Passengers can still rebook flights penalty-free — PHL carriers

Airline passengers whose flights were canceled or who missed their plane because of the flood and rain may rebook their flights without penalties, carriers said Wednesday.

At least 170 flights were canceled since Monday on account of the southwest monsoon that was worsened by Tropical Storm Maring (Trami), according to airline and goverment data.

Since Monday, Philippine Airlines canceled at least 60 flights and the flag carrier waived re-booking fees for 30 days from the original departure date Tuesday.

In its 11 a.m. advisory Wednesday, PAL said 13 return flights were canceled because of bad weather.

"We are mounting replacement flights and accommodating passengers on regular flights to avoid further inconvenience to customers," an official of PAL told GMA News Online on Wednesday. "We have no figures yet on losses due to cancellations as there are still canceled flights today," the official added.

In a statement, PAL appealed to passengers:

"The massive metro-wide floods in the last two days that led to numerous flight delays and cancellations has not only inconvenienced our passengers but also prevented our staff from reporting for duty, especially at the airport," it said.

Accumulated losses

New player Tiger Airways Philippines accumulated at least P12 million in losses from 19 domestic flights that were canceled Tuesday as relentless rain flooded the Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Terminal 4 (Manila Domestic Airport) and aircraft developed problems amid bad weather, said president Olive Ramos.

"We canceled 19 flights — all domestic — due to flooding in Terminal 4, which reached even the check-in counters. Even our aircraft got flooded, with waters reaching engine," Ramos told GMA News Online.

"We had already taken in passengers in the boarding area when flights were canceled," she added.

All Tiger Airways international flights are mounted at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, the airline resumed flights but with delays, according to the airline official.

Ramos said the Tiger Airways call center is accepting flight re-bookings with fees waived due to force majeure or unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.

"For now, we are focusing on helping at the airport, providing food and early notifications to passengers," she said.

"We also continue with the normal check up for aircraft affected by the heavy rains," she added.

Cebu Pacific also extended re-booking without penalties for travel within 30 days from the original travel date, said vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog. Full refund would be given to requesting passengers but only for those in Luzon, the official noted.

"So far today, there are no cancellations yet," Iyog told GMA News Online.

Asked on how much in losses the airline incurred so far, she said they are not computing the financial aspect at this point as the airline is "focusing on accommodations and minimizing inconvenience for passengers." — VS, GMA News