DOTC, DTI hope for passage of Air Passenger Rights law before Christmas

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MANILA, Philippines — The long-awaited Air Passenger Bill of Rights being jointly pursued by the Departments of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and Trade and Industry (DTI) may finally be approved this week, just in time for the holiday season rush this month.

Following the last of three public hearings, Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo

Logo taken from http://www.dotc.gov.ph

said on Monday, the measure would likely be released this week.

The reason for the rush, he said, was the 15-day publication requirement for all new government rules. If released this week, Lotilla said the measure, aimed at curbing alleged profiteering through abusive practices by airlines, would take effect just before Christmas.

“We hope to finalize this within the week. We’ve had three hearings and all concerns should have been heard by now,” Lotilla told reporters after the hearing.

The joint departure order’s main features are restrictions and penalties for late, cancelled, and overbooked flights, as well as bags lost in transit.

For instance, passengers affected by late flights should be provided by their airlines with free food, drinks, Internet access, free phone use, and, in extreme circumstances, hotel lodging until the flight leaves.

Passengers also have the choice to have their flights rebooked without any additional cost. Passengers affected by overbooking are also entitled to the same benefits.

For lost luggage, airlines will have to compensate passengers P2,000 for every day that a bag is missing. After seven days, that bag will be deemed lost, and the passenger will be paid the equivalent of 500 Singapore dollars (P16,740).

Another new addition to latest draft was the need for airlines to seek the DTI’s approval for airline promotions and the sale of discounted tickets. Currently, airlines only need to seek approval from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

“For sales and promos, that goes back to the provisions of the consumer act so we are taking on the jurisdiction,” DTI Undersecretary Zeny Maglaya said during the public hearing.

The new rule means airlines will have to deal simultaneously with the DTI and the CAB; the former approving the mechanics of promos, the latter approving the price.

Lawyer Teodoro Pastrana, who represents several foreign airlines operating in the Philippines, said the new rules might restrict the industry’s growth by resulting in higher costs that would eventually be passed on to travelers.

“Less intervention from the government is always better, but we do realize the government’s need to regulate,” he said in an interview.

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  • http://twitter.com/CJirch charlie jirch

    . . . . when you travel by plane better to booked your flight on the regular airlines . . .  i. e. Philippine Air Lines, Lufthansa, Air France and the like. . .  theu respect your rights as passenger. . . beware of low cost air lines . . . .  we are a victim also of Air /?fck from Rome to Hamburg, Germany. . . .  what terible experience

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIWYLFLU4LPKS7B2ZLLRVFKS3Y vir_a

    The most important is the accommodation and food for passengers stranded due to delayed or cancelled flights. If this law will be passed, airlines will be forced to be efficient and less abusive to the passengers.

    • Internecine2012

      I recognize the need for hotel and food expenses if the flight is delayed, but if the delay is caused by typhoons and everything, whose fault is it? 

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    DOTC at DTI paki bantayan lang ang hanay niyo baka may ilan diyan na bigla magbabakasyon at kasama ang buong pamilya at sagot ang gastos pati pang shopping……pero ang kapalit ay mas medyo malambot na Air Passenge Rights!

  • magiting78

    Yun sana ma approved…mga balasubas tong airlines puro pakabig…basta n lang nag babago ng schedule nila walang sabi sabi pag nag refund k hnd mo basta makukuha..pag nag p rebook ka may extra charge…

  • http://twitter.com/chimp_rex Rolex

    What if the airline has overbooked and passengers were not able to fly? Or perhaps they sold promo fares and later on took it all back like what happened to Air-F@)($ING-Asia?

    • rem1911

      I was also a victim of AirAsia, We bought promo tickets then afterwards they cancelled the flights. 

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