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Passengers eligible for refunds if flights delay for five hours or more

Update: 24-07-2023 | 12:55:08

The Ministry of Transport has issued a document on reviewing and amending circulars related to air transport, specifying the obligations of air carriers towards passengers in cases of cancellations and delays.

Customers waiting to board plane at Tan Son Nhat International Airport

A delayed flight is defined as a flight with an actual departure time delayed by more than 15 minutes from the scheduled time in the flight schedule.

For flights delayed for two hours or more, within the scope of service provision, the carrier shall offer suitable itinerary changes for passengers or switch them to another flight to reach their final destination, exempting any conditions on itinerary changes or flight switches and related surcharges (if any) for passengers.

For flights delayed for five hours or more, if passengers do not request the carrier to fulfil the obligations as prescribed, but instead request a ticket refund, the carrier shall refund the entire ticket fare or refund the unused portion of the fare according to the passenger's choice at the airport or at the designated offices, branches, or ticketing agents of the airline.

For extended flight delays, the carrier must provide non-refundable compensation in advance to confirmed and ticketed passengers, should passengers request, on the flight in accordance with the regulations on non-refundable advance compensation in air passenger transportation.

Flight cancellation is defined as the non-performance of a flight for which the flight's reservation and ticket sales have been announced on the carrier's reservation and ticketing system within 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

In cases where passengers are not transported due to the carrier's fault, the airline must provide non-refundable advance compensation to confirmed and ticketed passengers on the flight, or offer suitable itinerary changes or switch them to another flight to reach their final destination (exempting taxes and fees in the ticket).

If passengers refuse to apply the above provisions, the carrier shall refund the entire ticket fare or refund the unused portion of the fare according to the passenger's choice at the airport or at the designated offices, branches, or ticketing agents of the airline.

For completely unused tickets, the Ministry of Transport stipulates that the refund amount will be equal to the ticket fare paid by the passenger. The ticket fare includes charges for transportation services, taxes and fees regulated by the government, passenger and baggage security service fees, passenger service fees at airports, which are collected by the airline, and other related surcharges as per the lawful invoices provided by the passenger.

The document, Circular 19/2023, will take effect on September 1, 2023./.

VNA

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