Dana, Red Flag on Customer Service

By Frank Meke

Dana ticketing officers at Murtala Mohammed Airport 2, ( local) are a bunch of irritating ignoramus. It was a World Customer’s Day, Friday, October 6th, 2023 . The reservation clerks of Dana, ladies, who are expectedly the face of the airline, simply exposed their poor training and lack of understanding of their duties.

I wouldn’t bother you with their egocentric rascality. It is the bane and the consequences of head hunting for the workforce through the back door. Those two young ladies who pollute the ticketing boot of Dana Air as reservation officers were horrors that we must put up with for demanding to be treated as customers.

So what rankled me? I approached the airline ticketing booth, and the first time in many years put aside the luxury of getting my travel planners to make my booking.

I was Owerri bound and wanted to give Dana my love. Dana, over time, has become my preferred airline, above the peaceful one, particularly on first flights out of lagos to Abuja, a shuttle which i do often. Over time, I had kept ignoring the poor service bitter pills of most of our airlines but have never experienced the most uncouth tongues of these uncultured ladies in Dana colours.

My offence is that I insisted that i would not be bullied to answer some stupid questions, which answers were at finger tips of those Dana creatures.

” I want a ticket to Owerri,” I had politely explained to the first lady on my right. The fake plastic nails on her fingers look like fishing hooks. She looked at me with condescending eyes and directed me like a dumb fellow to talk to the madam sitting next to her. If you ask me what she was doing, I can not explain, but I just kept my cool and obeyed

This other one was something else. She bleached down and was eating and sipping water as if she were in her room. Between these two over bloated and arrogant irritants, I knew they were not meant to serve the public and definitely don’t care.

I moved over to Madam Dana and again with restraint, explained again my mission.

Madam Dana : ” How may I help you?”

Me: ” I wish to buy a ticket to Owerri.”

Madam Dana: ” Owerri to where? ” (she apparently was lost to my presence and was barely listening).

Me: “lagos to Owerri on Sunday”

Madam Dana: ” What is the date on Sunday? I calmly reminded her to please check the date.

Madam Dana: “You must tell me the date as I don’t know which Sunday you’re talking about. It can be next Sunday, next month, bla, bla, bla!!

Me: “Are you sure you know where you are? OK, I am travelling this Sunday, so go get the date and don’t sit there talking to me anyhow. I will take your pictures and report you to your organisation for gross abuse of your office. Don’t you see competition all around, and if this is your father company, would you sit carelessly, eating and drinking, and vomiting rubbish? I will take this up and teach you some lessons on customer service support and relationship “

Madam Dana: ” Please, I don’t think I can attend to you” ( threw my identification card back to the other desk officer) and fuming through her teeth while walking away and sneered that her life wouldn’t come to end if Dana sacks her.

By this time, two other male staff rushed out to calm my boiling fury. I was livid at her effontry, rudeness, and unexplainable arrogance.

Her colleagues tried to explain off her scandalous and shameful behaviour, entreaties, which further fueled my anger and disappointment. I just kind wonder at what passengers go through in Nigeria to get quality service.

Travelling is an experience and rightly starts from the point of purchase of ticket to boarding formalities and the trip itself.

Here in Nigeria, the horrible travel experience starts right from the enquiry desk, ticket boots, and boarding formalities, and may God help you; Our airlines may not even bother to apologise for delays and flight cancellations. Refund nko? You may need to get a lawyer!

I still remember the days of kabo and okada Airlines. It was absolutely amazing to see a recap of our motor park experience with our air services ecosystem, and until today, nothing significant has changed except the commendable operational oversight of airlines engineering metrics by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA).

It’s sad that we are treated as scum bags and hardly get remedies when we lodge complaints against bad services by the airline operators. Our road transport operators are no better. We are all on the roads because there are gaps in transportation service delivery.

If we treat our people as dogs, how then can we treat our foreign guests and visitors? I recall a trip to Taiwan years back and was mesmerised by the very courteous arrival and departure attention by young Taiwanese travel care givers to passengers at their airports and railway stations.

These young angels, angels they are, will approach you, introduce themselves, and ask if you need help. I saw them take passengers’ travel documents, process them , take the passengers to the point of departure, either transiting or heading out and graciously bid them goodbye with a huge smile!

Those are service metrics usually strange to our environment. From the government and public sectors, Nigeria has dipped badly on the service economy, and it is a shame. Here, service providers bark at you and tell you to go to hell.

Everywhere you go in our country, a sense of militarised spirit pervades and reigns. Values are not attached to payments made for service, and customers are no kings.

Indeed, the kingdom of customers in Nigeria is yet to come. At the hotels, eateries, clubs, airports, railways , hospitals, police stations, and motor parks, woe will betide you if you expect any form of courteous service.

All the so called customers service departments are glorified pits where human beings are made to grope around like pigs. Poor service complaints offices are mere organogram, a fanciful ecosystem, and no wonder companies disappear off the market in no time because service delivery is nil.

It’s becoming evident that Nigeria does not have a true service economy, and we ignore all the menacing red signs but bask in touting and strange behavioural deliveries.

This is my first warning bell, and from now on, I will flash my red cards against any anti customer service Operations and also duly call out individuals behind such deceptive chaos paraded across the land as service.

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