When the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced few weeks ago that any flight passengers delayed by airlines for three hours were entitled to refund, many Nigerians were excited.
But it appears their bubble were busted when the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) gave reasons some passengers will get refund contrary to the Minister’s comment.
In a radio show on Friday, the spokesperson of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye explained that some passengers are not entitled to the refund when flights are either delayed or cancelled.
What NCAA is saying
He said, “Passengers who fall into this category are those who book their flight tickets without reading the terms and conditions applied to see if they are entitled to ask for a refund or not. Some passengers who buy their tickets at the counter and those who purchased theirs earlier would not be entitled to the same terms.
“Every ticket has terms and conditions and refund is subject to certain conditions. There is a saying that if you do not want people to know, put it in black and white.
“The terms and conditions are attached at the back of the tickets. Most people are not even aware and that is not excusable.”
According to him, terms and conditions attached to booking a flight early may not favour a refund
“If the ticket is not refundable, the terms are there.The terms are written there and the period in which the tickets are refundable. People have to know that when you are asking for a refund, you have to ask if it is in your interest.
“The transaction has taken place, the bank has also taken their own; so when you are being refunded, it cannot be the full amount again, he added.
Why it matters
NCAA’s argument is not out of place, as there are certain natural occurrences, which cause flight delay or cancelled, that is beyond the airlines.
Weather is not a friend to airplane because an airplane is designed to go in a stable atmosphere. When adverse weather sets in, it becomes unstable.
Technical issues could make a plane develop a fault, and following the rule, such a plane should be brought down and checked all over again.
Adurogboye said, “In fact, if the passenger has not arrived at the airport, as an airline, you need to get across to your passenger by mail, phone or text messages so that they don’t bother coming to the airport.
“But when checked in at the airport, and all these are happening, you also need to compensate them with refreshments and the likes.
“International flights are different. If you have checked in passengers for international flight, and there is a delay, you need to put them in a hotel.
“Not all delays are uncalled for, some are excusable.”
He added that an airline that did not care about losing a passenger would end up losing all.