Flight Delayed or Canceled? Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Air Passenger Rights

With travel back on full throttle, you should know your rights as an air passenger.
by | May 24, 2023

There are a million things that could go wrong when you travel, but some that are going to hurt the most are immigration problems for international travel, flight delays, or worse, cancellations. In cases like this, what should you be doing? Here’s a quick rundown of your rights as an air passenger based on the Air Passenger Bill of Rights or Joint DOTC-DTI Admin Order No. 01:


What are the major rights of an air passenger?

As an air passenger, you have three major rights:

  • Right to be provided with accurate information before purchase
  • Right to receive the full value of the service purchased
  • Right to compensation


What are the rights under the Right to Receive the Full Value of the Service Purchased?

  • Right to be processed for check-in – a passenger is not considered late or a no-show, or denied check-in if they arrive in the check-in area at least one hour before the Estimated Time of Departure (ETD)
  • Right to Sufficient Processing Time
    • For international flights, check-in counters must be open at least two hours before ETD
    • There must be a separate dedicated counter for flights nearing the check-in deadline to facilitate passengers one hour before the published ETD
    • There must be at least one check-in counter for senior citizens, PWDs, and persons requiring special assistance or handling
  • Right to Board Aircraft for the Purpose of Flight – a passenger cannot be denied the right to board the aircraft without his consent except when there’s an overbooking or for legal or other valid causes.
    • In case of overbooked flights, the auction system must be followed. Either the airline must look for volunteers who are willing to give up their seats or increase the compensation package until the required number of volunteers is met.


What happens when my flight is canceled?

In case of a canceled flight, you have the Right to Compensation and Amenities:

Situations of Cancellation Rights of Passengers
Canceled flight 24 hours before the estimated time of departure, attributable to the air carrier
  • Be notified beforehand of the fact of cancellation
  • Rebook or reimburse the passenger, at the option of the latter
Less than 24 hours before the flight
  • To be notified of the fact of cancellation
  • Right to amenities (hotel accommodations, food, beverage, etc.)
  • Reimbursement of the fare, surcharges and taxes, and other optional fees
  • Endorsement to another carrier without additional fees or paying any fare difference
  • Book a ticket without additional charge
Due to other causes (i.e. force majeure, safety and/or security reasons) Reimburse the full value of fare


What happens when my flight is delayed?

In case of a delayed flight, here are your rights under Compensation and Amenities:

Hours of Delay Rights of Passengers
Terminal delay at least three hours after ETD
  • To avail of refreshments or meals
  • To free phone calls, texts, or emails, and first aid if necessary
  • To rebook or refund his/her ticket
  • To be endorsed to another carrier
Terminal delay at least six hours after ETD
  • Consider the flight canceled for the purpose of availing the rights and amenities provided for in case of actual cancellation
  • Additional compensation that’s equivalent to the least value of the sector delayed
  • Board the flight if it takes place more than six hours after the ETD and the passenger has not opted to rebook and/or refund
Tarmac delay of at least two hours after ETD Right to be given sufficient food and beverage


What if my baggage gets delayed, lost, or damaged?

For delayed, lost, or damaged luggage, you have the right to:
  • Be informed of the fact of off-loading
  • A Php 2,000 compensation for every 24 hours of delay
  • Refund of checked baggage fees if your baggage isn’t delivered within 24 hours from the arrival of your flight
For damages:
  • Domestic flights: you have the right to a maximum amount equivalent to half of the amount in the relevant convention (for international flights) in its Peso equivalent
  • International flights: the relevant convention shall apply
For loss:

Presumption of loss shall apply. If after a period of seven days, you should have received the baggage and it is not delivered, it is presumed lost.


In case of death or bodily injury, what are the rights of a passenger?

  • International flights: relevant convention and inter-carrier agreements apply
  • Domestic flights: the compensation is based on the stipulated amount in the relevant convention which governs international flights


How do I claim my Compensation?

As a passenger, you also have the Right to Immediate Payment of Compensation. It must be available to the affected passenger:

  • At the air carrier’s counters at the airport on the date when the incident occurred, or
  • At the main office or any branch of the air carrier, at the discretion of the passenger.

It shall be available in the following modes:

  • Tendering a check
  • Cash
  • Document necessary to claim the compensation benefits. It shall be convertible to cash within 15 days from the date the occasion occurred.


For concerns regarding the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, you may ask for assistance from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) personnel stationed at certain airports. You may also send an email to legal@cab.gov.ph or apbr@cab.gov.ph.


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When she’s not writing, Ina’s busy curating playlists that will save her when words don’t work, reading, annoying her cat, or thinking of her next meal.

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