Passengers using the Lungi International Airport were shocked last Sunday to be told to pay $65 instead of the former $40 as airport tax.
To their chagrin there had not been any public notice of this unexpected change neither on SLBC TV or radio or any newspaper or any other news medium in the country to inform residents or would be travelers of this seemingly unexplained increase. Disgracefully also not even the tax collectors desk at the Airport had any of the new information, but still displayed the old tax of $40 of one hundred and fifty four thousand (154,000) Leones.
Airport officials say the increase affects all those who bought their tickets after the 28th of April though the first people to face the new taxes were those who traveled on Sunday.
Although passengers on flights like BMI, SN Brussels, Kenya Airways and others may have included it in their tickets yet passengers using Elysian Airlines or Arik are forced to pay cask at the airport desk.
The new tax is now levying passenger charge of $40, infrastructure $20 and security $5.
Sierra Leone has now become the country with the highest airport tax which begs the question does this government want to encourage people to come here?
Furthermore no explanation whatsoever is given for the $40 and what it is being used for, it is as if the airport authority or its minister does not care what ever we think or fell and that they can just do whatever they want if we want we travel or if not we go to hell. This is the nasty mentality that is now prevalent among government officials and agencies.
Is the $40 passenger charge not what is being used for maintaining the infrastructure and security as is done in all other airports around the world?
When we now pay $5 for security are we entitled to sue the airport for loss or damage to our luggage? What are the obligations of the Airport authority which go with such stupendously high taxes? Do passengers or people have any rights in this country anymore? Or are we now living in a banana republic? By Kelvin Lewis