Emmanuel Eghosa Ugiagbe, an Edo-State-based businessman, has threatened to sue Ethiopian Airlines, five months after the disappearance of his check-in baggage after boarding an ET flight from Johannesburg to Lagos via Addis Ababa.
Ugiagbe, resident at 20 Dawson Road, Benin City, where he does business, was a passenger on ET Flights ET 858 & 901 from Johannesburg, South Africa to Lagos, Nigeria from January 1 to January 2, 2018 transiting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on January 2, 2018, he searched for his check-in baggage at the baggage claim but did not find it.
“I immediately complained to a staff of the airline who had me fill a Baggage Irregularity Report Form, while assuring me that my baggage would be found and I would be contacted within the shortest possible period. Therefore, I proceeded to my final destination, Benin City,” Ugiagbe told SaharaReporters.
“I returned to the Ethiopian Airlines Lagos Airport office from Benin City on the 12th of January, 2018, in pursuit of the said baggage claim, to no avail. All I got was more assurance from staff that my baggage would be found. I returned to Benin City without my baggage, discouraged but expectant that it would soon be delivered to me.
“However, after not hearing from ET for about two weeks after my return, I contacted them by emails, inquiring about the position of things. They replied me, giving further assurances for finding the missing baggage.”
Ugiagbe’s lawyers then wrote Ethiopian Airlines, demanding for the said baggage. They also made several calls, all to no avail.
“It is now the fifth month since my arrival in Lagos on board the ET flights ET 858 & 901 without finding my check-in luggage and the airline has refused, failed and/or neglected to deliver to me my baggage, which it had full responsibility to do, as I purchased an ET ticket for the said flight, checked in my luggage on the flight and boarded it.
“In that baggage were personal and highly valued items purchased in South Africa, the loss of which made me suffer embarrassments and inconveniences.
“Despite all efforts to recover the baggage and my lawyer’s demand letter, ET has failed to deliver my baggage to me and has not paid any compensatory relief/sum to me in lieu of the lost bag and the inconveniences I have suffered.”
He, therefore, called on Ethiopian Airlines to fetch him his baggage or pay him an appropriate compensation, otherwise his lawyers would institute legal action against the airline.
When Saharareporters contacted Henok Girma, Team Leader, Central Baggae Tracing, whom Ugiagbe spoke with on phone a few times, his number was unreachable. A text message sent to the same number on Thursday still hadn’t been replied as of press time on Friday afternoon.
Ethiopian Airlines has a history of failing to compensate its passengers whose luggage are stolen or missing. Five of such cases, dating back to November 2017, were captured here.