Changing Planes - African style

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This is Noel Bachelor's story:

Two hours in Lagos airport is not enough for a connection between flights but more than enough to get a taste of how things work in Nigeria.

My plane from Accra arrived 15 minutes late. There was no transfer desk so I was directed to 'Arrivals' where an immigration official told me to follow him.

We spent the next hour running up and down stairs, trying to get a boarding pass for my next flight. 'Check-in' had closed for the flight so there was no one there. Someone suggested we go upstairs to the airline office. We were directed to both ends of the terminal building and eventually found the office but no one was there either. So down to 'Departures' again. Some people told us the flight was boarding so we tried to go to the departure gate but the security man would not let me through without a boarding pass. The official told me to wait while he disappeared with my tickets and passport.

I waited for about 15 minutes and slowly got my breath back. He finally returned with a handwritten boarding pass and word that my checked in luggage had not been transferred from the previous flight. It was still down at 'Arrivals'. So back down stairs where I eventually found my bag. The official reappeared and told me to return to the departure checkpoint with my bags. So we went back again to 'Departures'. The security man was now happy to let me pass.

Along the way however, the immigration official made it clear that I would have to contribute to his personal 'retirement fund'. I was extremely thankful to be out of there and even more thankful when my luggage arrived in Sydney on the same flight!

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