Solon calls for stricter laws, probe on Cebu Pacific delayed flights
Amid delayed flights plaguing budget airline Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), a militant lawmaker on Saturday said stricter laws protecting the rights of passengers should be passed in order to curb “airline abuse.”
Bayan Muna Representative and senatorial aspirant Neri Colmenares urged his colleagues at the House of Representatives to pass House Bill 5361 or the Magna Carta for Airline Passengers Rights before the holiday season.
“This only shows the failure of existing rules to provide remedy to the passengers… I reiterate my call on Congress to pass the Air Passengers Bill of Rights before November 1, when the bulk of airline passengers would start [traveling] for the holiday seasons,” Colmenares said in a statement.
With provisions on airfare discount and reimbursement, Colmenares, main author of the bill, said his proposed measure would seek to aid passengers who suffer flight delays and cancelation.
“The bill provides for 20% discount on airfares to senior citizens, PWDs (persons with disabilities) and students. It also requires airlines to reimburse 75% of the fare as long as the passenger cancels the flight at least 24 hours before departure. It also requires airlines to provide refreshment for a 2 hour delay including free phone or internet and hotel for [canceled] flights,” Colmenares said.
“The House Transportation Committee fast tracked the passing of the bill for this reason and I hope that the House leadership would support this very timely and just bill,” he added.
The lawmaker also urged CEB to provide meals and hotel accommodation to passengers whose flights were delayed or canceled.
“I saw on media reports that many stranded passengers were sleeping on the floor of NAIA 3. This is reprehensible especially since the fiasco was caused by Cebu Pacific’s incompetence and should be investigated,” he said.
According to the Manila International Airport Authority, about 6,000 CEB passengers were affected after their flights were delayed Friday due to prolonged aircraft maintenance, change of aircraft, and technical glitch. Out of 41 affected flights, 18 were delayed due to airline technical glitch.
In a statement on Friday, CEB apologized to its passengers for the delayed flights, saying that issues in an ongoing operation systems upgrade had been preventing them from dispatching flights on time. Yuji Vincent Gonzales/RAM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.