So our destination wedding was a success in every aspect... except one. I have decided to do a series of posts about our destination wedding, destination weddings in general, and share a few tips on how to pull one off.
It was a celebration of love in Banjul, and we started in style. Yes, I had a destination wedding. Flooding your timelines pretty soon. #tilogey2016 #destinationwedding #bbnwonderland #bbnwonderlandbride #nigerianwedding #banjul #gambia #Repost @emekaogey with @repostapp ・・・ #Banjul. We are here #tilogey2016 #xoxoGambia #wedding #destination
Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent their wishes. Thank you very much for all your comments and kind words. I really appreciate them, from the bottom of my heart.
As for the wedding, we are back from the trip. If I could do it again, I would have had us stay longer... maybe till few days before new year.
The only dent in our wedding was the flight and airline. The wedding took place in Banjul, Gambia (now you know what my Gambia trip in July was about), so we had to fly Arik... the whackest airline in the world. It used to be Aero Contractors, but the went down, and then Arik took the word 'inefficient' to another level. Till now, I and several of our guests haven't gotten our bags, even though we came to Nigeria days apart.
Our wedding retreat was supposed to be from 15th - 18th of December, 2016, with the evening of 17th being the main ceremony, but we lost a whole day's activities when Arik cancelled our 8.45pm flight by 11,00pm, when we had already checked in. We started looking for Arik staff, but guess what, they had all run away from the airport. I had never seen that kind of cowardice in my life. One was left in Arik office but he locked himself in, and refused to come out. People tried to break down the door, but security stopped us, Some hours later, when everyone had gone, he came out, ran away, and left the door opened.
Imagine all our guests going back home that night. Some slept in hotels nearby (spending unplanned money), some went back home, and some stayed at the airport to hijack the next Arik staff they meet the next morning. I kept calling the Arik desk in charge of our wedding, but no one was picking. I ws devastated cos we couldn't even give our guests updates? What does 'cancelled' mean? When should we come back? Tomorrow, next tomorrow?
I mean, busese were already waiting to pick us at the airport in Banjul, when Arik was busy cancelling flights here. The next morning, our guests who chose to keep vigil at the airport were ready to give a showdown if they didn't give an explanation. They promised we would leave 8am that morning. There was so much drama but we were finally able to leave by 1.00pm, after inefficiency was displayed on all levels (even airport security didn't want Arik passengers to pass through security if they couldn't guarantee their planes flying).
We also had to physically guarantee that all our bags were on the plane. Imagine going for a wedding, and all our materials didn't arrive .
We finally got to Banjul around 8.00pm, with a whole day lost from the wedding (our buses were still waiting at the Banjul airport).
Coming back was not any better. Even though the flights weren't cancelled, they were equally messed up. Our first set of guests were supposed to leave by 2.45am Monday, they left around 6.00am. Second set of guests were supposed to leave by 2.45am Thursday, they left around 8.00am, with no bags to show for it in Lagos. Third set of guests were supposed to leave by 2.45am Saturday, they left around 10.00am, with no bags to show for it in Lagos. It's like they keep increasing their inefficience by 2 hours each time. Up till now, we haven't see our bags.
Their staff see it as normal, they don't apologise. their attitude sucks, and don't even dream of a compensation before they start wondering what the fuss is about.
So yes, the first tip in having a successful destination wedding... work with a reputable airline so your guests won't be stressed.
And if you work for Arik, own Arik, or are related to the Arik Ogas at the top, please don't talk to me again... until you disassociate yourself from such inefficiency.
Arik Airways... Ruining lives since 1763.