Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

(Special Report) Between language, tone-twisting and customer service in Nigerian airports

In recent times, the Nigerian aviation industry has come under serious criticism bordering on language, English phonetics and communications stylistics due to the fact many Nigerians who do not have English phonetic training have severally missed their flights at airports.
Otherwise, there had been serial condemnation on the way and manner commercial flight announcers at airports twist words during announcements of either flight arrivals or departures all in the name of speaking English phonetics which remains a borrowed language in the country.
Investigations further revealed that many a times, the announcers deploy strange tone twisting to confuse waiting travellers into missing their flights even while they were well seated at the departure halls.
Accordingly, some language experts have called for a regulation that will mandate airlines to at least present takeoff safety briefing in elementary English plus the three main languages in Nigeria to tame such incontinences going forward.
Some regular air travellers who spoke their minds on this matter and reference to the trending story of chasing out a validly ticketed Igbo traveller because he demanded certain explanation in his language than the technical jargons, argued that it is the right of every ticket holder to be served or communicated to in the language he or she must understand and not to deboard him.
Business Hilights gathered that the said embarrassing incident happened during the takeoff of an Air Peace flight between Lagos and Owerri.
It was discovered that one of Air Peace customers, Christopher Aniagboso whose seat was close to the emergency exit sought explanations on how to manage the door in time of emergency in his language but was denied.
Whereas some analysts linked the demand to the known notorious and confusing tone-twisting in pronunciations by some crew members and flight announcers during the takeoff address, the fracas forced the airline crew to deboard the customer rather than giving the simply needed customer service.
Speaking in Igbo to reporters in Lagos on Monday, Aniagbaoso said he was at the airport on the fateful day, but missed his flight after receiving a call that took almost 30 minutes.
Giving details of his experience in Lagos, Aniagboso said the way and manner he was instructed on how to use the emergency exit was very confusing to him in English hence he demanded explanations in Igbo.
He revealed that the particular hostess who gave the briefing in English was able to call in her Igbo colleague who couldn’t even interpret what was being said.
Unfortunately, while Aniagboso was able to get the needed explanations from a fellow passenger, a unilateral decision to deboard him was taken without right of reply as he was asked to leave his seat and vacate the aircraft by the hostess on order from the pilot.
Unfortunately, while Aniagboso alleged that he was deboarded from the aircraft over his inability to speak and understand English phonetics, Air Peace claimed that the passenger was left behind to guarantee the safety of crew and other onboard travellers.