Answer ... (a) Flight delays or cancellations?
Article 46 of the Constitution of Kenya is the basis of consumer protection laws in Kenya. Under this article, consumers have the right:
- to goods and services of reasonable quality;
- to the information necessary for them to gain full benefit from goods and services;
- to the protection of their health, safety and economic interests; and
- to compensation for loss or injury arising from defects in goods or services.
Section 91(2) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2012 requires an air carrier to provide such services, including overnight accommodation or meals, as may be prescribed to passengers whose flights are cancelled or subject to long delays.
In addition, Section 93(2) (b) of the Consumer Protection Act provides for the enactment of regulations on the notification of cancellations or flight delays, access to necessary services and compensation to passengers. However, no regulations have been made pursuant to this provision.
A passenger has a right to claim damages under Article 19 of the Warsaw Convention for any damage occasioned by a flight delay or cancellation.
Passengers may rely on the general provisions of the Consumer Protection Act to make a claim in relation to overbooking, given that the regulations required pursuant to Section 93(2)(b) of the Consumer Protection Act are yet to be enacted.
(c) Denied boarding for other reasons?
Passengers may rely on the general provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and the International Air Transport Association guidelines to make a claim on denied boarding. A member airline must clearly stipulate and include its policy on denied boarding in its general conditions of carriage (passenger and baggage). This information should be available on an airline’s website and also on the ‘conditions of contract/carriage’ section of the ticket. For example, an airline may refuse to carry a passenger and/or luggage provided that it notifies the passenger in writing that it will not, at any time after the date of such notice, carry the passenger and/or luggage on its flights. In this circumstance, the passenger is entitled to a refund.
In case a passenger is involuntary denied boarding, the airline and its partners have a duty to ensure that the affected passenger is put on the next available flight. For short delays, ground staff should ensure that the affected passenger is provided with refreshments, meals and lounge access, where applicable.
(d) Baggage delay, damage or loss?
Article 18(1) of the Warsaw Convention entitles a passenger to claim damages in respect of losses sustained in the event of damage to or loss of his or her cargo or baggage.
A passenger has the right to claim damages under Article 19 of the Warsaw Convention for any damage occasioned by delay in the carriage of his or her cargo or baggage.
(e) Disabled access?
Under Section 21 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003, persons with disabilities are entitled to a disability-friendly environment to enable them to access buildings, roads and other social amenities, and to assistive devices to promote their mobility.