Air Passenger Bill of Rights

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Department of Trade the Industry (DTI) jointly issued an Administrative Order, also known as the Air Passenger Bills of Rights, which provides for carrier obligations and a bill of rights for air passengers.

The Air Passenger Bill of Rights covers a number of important obligations on the part of the airlines, among which is the issue on compensation in case of flight cancellations. The cancellation of flights may be due to the fault of the carrier or to causes beyond its control, so two different sets of rules apply depending on the cause of the cancellation. These are the minimum entitlement of a passenger in case of flight cancellations, and the carrier, of course, can grant better compensations.

i. In case of flight cancellation attributable to the carrier, the compensation depends on whether it was announced within 24 hours.

* If cancelled in less than 24 hours, a passenger shall have the right to:

(a) Be notified beforehand via public announcement, written/published notice and flight status update service (text);

(b) Be provided with the following, if he/she is already at the airport at the time of the announcement of the flight cancellation: sufficient refreshments or meals (e.g. snacks consisting of at least a bottle of water and a sandwich, or breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or a voucher for the same, as the case may be); hotel accommodation (conveniently accessible from the airport); transportation from the airport to the hotel, v.v.; free phone calls, text or e-mails, and first aid, if necessary; and

(c) Reimbursement of the value of the fare, including taxes and surcharges, of the sector cancelled, or both/all sectors, in case the passenger decides not to fly the ticket or all the routes/sectors; or

(d) Be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, at the option of the passenger, and provided that space and other circumstances permit such re-accommodation; or

(e) Rebook the ticket, without additional charge, to the next flight with available space, or, within thirty (30) days, to a future trip within the period of validity of the ticket. However, for rebooking made in excess of the aforementioned thirty (30) days for a trip likewise within the validity of the ticket, fees and/or fare difference shall apply.

* If cancelled at least 24 hours before the ETD, the carrier is not liable for anything, but:

(a) the carrier is obliged to notify the passenger; AND

(b) rebook or reimburse the passenger, at the option of the passenger.

ii. If the air carrier cancels the flight because of force majeure, safety and/or security reasons, as certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a passenger shall have the right to be reimbursed for the full value of the fare.

Refer to the complete Primer on Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Infographic part of  DTI‘s information campaign. See full text of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.

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