Lagos — The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday said severe sanctions awaits any airline that violates the privileges of its passengers in Nigeria.
Presenting the passengers' bill of rights to aviation stakeholders in Lagos, the Director General of the agency, Dr. Harold Demuren said the Nigerian air travellers had been exploited for so long and that the bill was aimed at protecting them against further exploitations.
Some of the issues highlighted in the bill include over booking by airlines, no shows on the part of passengers, denied boarding, flight delays and cancellations, among others.
"If your flight will be rerouted or delayed, you must be notified at least two hours in advance. If you have a ticket or print out that shows a confirmed ticket for a specific flight and date, an agent cannot deny you boarding because you have no reservation in the computer. If your flight is delayed for an hour, cancelled or you are denied boarding, you must seek compensation," he said.
He said the air traveler have a right to refreshment in-flight and when there is a delay of more than one hour, the airline must provide decent lodgings and feeding for the passengers and "if your flight is delayed overnight."
In the case of loss of luggage, the passenger is entitled to compensation within five business days, he said.
Commenting on the obligations of the passengers, Demuren said: "if you need to cancel a ticket purchased under a fully refundable fare, you must be able to apply the fare you paid towards a future flight, minus any applicable charges or cancellation fees. You have a duty to arrive before the time on your ticket. Even if you have already checked in for your flight, an airline can cancel your reservation if you are not at the departure gate on time."
For the domestic flights, Demuren said when an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure, it should provide them refreshment.
He also said that if flights are cancelled at a time when the airport is closed at the point of departure or final destination, transport and a hotel accommodation should be made available for the passengers. However, he warned air travellers not to make unsubstantiated claims or spurious demands when issues involving flight cancellations, delays and baggage loss come up.
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