Aquino pushes Senate probe on excessive airline fees » Manila Bulletin News



By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Friday pushed for a Senate inquiry on unclear policies of some airlines and allegations they are still charging fees for rebooking, rerouting and flight cancellations.

Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV

In filing Senate Resolution No. 414, Aquino said it is crucial for the Senate to investigate whether the Air Passenger Bill of Rights is being implemented properly and take up service-related issues and the airline carriers’ policies on fares, fees and other charges that lead to confusion among passengers.

Aquino noted that in 2012, the then 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,” Aquino pointed out.

Aquino cited the recommendation of the Department of Justice (DOJ)-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.

He noted that while deregulation of the airline industry resulted in lower airfares, the DOJ-OFC Report indicated that it gave airline carriers much freedom to determine their policies regarding fares, fees and other costs.

“It reached the point where customers have no choice but to accept their rules,” he said.

Because of this, he said airlines still charge customers substantial amount 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 said.

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