MANILA, Philippines – House of Representatives committee on higher and technical education chairman and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo has filed a bill to beef-up the rights of airline passengers,
Bill No. 5069, the “Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act,” aims to strengthen the rights of airline passengers and hold airlines liable following unreasonable denial of boarding, loss or damage of baggage, delays or cancellation of flights and injuries or death.
The bill is in line with his pro-consumer advocacy, and a result of his own experiences with airlines, Romulo said.
“Like other passengers, I have already experienced having my flight delayed for several hours and on some occasions even cancelled. During said instances, all passengers were not well attended much more apprised of their rights,” he said.
Romulo said that in such instances, airlines must be honest and transparent as to timelines; in order to ensure that their passengers are receiving the service for which they paid.
He added that airline companies should readily disclose to all passengers with respect not only to not only the the terms and conditions of their services, but also their entitlements and benefits in cases of delays or cancellation of flights.
“Honesty is the best policy and Time is gold are two popular sayings that best encapsulate the manner by which air carriers should deal with its passengers,” the bill notes.
The bill highlights that, in instances of delayed or cancelled flights, passengers’ have a right to compensation, either in cash or voucher form; to be given them by the airline.
Furthermore, the bill points out that a terminal delay of five hours or more from departure time shall be considered a cancelled flight, thereby entitling passengers to compensation.
Also detailed in the bill are other rights of passengers, such as: sufficient care by airline staff at the terminal; adequate meals and refreshments during waiting time; free hotel accommodations in the event of severely delayed or cancelled flights; free access to communications devices while waiting; among others.
Romulo also pointed out that all the rights of a passenger must be fully disclosed before the ticket is even purchased, and a contract entered upon by passenger and airline.