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Air Passenger Bill of Rights On Board

MANILA, Philippines—Air passengers will no longer end up getting a sleepover at the airport whenever flights are delayed or cancelled without prior notice, thanks to the “Air Passengers Bill of Rights” enforced by virtue of the Joint Administrative Order No. 1 Series of 2012 between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) which was signed by DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo and DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya for implementation on December 21.

According to the Official Gazette, the bill covers the following:

  • The bidding process to be conducted by airline companies to identify air passenger volunteers who agree to defer their flight in case of excessive passengers as a result of overbooking.
  • The right to be processed for check-in within the check-in deadline and the provision of a designated check-in area for queuing where passengers who are not yet checked-in shall not be considered late or no-show.
  • The right to be provided with compensation and amenities in case of cancellation or delay of flights, including refreshments or meals, hotel accommodation, transportation, communication, etc.
  • Right to full, fair and clear disclosure of the service offered and all the terms and conditions of the Contract of Carriage
  • Right to clear and non-misleading advertisements and important reminders regarding fares
  • Right against misleading and fraudulent sales promotion practices
  • Right to transportation and baggage conveyance
  • Right to sufficient processing time
  • Right to compensation for delayed, lost and damaged baggage
  • Right to compensation in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger
  • Right to immediate payment of compensation

The Air Passenger Bill of Rights was initiated by the DOTC due to the surge of passenger complaints filed before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on overbooked flights, neglected passengers, and many other similar issues arising from delayed flights, according to various sources.

The bill came about after going through three public hearings sponsored by the DTI and the DOTC to settle issues raised by stakeholders such as International Air Transport Association, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, airline companies, consumer groups, and concerned citizens.

While the old draft is limited to airlines in the Philippines, the new one encompasses international airlines with flights in and out of the country, too.

Effective before the height of the holiday season, the government expects that air companies could better take on the responsibility of providing utmost customer service, especially with the anticipated influx of passengers for the Christmas break.