What to do when your flight gets canceled

Aika Rey

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What to do when your flight gets canceled
Here are your rights as a passenger when your flight gets delayed or canceled

MANILA, Philippines – Do you know what to do in case your plane flight gets canceled?

With the recent plane mishap involving Xiamen Air, passengers were at a loss on what to do with the massive flight cancelations that paralyzed the country’s main gateway.

Despite the resumption of flight operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) main runway, there were still numerous cancelations brought about by the domino effect in operations over the past few days. (LOOK: Crowded NAIA after runway reopening)

General guidelines:

Below are the rights passengers are entitled to according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB):


If there is terminal delay of at least 3 hours after the time of departure, airlines are required to provide refreshments or meals, whether or not the carrier is at fault.

Passengers are also entitled to free phone calls, sending of text messages or emails, and first aid, if necessary.

In cases like this, passengers are also entitled to rebooking the ticket without additional charge to the next flight with available space or within 30 days. They may also be reimbursed, including taxes and surcharges of flight.

Passengers may also opt to be endorsed to another carrier without any payment of fare difference.

If there are delays of at least 6 hours from the time of departure, passengers are entitled to demand compensation from the airline for delays attributable to the carrier.

However, this is not applicable to cases of force majeure or unforeseeable circumstances such as accidents, or in this case, the Xiamen Air plane mishap.


If the flight cancelation is due to the airline’s fault, passengers who are already at the airport must be given sufficient refreshments or meals, hotel accommodation accessible from the airport, as well as transportation to and from the said hotel.

Similar to delayed flights, passengers may request for free phone calls, sending of text messages or emails, and first aid, if necessary.

Passengers also enjoy the same reimbursement, rebooking, and endorsement privileges as a delayed flight.

If the airline is not at fault or in cases of force majeure, passengers may have their ticket fares reimbursed, or rebooked. But CAB notes that the Air Passenger Bill of Rights does not require airlines to charge other relevant fees.

Airline guidelines:


AirAsia passengers have the following options:

  • Move flight – one-time change to a new travel date on the same route within 30 calendar days from original flight time without additional cost, subject to seat availability.
  • Credit account – retain the value of your fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia, with the credit to be redeemed within 90 calendar days from the date of issue.
  • Refund – obtain a full refund in the amount equivalent to your booking.

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines (PAL) passengers can go to ticket offices nationwide, call hotline number 8558888, or visit the ManageMyBooking portal on the airline’s website.

Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific, meanwhile, said its passengers can opt for any of the following, without penalties:

  • Rebook flights for travel within 30 days from original date of departure
  • Convert into a Travel Fund for future use
  • Get a full refund

Cebu Pacific advised passengers to rebook or refund flights through the Manage Booking section of the airline’s website. Passengers can also call hotline number 7020888. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at