Airline operators in the country must refund the full cost of travel tickets to passengers after a two-hour delay, the Federal Government has said.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known on Thursday at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja.
He 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.
“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.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during a State House Briefing in Aso Villa on Thursday
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.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that operators of airlines in Nigeria justified the delay and cancellations of domestic flights in the country.
The operators hinged the reason 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, stated 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.
Other reasons cited by Onyema were non-availability of forex for spare parts and maintenance, sudden change of weather, delay due to VIP movement, inefficient passenger access and facilitation, delay clearance of spare parts from Customs and inadequate screening and exit points at departure.