Airline Rebooking Fees – maybe soon unlawful

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has circulated the second draft of Economic Regulation No. 7 concerning “Boarding Priority and Compensation for Denied Boarding, Delayed and Cancelled Flights” for comments.

Airlines should refund in full or rebook a passenger, including promotional airfares, affected by flight cancellations or delays attributable to carriers at no additional cost to passengers.

Today, rebooking fees are often higher than the price of the cancelled ticket. Rebooking fees usually range from P1,200 to P1,500 when some promo fares can be bought at P500 or less. See also here Link

In addition, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya said that it should be the option of the affected passenger if he or she chooses a full refund or a rebooking of flight.

If the delay or cancellation of flight is not caused by force majeure, Maglaya said the airline should pay the fulamount and all that a passenger is entitled to including meals, hotel accommodation and hotel-airport transfers.

For promotional fares, which are governed under DOTC Regulation No. 74, Maglaya reiterated that the law on full disclosure must be applied. This means full disclosure of the taxes being imposed including fuel surcharge and insurance.

[Editor’s comment:] Sounds good! But I am sure that the airlines will find small wormholes in the new regulations – if the draft one day becomes a regulation. The airlines have enough lawyers who will dissect the regulation until they find a way for the airlines to smoothly slip through and bill the customer another add-on. Today, airlines do not earn one centavo with the seats they sell. It’s all the additional  taxes that make their income.

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