CAB issues new regulation on passenger compensation
MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aeronautic Board (CAB) has come out with a regulation order laying down the compensation and other obligations airlines would have to extend to passengers denied boarding or “bumped off” from a flight, and those whose flights are delayed, and cancelled.
Under amended CAB Economic Regulation (ER) No. 7, approved by the board last May 14, among the requirements that airlines have to give passengers of delayed and cancelled flights include refreshments or meals, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner “as the case may be”, hotel accommodation that is conveniently accessible from the airport, transportation from airport to hotel, fist aid medicine “if necessary”, and even free communication such as “phone calls, text and emails”.
The amended ER No. 7, titled Economic Regulations on Boarding Priority and Compensation for Denied Boarding, Delayed and Cancelled Flights, also laid down the compensation due passengers denied boarding also referred to as bumped off passengers.
The regulation required airlines, whether local or foreign, to compensate passengers who were denied boarding due to lack of space or seats P3,000 for domestic flights, and P5,000, for international flights, as well as reimburse them the full value of their ticket as based on the same rates.
Airlines usually resort to bumping off passengers when they have oversold tickets for a given flight. Sometimes, however, they also resort to this when an aircraft for a given flight suffer mechanical problems, and there is a need to change aircrafts with the replacement unit having a lesser seat capacity.
The compensation provided for passengers denied boarding also covers passengers with promotional fares.
However, the regulation also set exemptions from liability to compensate passengers of delayed and cancelled flights.
According to ER No. 7, carriers shall be exempt from liability for delay and cancellation when the flight was cancelled or delayed due to “operational, safety and/or security reasons, force majeure, weather, strikes or other causes beyond the control of the air carrier”.
The regulation also set exemptions on the compensation for passengers denied boarding, saying airlines are not liable to provide compensation on cases of government requisition of the space or seat, or there is a need for a substitution of equipment “of lesser capacity when required by operational safety and/or security reasons and other causes beyond the control of the carrier”. – With Louella D. Desiderio