The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had warned airlines to desist from demanding that Nigerians pay their airfares in foreign currency.
NCAA said, citizens may elect to pay for tickets with the nation’s legal tender, naira.
Recall that some foreign airlines were allegedly demanding that tickets be purchased with foreign currencies or from overseas.
CBN also lent support to NCAA stating that “The pricing of any product shall continue to be in naira only.
“It is illegal to price or denominate the cost of any product or service (visible or invisible) in any foreign currency.”
Emirates airline has not only flouted these rules, the Arab giant took the currency discrimination to a whole new level.
Emirates Airlines rejected the Nigerian currency, naira, for payment by travelers on Sunday.
The Dubai-based airline is demanding a credit card mode of payment from passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
By this, they’d provide just a dollar denominated option for paying airfares.
The development caused some passenger to be left behind, despite having bought tickets weeks earlier.
Some passengers were turned back by the airline’s officials at the counter for already buying tickets in naira.
They also ensured that a passenger who had earlier checked in for the 5:55 p.m. Lagos-Dubai Sunday flight never boarded the plane.
The Emirates office in Lagos yesterday confirmed that the credit card mode of payment is indeed the company’s policy.
It did not explain the rationale behind the discriminatory policy.
An official of the airline, Babatunde Yahaya, explained the new policy to angry passengers.
He said the action was in line with a memo issued to them, demanding that any ticket issued on Emirates, for passengers travelling from Nigeria, “must be by credit card and not cash.”
“Any ticket issued on Emirates Airline from Nigeria to Brazil must be paid for with credit card and not cash.
“The credit card holder must be verified, preferably not by his passport.
“And even when issued by a third party, the credit card holder must be verified and his credit card ascertained.”
For most passengers interviewed, they purchased their tickets before the date the so-called memo was issued.
So, why did they collect the fares when they knew they would not honor them?