Monday night after finishing my time in Togo, I was preparing to depart early Tuesday morning to Nigeria.
I checked my tickets for the following day and realized I may have made a mistake. My flight from Togo to Lagos, Nigeria landed at 9am. My flight from Lagos to Uyo ( the city with an airport nearest to our Nigerian churches in Efa ) was scheduled for departure at 10:45am. An hour and forty five minutes may be enough to change planes normally, but here we are talking about switching airlines and airports in Africa. This involves, landing in Lagos, passing through Immigration, waiting for my checked luggage, then driving 10 minutes to the domestic airport. This was possible but not at all likely, especially since it involved waiting for luggage in Lagos which is normally at least an hour. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to make it, and emailed Martin that I would have to get a later flight to Port Harcourt instead of meeting him in Uyo.
This time however everything just seemed to line up perfectly, which is a virtual miracle in Africa. Our plane landed 20 minutes early. We were the first and only plane to land so far that morning in Lagos. Also most of the passengers were staying on the plane and continuing to another destination. This meant there was no one in line at the Immigration desk and I passed right through. I had to wait five minutes for the luggage to start coming down the belts, but once it did my bag was the second one off the line. I found a Taxi and drove to the domestic terminal. In the end I was checked in, through security and sitting waiting for boarding an hour and a half before my flight was scheduled for departure. This was a mere 15 minutes after my flight from Togo had been scheduled to land.
I then had to sit and wait almost three hours as the flight departure was delayed. I certainly wasn’t complaining however. I was just happy to be on the flight.
Add Note: A week later when returning from Uyo to Lagos the opposite happened to me. My flight from Uyo to Lagos was supposed to land in Lagos at 1pm leaving me four hours till my flight from Lagos to Acrra at 5pm. The Uyo to Lagos flight however was delayed over two hours. When I finally arrived in Lagos I had an hour and twenty minutes before my next flight left. It was extremely important that I make the flight to Accra, since my flight to the US left that night from Accra. When I arrived at the international terminal the check-in counter for my flight was closed and they weren’t going to let me through, until I explained that it was only because their flight from Uyo was over two hours late.