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Some Med-View Airline Lagos-Gatwick London bound passengers on board Boeing 747 Aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on Sunday. Photo Lamidi Bamidele

Passengers obligations and things to know about air travel

DO you know that passengers have obligations to airlines and service providers, which in simple terms mean that there are rules to be passengers as it doesn’t end at just paying the fare.
One of such obligations to airline is the right for passengers to treat staff of these airlines or service providers with respect and courtesy.
A lot of times there have been true reports where a passenger in a bid to claim his or her rights go overboard and physically assault airline or ground handling staff to prove a point.
In Nigeria, and many climes, this is a crime and is punishable by law.
Today we will be talking in general about obligations of the passengers so they can understand their limits and know what is excessive.
Every passenger has some simple things they need to know when intended for travel by air knowing full well that this form of transportation is statistically the safest means from point A to point B and some of the things that make it safe other than the redundancies are the passengers demeanor before, during and sometimes after a flight.
Some of the obligations a passenger needs to adhere to are:

Check-in:
It is important to note that check-in times are adhered to by airlines. I was at the airport when a lady complained that she got to the airport and was told the gate was locked and she needed to reschedule. I took her to the consumer protection office at the airport where she discovered she was quite late and could no longer blame the airline.

In Nigeria, it is advised to check-in two (2) hours before boarding a domestic flight and three (3) hours before an international flight.
For passengers who stay far from the airport, you could sleep over to make your flight or better yet book a flight you can make with time to spare.

Identification:
Note that for local flights it is mandatory that the travel provides an identification card with a picture before he is allowed to board the flight. Please while collecting your tickets ensure that the names written matches the one on your identification card as some security agencies are insistent that you cannot go through if the ticket and identification are at variance.
Passengers on international travel are requested to provide passports/visas or entry/exit documents as well as health documents required by regulation. That is why most times Nigerians travelling out need to the the yellow card showing that they are vaccinated against certain illnesses.
Also note that amass enter may be refused carriage if he/she fails to comply with applicable laws and regulations.

Security checks:
After 9/11 security at airports have been revised and improved tremendously and so most times, especially with the current global situation extreme screening takes place to ensure that hazardous materials do not get into the aircraft. Passengers must mandatorily undergo security and safety checks, recommended by the Government carried out by airport authorities as well as those authorized by the carrier.
In fact there is an existing arrangement be a use of the December 25 underpants bomber, Abdulmutallab, United States Air Marshals are undercover in flights going to certain countries, Nigeria included.

Interference:
Passengers are prohibited from interfering with flight crew and aircraft attendants. An airline reserves the right to deny boarding or disembark passengers who exhibit unruly behavior. In fact , all offensive, disorderly conduct such as physical assaults, verbal abuse or even sexual harassment …Yes! sexual harassment of an airline staff will attract severe punishment like fines or a jail term.
Unruly passengers fall under these categories and he/she is one whose behavior poses risk to the safety and security of crew and other passengers. With a lack of access to law enforcement and external environment while flying, and may have high risk to cause serious disaster which may hard or impossible to recover, flight attendants (and sometimes passengers) are charged with the responsibility to handle such passengers. Arik Air and recently Air Peace had to use security agents to remand some unruly passengers in the flights

The most common cause of a passenger acting unruly is from intoxication. The availability of alcoholic beverages on airlines and at airports enables passengers to drink excessively before and during flights. Flight attendants have the ability to keep track of how many drinks are served to passengers while on board an aircraft, but have no way of knowing how many are consumed prior to boarding.
Other causes include the use of drugs (prescription or illegal).
Sometimes, sober passengers are disruptive by failing to obey laws and rules that must be observed or arguing with flight attendants. An example of this can be when passengers are asked to turn off all cell-phones in flight.

While safety is the paramount reason, usage of cell phones in-flight is also discourteous to fellow travelers. Many passenger fail to comply and will most times continue their call even when the aircraft is taxing for take off and would ignore the crew or attendant, these passengers do not know that until the sign is given by the Pilot in Charge for use of cell phones, the phones create an impediment to devices on board the aircraft. Passengers who fail to comply may be fined or disembarked from the flight.
Also, it is important to report any issues, damaged/lost/delayed/pilfered baggage at the airline office or designated airline official before leaving the airport, so your claim can be valid as coming back later will not help your case as a passenger.
So with some of these tips, it is fair to say passengers are a bit more educated on their obligations before and during a flight

 

About NigerianFlightDeck

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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