photo: courtesy of

Industry: Transportation
Location: Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), Oshodi-Isolo, Lagos. Nigeria.
continue for my review and more pictures…

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. 🙂

Rate Your Murtala Muhammed International Airport Experience!

  1. Avatar

    my country, my home…lol. oh well, nothing about this airport makes me proud. from the runway through to the exit,is a mess. my experience hasnt been great either. the only improvement i witnessed back in april was the immigration service. i was done in quick time; but trust my naija folks, something just had to deter my smooth transition from plane to my car. the dreaded conveyor belt. never works well and deep down i expected this part to go wrong and it did. one would think after getting through immigration, the rest should be a walk in the park. i ended up staying for another 2hours tryna find my luggage. such imcompetence is unacceptable. imagine how international visitors feel about us if thats what they ve to go through to leave the airport in one piece.

    needs improvement. MAJOR one.

    oh and btw, i noticed the beautiful car park opposite the airport was destroyed to build something else but the project has been abandoned for 2years now. smh! why destroy and not rebuild?

    my country, my home….lol.

    one day, we'll get there. hopefully my generation can make the much needed change.

  2. Avatar

    okay so while I agree with everything said, I have to say that after much trial and error, I think ive figured out the key to traveling through this airport.
    1) DO NOT travel on a weekend instead pick the days that people in Lagos are likely to be the busiest. My fav day to come in is Monday. Less people are traveling on a monday
    2) DO NOT fly in after 3pm. People have had lunch and are now lazy and sleepy and unwilling to work as efficiently as they otherwise wouldve.

    Ofcourse, this is not a full proof plan, but it has worked for me so far..

  3. Avatar

    I definitely agree with @onyi okeke, but why on earth do we have to plot ways of manoeuvring through what should be a stress- free journey?! We talk about development and wanting to be more international, when in actual FACT, we don't have adequate facilities/ equipment in the airport alone to cater for immigrants. From that photo of the atrocious state of the airport, (the illuminated 'arrivals' sign)I strongly feel that the FAAN truly is an incompetent airport governing body. Perhaps what needs to happen, is a complete re-evaluation of the airport's administration and if need be,(which most likely will be the case) the appointment into office of a more dedicated, selfless administration team.

  4. Avatar

    sorry, i noticed someone said that the airport car park was destroyed to allow for the construction of a project. It's definitely not 2.. Way longer than that.

  5. Avatar

    MMIA has always needed improvement, at least since I've known what a quality airport is supposed to look like. They are finally renovating so lets hope this effort actually lasts.
    The parking though, there is supposed to have been a multistory garage, I don't see any work being done…. That will definitely help and give us more options.
    Oh yeah, don't park on the road. They have invested in clamps, and from the look of things they are making good returns. Don't be a victim.

  6. Avatar

    Worst airport Ive ever experienced- the one in Angola used to be worse a few years ago but as of now MMIA is the worst intl airport Ive had the privilege to fly into/out of (God pls dont let me experience worse)…after dealing with the whole process Im usually sweaty and irritable- worst things for me are the traffic getting to the ramp, the uncoordinated lines and slow check in along with the corresponding customs checks (oh and the chance that I'll be 'begged' for money at any point in the process is not fun ..sometimes I feel bad for the staff but really cant help), also theres the ridiculous waits for luggage and again customs officials that decide to pick on you randomly. There've been times when it seems like the process and airport are improving (oooh working escalators!) but then I'll travel again a year later and it'll be worse than before. I really hope they get someone serious there to sort it out.

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