Air Passenger Bill of Rights Takes Effect on Dec. 21

Air Passenger Bill of Rights Takes Effect on Dec. 21 -- Hold up passenger fellows or frequent flyer friends! This could be one of the great things that you've waiting for in your life - the Air Passenger Bill. Are you aware of it? Well, as per information revealed by the Philippine government, the bill was released yesterday. It is a measure seeking to:
..protect consumers from certain airline practices such as overbooking and "misleading" promo fares.
Fare and square and this is timely, as far as I know. I know many of us have been victims of these tricky practices. It's time to take back the fear and travel with ease.
On Monday, December 10, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya  and Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo signed the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 1 or the Air Passenger Bill of Rights and as per stipulated in the document, the bill will take effect on the 21st of this month.

Due to the increasing number of complaints involving airlines, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Department of Trade and Industry crafted The Air Passenger Bill of Rights. It covers:
..all Philippine-based carriers operating domestic and international flights, as well as foreign carriers operating flights from the Philippines.
Under the bill, passengers affected by delayed or cancelled flights shall receive compensations from the airline including:
  1. Free food
  2. Drinks and;
  3. Even hotel accommodations.
Here's the take of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights on "Flight Cancellations and Delays", "Overbooking", "Lost Luggage" and "Misleading Ads". Peruse the details of your rights, should you encounter any of the cases mentioned.

Flight Cancellations and Delays
(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 emails, and first aid, if necessary; and
(c) Reimbursement of the value of the fare, including taxes and surcharges, of the flight cancelled, or both in case the passenger decides not to fly; 
(d) Be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, at the option of the passenger, and provided that space permit such re-accommodation; or
(e) Rebook the ticket, without additional charge, to the next flight with available space, or, within 30 days, to a future trip within the period of validity of the ticket. However, for rebooking made over 30 days, fees and fare difference will paply.
In case the airline decides to cancel a flight at least 24 hours before departure, it will not be liable for any amenities except to notify the passenger, and to rebook or reimburse the passenger. 
Passengers who are affected by flight delays or at least 3 hours, whether it is attributed to the airline or not, would be entitled to refreshments or meals; free phone calls, text or e-mails; first aid; and ticket rebooking or refund.
The airline shall determine the number of passengers in excess of the actual seat capacity of the aircraft;  
The carrier shall announce that the flight is overbooked, and that it is looking for volunteers willing to give up their seats in exchange for air carrier compensation. 
It shall provide the interested passengers or volunteers a list of amenities and offers, which they can choose from, which list of amenities shall always include the option to be given priority booking in the next flight with available space or to be endorsed to another air carrier upon payment of any fare difference, and provided that space and other circumstances permit such accommodation, at the option of the passenger, and/or a cash incentive.
Lost Luggage
The bill of rights also addresses passengers' complaints about lost, delayed or damaged luggage. 
Airlines would now have to compensate passengers P2,000 for every 24 hours their baggage is missing. After 7 days, the baggage would be deemed lost. 
Misleading Ads 

Within the order, the airlines are require to disclose any related restrictions on rebookability or refundability attached to any promo fares, in full details. Any fare advertisements shall be revealed with all of its embedded details whatsoever to avoid luring the passengers to any possible unwanted expenses.
(a) Conditions and restrictions attached to the fare type;
(b) Refund and rebooking policies, if any;
(c) Baggage allowance policies;
(d) Government taxes and fuel surcharges;
(e) Other mandatory fees and charges;
(f) Contact details of the carrier (i.e. phone number, website, e-mail, etc.); and
(g) Other information necessary to apprise the passenger of the conditions and the full/total price of the ticket purchased.
For promo fares such as the popular "piso fares" or "zero fares", airlines would now be required to also include the following information:
(h) Number of seats offered on a per sector basis;
(i) The duration of the promo; and
(j) The CAB Approval No. of Fares.
The order stated that:
Consistent with the declared policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumers, which includes protection from misleading and fraudulent sales promotion practices, all sales promotion campaigns and activities of air carriers shall be carried out with honesty, transparency and fairness, and in accordance with the requirements of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, and its IRR
When the bill is in effect, the airlines will be required to provide the DTI copy of its promo materials.

I think this is a very welcome effort on the part of DTI, DOTC and Civil Aviation Board as well. This is a bill that should have been operating a long time ago. Now that our national government stepped onto the pedestal of going after the tricky practices of the airlines operating in the country, we can only hope for its strict and diligent implementation.

Know your rights as an air passenger and fight for it!



  1. this one is really a good bill. i just hope this will stop headaches to the public. at the very least, this is one step closer to a better airline service in our country

  2. A bill to protect passengers from overbooking and whatnot is great but to compensate them for delays is kinda pushing it because delays are sometimes inevitable like when there's a natural calamity or a disaster... I'd rather get delayed a few hours than fly into a hurricane... LOL

  3. Just wondering if you feel your rights are violated by the airlines, where do you report this? I got a bad experience when an airline rebooked my flight to the next day without consent since they consolidated some flights. I sent in a complain letter but to date I got not reply.

  4. thanks sa pag share! big help to lalo na sa mga airlines natin dito sa pinas... saket lang sa ulo! hehe

  5. This air passenger bill will help and protect the rights of the passengers and they truly deserve to receive such compensation for delayed or cancel led flights.

  6. Great news to all those frequent travelers and first timers. This will definitely help them in their travel flights and protect them in bogus deals.

  7. Who is going to handle this case if there's any violations of this law? And who is the particular author of this?

  8. we just hope that this is strictly implemented, otherwise, it'll just again be one of those written unused law... Yahweh bless.

  9. Good! Clear protection for passengers. I hope airlines will be more cautious and not make abuse of their promo.