The Federal Government has said that it will name and shame any airline that will not conform with its operational processes across Nigeria.
The government has also said it will punish any airline that does not compensate its passengers for flight delays and cancellations.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
He said, “Airlines, according to the law, are expected to compensate every passenger both local and international if their flights are either delayed or cancelled.
I also witnessed an unfortunate incident in Lagos when an Air France flight was cancelled at night. The airline staff shut down and went home while passengers were left at the airport. I had to ensure they were all taken to Sheraton Hotel to be fed and sleep.
On domestic flights, delay beyond one hour, the carrier should provide refreshments, 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, the carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport,” Sirika said, adding that the same rules apply for international flights.
He agreed that the development is partly the fault of the Ministry, “as we need to do more on creating awareness on the rights of air passengers and obligations of the airline.”
On the other hand, the Minister also added that air passengers need to be obedient and follow instructions given by the airline or the regulatory authorities in the sector. “Most of the passengers behave unruly here but do otherwise abroad,” he said.
In case you missed it
While many passengers know their rights but shy away from demanding that they be respected, others are oblivious of what defaulting airlines owe them and thus, fail to demand restitution. In most of these (rights violation) cases, passengers neither demanded compensation nor were the defaulting airlines gracious enough to offer them, according to an article recently done by Nairametrics.
To read about your rights as an air passenger, click here.