Intro: Last Friday I was trying to get the next available flight from Abuja back to Lagos – talk of Mission Impossible (Cue theme song – Deh…deh, deh-deh, deh…deh). Good thing I didn’t book my flight ahead; I would’ve paid an arm and a leg just to change flights. Anyway, as I arrived at Nnamdi Azikwe International airport (Abuja) I was greeted by two dodgy-looking male youths; one trying to
grab assist with my luggage and the other trying to sell me ‘Kilishi’ (Nigeria’s unique version of spicy beef jerky commonly sold in Northern Nigeria). I had come alone and every inclining in me was saying, ‘Keep your luggage close and your wallet closer.
I focused on the Kilishi salesman and my first instinct was to take him out…of the equation, that is. I bought two packs off him and he was out of my hair (not that I have much left). I was only left with the other guy who turned out to be a well-informed agent; he told me that my airline choice was experiencing delays for the next 3 hours. He had my full attention at this point and I was at his mercy. Rather than walk to the ticket offices I asked him for the next available flight, to which he responded, ‘Medview’.
At first I felt this was some sort of prank. Medview? Never heard of it. Sounds like a hospital, I thought. Just when I couldn’t even get more suspicious, his accomplice, a similarly young dodgy-looking guy came up and offered to buy the Medview ticket. He asked for the (competitively priced) ticket-fare and a form of ID to help make the booking. I surrendered all that was required, including my only luggage which I wanted to check-in. My only collateral was the initial young man who told me about the flight schedule. Suffice to say, after a 15-minute wait, the accomplice emerged with my flight ticket and then I paid them a little token before heading to the departure lounge.
The Review: The 6.00pm flight was delayed for about an hour and a half due to some technical issues experienced in Lagos, apparently. I think it is better to be safe than to be sorry so I accepted the pilot’s humble apology when I eventually boarded (he greeted each passenger as we got on the plane).
Inside the plane was very clean and the upholstery looked new. The leg room was adequate for my 6ft frame and the temperature was cool too. The flight attendants were well dressed, courteous and friendly. The airline provided light refreshments during the 50-minute flight. Exhibit A (unopened):
And here’s Exhibit B (opened):
The take off and landing was superb and steady. I also didn’t experience any turbulence during the flight. The pilot kept the passengers informed and engaged at various intervals during the flight. I would’ve liked some form of entertainment, perhaps an inflight magazine or music to enjoy with my personal headphones but luckily I brought a book – Parable of the Dogs By Leke Alder (for the curious ones reading this post).
Conclusion: Though it was an impromptu flight I would consider flying with them again (but I’ll buy my ticket properly this time, of course). My concern however is that I observed the only routes currently available are between Lagos-Yola, Lagos-Port Harcourt and Lagos-Abuja. Medview would need to expand its destinations pretty soon but I believe they will, given commercial flying operations started around November 2012. I wish Medview the best in its pursuits.
- Courteous staff
- Competitive pricing
- Comfortable and pristine aircraft
- Few local destinations
Mission accomplished. Over and out…