Passengers’ Rights and Remedies Under The Nigerian Civil Aviation Act

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Act, 2006 regulates the Nigerian Aviation Industry through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The NCAA is empowered to make regulations guiding the aviation industry and as such established the Civil Aviation Regulations 2015.

Over the years, airline customers have made several complaints of flight delays and persistent cancellation of flights without any remedy despite thatPart 19 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation provides for the airline customers’ right to reimbursement and compensation in the event of flight delays and cancellations amongst others.

Part 19 of the Regulations provides the certain rights of passengers of air transport thus:

1. The right to the full value for your money

2. The right to compensation for flight cancellation, delays, damaged/loss baggage and denied boarding for reasons other than technical, weather conditions, air traffic control restrictions, security risks and industrial disputes that affect the operation of the flight.

3. The right to book and confirm tickets with an airline of your choice.

4. The right to the provision of a conducive airport environment before, during, and after flights.

5. The right to seek redress for all irregularities during your flight.

6. The right to timely feedback in respect of matters/complaints lodged with service providers.

7. The right to be fully informed about flight status.

8. The right to be treated with respect and dignity irrespective of race or physical condition.

Furthermore, Airline Customers are expected to be duly informed of the reason for delays at a reasonable if a domestic airline expects a scheduled flight to be delayed, and are to be assisted in the area of refreshments and proper communication in form of calls, text messages, emails at 2 and 3 hours interval after such delay. If the delay occurred at the airport closing hours, Airline Customers deserve transportation and accommodation assistance.

In the event that an International flight is delayed, Airline Customers are expected to be assisted by the airline in the form of meals and adequate communication through telephone calls, text messages, and emails with compensation to the passengers as provided in the regulation in the tune of 30% of the passenger ticket fee.

There is a major lack of awareness of these rights by some passengers and general public which precludes them from exercising these rights and accruing compensation. The NCAA Regulations 2015 provides for dispute resolution medium for complaints made, the complaint made are investigated by NCAA who has power to dismiss or recommend the complaint for mediation or its administrative hearing. The authority has power at the conclusion of the hearing to make directives e.g. payment of compensation and water view. Where the affected passenger is not satisfied by the decision of the body, he/she has right to institute an action against the body and the carrier in competent court of law, which is usually the Federal High Court that has exclusive jurisdiction in the matter or employ other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism.

By Adeola Oyinlade & Co

Adeola Oyinlade & Co provides help and offers advisory to local and international clients on passengers’ rights in Nigeria.

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