Can you claim compensation for a Domestic airline flight delay?
The short answer to this is Yes, Oh Yes and Yes Yes Yes.
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We know domestic flights can be the worst. From the bad unprofessional attitude of the staff at the ticket points to the management of the airline. Let us not forget to implicate the girl that screams the announcements at the airport along with her borrowed accent.
Airlines can be very frustrating with delayed flights, flight cancellations and the most dreadful of them all – REFUNDS.
Generally, the right of a passenger to compensation for a flight delay will depend on the length of the delay; and the reason for the delay/cancellation.
Under Nigerian law, by virtue of Part 19 of the NCAA Consumer Protection Regulations, passengers on Domestic flights are guaranteed certain levels of compensation if they are denied boarding, their flight is delayed, or their flight is cancelled.
You can claim from 25% of the ticket price as compensation based on the length of your flight delay, and the circumstances around the delay.
- It must be for a flight departing and landing within the domestic territory of Nigeria
- You must have a confirmed reservation on the flight that is delayed
- You must have presented yourself for check in at the stipulated time, and if no time stipulated, then not later than 1 hour prior to flight departure time.
- Compile your documentation – to make a claim you will need your ticket or booking number, date of the flight, name of the airline, and if possible the reason the reason given by the airline for the flight delay or cancellation. You will forward this with a claim letter detailing your experience with the airline (flight delayed or cancelled), and the inconvenience it caused to you.
- Contact the Airline – Different airlines have different procedures for claiming. Some accept complaints via email, and you need to send a written claims letter to others. Check what method your airline wants you to use
- If your claim for compensation is rejected by the airline, you may either choose to accept the rejection, or make a further complaint to Consumer Protection Directorate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
- When complaining to the NCAA, you will need to include; the details of your initial complaint letter, the rejection letter received from the airline, and a cover letter to the NCAA asking them to review the rejection by the airline.
- If the Consumer Protection Directorate of the NCAA rejects your review, you may refer the matter to the Consumer Protection Council. Provide them with all the information on the complaint so far, and ask them to review the decisions and compel the airline to award you compensation.
- Finally, if the CPC fails to uphold your complaint, you may engage a lawyer and decide to take the matter to court. Please note that at any step in the above process, you may decide to go to court. The steps listed above are just avenues to be exhausted if you want to use court action as a last resort.
You can find out more about the legislation governing delayed flights in the Nigeria here, and you can use this free template letter to make a claim. To use the template, all you need to do is complete the form and you will get an email with the template attached.
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Till next week ,