Gov’t to relax plane ticket refund rulesBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government is set to relax its rules on the overbooking of planes and mandatory refunds for airline passengers who miss their flights, amid pressure from local airlines.
Following opposition from local airlines who claimed that stricter rules would strangle the country’s growing air travel sector, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said it would relax controversial resolutions 28 and 29.
Resolution 28 banned the industry practice of overbooking of flights, while 29 mandated that all airline passengers who miss their flights, regardless of the reason, be entitled to full refunds on their tickets.
“We are continuously fine-tuning these rules. The resolutions are still in effect but the board will come out with a resolution to amend the rules later this month,” CAB hearing officer Elben Moro said in an interview.
“Resolutions 28 and 29 were just interim measures that we passed while the joint administrative order of the CAB, the (Department of Trade and Industry) and the (Department of Transportation and Communications) is being drafted,” Moro said.
Moro said the new rules would allow airlines to overbook flights up to 5 percent. This means that airlines will be allowed to sell 5 percent more tickets than there are seats on each flight.
Meanwhile, the amendment to resolution 29 will set a 24-hour deadline prior to a flight’s scheduled departure for passengers to rebook their tickets, without incurring stiff penalties.
This means that unlike in the current resolution, passengers that do not show up for their flights will not be allowed to rebook their flights.
Amid a rise in passenger complaints on alleged abusive practices of budget airlines, the government has cracked down on the industry, tightening rules on practices like overbooking.
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