Party list solon hits airlines’ bad service

July 3, 2023 Marlon Purification 894 views

OFW Party List Representative Marissa “Del Mar” Magsino has filed House Resolution 1105 on Monday to address the bad experiences suffered by passengers in hands of domestic airlines.

“There have been consistent and perennial complaints from air passengers in and out of the country against a number of domestic airlines,” Magsino said.

Other complaints include being offloaded due to overbooking, flight delays and cancellations without timely and valid explanations, long queues, mobile app glitches, lost baggage, unnecessary security checks, lackluster customer assistance service, and other operational issues that make travel to and out of the country a disappointing and frustrating experience, Magsino said

Acknowledging the growing dissatisfaction among airline passengers, especially OFWs, regarding the terrible service offered by domestic airlines, Magsino filed HR 1105 to investigate these issues with the end in view of addressing it for the benefit and protection of the air travelling public and in pursuit of national economic development goals relative to commercial aviation and air travel.

One of the biggest sectors affected by the declining quality of airline services is the OFW sector, she said.

Instances of revoked overseas employment contracts, penalties, and employer repercussions resulting from delayed or failed arrivals at worksites have been reported, undermining the commitment and contributions of OFWs.

“Napakalaking bahagi ng labor migration ang ating aviation industry.

Ang mga pagbabago sa presyo ng flights, kaguluhan sa schedules, pati mga aberya sa ating mga paliparan, ay may direktang epekto sa ekonomiya,” she said.

In the previous Senate Committee Hearing on Res. No. 575 (Airline Passengers’ Complaints Against Cebu Pacific for Overbooking, Offloading, and Booking Glitches) by the Committee on Tourism joint with Public Services, Rafael Bartolome, an OFW based in Qatar, joined the discussion as he experienced multiple flight cancellations on his travel to and from the Philippines last August 2022.

His case was endorsed to the Senate Committee on Tourism by the OFW Party List.

Another report received by the OFW Party List is that of an OFW from Saudi Arabia who was meted a 7-day salary deduction due to his missed flight, which the airline rebooked from June 6 to June 12, 2023.

The party list lawmaker also said these air travel-related incidents complained of have also resulted to various damages to affected air passengers such as loss of business opportunities and income, missed out family and social events, additional expenses incurred, accommodation difficulties, as well as physical and psychological emotional stress.

Through the filing of HR 1105, the congresswoman also hopes to ensure that the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, other commercial aviation and air travel-related laws and regulations, including airlines and airport operations protocols, are strictly implemented, or evaluated for necessary changes to mitigate the occurrence of the incidents complained of, to secure compensation in favor of affected passengers in similar occurrences in the future.

Magsino cited that DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative No. 1 series of 2012 (Air Passenger Bill of Rights) states that an air carrier ticket constitutes a contract of carriage between an air carrier and a passenger, whereby the air carrier, for consideration, obligates itself to transport a passenger by air safely, efficiently and conveniently along a stipulated route at a given date and time, subject to certain conditions and/or restrictions.

If the airline is reported to repeatedly violate this, then it is the duty of the State to investigate, and if needed, impose steep penalties and sanctions.