The story revolves around a woman traveling to Dubai who was asked by her seatmate—an older woman—to help put her bag in the overhead luggage compartment.
Translator, journalist and blogger Unigwe Chidalu from Lagos, Nigeria, recently shared a story of how a woman narrowly escaped becoming an accessory to a drug-smuggling attempt. In a Twitter thread that has been viewed by thousands on the social media platform, Chidalu urged those traveling by plane to be careful around overly friendly seatmates. The story revolves around a woman traveling to Dubai who was asked by her seatmate—an older woman—to help put her bag in the overhead luggage compartment. While most of us would've immediately obliged such a request, the story eventually reveals how doing so could potentially put one in great danger.
If you travel by air a lot, beware of over friendly chatty seat neighbours- A Thread...— Igbo Pilot (@Unigwechidalu) October 22, 2021
The older lady comes and sits next to me inside the plane. She asked me to help her put her bag in the overhead luggage compartment. But a gentleman sitting across quickly came through. pic.twitter.com/2btZLFV3wg
"The older lady comes and sits next to me inside the plane. She asked me to help her put her bag in the overhead luggage compartment. But a gentleman sitting across quickly came through," the story begins. "I am not very tall and the overhead luggage compartment is something I try to avoid at all costs. Immediately she sits down she strikes up a conversation. She was very pleasant and well-spoken. So we chatted all through the flight to Dubai. Suddenly, when the pilot announced that we were now proceeding to begin our descent into DXB, my good friend 'developed' stomach pains."
"Me with my good heart, I pressed the stewards' button, and the stewardess came to find out what the problem was. I told her my seatmate was not feeling well. And this lady, she suddenly began to address me as 'my daughter'. The stewardess told me that there was nothing they could do except give her some painkillers and wait until we landed. The pilot announced that we had a medical emergency on board and advised us all to stay calm... My new friend was crying and sweating like crazy. And she refused to let go of my hand... everyone assumed we knew each other. So we landed at DXB and the same gentleman who helped put up her luggage in the overhead compartment removed her luggage," it continues.
This is as real as it gets . Had a similar experience at MMA— dR Okafor Solomon (@sodyOka4) October 22, 2021
Guess what?,this thread quickly kicked in and i did the needful.
If you travel a lot , always bear this in mind.
The story goes on to state that although the protagonist saw nothing suspicious about the whole situation, the man who helped with the luggage warned her otherwise. "As he removed the luggage, he advised me to distance myself from this lady and make it clear to the cabin crew that we were NOT traveling together. He was a godsend! So indeed, the cabin crew came and asked me if we were related, I categorically told them we had met on the plane. I didn't know her at all. So we began to deplane and as I said goodbye she kept begging me to carry her handbag. I was so torn... but the gentleman looked me in the eye and emphatically shook his head," the story goes.
"He passed me a note telling me to let the cabin crew handle her. So I exit the aircraft and leave my 'new friend' to wait for the wheelchair and be handled by the cabin crew feeling very guilty," she admits. Moments later, things took a wild turn. "As we waited for our luggage to come through, I hear this commotion. My 'new friend' was running, trying to escape the cabin crew, having gotten out of the wheelchair! She left the stewardess with her handbag and just ran towards the exit with the rest of her hand luggage! Luckily the airport police were faster than her. They got hold of her and brought her back in handcuffs," the story continues.
"This lady starts calling out to me.. my daughter... my daughter!.. how could you do this to me..... that's when I caught on. She was carrying drugs and she was trying to implicate me! Luckily for me, the gentleman who had helped her with her luggage came forward and told the airport police that me and her had just met on the plane. The police took my passport and asked her to reveal my full name if it was true we were traveling together. By God's grace, I had not even told her my first name! I was still asked to follow the police to a little room where I was questioned extensively. Where did I meet her?... where did I board... where did she board. Etc... And my luggage was extensively searched and dusted for fingerprints. They dusted all her luggage and my fingerprints were not found anywhere on her luggage or on her handbag!"
"Your luggage your problem" is my policy. And if you can't reach the overhead compartment, & I am the nearest person, please call the cabin crew because all I will do is give you a blank stare & then look away!— Igbo Pilot (@Unigwechidalu) October 22, 2021
A lesson to glean therein for intending air travelers
She concludes the story by revealing that she "was let go with advice never ever to touch anyone's luggage either in flight or at the airport." While some Twitter users were skeptical of the whole story and questioned how the old lady smuggled the drugs into the airport in the first place, others shared similar stories of how they were almost dragged into shady situations during air travel.
Similar 2 mine,We had a stop over for 15hrs,met a couple of guys at the hotel and we vibed.On getting 2 the airport next day,one of d guys approached me 2 assist him by putting my small handbag into his box because his box was below KG.I screamed at him.Werey.— Scott1️⃣0️⃣1️⃣ (@CrazyTortz) October 23, 2021
I had same experience inbound naija. The lady became overtly friendly. She was older.— AfinLivesOn (@AgudaSP) October 22, 2021
As we were deplaning, she claimed she had some health ish & I asked to help with her luggage. I obliged. Just before we got into the airport, my 6 gingered up. Dropped her shit & moved.
I don't help with luggage and I also don't swap seats. I've been travelling since before I could walk. I trust no one https://t.co/Arw130IfDB— Usagi Tsukino (@truly_wild) October 23, 2021