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Understanding Flight Compensation Rights in the Philippines

understanding flight compensation rights in the philippines

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In the wake of recent flight delays and cancellations with Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, understanding your rights as a passenger has never been more crucial. This guide will provide an in-depth look at your entitlements during flight disruptions in the Philippines, with a special focus on bumped flight compensation Philippines and the Montreal Convention. We’ll explore scenarios such as canceled flights and passengers being denied boarding, and what compensations you may be entitled to.

Your Rights Under the Air Passenger Bill of Rights 

The Civil Aeronautics Board’s chief legal officer, Wyrlou Samodio, emphasizes the importance of passenger rights, noting that passengers must be protected and informed of their rights by airlines. However, passengers also have the responsibility to read and understand the terms and conditions of their tickets.

Rights under Air Passage Bill of Rights
Rights under Air Passage Bill of Rights

Right to Information

Passengers must be informed about the specific details of their airline tickets. This includes knowing if the ticket is rebookable, reroutable, refundable, and its expiry or validity. Accurate information helps passengers make informed decisions when purchasing tickets.

Right to Service Purchased

Passengers are entitled to the service they purchased. They should not be considered “late” if they are within the carrier’s cord in the check-in area at least an hour before the departure. Airlines must have designated counters for persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and others needing assistance. This provision is vital for those seeking Philippine Airlines delayed flight compensation.

Exceptions to the Right to Board

There are exceptions to the right to board, such as safety and security reasons, health concerns, or non-appearance at the boarding gate. For instance, a sick passenger who is not infectious should still be allowed to board the aircraft. This information is particularly important for those dealing with bumped flight compensation in the Philippines.

Right to Compensation

Airlines are not liable for every delayed or canceled flight. For instance, cancellations due to severe weather do not obligate airlines to provide hotel accommodations. However, passengers have specific rights in cases of delays: 

  • For delays of at least three hours: Passengers are entitled to refreshments, meals, free phone calls, email, first aid, and rebooking without additional charges. 
  • For tarmac delays of at least two hours: Passengers should receive sufficient food and beverages, with updates every 30 minutes. If the delay reaches three hours, passengers must be offloaded. 
  • For canceled flights not caused by the airline: Passengers can refund the fare value or rebook their tickets.
  • For complaints regarding lost or damaged baggage, passengers should first approach the air carrier. Airlines follow the Montreal Convention, which holds them liable for proven damages up to 100,000 SDR (Special Drawing Rights).

The Montreal Convention in the Philippines

The Montreal Convention modernizes the rules governing international air travel, ensuring passenger protection and equitable compensation. It applies to international flights where the departure and destination are within the territories of two State Parties or within a single State Party’s territory with an agreed stopping place in another State’s territory. This framework is essential for those seeking Philippine Airlines delayed flight compensation.

Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations

Under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention, passengers are entitled to compensation for delays and cancellations. Compensation covers reasonable expenses incurred due to the delay, such as additional transportation costs, accommodation costs, and lost wages. The maximum compensation is limited to 5,346 SDR per passenger, which, as of June 15, 2023, equates to approximately PhP 402,448.84.

cancelled flight compensation
Flight cancellation
delayed flight compensation
Flight delay
baggage delay, loss, and damage compensation
Baggage delay, loss, and damage
bumped flight compensation philippines
Bodily Injury (Compensation for cases such as Bumped Flights)

Filing Claims and Time Limits

Claims for compensation under the Montreal Convention must be made within two years from the date of arrival of the aircraft or the date it ought to have arrived. Passengers should contact the airline, submit a written claim detailing the incident and damages, and follow up if necessary.

Exemptions from Liability

According to Article 20 of the Montreal Convention, carriers may be exonerated from liability if the damage was caused by the passenger’s negligence or by a third party’s wrongful act.


Understanding your rights as a passenger can significantly ease the stress of travel disruptions. The Montreal Convention provides a robust framework for these rights and compensations. Familiarizing yourself with these provisions ensures you are adequately protected when flying with Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. 

Moreover, if you’ve experienced a bumped flight compensation Philippines or a delayed flights compensation Philippines on an international flight and believe you may be entitled to compensation under the Montreal Convention, Lawyers Online PH can assist.

Sources: (1), (2), (3)

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