arrange alternative flights. About 2,500 passengers were set to fly with the airline on Saturday, and around 75,000 passengers in total have now had their flights canceled, according to figures confirmed by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority, the country’s regulatory civil aviation body. The authority posted on its website a list of other airlines offering Flybe customers special fares.
“It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be distressing for all of its employees and customers,” Paul Smith, the authority’s consumer director, said in a statement.
By international standards, Britain has comparably low use of commercial domestic flights. In April, Britain’s government is set to introduce long-awaited cuts to the taxes imposed on domestic flight carriers in a bid to improve national connectivity. The move, which has been welcomed by the industry, is part of the government’s “leveling up” agenda — a policy that seeks to even out disparities between England’s economically disadvantaged North and its more prosperous South.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain also drew criticism from political rivals for his use of domestic flights to travel around the country. “I travel to make myself as effective as possible on all of your behalf,” Mr. Sunak responded, while speaking to a local audience in the northwest of England.
Emirates Airlines has announced the resumption of its flight operations to Lagos. According to the airline, flights would resume on September 11, 2022.
Emirates Airlines had announced the suspension of its flights to Nigeria from September 1 this year. The proposed suspension of flights to Nigeria is connected to its failure to repatriate its trapped ticket sales fund in the West African country back to its home country in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Recall that last week, the Federal government released $265 million to foreign airlines in the country to settle outstanding ticket sales which had pushed the airline to announce the suspension of its flights.
A text sent out announcing the resumption of the flights reads
“We are pleased to inform you that effective from 11th September 2022, we will reinstate operations of our flights. Inbound flights from Dubai to Lagos (EK783) and outbound flights from Lagos to Dubai (EK784) will recommence from Sunday 11th September 2022. Lagos flights after 30th September, 2022 will be advised in due course.”
The Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) have told Nigerians to be prepared for flight disruption due to a growing scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet-A1).
Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman of United Nigeria airline and spokesperson of AON, said this in a public notice issued on Monday May 16.
The AON said the aviation fuel scarcity is negatively impacting on the seamless conduct of air transport operations and “would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations”.
The statement read;
“The Airline Operators of Nigeria wish to alert the public of impending disruptions to scheduled flight operations of members of the association. This development is being forced on members by the growing scarcity of aviation fuel popular as Jet-Al.
“The scarcity is impacting negatively on the seamless conduct of air transport operations and would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations.
“However, the association and its members are working very hard, and in alliance with product marketers, government and relevant stakeholders, to ensure availability and proper pricing of aviation fuel in the country.
“While pleading the understanding of the flying public in the face of this reality, we also promise to do all that is necessary, and within our powers, to restore normal flight schedules as soon as possible.”
Azman Airline has distanced itself from Captain Jamil Abubakar and a tweet he shared following the killing of a Christian student by her Muslim counterparts for alleged blasphemy.
Deborah Samuel was beaten and stoned to death before she was set ablaze on Thursday, May 12.
Her crime was a statement she made on her class WhatsApp group which her Muslim colleagues considered to be blasphemous to the Prophet.
Tweeting following Deborah’s death, Captain Jamil, an experienced pilot, son of the former Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar, and son-in-law of Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote, tweeted: “In Islam we respect the Injil, Taura, Zabur, we were never taught to disrespect any of the book, or any of the prophets From Adam to Muhammad SAW & the Quran.
“The punishment for Blasphemy is D£ATH! in most religions including Christianity. Respect Peoples religion it’s simple!”
He added: “In Islam the Sharia court handles these cases. Islam put rules & regulations to control peoples action and motives, so the wrong ones are not cheated and justice is served the right way.”
He has now deleted the tweets after it caused outrage.
Twitter users mentioned Azman Air as his employer and called on the Airline to take action. Others defended Jamil and said they agree with his tweet.
Azman Air has now said that he is no longer their pilot and last worked with them in Dec 2019.
The Airline also said it will not take responsibility for the comment of a former staff.
The tweet reads: “PUBLIC NOTICE: Capt Jamil Abubakar is no longer a pilot @AzmanAir; his last flight with us was 22nd Dec 2019.
“We refuse to take responsibility for a comment or view of a former staff.