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Passenger FAQ

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WHAT PASSENGERS SHOULD REMEMBER WHEN TRAVELLING BY AIR


Section I. Booking


Section II. At the Airport

 



SECTION I. BOOKING

Where can I book my flight?
Booking channels now include all applicable media, and a passenger need not go to a ticket office. Booking may now be done by logging online to the airline’s website or other online channels, or calling carrier hotlines. General Sales Agents or wholesalers and travel agents may also be approached or contacted in lieu of the carrier’s ticket office.
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How do I pay the fare?
Payment may now also be done through all applicable media. Generally, web bookings already include a facility for payment via credit card (book and buy), or via banks or payment centers before 12 midnight of booking date (book and hold). Book-and-buy and book-and-hold options are also available when booking is done via telephone.

If booking at a ticket office, a passenger can pay in cash, or by credit card, travel fund, travel voucher, or gift certificates, or he/she may present a trip pass.

However, payment acceptance and form at General Sales Agents or travel agents depend on the payment policies of each entity.
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Can I choose seats online?
Most carriers already have online seating choices. It should be noted that reserving a seat at this point may entail additional charges. But a passenger may still choose a seat at the check-in counter at the airport, subject to availability.
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What should I be mindful of?
The airline is a business entity, and may engage in sales promotions from time to time, subject to government approval and regulation. As it is merely a promo, the terms and conditions are outside of the usual business practice of the airline, and as such do not last beyond the approved period of promotion. Thus, it is important to be aware of the terms and conditions of each promo, including the scope, the services offered, extra payments if any, and length of the promotion period.

Government regulations require airlines to disclose or at least approximate the total amount that passengers need to pay for. But when booking a flight, it is still important to check with the airline any applicable fees and surcharges, if any, especially if availing of a flight or fare promo.

Other than this, a passenger must note the date and time of the flight, and duly prepare the documents therefor such as the printed eticket or itinerary receipt, or the actual ticket from a ticketing office, as well as the passenger’s identifying documents. It is crucial that the booking be done in the name of the passenger as appearing in the aidentifying documents, to avoid what is called an erroneous booking.
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Can I still correct an erroneous booking?
Once an eticket or itinerary is printed, or the ticket is issued, the passenger must check if his or her name was entered correctly. If not, he or she should have it corrected as early as possible in order to avoid the hassle risk of being held back at the airport.

Correction of erroneous booking may entail fees and/or penalties, and this may be especially so if done at the airport at the last minute. At worst, the carrier’s station manager can decide to deny the passenger from checking in.
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I am a person with reduced mobility/disability. Can I travel by air?
Persons with reduced mobility or disability may definitely travel by air. But it is important and advisable to inform the carrier or the ticketing agent beforehand of the extent of the reduction in physical movement or the nature of the disability, so that the carrier can clarify if it has the facilities or the capability to serve the passenger’s needs. In addition, carriers may charge additional fees for the handling and assistance of persons with reduced mobility or disability.

Passengers who require special equipment like oxygen apparatuses, vitals-monitoring machines, and the like, may be denied, as these cases usually call for more specialized carriage.
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Can minors/senior citizens travel on their own?
Minors can also travel unaccompanied by adults, subject to a minimum age requirement that may vary from carrier to carrier. It is best to inform the carrier or the ticketing agent of the passenger’s minor age, as the passenger may also require special handling by the carrier, or may be considered too young. The same is true with a senior citizen who, due to advanced age, may require certain assistance.

Carriers may likewise charge additional fees for the handling and assistance of minors and senior citizens.
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How about expectant mothers?
Women who are on the family way may travel by air, but carriers may have policies regarding the pregnancy term. Passengers should check with the carrier if the latter would still accept them for carriage by informing the latter of the true nature of their condition.  Generally, those in their 7th month of pregnancy may be required to sign a waiver before being accepted for carriage.
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How early should I inform the carrier of my condition?
It is best to inform the carrier early. Some airlines may have a policy of requiring this information upon booking, or at least 48 hours (two days) before the flight, so that the proper procedures are followed, and the proper forms accomplished. The carriers usually require that these forms be submitted at the airport counters when checking in for the flight.
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SECTION II. AT THE AIRPORT

What time do I check in?    
Passengers must have already submitted themselves at the check-in counters at least 45 minutes before flight departure, because is the time that the check-in counter closes for initially confirmed passengers.
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Until what time do the check-in counters accept passengers?
The check-in counters accept confirmed bookings only until 45 minutes before the estimated time of departure. After this, the check-in counter will start processing chance or rebooked passengers on standby.
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What are the other time constraints I should be mindful of?
After the 45th minute stated above, there are only 15 more minutes before boarding time (30 minutes before ETD), and 30 more minutes before the closing of the boarding gates (15 minutes before ETD). There is therefore only a limited time to go through the other pre-flight passenger procedures such as the payment of terminal fees, immigration and final security checks. Thus, it is often advised that passengers should be at the airports at least two to three hours before flight departure. This is standard for all carriers.

In complying with all time restrictions, passengers must consider and allot for the time spent queuing for the airport security check at the terminal entrances as well as the lines at the check-in counters themselves.
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What do I present at the check-in counter?
At the check-in counters, passengers are usually required to present the following:
    • Valid ID (Passport if travelling internationally)
    • Itinerary Receipt (in certain airports)
    • Return/Onward Ticket (if travelling internationally)
    • Photocopy of the credit card if the ticket is purchased by someone other than passenger.
    • Other Forms, i.e., for special handling cases like pregnant women, persons with disabilities, etc.

The carrier’s service personnel may ask standard questions or perform standard checks as to the contents of the passengers’ baggages. Depending on the results of these checks, the bags are issued with the appropriate tags.

Once everything is okay, and after the passenger checks in his baggages if any (with payment of excess baggage fees if any), the counter personnel will now issue the passenger a boarding pass and baggage claim slips. This boarding pass will be submitted to the airline personnel at the boarding gates.
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Can I refund/rebook my fare?
Promo fares, because of their nature, have restrictions following the terms and conditions of the promotion or program. They are, for example, non-transferable. But a promo fare may be rebooked to non-promo or regular fares, subject to payment of fees and/or penalties on top of the fare difference.

Regular fares are likewise rebookable, subject to penalties as well as the payment of the fare difference, if any.

However, carriers may require that these changes must be made more than four hours before flight departure, otherwise the fare and the flight stay as they are, and if unused, are considered flown.
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How many bags can I carry with me on the plane?
Passengers should note that as a general rule, only one carry-on luggage is allowed, subject to its dimensions, size, and weight, which limitations can be checked on the carrier’s website. Any exception to the number of carry-on luggage is subject to the discretion of the carrier’s personnel.

Instead of carrying any bags into the plane, a passenger may ask the carrier personnel if the airline provides for free checking in of baggage.

Policies on carry-on luggage and free check-ins vary from one airline to the next.

It is advisable, however, that at all times a passenger still carry with him very important things like medicine, jewellery, valuables, and/or portable electronic devices.
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Can I have a friend check me in?
This is usually not allowed as a circumvention to the rule on identifying documents. The passenger named in the ticket or itinerary receipt must be the one to present his or her identifying document.

Exceptions to this rule may obtain when the person checking in is a group/tour leader or coordinator, or is accompanying a sick or an aged passenger, a minor, or one with reduced mobility or other special handling requirements.

In the case of groups checking in, and depending on the carrier, the boarding passes may be released individually and not to the group or tour leader.
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What if I forgot or do not have my identifying documents?
The passenger can request to talk to such station manager and present to him or her whatever proof that may connect the passenger’s identity to the name on the itinerary receipt or ticket. However, this is left to the discretion of the station manager, who may require that the passenger be profiled before being allowed to check in, or deny the passenger from boarding.
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Can I check in online?
Passengers can check with their preferred carrier if the latter offers a check-in service on its website or through other online channels. The usual period for web check-ins is within 48 hours (two days) until 4 hours before the time of departure.

Passengers should note that, depending on the carrier, changes, cancellations, or modifications may no longer be effected once they check in online. Otherwise, passengers checking in online must print the boarding pass from the web and present this at the assigned check-in counters at the airport terminal (if checking in baggages) or directly at the boarding gate at least 30 minutes before flight departure (if only with carry-on luggage).

It is advisable, if the passenger has baggages to check in, to be at the airports early as if they will still manually check in.

Likewise, there are some passengers that may encounter problems or difficulties if checking in online. These include expectant mothers, unaccompanied minors, passengers with infants, groups of at least 10 members, and/or those with reduced mobility or who require special assistance. These passengers must go through manual check-in procedures at the airport.
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What if I check in within 45 minutes from flight departure?
Passengers should try to avoid checking in within 45 minutes from flight departure, because the carrier will now consider this a late check-in. The carrier may not be able to accommodate a passenger who checked in late because after the 45th minute, it will have started processing chance passengers and/or accommodate those that have been rebooked from earlier flights.

Among ways to avoid this are to consider queuing times as stated above, and to pay attention to personnel at the check-in carriers who might be announcing last calls for the flight concerned right at the check-in lines. The passenger must immediately submit the required flight documents to the personnel implementing the last-call procedures so that the latter can forward these to the counter.

If the passenger is not able to follow these suggestions, the carrier will consider him or her as a late-check-in. The passenger is redirected to a standby or another processing counter where he/she will have to wait to be accommodated, if that is still possible, or rebook to a later flight.
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What happens after I check in?
Passengers should note that they will still have to pay a terminal fee after checking in, and go through immigration and final security checks. The queuing times for these procedures must be considered in light of the boarding time which is 30 minutes before the appointed time of departure.

It is therefore suggested that after securing the boarding pass at the check-in counters, passengers should immediately go through these final procedures and go directly to the pre-departure or boarding areas to wait for the boarding time.

Passengers should also take note that the flight boarding gate may change depending on the parking allocation by airport authorities. Thus, passengers should always pay attention to announcements on the public address system, and check the flight monitors as well as the airline personnel if they are at the right boarding gate.

Boarding gates usually close at least 15 minutes prior to the flight departure to allow the aircraft to start pre-flight procedures such as requesting for tower clearance to push back from the gate, and to queue for flight.
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What if I am denied from boarding because the flight was overbooked?
Government regulations require that the airlines do the following, whether the passenger holds a regular or promo price ticket:

  1. The carrier should ask for volunteers among the passengers who are willing to give up their seats;
  2. Volunteers as well as the rest of the passengers who are denied boarding because the flight is over booked are given denied-boarding compensation that should consist at least of the value of the fare not flown plus damages of a fixed amount. These are distinct and separate from those that the carrier may decide to give such passengers.
  3. If the carrier provides more than what is stipulated by government regulations, this higher value should be given.
  4. In addition to the foregoing, the passenger has priority booking for the next available flight.

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Can I do anything if the airline refuses to provide me with any amenity or service I am entitled to?
Passengers may forward their complaints to, or ask for assistance from, the CAB personnel at certain airports. In the absence of such personnel, passengers may call (02) 852-8967 (CAB Legal Division) or (02) 853-7259/854-5996 (CAB Trunklines), or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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