Senator Bam Aquino seeks to determine whether the Air Passenger Bill of Rights is being implemented properly amid reports that airlines still charge fees for rebooking, rerouting and cancellations and employ unclear policies that often lead to confusion among passengers.
In Senate Resolution No. 414, Aquino said the probe will focus on service-related issues and the airline carriers’ policies on fares, fees and other charges.
In 2012, the 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.
“But air passengers still complain about excessive fees for rebooking and confusing services policies,” said the legislator.
The lawmaker cited the recommendation of the Department of Justice-Office for Competition, contained in its report dated September 23, 2015, 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.
“It reached the point where customers have no choice but to accept their rules,” the youthful senator said.
In addition, he said that airlines still charge customers substantial amounts for rebooking, rerouting or cancellation of flights.
“Our airlines can do better. Let’s improve our services for airline passengers and enhance the travel experience in the Philippines,” Aquino emphasized.