Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Despite aviation minister’s directive, Air Peace delays flight for 5 hours without apology

“Your airline kept me and other passengers waiting at the airport, without any apology and/or explanations, for almost five (5) hours.

• July 13, 2021
Air Peace
Air Peace aircraft used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: One at a Time Mile]

Despite the federal government’s directives to airline operators on flight delay, Air Peace on Monday delayed a Lagos to Abuja flight for five hours, leaving passengers stranded without any explanation.

The Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, had last week announced that aviation passengers are entitled to the refund of the full value of their tickets, after a two-hour delay from airline operators.

“On domestic flights delay beyond one hour, the carrier should provide refreshment, and one telephone call, or one SMS, or one email. 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 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., the carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro the airport,” Mr Sirika said.

However, Adeyinka Moyosore Kotoye, a regular passenger of the airline who narrated his travel ordeal in a mail addressed to the carrier’s Managing Director  revealed that he and other passengers were kept waiting at the Murtala Mohammed Airport for five hours without an explanation or apology.

The development runs afoul of the aviation minister’s directive that mandates airlines to refund 100 per cent airfares to passengers after a two-hour delay.

Mr Kotoye purchased the carriers return ticket from Lagos to Abuja which according to him was slated to take off from Lagos by 7:20 p.m. on Monday but was the shifted to 8:30 p.m. by the airline.

Scheduled to depart Lagos airport by 8:30 p.m., the flight didn’t take off until 11:05 pm.

The aggrieved passenger further revealed that he was forced to pass the night at the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport when he arrived Abuja, as it was too dangerous for him to proceed to his destination.

“Your airline kept me and other passengers waiting at the airport, without any apology and/or explanations, for almost five (5) hours. There was no refreshment either and which is contrary to statutory stipulations. We didn’t board until 11.05 pm. We got to Abuja at 12.10 am on Tuesday, 13/07/2021,” Mr Kotoye said in the mail.

Seeking redress for his experience, Mr Kotoye asked the airline to tender a letter of apology to all passengers that boarded the delayed flight with a copy published in at least one daily newspaper, within thirty (30) days.

He also demanded that the airline signs an undertaking to assure its passengers that it would be fair to passengers next time there is a hold-up.

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