Airlines ordered to stop overbooking flights

Posted at 05/22/2012 11:03 AM | Updated as of 05/22/2012 1:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has ordered airlines to stop overbooking their domestic flights, in response to growing number of complaints from passengers who were bumped off their flights.

"There is an increase in the number of complaints concerning delayed/and or cancelled flights and passengers denied boarding, more particularly among domestic scheduled flights to the prejudice and inconvenience of the public," the CAB said, in an order signed on May 4.

To address the complaints arising from overbooking of flights, the CAB ordered airlines to suspend this practice as it conducts a review.

Airlines typically overbook their flights by 10% in anticipation of passengers who do not show up.

If airlines do not comply with the CAB order, they face a P5,000 fine multiplied by the number of passengers bumped off or denied boarding.

"The above penalty shall be separate from the compensation due to the affected passengers in accordance with existing airline compensation package and/or existing regulators," the CAB said.

The CAB also suspended the non-rebookability or non-refundability condition imposed by airlines.

"In view of the numerous complaints against Philippine carriers in connection with the non-rebookability and/or non-refundability of tickets, both promotional and regular. The non-rebookability and/or non-refundability as a condition attached to any ticket is suspended until final action on the matter by the Board. Consequently, all tickets, regular or promotional, shall be rebookable and refundable. The general conditions of carriage shall be amended accordingly,” the CAB said.