The highlights of my trip to Lagos must include my first flight on the African Airline, Arik Air. In June, I travelled to Lagos for my second trip to Nigeria, and as usual (and expected), the visa application was a stress, but with Gods grace, I got there. I flew Arik Air for the first time, a Nigerian airline operating both domestic and international flights.
Arik Air was the only airline offering a direct flight from London to Lagos for £500, half the price of an equivalent flight on British Airways. I asked around and failed to find anyone who had taken a long haul flight on the Arik Air who lived to tell the tale. To add to my scepticism, Arik has a confused social media presence and the online reviews varied from okay to horrific. Nevertheless, for a £200 saving, I figured I would chance it.
I’m embarrassed to say that when I booked my ticket I was fearful for my life, I remember thinking ‘anyone who can’t manage a Twitter account, surely couldn’t manage an airline’. I’m not proud of this, particularly as I’m always advocating Africans to support African businesses.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
To my surprise, the flight was very pleasant and comfortable. The inside of the plane was made up of a red leather interior, and though it wasn’t Business Class, it was classy. Arik Air’s customer service, food, and efficiency exceeded my expectations and any service I’ve ever received from British Airways on a flight to Africa.
The food on the plane was ‘African inspired’ and included a mixture of jollof rice, fried chicken/beef. The onboard entertainment was standard, and the leg room was more than you would get on most long haul economy flights.
I was very impressed with my overall experience for the price, I also felt quite proud and hope Arik Air strives to keep its service at an international standard. In the future, I want my initial response when using an African airline to be positive, and not weary. I also hope this blog post will be useful for anyone considering flying Arik Air, searching for a review that’s better than horrific or okay-ish.
If Arik Air and British Airways were both priced the same for their flights to Lagos, I would still fly BA despite their disappointing service. This is because I have a greater sense of trust in the quality and safety processes they have in place. However, I would like to state that sense of trust isn’t based on anything I can verify- it’s just a feeling. Nevertheless, if a flight on Arik Air beats on price again I will happily fly Arik Air with little hesitation.