Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Consumer Protection Council have begun an investigation into claims by students of Glisten International College, Abuja that their rights were abused as a result of a delayed flight by Turkish Airlines from Houston in the United States to Abuja via Istanbul.
The Executive Secretary, CPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja Tuesday in company with some officials of the NCAA.
He said both agencies had opened an inquiry into why the airline delayed the students’ flight from Houston to Istanbul by two hours and why it was negligent in meeting its responsibilities when the students missed their connecting flight from Istanbul to Abuja.
Irukera said the 22 students had attended the Lego competition in the US and had hoped to return to Nigeria through Turkish Airlines.
The flight, he added, was to do a stopover in Istanbul for the students to take a connecting flight to Abuja.
Irukera, however, lamented that the delay in Houston resulted in the students missing their connecting flight to Abuja, noting that it was required of the airline to take up the responsibility of the students’ accommodation and feeding in Istanbul.
He said, “It was expected that the Turkish Airlines, as a matter of law and as a matter of responsibility, would take the responsibility to protect these young people and make appropriate provisions.
“But the report we have from Glisten School, which is the school where these students come from, is that when they arrived at Istanbul, Turkish Airlines had not made any arrangement in respect to their continued connection to Abuja.
“The minors were asked to pay to secure a visa to be able to enter Turkey and failing, which Turkish Airlines would not take any responsibility of the students. Each of the students at some point had to pay $40 each to secure the visa to move beyond the immigration point and slept on the floor.
“The airline, at some point, fed the students but failed to pay for neither their passage nor their accommodation.”
The Director, Consumer Protection, NCAA, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, said his agency would collaborate with the CPC to get justice for the students.
Abdullahi said the airline had been notified and enquiries sought, adding that the responses to the enquiries would determine the next line of action for the regulatory agencies.
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