For the better part of yesterday, Kisumu county governor Anyang Nyong'o went on a rant against air travel company Safari Link for what he termed as extortion.
The politician complained of being overcharged for a one-way flight from Nairobi to Kisumu.
In a protest letter to Safarilink Aviation, the governor claimed he had been charged Sh 19,000 for the trip, which he said was exorbitant.
In his angry address to the aviation company, Lupita's dad went as far as saying he had instructed Kisumu county staff to boycott the airline in the future.
The airline has however responded and is setting the record straight on why Nyong'o was charged the said price and what Kenyans should look out for when booking tickets to avoid finding themselves in similar situations thus spending more money than necessary.
Replying to the angry politician's rant the airline started by highlighting that Nyong’o had been charged that much for his air ticket because he had booked the last seat on the flight at the last minute.
“Thank you for your candid feedback. We are aware that you are a frequent traveler on Safarilink as your flights are always booked through various agents or by the Kisumu County office.
We trust that your agents advise you of the standard practice of airline fares which are based on several factors such as demand, peak travel days, and time of booking,” Safarilink said in a statement.
According to the company said flights (from Kisumu to Nairobi) naturally cost anywhere between Sh 5,000 to Sh 19,000
The airline further clarified that Governor Nyong’o’s flight was booked directly from their website on the evening before the flight and so his fare was based on the last seat available.
Last-minute tickets are known to cost more as airlines use them to bag in a few extra coins for themselves because they've already learnt that last-minute fliers tend to be in some kind of urgent situation, thus are more willing to pay higher fares.
“Private airlines have to contend with multiple taxes and levies such as VAT on fuel, RDL on expensive spare parts, VAT on engine overhauls, and the sliding Kenya shilling.
On the same day, other airlines who are beneficiaries of Government support had higher fares so it is surprising that it's only Safarilink that has been cited with what you term as ‘ripping off gullible passengers,” the statement further reads.
They finished off by calling out the governor given the fact that the airline has always been gracious to him and as stated has on their statement has on several occasions kept other passengers waiting as they held back their planes when the politician was running late.
“We have supported Kisumu County in various ways… and you personally when we have held back flights when you were running late.
It is unfortunate that such concessions are not recognized. Safarilink will continue supporting Kisumu County with regular flights and will always be ready to welcome you on board our services,” the airline said.
To avoid such mishaps people are encouraged to book their flights in advance.