Air passengers to get timely flight notices in strengthened bill of rights
Passengers check the list of canceled flights due to the threat of heavy rain and strong winds brought by Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) as they enter the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Dec. 3, 2019.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
Air passengers to get timely flight notices in strengthened bill of rights
( - January 21, 2020 - 9:10pm

MANILA, Philippine — The Department of Tourism, sitting as the vice chair of the Civil Aeronautics Board, said it is working on enhancing the current Air Passenger’s Bill of Rights.

The two agencies conducted a board meeting on Monday to discuss issues and the implementation of rules for airlines during emergencies and similar situations.

During the meeting, the DOT and CAB proposed to strengthen the APBR.

The agencies said that while the APBR already contains strong provisions protecting consumer in case of unforeseeable circumstances like the recent Taal incident, that promoted several flight delays and cancellations, the agencies seek to introduce provisions “that will empower passengers to get timely notice or information from the airline, whether the flight will be cancelled, delayed, or push through.”

Under the current APBR, the following are the major rights of an air passenger:

  • Right to be provided with accurate information before purchase

  • Right to receive the full value of the service purchased

  • Right to compensation

The CAB said the strengthened bill of rights would obligate airlines to invest on system upgrades or develop technology to relay announcements to passengers with appropriate advisories on the steps to take for them to avail of the entitlements under the APBR.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said they made the decision since the safety and welfare of passengers have always been the top priority of the CAB and DOT.

“With the enhanced Air Passenger Bill of Rights, we can ensure that they are provided with relevant, critical, and useful information during emergencies or as natural calamities unfold, thereby helping reduce the inconvenience or stress that passengers may experience during these unfortunate situations,” the tourism chief said.

The CAB said it would continue to issue advisories to airlines reiterating their obligations to their passengers.

It said that passengers are entitled to reimbursement of the full value of the fare in cases of force majeure or natural disasters even if the fare was earlier deemed non-refundable by the airline. — Rosette Adel

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