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CAB: Airline firms must pay more for passengers who miss flights

MANILA, Philippines–The government wants to raise the mandated compensation airline passengers will receive in case they miss their planes due to the industry practice of overbooking flights.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said passengers should receive more money if they failed to board their scheduled flights through no fault of their own.

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The current compensation paid by erring airlines is P300 for each passenger who missed a domestic flight, and P500 for anyone who misses an international flight.

“Those rates were set in the 1970s,” CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla explained in an interview.

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He said CAB was looking at increasing these rates to P3,000 for each domestic passenger and P5,000 for each international passenger.

Overbooking has become the standard procedure for airlines that anticipate a certain number of confirmed ticket holders to still not make it in time for flights due to various reasons beyond their control.

But in cases more passengers show up than the number of seats available on flights, airlines are forced to deny boarding of some ticket holders. On top of the fees by airlines, passengers are also booked on the next available flight.

Arcilla said the CAB’s move to raise “denied boarding” compensation has met opposition from local airlines, which have argued that the fee of as much as P5,000 would be more expensive than the cost of plane tickets—especially those of budget carriers that offer thousands of discounted tickets annually.

“But this compensation is not a function of fares,” Arcilla said. “This is to compensate for the time wasted and the hassle caused to passengers.”

But the official noted that the proposed fees were not yet final and that the agency would continue consulting airlines and other industry stakeholders to arrive at an amount acceptable and fair to all parties.

“We want a transparent process, and we will come up with a decision that would be based on our own judgement,” he said.

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TAGS: airlines, Business, Compensation, missed flights
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