IN spite of repeated protests, complaints and discussions by stakeholders, foreign airlines are still fleecing Nigerians, charging us more for similar hours in the air to popular destinations.
Our West African brothers buy their tickets lower for the same destinations across all the classes of travel!
From British Airways, KLM, Emirates Airlines to Turkish Airlines, Nigerians pay more to London (the United Kingdom) and New York (United States of America) than our Ghanaian brothers. From Lagos, we are charged more than those who take off from Accra.
While Lagos to London is 2,702 nautical miles, Accra to London is 2,751 nautical miles, a difference of 49 nautical miles.
Lagos to New York is 4,575 nautical miles, and Accra to New York is 4,448 nautical miles, a difference of 127 nautical miles.
These marginal differences in nautical miles do not justify the huge amount Nigerians are charged for trips originating from Lagos.
We booked online across the airlines for flights originating from Lagos and Accra to London (for September 1 to 15), and to New York from September 22 to October 6, 2015, and found out how differently the airlines treat us.
For British Airways, economy class to London from Lagos is $2,391.70 and Accra; $2,107.55 ( $284.15 difference). Business class from Lagos, $4,558.46; Accra $3,669.41 ($889.05 difference). First class from Lagos, $10,179.11, and Accra $6,670.41 ($3,508.70 difference ).
On KLM, the flight from Lagos to London on economy class is $1,738.28; Accra, $1,259.84 ($478.44). Business class from Lagos, $3,049.66; from Accra, $2,790.31 ($259.35).
On Emirates, the journey to London from Lagos, economy class is $1,383; and from Accra, $1,629 ($246, in favour of Lagos). Business class from Lagos, $4,535; from Accra, $3,601.60 ($933.40). First class from Lagos, $8,914; and from Accra $5,475.60 ($3,438.40).
On Turkish Airlines, the story is the same. From Lagos to London, economy class ticket, $1,852; from Accra, $1,571 ($281). Business class from Lagos, $2,813; and from Accra, $2,337 ($476).
The pattern of exploitation is repeated for Lagos to New York. Our Ghanaian brothers and sisters pay less.
On British Airways, Lagos to New York, economy class is $1,407.94; and from Accra, $1,521.94 ($114 in favour of Lagos).
Business class from Lagos to New York $5,255.14 and from Accra, $4,395.94 ($859.06).
First class from Lagos is $10,500.94 and from Accra $8,045.94 ($2,455).
On KLM, Lagos to New York, economy class hovers around $1,408.94; and from Accra, $1,361.32 ($47.62).
Business class to New York from Lagos is $4,987.70; and Accra is $3,948.70 ($1,939).
Emirates paints a similar portrait. Lagos to New York, economy class, $1,455, Accra, $1,260 ($195).
Business class from Lagos, $7,325; from Accra, $4,315 ($3,010).
First class from Lagos, $10,738; from Accra, $7,789 ($2,949).
Turkish Airlines ticket from Lagos to New York, economy class, $1,361; from Accra, $1,170 ($191).
Business class from Lagos to New York, $4,044; from Accra, $3,260 ($784).
Many arguments have been advanced for why Nigerians pay more for tickets than other countries for flights about the same nautical miles, the reasons are largely self-inflicted.
4 REASONS NIGERIANS PAY MORE
Corruption largely explains why Nigerians pay more for flights than others (for similar nautical miles).
You will be surprised that a high ranking government official takes a cut per ticket sold.
Apart from that, the process of getting slots to operate from Nigeria cost the airlines huge sums in kickback. They have to oil palms of greedy bureaucrats and politicians.
- COST OF DOING BUSINESS AND BUREAUCRACY
The cost of doing business in Nigeria is so high, that absorbing it will possibly hamper the airlines. Apart from unnecessary bureaucracy and delays, there’s no electricity among many other essential infrastructure.
The cost of running the airlines’ offices in Lagos is possibly far higher than anywhere else. And they have to buy aviation fuel at unreasonably high prices when available.
Processes of getting anything done are slow, and eventually cost more money.
- OUTRIGHT CHEATING
Since cheating appears to be the norm, and after bribing here and there, fleecing passengers becomes less morally burdensome.
Who complains after getting kickbacks that services are bad or passengers are being cheated? Definitely, not the man whose pocket has been lined.
And since we are largely docile, used to corruption and bad practices, everyone looks the other way.
- SPENDTHRIFT POPULACE
We hardly place economic value on goods and services. We look at the prestige value, and never calculate or bother about whether we are being cheated.
The average Nigerian shrugs everything away, and only complains for a few minutes, never taking any action.
And who doesn’t like dealing with docile people? Definitely, not ‘businessmen.’