Air passengers groan as massive ticket fraud hit Nigerian aviation industry

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By Our Investigator Correspondents, Lagos/

LAGOS- AIR passengers across the country are currently suffering and smiling as airline Operators have jerked up the price of their airfares by more than 100 percent. Aside the cuthtroat price increase in airfare, operators have devised fraudulent means of causing artificial scarcity of tickets by selling off all their tickets to agents and go offline with a ‘no flight’ information on their sites even when they are constantly flying. CrimeWorld magazine online discreet investigation revealed that those who are mostly hit by this recent fraud are on-line passengers. A passenger who identified himself as Y.A. Sanni, a Lagos lawyer told our Investigators that he had to cough out a whopping N170,000 return ticket from Asaba where he went to represent a client. This according to him is against across the counter return ticket of N90,000 to N110,000 on the same journey. He said, “The fraud here as far as I am concerned is that online, what you are told in all the airlines’sites is that there’s no flight, meanwhile the are all flying. This is because they have sold off all their tickets to agents who in turn sell to passengers at their own prices. I visited Aero airline, it was no flight; ditto Peace airline and others. A colleague onboard told me similar thing; that it’s the latest fraud in the aviation industry and all the airlines are neckdeep in the scam. Meanwhile across the counter, a one way flight from Làgos to Asaba is N37,000. He told me that if one wishes to book online for a journey, one has to book one or two weeks ahead otherwise, one would be at the mercy of these Shylock agents. What a country.”

Frantic efforts to speak to any of the airline Operators were rebuffed, but multiple sources at MMA2 told our Investigators that, that had been the trend for sometime now. “That’s what is happening now. You’re traveling, you have to physically come over to the airport and the counter of the particular airline to buy your tickets otherwise, you would have to abide by the price the agents give to you. I think Operators have given the online transactions to their respective agents who sell the tickets over and above the prevailing price. But you know this wasn’t the trend; before now, if you buy online and much earlier than your travel date, you get discounted but right now it has changed,” said a source.

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