Ikeja – Passenger traffic rose at the Domestic Terminals 1 and 2 of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja on Thursday ahead of the Eid-el-Fitri holidays.
NAN aviation correspondents observed an influx of outbound and in-bound passengers at the airport as many travelled to various locations for the celebration.
The Federal Government had declared Friday and Monday as public holidays to mark the festive period.
Many of the outbound passengers were seen on long queues, waiting to board flights to their destinations, while others waited patiently to pick up their luggage on arrival.
Several air travellers were also seen struggling to get seats on the few available flights to their various destinations across the country.
An air ticket from Lagos to Kano, which used to sell for between N22, 500 and N27,000, rose to about N35,000 in some cases.
Flights from Lagos to Abuja, which normally cost between N15, 000 and N26,000, depending on the airline and the time of flight, also went for N30,000 or more.
It was observed that most of the flights that had their fares increased were headed for the northern part of the country.
The Aero Contractor Airlines check-in counter had the longest queue of passengers at the MMA2, while the Arik Airline counters also had long queues at the General Aviation Terminal One (GAT1).
A passenger, Mrs Adeyinka Akilla, who was travelling to Abuja with her children, said she had purchased a ticket for the flight from Lagos the previous week.
Akilla, however, said that she got to the airport a few minutes after the first boarding call but was denied access to the plane on the excuse that she was late.
“I was surprised to get here only to learn that I was late. My flight was scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and I got here at 2.30 p.m. because of traffic, but the airline’s officials didn’t check me in.
“They said I was very late; I had to run around to raise extra money to pay in order to be able to go with the next available flight.
“I think it is rather unfair, because I should still have been allowed to get on the plane,’’ she lamented.
Mr Olumide Faleti, who was heading to Enugu said: “it is funny how things operate here. “This is a time to share and not to exploit your passengers.’’
According to him, domestic airlines should learn to introduce low cost promotional fares to attract travellers instead of exploiting passengers as a result of the season.
He regretted the dearth of Nigerian airlines, saying the few ones that were privately owned were cashing on the development at the detriment of their customers. (NAN)