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Airlines reminded of legal duty for refunds for cancelled, rescheduled flights

Airlines reminded of legal duty for refunds for cancelled, rescheduled flights

PHUKET: The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has issued two distinct notices to all airlines reminding them of their obligations to passengers affected by cancelled or rescheduled flights, including the conditions for refunding airfares, and to provide food and drinks, and access to free communications services for flights delayed for hours.

tourismtransportCOVID-19economics
By The Phuket News

Monday 22 June 2020, 06:14PM


Passengers arrive at Phuket International Airport as a staffer cleans the chairs as part of the ‘new normal’ requirements. Photo: AoT Phuket

Passengers arrive at Phuket International Airport as a staffer cleans the chairs as part of the ‘new normal’ requirements. Photo: AoT Phuket

A first notice issued on Friday (June 19) reminded all air service operators of the “Announcement of the Ministry of Transport on Protection of Passenger Rights Using Thai air carriers’ Services for Domestic Scheduled Air Aervices 2010 (B.E. 2553)”, issued 10 years ago by Sopol Saram, the Minister of Transport at the time.

A notice issued late this afternoon (June 22) specifically singled out all charter flight operators.

Any flights cancelled with less than one day’s notice entitles passengers a full refund or a refund to part of the journey not yet completed, or to have the passengers travel on another flight at no extra cost.

Food and beverages appropriate for the duration of the inconvenience must be provided, as well as free access to communications services such as telephone, fax and email, the notice explained.

If passengers are forced to stay overnight due to a cancellation, the airlines must provide accommodation with transportation between the airport and accommodation, it added.

However, if the cancellation is the result of “force majeure”, such as the result of political instability or the weather, the passenger will pay the required expenses, the notice read.

Regardless, for airlines to issue travel vouchers instead of providing a full refund, the airline must obtain the passenger’s permission beforehand, explained the notice issued on Friday.

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To see the full conditions of the airlines’ duty of responsibility as required by law in Thailand, see the full CAAT notice in English here.

Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchoo today confirmed that the notices were in effect and all airlines by law had to comply with the requirements.

However, he was unavailable to comment further as to why the notices were issued and how they involved any passengers travelling via Phuket airport, as he was tasked with leading an inspection tour for Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutecha, who arrived to tour Phuket’s key tourism and transport portal today.

However, the CAAT notices issued Friday and today encouraged any persons who believe they have a right to file a formal complaint to do so at:

Department of Civil Aviation
71 Soi Ngarmduplee, Rama IV Road,
Thung-mahamek,Sathorn District,
Bangkok 10120, Thailand.

Telephone: 02 287 3373
Email: airtravelcomplaint@aviation.go.th

Further information can be obtained via direct line 1111 or 02 286 3775 during official hours (8:30am-4:30pm), the notices both added.

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Kurt | 23 June 2020 - 11:04:12

What will Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee do if airlines are not complying with INTERNATIONAL, by CAAT supported rules about refunds/compensation of passengers who are left in the thai "cold" during the present no-refund situation?  Forbid such airline to touch down at Phuket Airport? Don't make me laugh. He was 'further'unavailable' to comment, right?

 

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