|photo: courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LagosAirport.jpg|
In all my years of travelling through Murtala Muhammed Airport I’ve never had a good experience! This airport is currently undergoing some renovation and things seem to be getting better. For example, there is now a waiting-line barricade that deters people from cutting the queue. Plus, the robberies and thefts have really reduced. However, there is still a lot to be done. I arrived Lagos at 3:40pm (after a 3+ hours flight delay) and didn’t leave the airport until 6:00pm! It took about 20 minutes to get through immigration and I thought to myself “maximum 45 more minutes and I’ll be out”. How wrong I was! By the way I noticed this dangling Arrivals sign while I waited in the immigration queue…
|I wonder what it would cost someone to fix this sign… smh|
Once I was through immigration, I noticed that the indoor luggage belt had stopped working. Apparently, the airport staff had called maintenance but no one had responded. So they had taken a few bags from the outdoor luggage belt and put them on the ground by the indoor luggage belt. No one had come to claim the already pulled-out bags so the officials decided to stop pulling out more bags. More and more people started gathering around and complaining…
|More people gathered around to complain|
So the airport officials decided to bring out more bags in this cramped-up space as pictured below. They started calling out passengers names so we could come over and claim our bags. But there was a huge crowd that had to be pushed through for one to actually pick up their luggage. You can imagine the chaos and snarky comments that were made. The funniest comment I heard was “I’m xxx, this my bag feels lighter. Someone must have stolen something. You officials are crooks”.
|Officials bringing out bags manually and calling on passengers, one luggage after another|
|Cross-section of angry passengers 1|
|Cross-section of angry passengers 2|
I appreciate that the airport officials decided to bring out the bags and call people’s names one by one. I’m sure they don’t get paid enough to be going through all that stress, but I thought it was a good/kind thing they did. However, this situation could have been handled in an easier/better manner. For example, they could have easily had as many bags as possible out in a barricaded corner so that people could easily go to that corner to pick up their bags. But since the officials waited for more people to pass through immigration before bringing out the bags, the crowd was a bit more difficult to control. In this case, all the officials could have done was tell people to move back, hence creating more space for the bags. Very simple. I stood there very confused as to why people had trolleys encroaching on the space that our bags could have been kept in. In addition, it took a while for the Delta passengers to get through security so there was actually space to do what needed to be done.
I’m glad I made it home safely though. 🙂