So Africa World Airlines (AWA) has just cancelled my flight from Kumasi to Accra, scheduled for 4:10 pm departure and has cunningly moved almost all the passengers onto their 6:40pm flight—when it’s just about an hour to departure.
And they don’t have to give any passenger anything for this cancellation, not even a voucher to buy a bottle of water. We have sit here for over 3 hours—and wait for the next flight.
Obviously, the airline does not suffer any real loss by inconveniencing passengers in this manner—a clear incentive for the airline to do this anything it wishes.
The fact that almost everyone has been moved onto the 6:40pm flight suggests one thing: that the 4:10 flight may not have been full and for the sake of good business or profit for the airline, they decided to cancel it and them move people to join the probably half booked 6:40 pm flight. Bingo, they get a full flight and don’t get punished for this. This is a plausible explanation of the situation.
After all, the airline cancelling in this way does not have to compensate or pay passengers anything. What if you have a connecting international flight? You miss that and you don’t get anything from the airline that caused this?
As a frequent traveller and as someone who lives in Europe, I can say there is no way airlines could be just cancelling rampantly like this (as other passengers are saying this common with AWA)— because of the existing compensation schemes or laws for travellers.
One hour to departure—when you are at the airport—and you hear that annoying voice telling you, because of technical reasons, flight has been cancelled. Who pays for your travel to and from the airport and your lost time? And you have to move all your plans or cancel them.
Cancellation of domestic flights have to be de-incentivised in Ghana—and the only way to achieve this is to ensure that passengers whose flights are cancelled receive some sort of compensation—else the airlines will fly when they want and are in profit and cancel when their desired profit margin is at risk.
Also, what is the alternative? Next time, I will try Passion Air—Goodbye AWA. I won’t fly you again and I think everyone should consider jilting their services too, if it’s indeed this rampant—because when you have something important to do, they will mess you up.
I just sent a message to one of my lawyer friends practising in Ghana—that, why don’t we test the law in this area and see what becomes of such activities?
—Chris-Vincent Agyapong, the Lawyer, the Writer, the Thinker and the Professional Truth Sayer.