Senate seeks probe on continued violations of airline passengers’ rights


MANILA — Amid reports that some airlines continue to charge passengers with fees for rebooking, rerouting and cancellations, a Senator on Friday sought for a probe into the implementation of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.

Under Senate Resolution No. 414, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV wanted to look into service-related issues and the airline carriers’ policies on fares, fees and other charges.

“…Air passengers still complain about excessive fees for rebooking and confusing services policies,” Aquino said in a statement.

“Our airlines can do better. Let’s improve our services for airline passengers and enhance the travel experience in the Philippines,” he added.

In 2012, the now defunct Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released Joint Administrative Order No. 01 or the Air Passengers Bill of Rights, with the goal of promoting balance, fairness, and reasonableness between the passengers and the airline carriers.

Aquino cited the recommendation of the Department of Justice-Office for Competition to air carriers operating in the Philippines to adopt international best practices and clarify their policies for rebooking and foregoing flights for various reasons.

While deregulation of the airline industry resulted in lower airfares, the DOJ-OFC Report indicated that it has given airline carriers much independence in determining their policies regarding fares, fees and other costs.

The senator, however, said that it is not fair that customers have no choice but just to accept rules. Azer Parrocha/