The Chamber of Deputies has voted in favor of punishing airlines to the benefit of passengers when the latter suffer inconvenience due to flight delays and cancellations.
When flights are delayed from one to four hours through the fault of an airline it will have to pay for passengers’ meals and grant them compensation or a discount on a future flight of no less than 7.5% of the original ticket price.
If the delay is more than four hours the flight is to be considered cancelled and the airline must reimburse the full airfare and give customers compensation of no less than 25% of the original ticket price.
In this last scenario the airline will also have to provide substitute transportation on its first available flight.
If a passenger has to wait overnight for that flight the airline will have to provide passengers with access to telephone and internet connections, meals, lodging and ground transportation.
If the replacement flight lands at a destination different from that of the original flight, the airline must transport passengers by the fastest means available to the original destination.
In a different scenario, if flight schedules or anything else change, the airline is obliged to inform its passengers as soon as possible by any means available — by phone, email or text message — at least 24 hours before takeoff.
The regulations also stipulate that passengers who purchase a round-trip ticket but miss, for any reason, the flight’s first leg, they will be able to ask for a reimbursement of the price of the return flight without incurring a penalty. Under current regulations, passengers lose both flights.
Disabled passengers also get a break. No fees can be charged for the use of wheelchairs or walking aids during flights.
The proposed regulations must yet be voted on by the Senate.
Source: El Universal (sp)