Saturday, 16 July 2011
DONT FLY (An experience to deter you from flying)
Don't ever fly BELLVIEW! why, ? well,
My intention was to travel to the United Kingdom to spend my holiday of 2 weeks
with my sister and her family and maybe, do a spot of
shopping and some other
stuff. I began with phone calls to some travel agent and
their responses were
all similar. They told me Virgin and B.A were fully booked
(by the very rich or
timely, I suppose) and my options were limited to Arik,
Qatar and Bellview. I
had to choose and I chose bellview (if it because they were
cheap I wouldn't
feel so cheated). Arik was not available for the dates I
wanted to travel and I
didn't like Qatar's idea of stopping over somewhere
in the Middle East for a
couple of hours, so my major reason was that Bellview would
take me straight to
Murtala Mohammed Airport.
I arrived at the airport at 6a.m and the queue was already
about 100 human
I finally checked in around 8.50a.m and there were still
another 100 or more
people behind me to check in for a 9.05 flight. We all
waited and boarded the
aircraft, finally, at 11.30 a.m.
The plane is full of surprises.
We were about to board and I suddenly noticed the plane had
"euromediterranean" inscribed on it.
Lady behind me: S’cuse me. Please may I see your
ticket? I think I'm getting on
the wrong plane. My ticket says Bellview.
Me: I don't know o. I’m really confused.
Airhostess: Yes, come, come. It eeez Bellview. (In Indian
Me (soliloquizing): Her uniform is red and green. I thought
were sky blue and white. Anyway make I sha reach London in
Me: My seat number is 23A please (I had specifically asked
for a window seat).
Airhostess: Don’t worreee, Madam. It eez free
seating.. You can sit any where
you like (no first class or business class).
Me: Oh ok (now more confused).
One woman almost went crazy.
Woman: Look here. How can you tell me it is free sitting
when I have 6
children, all under the age of 12? We are a family we
should sit together. Look
at our boarding passes. They are numbered serially (in a
accent). Shuo! Na whish kain mumu flight attendant be dis
wan o! (In Waffi
Me: I just could not suppress the
Airhostess: Sorry, Madam.
Public Address system comes on.
Pilot: Good morning ladies and gentlemen (in Middle Eastern
You are welcome aboard Egypt
Air……………. (5 seconds pause)
and Bellview Airlines
(In a louder voice) flight 328 to London Heathrow, bla,
Please listen while we take you through the safety
procedure, bla, bla, bla…….
Before take of, an air freshener would be sprayed to
neutralize any odours.
Please cover your nose and mouth In case you are sensitive
to the chemicals (I
swear to God he said that) shortly after take-off we will
show you a movie from
our selection, to keep you entertained.
So, they sprayed the things, we took off nicely and they
started the movie
(Marley and Me, Jennifer Anniston). Alas, there was no
Me: Excuse me. My earphones not working
Airhost (lol): Our engineers are worrrking on eet.
There’s sound is not coming up.
(Please I need to describe him. He was bald with large eyes
and his English
sounded a lot like Arabic. Yeah, that’s it)
This female passenger explained in native dialiect: Iro lon pa o! ko ni sise(Yoruba for; he’s
lying. It won’t work)
Me: I didn’t know it was general. I thought it was my
The audio never came up. So I had to imagine what Jennifer
was saying. I had to
imagine what Marley was saying too, but luckily he
didn’t say much. Marley’s a
I also had to imagine;
Why the blankets gave off a horrible smell.
Why the flight attendants had Air Italy on their badges.
Why people opened the toilets and shut them again running
back to their seats (some screaming)
Why the flight attendants kept going to and from the
toilet holding a big teapot(no, I didn’t drink any tea thanks)
Why my window wouldn’t shut and the sun was burning
my skin off
Why lot of people were fanning themselves
Why the people seated by the toilet looked so angry and
were holding their
The flight felt a lot longer than 5-6 hours. I thought my
working, but then Swatches don’t do that. Only some
other watches do. When we
eventually landed in London the time was 5.45 p.m and the
landing was just as
good as the take-off.
Anyway, so I don't spoil business for Bellview. If you
adventure, bad odours, scary rides and emotional trauma, go
ahead and fly
Bellview after all, they are The Preferred Airline.
Watch out for part 2,lol.
I had a very nice time, thanks to my sister, her husband,
their two beautiful
daughters and many other people who might be offended if I
put their names here.
I had fun and I rested. I had Ramadan, work and Akute
Lagos traffic on my
mind. I had done my last minute shopping and said my
bye-byes.. I was packing my
luggage when my phone rang and the following conversation
Preparation for arrival.
Person: Good evening. May I speak with passenger Olayinka,
Person: I’m sorry to inform you that your flight to
Lagos has been cancelled……
Me: But I have to be at work on Monday (being my very hard
working self, wink).
Person: Not to worry, madam. The flight has been
rescheduled for Sunday
evening, so you will
be in Lagos on Monday morning.
Me: Uh….., ok? (Confused)
Person: Thanks. Bye bye (hangs up).
So, I told my sis and we started deliberating. Could it be
true? It’s never
happened to me before (but I used to fly B.A and Virgin,
and even Virgin
Nigeria when it was in existence). I later decided it was
one of my friends
playing pranks (Bode, I actually thought it was you) and so
I called the number
Me: Hello. You just called me.
Person: Is that Buki? bla bla bla……….
Me: No, this is Yinka. What is my surname?
Person: Hold on a second please. ….Is it Ademuyiwa?
The flight has been
Me: What’s the flight number?
Person: B3 283
Me: Ok. Thanks (I hang up feeling dejected)
I discovered it was for real. Not a prank but gross
inefficiency on the part of
Bellview airlines. Anyway, my sister and her family were
going to a party the
next day, so, it would not be a boring wait. We had fun at
the party and didn’t
have to worry about the time or any journey to the airport.
The next day, I packed again and we went to the shops to
get chocolates (last
minute shopping again. Yeah, for you guys. I’m
fasting.). Once again, my phone
rang and the number looked familiar. You guessed right!
Person: Please, is theees passenger Olayinka
Adem…….? (Indian accent this time)
Me: Yes, what is it this time?
Person: I’m sorree to say that yourrr flight has been
cancelled again. Shifted
Monday night. Same time.
Me: What?!, You’re joking. I mean, I’ve to go
to work. Do I get any
Person: I’m sorry. I’m not Bellview staff. We
were only paid to make the
You can call their office to talk to their manager about
I’ve never felt like that before. What….! To
get one’s heart broken twice in
the space of 24hrs.
Anyway, we went back home with the chocolates and I start
sending out text
messages to my family, friends and
associates……FLIGHT CANCELLED AGAIN. I DO NOT
KNOW WHEN I AM COMING TO NIGERIA.
PLS START LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB FOR ME.
The next morning, my sister, very kindly, went with me to
Bellview’s office in
Kilburn. We didn’t get to see their manager for the
45 minutes that we spent
there (they made my sis late for work). They told us they
would fly that night
but they could not tell us the exact time for check-in or
take-off. One nice
supervisor (Mr. Olusakin, or so) endorsed my ticket and
also tried to polish
their already very tarnished image in his lovely Yoruba
accent (not in the
least influenced by working in London). My sis (a lawyer
b.t.w) asked him if I
and it took him
another 10 minutes to explain that I might not get any
compensation. We had to
leave before he finished, though, because we were sure that
they wouldn’t pay
for our parking ticket. My sis went to work and I, back to
At the Airport
We got to the airport at 6.30.p.m to check in for a
9.45.p.m flight. The queue
was “3 days long”. Saturday people, Sunday
people and the original Monday
people. My 7 year old niece said she’d never seen so
many African people in one
gathering.. We were all in a dilemma. Some other passengers
who didn’t get any
phone call had been taken to a hotel by Bellview airlines
only to be sent out
later because Bellview didn’t pay.
I felt so sorry for a group of 80 children (and their care
were visiting the U.K for the first time on excursion. We
finally started to
check-in around 8.00.p.m. The Saturday people (my category)
first, then Sunday
opinion, they might have
bribed their way through). I had dinner with my sis and
family at one of the
restaurants at Heathrow (they were really kind to stay with
me through the
whole ordeal). They went home wishing me luck and leaving
me to my fate as, I
walked through the boarding gate. The time was 9.30p.m.
All the passengers had come through the boarding gates by
12.p.m (yes, boarding
took that long).
We couldn’t even eat nor do any shopping because all
the duty-free shops had
closed. We were subjected to compulsory socializing or
compulsory sleep. I
chose the option of talking to my self.
We finally boarded the aircraft at 2.42a.m (that was
Tuesday). Same Egypt
airplane, same cabin crew (not very good looking or maybe I
was just tired).
The food was good though (or maybe I was just very hungry,
lol). I don’t want
to scare you, but I think the flight was very bumpy, noisy
Finally in 9j.
We finally landed in Nigeria at around 8.a.m on Tuesday
morning. First thing I
did was read a whole chapter of the Quran (I confess, a
short one) to thank God
for his mercies. Then, I called my boss.
Me: Good morning Sir. We just landed.
Oga: hmmmm. Ok. Welcome. You can go home
Me: (near tears). What sir? I’m fired?
Oga: (laughing) No, go home and rest. See you tomorrow.
Me: Thank you sir. God bless you
Oga: You’re welcome. Next time don’t fly
Little did I, know that the drama wasn’t over. One of
their staff came to tell
us” SORRY YOUR BAGS HAVE NOT ARRIVED, PLS COME ON
Gotta go. I’m off to the airport to look for my
p.s: This was written by a disgruntled passenger, but if Mena talk her own, what happened in 1903 might repeat itself ;)