Home Travel Agencies NANTA calls for downward review of Covid test, knocks IATA

NANTA calls for downward review of Covid test, knocks IATA

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NANTA President, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye

There has been complaints from passengers of the challenges they have to grapple with in accessing the international travel portal to get their travel permit, QR code, make payments etc to enable them travel.

In this interview, President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye speaks on these challenges in this interview.

How has IATA assisted NANTA?

As far as am concerned, IATA is an Association for airlines, IATA has not really done anything for us as NANTA in terms of protecting the travel agencies.What do I mean? Covid happened some airlines did recover, some airlines shut down and they are not in operations again and my members have refunds with such airlines, tonnes and tonnes of refund running into millions of naira and we have complained to IATA severally, these airlines that have gone bankrupt, how do we get our money? 

IATA has not provided any way out,they have not been helpful to our business at all as far as am concerned, they are just there to protect the business of the airlines.The only relationship we have with them is the fact, they license us to operate and being able to do business with the airlines, that’s all, we are not being protected, it’s like we are left on our own.

Like the airlines that didn’t recover after Covid,went bankrupt, IATA couldn’t even come to our aid to help us get our refunds, right now we are on our own, many of our members are complaining, their money is stock with these airlines, it’s not right and that is the duty of IATA.

If you protect the airlines by making sure these travel agencies do not default and if at all we default, you make sure you collect the airlines money from us, IATA would do everything possible, suspend us, seize our license do all that. An airline has gone bankrupt and close down, we are on our own, in terms of collecting our money in terms of refund, sorry they have not been helpful at all this Covid period is like we have been left on our own and I think they need to wake up and do better, much better than what they are doing right now.

Covid test challenge for NANTA clients

I believe strongly that it is high time the government looks into the cost of the test. The test is not something strange anymore, everybody has got their hands on it, for it to be coming out in three, six hours now, means there is no big deal about it any more, the cost for this test should seriously be looked into and reviewed downward it happens all over the world even in the UK.
 

Initially when you have to do that day two and day eight tests, you know what the cost was, it started with over €200 to do the day two and day eight, now it is done for less that a €100 so, it should not be different for us in Nigeria and this is the only problem that my clients complain about.

Fake Covid test results, how can you help your clients not to fall victim?

This lies greatly on we travel agencies, we have to probably inform our clients and also let them know that if they have issues they should let us know, we will do our best to reach out to people we know to get their issues resolved rather than falling victim of touts at the airports.
And touts at the airports, I heard that FAAN is seriously doing something about that, am sure very soon all that will be a thing of the pass because it was in the news today that some touts about 90 of them were picked up at the airport and 89 is in custody, that means they are aware of this thing and FAAN is seriously working in getting rid of that.

Travel portal

Many of our members have complained that a lot of their clients always have issue. Sometimes we help our clients in doing this thing as an added value especially during the last quarter of last year, there was lot of complaints, I do it for some of them and some of them do it by themselves, I see the complaints and I hear them.

At this point, it has to do with the technology company that is powering that site because today the site is up, the next day it is down knowing fully well that people cannot be boarded without the form being filled online then paying for their repeat tests coming back into the country and getting a QR code.

The government would have to seriously look into this, the technology company powering that site are not doing a good job at all, the complaints are too much and it is not right. You cannot pay so much for a service and yet you can’t get into a simple online platform where you fill a form and get a QR code, the government needs to get all these complaints and look at that website, if the people managing it can’t do it, they should change and get somebody else that can power the travel portal properly.

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