The Nigerian Government on Thursday ordered that airline operators in the country must refund the full cost of travel tickets to passengers after a two-hour delay.
Inter-city air transportation in Nigeria has in recent times being plagued by flight cancellations and delays, with many passengers berating commercial airlines operating scheduled flights for keeping them waiting at airports for hours after their scheduled departure time.
Airlines operators in Nigeria however justified the delay and cancellations of domestic flights in the country. The operators based the delays on non-availability and rising cost of aviation fuel, also known as JetA1 and inadequate parking spaces at airports.
The operators, led by the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, on Tuesday, disclosed this when they appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation chaired by Senator Smart Adeyemi. He also demanded the prosecution of unruly passengers at the Airports.
But speaking at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika read some of the rights of aviation passengers at the briefing and charged them to demand their rights whenever they are being trampled upon by airlines.
He said, “On domestic flights, delay beyond one hour, carrier should provide refreshment, and one telephone call, or one SMS, or one e-mail. They should send you an SMS or email or call you to say, ‘I am sorry, I am delaying for one hour.
“Delay for two hours and beyond, the carrier shall reimburse passengers the full volume of their tickets.
“Delay between 10pm and 4am, carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport,” Sirika said, stressing that the same rules apply for international flights.
The minister, who said his ministry has started sanctioning some airlines who default on consumer rights, however, urged passengers not to be unruly at airports.