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Nigerian govt directs airlines to refund passengers 100% airfares after any two-hour delay

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The Federal Government on Thursday said airline operators in the country must refund passengers the full cost of their travel tickets after any two-hour delay.

Particularly, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known while speaking 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 ask for their rights whenever airlines take them for granted.

He said, “On domestic flights, for delay beyond one hour, the 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 10 pm and 4 am, the carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport.”

READ ALSO: Hadi Sirika and the return of Nigeria Airways

The minister, who said his ministry has started sanctioning some airlines who default on consumer rights, urged passengers not to be unruly at airports.

Recently, flight cancellations and delays have become part and parcel of local airlines in Nigeria, as flights can be delayed hours after their scheduled departure time.

Ripples Nigeria reported that operators of airlines in Nigeria had justified the delay and cancellations of domestic flights in the country, hinging the reason for the delays 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, had on Tuesday when they appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation chaired by Senator Smart Adeyemi.

Onyema also cited the non-availability of forex for spare parts and maintenance, sudden weather change, VIP movement, inefficient passenger access and facilitation, clearance of spare parts from Customs, and inadequate screening at departures as reasons for delays.

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