A passenger of Dana Air, Femi Ogunshola, has expressed his disappointment after the airline left him and other passengers onboard without taking off for over an hour.

According to him, passengers had boarded the Lagos-bound flight, which was scheduled to take off by 12 p.m. on Saturday from Abuja but were kept inside the aircraft for about an hour without taking off.

He said the airline gave no explanation for the delay.

Ogunshola told The PUNCH that after waiting endlessly and hoping that a crew member would address the passengers onboard, passengers started protesting.

He noted that that made an air hostess ask for calm and explained there was a delay on a document that was being processed.

He said, “Behold, it was a lie, the flight became too heavy, and it exceeded its carrying capacity with additional luggage.

Sensing a potential problem, Dana had to quickly remove some of her luggage for Aero to assist with transporting it to Lagos.

According to him, no staff of Dana informed passengers of the development, but some viewed through the window and discovered that luggage was being offloaded without stating reasons.

“But it was later apparent, the flight had issues, but they had to manage it to Lagos, deceptively risking the lives of passengers,” he declared.

As the journey progressed, the unsettling sensation of a turbulent flight became increasingly apparent, instilling fear in the hearts of the passengers.

“The woman next to me was gasping for breath, desperately opening and closing her eyes. She fervently prayed, beseeching God for mercy and protection for the sake of her children. Suddenly, those who had managed to fall asleep jolted awake,” he added.

Recalling the nightmarish ordeal, Ogunshola shares that he engaged in a profound conversation with God, desperately seeking forgiveness for his sins and pleading for mercy.

“I can’t live in Nigeria and not make heaven, that’s going to be a monumental loss. Everybody prayed, urging God to come through for them, he said.

He continued, “Yes, as soon as we arrived in Lagos, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and congratulations poured in overwhelmingly.

“As we went to collect our luggage, some people got theirs and left, but the rest of us were in for a surprise. Dana’s manager informed us that our luggage was in Abuja and would be brought to us by Euro.

“There was a mix of reactions – some people lost their minds, others became furious, and a few even tried to engage in physical altercations with the Dana staff, showing their determination to have a confrontation. However, amidst all the chaos, there were also heartfelt pleas, desperate begging, and sincere appeals that became the focal point of the situation. A journey scheduled for an hour turned to five hours,” he recounted.

According to the aggrieved media man, some promised to report Dana Air’s misdemeanor to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, while others vowed never to board the airline ever again.

Speaking on the development, the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said, “I’m not aware of any report on Dana. Every aircraft flying in and out of Nigeria airspace is under watch at all times.  Under a system known as ramp inspection or spot checks or surveillance, also, airlines are mandatory required to file a Mandatory Occurrence Report whenever there is any, and failure is viewed seriously by the Authority.”

As of press time, Dana Air’s Head of Corporate Communication, Kingsley Ezenwa, did not respond to several calls and messages sent to his mobile line.

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