Passenger Bill Of Rights Enforced

MANILA, Philippines --- Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya visited the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 to check on the full implementation of the Passenger Bill of Rights which came into effect yesterday.

The Air Passenger Bill of Rights seeks to protect the rights of consumers from practices of low cost carriers (LCCs) that are perceived to be unfair to air travelers. Included in these practices are misleading promo fares, overbooking and bumping off of passengers.

The Department of Transportation and Communication was forced to formulate the bill in response mounting complaints from airline passengers against LCCs.

He noted that the new policy aims to make clear the rights of passengers and to make sure that there is transparency in LCCs' promos.

During his visit, Abaya inspected the newly installed DOTC Help Desk which is manned by officers from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

According to Abaya, the CAB personnel will be there to make sure that the new policies will be followed by the concerned air carriers and that passengers with complaints can be addressed as soon as possible.

Abaya also explained that with the Passenger Bill of Rights, LCCs are required to post the real cost of airfares in their websites so as not to mislead the buying public. All of the restrictions, including cancellations, rebookings and refunds will be clearly stated on their websites and that translation in Pilipino of the restrictions should also be posted.

The Secretary added that the new policy also requires airlines to open more check-in counters with more personnel to make sure that all booked and ticketed passengers inside the check-in area one hour before the flight's scheduled departure must be boarded on the flight.