It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority that airlines are in the habit of disembarking passengers on arrival without their baggage on most of their flights during the festive seasons. Such actions most times result to very unpleasant consequences to both the passengers and the airlines. In as much as the Ministry and SLCAA (as Policy and Regulatory bodies) do understand some of the constrains that the airlines may be experiencing in these peak periods, it is their (the airlines) responsibility to carry the passengers and their baggage safely to their agreed destination (s) in accordance with the conditions of carriage and contract as embedded in the Warsaw Convention and Montreal Protocol.
Airlines are therefore expected to ensure that passengers are checked in according to the baggage allowances provided in their tickets during this period. Conditions under which any excess baggage may be checked in or carried must be communicated clearly to the passenger to avoid any unpleasant consequences that may arise in the event that the passenger arrives without his/her baggage.
In light of the above, passengers are advised to travel according to the baggage allowance shown in their tickets and make prior arrangement to send any excess baggage as unaccompanied baggage before departure.
Excess baggage checked in at the time of departure may not be carried on the same flight as the passenger due to the capacity and weight limitations which are to be observed strictly by the airline for safety reasons.
Passengers who arrive without their baggage are advised to ensure that they follow the property irregularity procedure at the airport before leaving the terminal building for their respective homes and contact the airline concern later.
Passengers are requested to please avoid any physical confrontation (s), act (s) of violence or vandalism due to non arrival of their baggage on the same flight or as a result of a delay in delivering a baggage.
In any case where an airline is found to be negligent of its international responsibilities, appropriate regulatory measures would be taken by the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority.
Any aggrieved passenger may contact the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority Customer Complaint Unit which is located at the Airport Terminal Building, Freetown International Airport, Lungi or call on telephone numbers 076661332 or 076342994.
The cooperation of passengers and airlines in making the festive season a pleasant period would be appreciated.
The Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority would like to take this opportunity to welcome all holiday makers and wish them a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year