The federal government has issued a directive to operators of airlines in the country to the effect that they must refund one hundred per cent cost of travel tickets to passengers after a two hour delay.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this at the weekly State House briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja, also highlighted some of the rights of aviation passengers and charged them to demand their rights whenever they are being trampled upon by the airlines.
He enumerated some of the rights of airline passengers to include the following:
On domestic flights, delay beyond one hour, the carrier should provide refreshment, and one telephone call, or one SMS, or one e-mail. The airline management should also send the passenger an SMS or email or call you to say, ‘I am sorry, I am delaying for one hour’.
Whereas delay for two hours and beyond, the Carrier shall reimburse passengers the full sum of their tickets cost.
Delay between 10pm and 4am, the Carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport. The same rules shall apply to international flights.
The Minister further disclosed that his ministry has started sanctioning some airlines who default on consumer rights. However, he urged passengers not to be unruly at airports.
It would be recalled that of late, flight cancellations and delays have characterised local air transportation in the country.
Many passengers have complained over being kept waiting at airports for hours after their scheduled departure time.
On the other hand, airline operators in Nigeria, led by the Chairman, Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, attributed high cost of aviation fuel in the country and bad weather conditions as reasons for most of the delayed flights, when they appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation on Tuesday.
He also demanded that unruly passengers at the airports should be prosecuted.