BRITISH Airways has responded to accusations made in a recent petition which has claimed that there are “safety issues” with BA planes to Ghana.
The petition – which launched November 20 – has gained over 6,000 signatures, with a number of people claiming they’ve had bad experiences with the airline and they’re calling for a “better service.”
“Don’t be deceived by direct flights to Accra and put your life at risk,” the petition reads. “My conversation with staff from BA was that they have complained to management and they don’t listen to them because Ghanaians haven’t complained.
“Most Ghanaians I know have changed their flights this festive season due to similar experience with BA.”
The petition also states that flights to Ghana are more expensive compared to other routes, and they are made to fly out through Heathrow’s Terminal 3, which the petition calls “old” while Nigerians fly from “T5 [terminal 5]”.
Accra flights moved to Terminal 3 in 2014 after Terminal 1 was closed and a number of key routes for British Airlines depart from Terminal 3, including Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and Cape Town.
Supporters of the petition also took to Twitter to air their grievances with the airline.
Mika Abraham, editor for GlamAfrica alleges: “I remember the last time I was on @British_Airways the lady sitting next to me TV popped out of the socket. The air hostess came round with SELLOTAPE and wrapped it around the chair. BA to other countries..great. BA to Ghana….. sh*t show.”
Speaking to The Voice, Abraham added: “The reason why I decided to support the petition is because for the amount of money we pay to fly with BA we deserve better treatment and services. The prices for their flight to Ghana during peak season is more than £1000+. How can we pay that amount of money for a service that is not safe but also doesn’t respect the customers.”
Another social media user tweeted: “it’s so sad how extortionate @British_Airways are charging people to go to Ghana but with such a rubbish plane and service”.
British Airways shared a statement with The Voice, refuting the claims made in the petition. They said: “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority and is never compromised. We’ve served Ghana for over 80 years and it remains an important market for British Airways.
“We are the only airline to offer direct flights between the UK and Accra from our main hub at Heathrow, on the largest commercial aircraft flying to the capital. We are also introducing our refreshed Boeing 747-400s with upgraded cabins on the route.
“British Airways is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, and our customers in Ghana will benefit from the investments we’re making in customer experience as they roll out.”
The accusations come as flights to Ghana have been widely discussed across social media, as the country prepares for a busy Christmas and New Year period amid their Year of Return diaspora campaign.
The campaign, which launched earlier this year, commemorates 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia, USA and the Ghanaian government launched a marketing campaign targeting African Americans and the diaspora to visit the country and to further popularise Ghana as a key tourism destination.
With a number of events planned including festivals Afro Nation and Afrochella and rumours of celebrities visiting the country (Michael B Jordan announced he’ll be in Ghana for NYE and Beyonce is rumoured to be visiting) flight prices to Ghana are particularly high, with the cheapest direct flight totalling at £2,262.