Here’s what Philippine law says regarding your rights as a passenger with Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, and other airlines operating in the Philippines. The infographic below is courtesy of www gov ph and covers such situations as:
- Check-in – If you are within the airline’s cordoned area at least 1 hour before ETD, you should not be denied check-in and considered late or no-show.
- Overbooking – The airline must look for volunteers willing to give up their seats and they are supposed to increase the compensation that they offer until the required number of volunteers is met.
- Cancellation of flights – Depending on the time and cause of cancellation, passengers have the right first of all to be notified of the cancellation, to be reimbursed or rebooked with no additional charge, to amenities such as food, drinks, and accommodations, and/or to be endorsed to another air carrier without having to pay any fare difference.
- Delays – Passengers are entitled to refreshments or meals when the delay reaches 3 hours and have the option to rebook, refund, or be endorsed to another airline.
What the Law Says on Overbooking
The DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order No. 1, s. 2012 says:
10.1 “While it is an accepted practice for an air carrier to overbook its flights, any expense, consequence, or inconvenience caused to affected passengers must be borne by the air carrier, as follows:
(a) The air carrier shall determine the number of passengers in excess of the actual seat capacity of the aircraft.
(b) The air carrier shall announce that the flight is overbooked, and that it is looking for volunteers willing to give up their seats in exchange for air carrier compensation.
(c) The air carrier shall provide the interested passengers or volunteers a list of amenities and offers, which they can choose from, which list of amenities shall always include the option to be given priority booking in the next flight with available space or to be endorsed to another air carrier upon payment of any fare difference, and provided that space and other circumstances permit such accommodation, at the option of the passenger, and/or a cash incentive.
(d) In case the number of volunteers is not enough to resolve the overbooking, the air carrier shall increase the compensation package by certain degrees or by adding more amenities/services until the required number of volunteers is met.”
Philippine Airlines Policy on Overbooking
According to PAL’s Conditions of Contract:
“Airline flights may be overbooked, and there is a slight chance that a seat will not be available on a flight for which a person has a confirmed reservation. If the flight is overbooked, no one will be denied a seat until airline personnel first ask for volunteers willing to give up their reservation in exchange for compensation of the airline’s choosing. If there are not enough volunteers, the airline will deny boarding to other persons in accordance with its particular boarding priority. With few exceptions, including requirements to present yourself for check-in no later than 45 minutes before the approximate departure time and that you are in the possession of the necessary travel documents or that you are acceptable for transportation under the airline’s usual rules and practices, persons denied boarding involuntarily are entitled to compensation. The complete rules for the payment of compensation and each airline’s boarding priorities are available at all airport ticket counters and boarding locations. Please check with your airline or your travel agent.”
But at no point should you be dragged out till you’re bloody, which is what happened to this United customer:
I should look up my rights.
This caused a bit of a stir during the Christmas holidays last year because the airlines overbooked like crazy, and flights were frequently delayed, and a lot of furious passengers got stranded in the airports. Is overbooking allowed/a problem in the US too?
Yeah we do have overbooking but I haven’t flown during a major holiday so I never ran into that problem but I’d be peeved if I did.
Ugh don’t get me started on Cebu Pac. Haha! I mean, I kind of love them, they started the whole budget airline thing in the Philippines that has enabled so many Pinoys to travel, but sometimes I just feel like choking them. Love-hate. I feel like they just don’t value their passengers as much as PAL (for all its faults) did in the old days.
Thing is, when you sign the terms and agreement it is like a waiver for your rights as a passenger. :/
Yes! When you really read through it, when you buy a ticket, you haven’t actually bought a seat on a flight, you just bought a possible seat on a possible flight. They can cancel the flight for whatever reason they want or transfer you to another flight, sasabihin lang nila “aircraft situation” pero kapag ikaw ang gustong mag-cancel or mag-rebook, good luck na lang sa rebooking fee. You can still fight for your rights siguro, pero sobrang hassle na. Nagbayad ka naman ng sakto at maayos, sana dapat it’s as simple lang talaga as you get what you agreed to pay for, and not na you have to fight for it.
Mismo! They really font consider their passengers. Puro pera lang. Sorry pero naiinis tlaga ako sa knila. Yung staffs nila rin may pagkabastos. Adding that, ayoko na tlaga sa knila hehe
Hahahaha! Eh ako, can’t resist a sale. So I still book with them kapag super low ang prices but not as much as before na talaga.
I’ve flown Cebu Pacific about less than a dozen times and so far wala akong naging problema with them. I’m lucky lang siguro kasi my friends will refuse to fly them kahit na mas convenient yung flight times nila!
You are lucky! I think some routes are more problematic than others. Cebu-Manila flights, for example — there are many of them in a day, so a delay in the morning totally messes up the schedule for the rest of the day. Also, because there are many flights between Cebu and Manila, it’s easy for them to cancel a less profitable flight and just bump the few passengers on those flights to other flight times.
I’ve only taken the Manila- Tuguegarao/ Tuguegarao- Manila so I suppose my experience with them is so limited. Naku sana naman next year wag akong ma delay sa kanila!
I hope so too! They’re not all bad naman, it just really sucks when they do mess up and it’s a very important flight. 🙂