Claiming your aviation sector consumer rights

Uaatjo Kaurimuje

What rules and liabilities is the aviation sector subject to concerning flight delays, cancellations and oversold flights?

Namibia is a signatory to the Warsaw Convention, the Hague Protocol and the Montreal Convention. These agreements define the liabilities of airlines.

In the event of a delay that exceeds the specified timeline, airlines are required to provide passengers with meals and refreshments during their wait. They should also offer free hotel accommodation. If airlines cancel flights without informing passengers, they may be required to provide compensation.

For instance, if a flight is delayed and you have to pay for new clothes until your checked bags are returned, book a hotel, take additional transportation, eat an additional meal, and so on, these are all considered damages.

Remember that you will need to submit itemised receipts for any costs you wish to have reimbursed.

In addition, emotional harm may be claimed as damage, especially if you missed a significant occasion. Emotional damages are assessed case-by-case since they are more difficult to measure.

When a flight is overbooked, airlines typically request volunteers to give up their seats. These volunteers are then given an alternative flight and additional benefits. If a passenger is denied boarding without their consent, the airline is obligated to provide them with another flight within an hour of the original departure time. If they fail to do so, the airline may have to refund the entire ticket price and offer compensation.

The Namibia Civil Aviation Authority considers resolving complaints as a crucial component of their ongoing efforts to deliver exceptional service. Please contact the supervisor or have a conversation with them if you are dissatisfied with the services you received.

  • Uaatjo Kaurimuje is a consumer protection advocate and freelance writer. She has a postgraduate diploma in consumer protection law and practices from the National Law School of India, an LLB from Studio, a B-Juris from the University of Namibia, and more than 10 years of experience in consumer protection.
    The views and opinions expressed in this public notice corner are those of the author and do not necessarily represent their employer, organisation, committee or other legislative groups.

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