MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) advised passengers to seek compensation from Cebu Pacific for flight delays and cancellations during the holidays, saying it has no power to compel the budget airline to shell out money for affected customers.
CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said “it may not be within the prerogative of the CAB under its limited jurisdiction to assess a situation as the December 24 to 25 event, and determine compensation.”
That’s for the courts to decide on, Arcilla added.
Cebu Pacific is facing a P52.11 million ($1.18 million*) fine over thousands of complaints on flight delays and cancellations.
The amount would go straight to national coffers, not the passengers.
Arcilla said the fine is meant to make Cebu Pacific follow CAB rules and comply with obligations under its permit.
He admitted that CAB can only go so far in assisting passengers in filing claims based on their rights as airline passengers. “If the airlines fail to satisfy the claims of the passengers in accordance with the rules, passengers may seek the assistance of the CAB in the enforcement of the rules and/or go to court to obtain redress,” Arcilla said.
A total of 10,400 passengers were affected by the flight delays and cancellations. The CAB Board decided to impose a P5,000 ($113.43) fine for every affected passenger.
Cebu Pacific Air Inc chief Lance Gokongwei said he was “profoundly sorry” for the inconvenience encountered by their passengers during the holidays, blaming absenteeism as the primary culprit for the flight delays and cancellations. – Rappler.com
$1 = P44.08
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