Long queues and delays are not new to commuters at the Nigerian airports. From the ticket stalls to the check-in counters and even canteens at the waiting area, travelers find themselves caught in long and slow queues which become not only intensely boring and monotonous as time rolls by but brings on aching feet.
The stress that comes with queuing has a tremendous impact on not just the travelers but on customer service as well. Usually, these dissatisfied travelers complain bitterly and even haul curses at the attendant over the counter in the hope that it would spur them into working faster. Some others just leave the line all together for faster alternative moves.
If you are travelling via any of the Nigerian airports and are dreading the seemingly inevitable long queues, relax! Here are 5 tricks to help you deal with long queues, helping you cut your way through to getting the service you desire in little or no time.
Take advantage of your unique situation
Nigeria as a nation has very high moral values and certain situations are duly regarded even in public places where such rule do not necessarily apply. If you are pregnant, sick, disabled, advanced in age or have a small child, you definitely have a unique situation that exempts you from queuing up for long hours like the others. Take advantage of your situation. Walk to the front of the line and let whoever is in charge in on your unique predicament and ask them politely to attend to you. It works all the time and the good thing is that others who have been waiting on the line will not complain for fear of looking disrespectful or lacking moral standards.
The only thing worse than being trapped in a long stagnant queue is standing alone in it. Even if you do not know the person in front of you or behind you, talk to them anyway. Strike up a conversation and mix up with the new people around you. You can start by sharing your grief over the long queue. Keep it light and infuse a sense of appropriate humor when you can. This comes in handy when you need to leave the line shortly to use the bathroom or just grab a snack. You are rest assured that your space in the line will be secured by your new friend.
When you are standing in the queue, you need to be vigilant to know if anyone is cutting the line or someone is trying to bring a friend in without forfeiting his own space. Being on the lookout for these kind of things ensure the line is not delayed any more than is necessary. Again, sometimes the line may move or some announcement concerning you might be made and with the loud noise in the airports, you might not be able to hear them, unless you are sharp.
Not all airlines in Nigeria have this option yet, however the giants, including Arik and Aero, have the option on their websites. Checking in online allows you to complete the entire pre-travelling transaction online. It saves you the stress of purchasing ticket over the counter at any airport such as Lagos or Abuja and eventually having to queue for check-in afterwards.
Sometimes, there really is nothing you can do about the long queues, there no alternatives, no hustling airport staff to help you speed up the process for a token, and you are just stuck. At times like this, it is important to stay patient and positive. Accept the situation, do not complain, just wait it out, keeping in mind that it will surely be a memory someday. Good thing is, you can distract yourself with food, drink, music or phone games.
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