Qatar Airways: 3 Controversies from the Office in Lagos
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Lists - August 29, 2023

Qatar Airways: 3 Controversies from the Office in Lagos

Qatar Airways, a leading global airline, has been involved in a number of controversies in recent years, having originated from the airline’s office in Lagos, Nigeria. The airline has been accused of wrongdoing in a number of areas, including discrimination, and unfair business practices, amongst others. These allegations questioned the airway’s reputation and raised questions about the company’s corporate culture.

The airline has severally denied any wrongdoing and has addressed these allegations, noting its significant impact on the airline’s reputation and business. This article will highlight some controversies that have trailed Qatar Airways over the years.

Qatar Airways Fails to Make Full Refund After Cancelling Nigerian Family’s N2.5m Flight

Qatar Airways found itself in the midst of a dispute as Jude Okey, an Abuja resident, narrates how the airline held back N360,360 of his money following the abrupt cancellation of a flight from Doha to Amsterdam. Okey booked the round trip for his family, costing N2,518,732, with a layover in Doha. 

After Qatar Airways canceled the connecting flight to Amsterdam and offered an alternative that did not suit Okey’s plans, he opted for a full refund as permitted under airline regulations for rescheduled flights. Despite Qatar Airways assuring a full refund within 45 days, Okey was refunded only N2,158,372. The airline’s Lagos office allegedly remained unresponsive, leaving Okey frustrated and seeking a resolution. 

13 students blamed their deportation on Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways was entangled in a legal battle as a group of 13 young Nigerian scholars have taken the airline to a Lagos State High Court, claiming about N2.9 billion in damages. The students allege that their deportation from the Republic of the Philippines in November 2020 was a result of Qatar Airways’ negligence. The scholars, who sought admission abroad due to challenges in Nigeria’s education system, were escorted off the Qatar Airways flight QR908 to Sydney. 

The students, facilitated by Achievers Global Consulting for Excellence Limited, obtained provisional admission letters and were certified fit for travel by Qatar Airways. However, upon arrival, they were detained by Philippine immigration authorities for lacking proper return documentation. The students and the firm are blaming Qatar Airways for not properly verifying documents and failing to liaise with authorities. They are seeking damages for negligence, assault, and more. Qatar Airways however denies responsibility, emphasizing its role as an airline, not an immigration authority.

87-year-old cancer patient demands N20m for maltreatment by Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways went under scrutiny when an 87-year-old cancer patient, Dr. Lawrence Olowe, recounted his distressing experience to a Lagos Federal High Court. Dr. Olowe testified how a journey from London to Lagos turned into a three-day ordeal, leaving him stranded in Nairobi, Kenya. Despite his initial departure from London on December 12, 2019, he did not arrive in Nigeria until December 15, 2019, missing the purpose of his travel.

The lawsuit, against Qatar Airways, Qatar Airways Nigeria, Qatar Airways Limited, and Qatar Airways Nigeria Limited, alleges breach of contract and inhuman treatment. The flight diversion from Doha to Lagos, then to Johannesburg, and finally to Nairobi, disrupted Olowe’s journey. The claimant cited physical and emotional distress, alongside financial losses, in seeking damages. 

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