By: Foday Manneh
Air Senegal, an air transport company based in Dakar, has been accused of maltreating its passengers aboard the continental flight, which jets around the world and sub-region especially connecting the Banjul – Dakar route.
The Airline faces a major customer miff as regular users of the Airline, particularly Gambian passengers, are usually left deeply upset and dissatisfied with the Airline’s services, amplifying expressions of frustration blamed on the airline’s withering standards and indifference to passenger needs.
Recently, a source who experienced an alleged ‘unfortunate situation’ en route to The Gambia on Monday, Rodine A. Renner, shared his encounter with our reporter on the Senegalese Airline as “unacceptable and disrespectful to Gambians.”
“Enough is enough,” he remarked while citing how the Air Senegal officials treated Gambian passengers with disdain instead of respect.
He said: “While we were at the airport from 11 a.m; to fly back to the Gambia at 4:10 p.m, we were suddenly informed of changes that we will take off at 8 p.m instead of the original time. So, to our dismay, we only boarded the flight at 9 p.m.”
Renner said they arrived the next day, and instead of landing in Banjul on the 6th March 2023 at 17:20 hrs, they landed on the 7th March at 1:30 a.m from Dakar, bypassing Banjul for Freetown only to collect more passengers.
“We must put a stop to this. Air Senegal has no respect for Gambian passengers. Imagine, after over 13 hours, we are only given a ‘single hamburger and a drink.’ This has to stop,” he added.
Rodine, a senior public servant, says he had to miss work due to his delay and experience with the flight company.
Another passenger who boarded the flight from New York in the United States of America to the Gambia, Amadou Gassama, shared his frustration, saying that he is disappointed by the Senegalese authorities.
“The Senegalese have no respect for Gambians, and for far too long we have been facing such, and they are taking us as a toothless bulldog and weak,” Amadou told TAT.
“This is my worst experience as a traveler. My journey was prompt because I should fly from New York to Senegal and then to The Gambia. I was supposed to arrive at my final destination on Monday evening, but unfortunately, that did not happen,” he explained.
“As a frequent traveler, I mostly use Brussels Airline because they are one of the best in terms of satisfactory customer care services. However, although they (Brussels Airline) communicate and treat their passengers with dignity, unlike Air Senegal, it is quite frustrating,” Gassama expressed.
For Gassama, the solution to such unfortunate stories is for Gambians to boycott Air Senegal and ensure they learn from their mistakes and treat Gambians with dignity as they would with other nationals.
“The Ivorians and Cape Verde guys all left before us; we should have left before those people. We engaged them again about the delay but cannot receive anything tangible from the airline officials,” Gassama added.
“We protested against that, but anyone we engaged they tell us they don’t know anything about it. So we tried to speak to their heads, but all efforts proved futile,” he said.
“It was embarrassing. We protested and nearly clashed with them, and they had to call their Police, who appeared heavily armed,” he stated.
The Alkamba Times contacted the Air Senegal company for their reaction to the alleged maltreatment of Gambian passengers, but all efforts proved futile.