By Chioma Iruke
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has ordered that airline operators in the country must refund the full cost of travel tickets to passengers after a two-hour delay.
This was made known on Thursday at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja.
While reading some of the rights of aviation passengers to them at the briefing, he charged them to demand their rights whenever they are being trampled upon by airlines.
“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, adding 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.
Of late, flight cancellations and delays have characterised inter-city air transportation in Nigeria, with many passengers scolding the about 10 commercial airlines operating scheduled flights for keeping them waiting at airports for hours after their scheduled departure time.