Criminal prosecution awaits unruly airline passengers–NCAA

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned passengers who assault airline workers to desist from such act or face criminal prosecution.

The spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said in a statement issued in Lagos that the warning had become necessary in view of the plethora of complaints from some of the nation’s airports detailing brutal attacks on airline officials.

“These attacks are embarrassing and discourteous to such affected officials.

“The Authority undoubtedly recognises that the operating airlines must at all times uphold the conditions of carriage and contract on each passenger’s ticket.

“This means all passengers are conferred with inalienable rights when they are travelling by air. According to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 2015 Part 19),it prescribes minimum rights for air travellers on the occurrence of any of the following – no show and overbooking of flight, denied boarding, delay and cancellation of flights etc.

“These rights shall apply without prejudice to a passenger’s right under any applicable law or contract.

“However, passengers are not expected to take laws into their hands if and when there are operational hiccups which are capable of truncating air services,” he said.

Globally, he said overbooking, denied boarding, delay and cancellations similarly occur in extraneous circumstances.

“As contained in Part 19.7.2 Airlines have the obligation to inform passengers on cancellation, an explanation shall be given concerning possible alternative transport.

“Also in Part 19.7.3 an operating airline shall not be obliged to pay compensation for cancellation if it can prove that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

“Part 19.7.4 the burden of proof concerning any question as to whether and when the passenger has been informed of the cancellation of the flight shall rest with the operating airline.

“It therefore means that passengers should be guided that cancellations and any aforementioned scenarios can occur beyond the control of the airline in certain situations.

Conversely, he said when passengers are aggrieved Part 19.20 of the Act expects such travellers to lodge complaints with the consumer protection directorate or any other competent person designated by the Authority, about an alleged infringement.

“It is on record that the consumer protection directorate has handled and resolved several cases from aggrieved passengers to their satisfaction.

“Therefore, the Authority expects aggrieved passengers to recourse to the platform provided by NCAA to file their complaints and seek redress or compensation as the case may be.

“Subsequently, any passenger found carrying out attacks on airline officials will face criminal prosecution,” said Adurogboye.

 

 

 

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