Passenger rights were violated during Naia mayhem, says House leader

This photo of the Media Department of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) lifts the airliner of the Xiamen Air Boeing 737-800 from the grassy section of the international runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, after landing during the landing. of the runway was hit by a heavy downpour on Saturday 18 August 2018 in the Pasay suburb southeast of Manila, Philippines. All 157 passengers and crew were safe, but the incident forced the airport to close and thousands of passengers stranded. (MIAA Media Affairs via AP)

Passenger rights were violated when approximately three hundred flights were canceled, deferred or diverted since 19 August after a Xiamen Air Boeing aircraft slipped from a runway at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

At least 45,000 passengers were affected by the chaos at the airports of the country after the incident.

"Stranded passengers are entitled to certain provisions in case of delay of the terminal, even if this is due to force majeure or circumstances beyond the control of the airline," said Makati Rep. Luis Campos Jr., deputy minority leader, in a statement.

Many passengers stuck in the three Naia terminals and other airports across the country complained that no one cared for them.

Some said that a domestic courier, for example, did not provide food and drinks and hotel accommodation during the delays.


In the midst of the furore, Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, Philippines Air Asia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines have apologized for the inconvenience their passengers have suffered.

"We have done everything we can to take care of affected passengers who, we recognize, had to endure insecurity, long waiting times and inconvenience, but we recognize that our efforts were not enough at some critical moments," PAL said in Tuesday. a statement.

PAL said it was still working to normalize operations from Tuesday onwards, given the volume of replacement flights and the shaking of aircraft, crew and operational resources.

Cebu Pacific said the operations were normalized from Tuesday.

P15-M penalty

Xiamen Air will have to pay the government at least P15 million, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa).

Miaa General Manager Ed Monreal said in a television interview on Tuesday that the initial amount included only the manpower and rent of the crane and equipment used to lift the jet from the field.

Monreal said the last bill might include the revenues from landing and start-up fees lost as a result of canceled flights.

"For the consequential [damages]That's all for the passengers or the airlines if they want to file a case against Xiamen Airlines, "he said.

& # 39; Disability, negligence & # 39;

One of those who had endured the chaos and misery in Naia Terminal 1 on Friday was lawyer Howard Calleja, who would leave for Hawaii.

Calleja said in a post on social media that the way in which an airline dealt with the situation, "pure incompetence and negligence & # 39; used to be.

"As a professor of injustice and damage in Ateneo Law, I am aware of accidental events, but last night (August 17) was not accidental," he said.

He said that the airline could not use this excuse because it had information about the situation in advance and the staff at Naia was, to say the least, not courteous.

Bill of rights

Calleja said that not only the airline, but also the management of Naia and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shared the blame.

Campos noted that Joint Administrative Order No. 01 (JAO1) of the transport and trade departments created a bill of rights for air passengers and carrier obligations.

"[I]In case of a delay of the terminal of at least three hours after the estimated departure time, regardless of whether this is due to the carrier, the passenger has the right to (a) be provided with refreshment or meals (sufficient snacks, breakfast, lunch or dinner, as the case may be), free telephone calls, text messages or e-mails, and first aid if necessary; and (b) make a rebook or refund his ticket … or be approved by another carrier, "Campos section 12 of YAO1 quoted.

In the context of the order, all airlines are also given the mandate to provide "customer service representatives who can address common problems, such as arranging meals and hotel rooms for stranded passengers, meeting denied boarding, arranging baggage, and arranging from other routine claims or complaints on the spot, "the legislator said.

Campos called the Civil Aviation Board (CAB) to determine the companies that did not keep their end of the agreement.

He added that according to JAO1 the CAB would have "complaints and assistance offices" that would help passengers whose rights have been violated by a carrier.

Tugade reaction

The Minister of Transport, Arthur Tugade, has dealt with his criticism of the DOTr which he could have solved better in resolving the crisis.

The CAB, MIAA and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines – agencies that are directly involved in the chaos of the airport – are all under DOTr supervision.

Tugade said that the incident in Xiamen was an eye-opener for the department to review the emergency protocol and to review the bill of rights of the Air Passengers.

Not like towing a bus

Previously, lawmakers were deploying transport workers because the closure of a single runway at Naia paralyzed the operations of the entire airport.

"Restoring a disabled plane is very different from towing a bus or a car … In addition to passengers, we also think of the safety of the rescuers – a false move, the plane can explode," Tugade said in a statement. –JEROME ANING, MATTHEW REYSIO-CRUZ REPORTS, MIGUEL R. CAMUS, KRIXIA SUBUPUBING AND GABRIEL PABICO LALU

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