The Federal Government has said airline operators in the country must now refund the full cost of travel tickets to passengers delayed after two hours.
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, disclosed this at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
The new directive by the minister comes at a time when flight cancellations and delays have dominated inter-city air transportation in Nigeria, with passengers frequently criticising the airlines keeping them waiting at airports for hours after their scheduled departure time.
According to Sirika, passengers enjoy some rights, insisting that they must be respected by the airline operators.
He also urged passengers to demand their rights whenever they are being trampled upon by airlines.
He said: “On domestic flights, delay beyond one hour, 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 10pm and 4am, carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport.”
He added that the same rules apply to international flights.
Sirika said the aviation ministry has started sanctioning some airlines that default on consumer rights.
He, however, appealed to passengers not to be unruly at airports.