Turkish Airline has abandoned pupils and students of Glisten International College, Abuja, in Istanbul, Turkey, after the airline delayed in arriving from the United States of America, USA, to Turkey for the children to connect the same Turkish Airline flight to Abuja.
The team had boarded Turkish Airlines flight from Abuja to US with a stopover at Istanbul Airport. The problems of the students started on the return leg: US-Istanbul-Abuja.
The school management disclosed that the team, which had gone to US to represent Nigeria in a competition a few weeks ago, was forced to part with $40 each, totaling $880 before they were allowed to sleep in the frozen condition at the airport.
The students, between the ages of 11and 15, were made to sleep at the resting area of the airport terminal over night with just blankets provided for them by the management of the airline instead of hotel accommodation.
The school said: “Our pupils, students and instructors went to the US to represent Nigeria and were supposed to return on Monday, but missed the leg to Nigeria because the flight from US, which is equally Turkish Airlines, delayed their flight for an hour and by the time we got to Istanbul, the flight to Abuja had already departed.
“When that happened, we approached them for accommodation for our team, but the airline said they won’t be responsible for accommodation or feeding of our team. Rather, we were told to sleep at the resting room of the terminal and we had to pay from our purse, which negates the international standards.
“These are children between the ages of 11 and 15 years and were exposed to harsh treatment. Could they have done that with their own citizens? Or, will they allow any Nigerian carrier to do that to their citizens in Nigeria?
“I am begging our government to take up this challenge because these kids went to represent Nigeria in the US.” Meanwhile, efforts to get a reaction from Turkish Airlines in Nigeria proved abortive as the media consultant of the airline, KunmoCom PR, promised to “get across,” which they had not done at press time.