As we know, hiccups can happen even if your airline tickets may have been booked way in advance. There is the traffic, the looong lines at the airport gate (and check-in counter!), sudden downpour that just comes from nowhere, among others. We hope none of it happens, of course. But when it does and none of it is your fault or within your control, it pays to know what your rights are as an airline passenger. Here’s the fine print plus a highlight of the 7 things you need to know about your "Air Passenger Bill of Rights."
Didn’t get in three hours before check-in? It’s still NOT considered late or a no-show if you get in the airline’s check-in area ONE HOUR before the estimated time of departure. That said, you want to get at the check-in counter at least three hours before departure time because you can never predict the lines. Cutting it close to departure time? The airline is required to put up a separate counter to facilitate faster check-in and another one for the elderly and people with disabilities. Airline overbooked passengers? Overbooking is an accepted industry practice of selling more than the seats the aircraft has, based on demand-supply for a specific flight. If the airline finds a flight has been overbooked, it (not you) has to find a solution, whether that’s finding a volunteer to give up his seat or how much he will compensate a passenger.
Your flight got cancelled? You—not the airline—get to choose whether to rebook or reimburse for a flight cancellation that occurred 24 hours before departure. If they announced it less than 24 hours before departure, the airline can find you another carrier, rebook, or reimburse you without additional charges.
Your flight has been delayed? Yes, airlines should at least provide you with food and drinks if your flight is delayed by two hours after estimated time of departure. Same with a three-hour delay PLUS free phone calls, SMS and emails, if necessary. You also get to choose to rebook or refund your ticket.
Airline lost your baggage? They need to pay you P2,000 for every one day delay of luggage delivery. When should you get compensated for any of the previous reasons mentioned? Ideally, right after the incident occurred. It also says, however, that compensation may be claimed at the airline’s main office or branch but at your discretion. The most important thing to remember is you need to receive payment in 15 days, counting from the day of the incident.