DOT, CAB collaborate to enhance Air Passenger’s Bill of Rights
Manila, Philippines — The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) – in which the Department of Tourism sits as vice-chair – wishes to safeguard consumers in cases of force majeure, such as the recent Taal incident.
Last Jan. 20, the CAB organized a regular board meeting to know issues and tackle the implementation of rules that should need to be abided by all airline companies in cases of emergencies and similar scenarios.
The proposal to improve the Air Passenger Bill of Rights (APBR) has been put forth, despite the already strong provisions stipulated on the said bill. It includes the strengthening of the provisions related to force majeure, for example, the Taal incident, such as the right to amenities and compensation in times of cancellation of flights or flight delays. Furthermore, provisions on the timely notice or information that comes from the airline company – when the flight is delayed, canceled, or pushed through – are likewise introduced.
According to the CAB, with the approval of the additional provisions of the said bill, airlines will be obliged to invest in systems upgrades or come up with their own technology to be able to relay announcements to their customers in such cases. The system should also include a feature that could push out advisories with regard to the steps the passengers should need to take for them to avail of the entitlements under this bill.
“The safety and welfare of passengers and tourists have always been a top priority of the CAB and DOT,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat in a statement. “With the enhanced Air Passenger Bill of Rights, we can ensure that they are provided with relevant, critical, and useful information during emergencies or as natural calamities unfold, thereby helping reduce the inconvenience or stress that passengers may experience during these unfortunate situations.”
CAB said that passengers should be entitled to reimbursement of the full value of the fare in cases of a natural disaster, regardless if the fare was considered non-refundable by the firm.