Refund, lost baggage top air passengers’ complaints: CAB

MANILA — Delayed or refused refund, and lost baggage are the two top complaints of air passengers both in 2017 and the first half of 2018, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) revealed Friday.

CAB chief legal officer Wyrlou Samodio said the CAB received 74 refund-related complaints from January to June 2018, accounting for 20.56 percent or over a fifth of the total 360 complaints received during the first six months of the year.

Lost baggage ranked second during this period, with 51 complaints.

Last year, lost baggage and missing items were the number one complaint of passengers, followed by complaints on refund.

Samodio said airlines are responsible for providing compensation to passengers.

“Compensation does not necessarily mean ‘monetary compensation’. It can be in the form of entitlements, such as hotel accommodation, food, voucher, tickets, among others,” he explained.

He also clarified that the airlines are not obliged to provide compensation if the flight delay or cancellation was not their fault, such as during severe weather conditions.

With regard to baggage complaints, Samodio emphasized that a passenger should first approach the air carrier to complain, as it is also the carrier that is responsible for their baggage.

“We follow the Montreal Convention. Under this, carriers are liable for proven damages up to 100,000 SDR (special drawing rights), a mix of currency values established by the IMF (International Monetary Fund),” he shared.

Samodio also highlighted that passengers must declare if they have valuables inside their luggage.

“Sometimes, to avoid paying duties, passengers don’t declare their valuables. Then they would complain if their jewelry, for instance, is missing. How would the airline know if it’s true if they did not declare it?”

Meanwhile, the other top complaints for 2018 were booking issue, forfeiture of ticket, delayed flight, baggage issue, cancelled flight, rescheduled flight, damaged package, and poor customer service.

In 2017, the other top concerns were booking issue, forfeiture of ticket, cancelled flight, poor customer service, rebooking issue, baggage issue like baggage allowance or denied baggage, damaged items, and delayed flight. Ma. Cristina Arayata/