General News of Wednesday, 27 December 2017
The management of TAP Air Portugal, have apologized to some Ghanaian passengers who were allegedly abused and assaulted by staff of the company at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra earlier this week.
According to the company, it has commenced investigations with the Ghana Airports Company into the matter.
Three passengers of the company reported a case of assault after some confusion over the boarding of their flight on 23rd December.
They said they were physically and verbally assaulted by a security officer when they arrived at the Kotoka Airport on Saturday to travel on the scheduled flight to Sao Tome and Principe.
The passengers say they were forced to give up their seats when they arrived at the boarding gate for departure.
Ekua Semuah-Odoom, who was travelling with her sister and friend, was one of the persons involved in the incident, and she noted to Citi News that she had purchased her tickets on July 14, 2017.
She narrated that when she got to the Airport, and went through the departure formalities to board her flight, a TAP official said they would have to be de-boarded because of overbooking.
“I told her [the official] no, I can’t accept that because as far as I am concerned, when it comes to overbooking, you have to call out to the passengers and ask for volunteers. You can’t single out people. Even when it comes to that level, you give priority because we bought our tickets about five months ago.”
But when the flight called for boarding, Ekua, her sister and her friend, were not allowed onto the flight.
“Just as I was trying to enter, one of the security guys just shoved me against the glass door then when I turned, my sister and friend were also trying to capture what was happening. What I realized was that, one the guys held my friend in the neck and pushed her into a metal chair. They were just shoving my sister and hitting them. They actually assaulted us,” she recounted.
While all this was going on, Ekua also said the TAP officials were present, but were dismissive of their plight.
The passengers have since threatened to take legal action against the company over the matter. But TAP Air Portugal in a statement copied to citifmonline.com have promised to take the necessary action to ensure that justice is served.
It said it has contacted the victims and rendered an unqualified apology for the incident.
“The attention of TAP Air Portugal has been drawn to an incident which occurred on 23rd December, 2017, whiles passengers were getting ready to board a TAP Air Portugal flight from Accra, Ghana to Sao Tome. We sincerely apologize to all who were affected by the incident, and particularly to the two passengers who were directly affected. TAP Air Portugal together with the Ghana Airports Company have initiated investigations into the incident, and will take the necessary action in accordance with law and our conditions of carriage after the investigations.”
“We are in contact with the representative of the two passengers and TAP Air Portugal has rendered our apologies to the passengers through their representative and we have assured that the incident will be properly investigated and dealt with,” the company said.
Following news of the incident, some Ghanaians have expressed their misgivings about the service of TAP Air in the country.
TAP Portugal commenced operations in Ghana in July 2011.