By Dickson Blessing
A whole lot of intending passengers at the two local airports in Lagos had been stranded on Thursday over increased air fare.
The airline had capitalized on the festive period to hike the air fares.It was gathered that the a fare of an hour cut across 30,000 to 43,000 which was against the previous 18,000 fare.
The airlines officials reported that the rush for tickets were mainly for Enugu, Owerri, Calabar, Abuja, Porthacourt.
It was also discovered at the Lagos airports well as enquiries from airline representatives show that the average fare on the Lagos-Enugu route, which was less than 45 minutes, was N35, 000 as against N20, 000 about two months ago.
NAN disclosed that Mr Yakubu Dati, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), had on Dec. 11 advised Nigerians to make use of passenger service portals. He said it would help them plan to avoid last minute stress.
Mr Olumide Faleti, a traveler who was heading to Enugu from Abuja said: “it is funny how things operate here. This is a time to share and not to exploit your passengers.’’
he more so advised that domestic airlines should learn to introduce low cost promotional fares to attract travelers instead of exploiting passengers as a result of the season.
He regretted the dearth of local carriers in the sector, adding that, the few in the business were cashing on the development at the detriment of their customers.
Another passenger, Dr Mayowa Olawale, disclosed bitterly that before now he had been searching for low cost fares online but could not get any.
“I’m on my way to Abuja where my parents reside. I searched on the Internet for promotional fares but was disappointed when I found out that all the carriers going my way had their ticket prices above N35, 000,” he said.
Meanwhile, some ticketing officers, who pleaded anonymity said that the difference in airfares when compared to what they used to be was normal at this period.
“It is normal for airfares to rise, especially during Christmas and as the year comes to an end. It is not only our airline that has increased fares,’’ he said.
By Dickson Blessing