Flight cancellation and other hassles are becoming a regular affair among local airlines, especially on budget bookings.
To book a flight these days, a customer is given many options, including promo fares, but these often lack the usual customers’ privileges like rebooking without charge in case of no-shows, free meals, check-in baggage, etc.
Oftentimes, these become the subject of argument especially when the passenger is already at the airport and the airline suddenly decided to off-load some passengers because of over-booking, which should not happen in the first place.
A lady media personality recently posted on social media detailing how her friend’s flight was canceled a few hours before the original schedule.
She was coming from Albay and going back to Manila and the airlines moved her flight to another date, not hours within the same day.
“To make things worse, you moved her to a flight which would take 5 hours for her to arrive in Manila (it has a stopover), whereas her original nonstop flight was only 40 minutes,” she said in the post.
“Are you planning to pay for the inconvenience? Like accommodation or meals?”
She herself had a forgettable experience with the same airline when her flight from Tuguegarao to Manila “placed me on another flight two days away from my original date. We called your attention but you were of no help at all.”
The media official ended up taking a 14-hour bus to Manila to catch another appointment.
It is very important for passengers to read the “fine print,” which is often found in the terms and conditions of the airline’s offers and services when booking a flight so they get to know their rights in case of irregular incidence.
While some restrictions are often found in promo tickets, even regular ticket holders found themselves victims of circumstances.
Know if the ticket is bookable, reroutable, refundable, the ticket’s expiry or validity, seats available, travel period, and other conditions.
Before the pandemic, passengers were considered not late or “no-show” if they arrived in the check-in area at least an hour before boarding or estimated time of departure.
A passenger who was considered “late” may be denied check-in, but he or she should be directed to a rebooking counter.
In many cases, a passenger has rights to compensation, which is not necessarily in monetary form but in other privileges like a free one-way ticket, accommodation, or meals, in case of off-loading or flight cancelation.
Passengers may also refund the value of the fare, including taxes and surcharges, or rebook their tickets without surcharges if a flight is canceled even if it was not the fault of the airlines like in cases of typhoons or security reasons.
There are many other cases where the passengers’ rights should be at the fore.
The bottom line is passengers should not bear the brunt of suffering when airlines commit mistakes.