|In Viet Nam, most airlines only refunded the price of tickets and the additional amount of VND300,000 ($14.1). — Photo doisongphapluat
HA NOI (VNS) — The compensation offered to passengers for delayed or cancelled flights in Viet Nam is much lower than what is offered in other countries, a civil aviation official has said.
Speaking at a seminar on Wednesday, on the rights of passengers during cancelled and delayed flights, Director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV) Lai Xuan Thanh said that in European Union countries, the lowest level of compensation for delayed or cancelled flights was 250 euro (US$33.8).
In Viet Nam, he said most airlines only refunded the price of tickets and the additional amount of VND300,000 ($14.1).
"Most passengers have no idea about their benefits and instead demand compensation from the airlines," he said, adding that this was the responsibility of the CAAV.
He admitted that passengers did not know where and who to complain to in case of cancellations and delay as the hotline sign was not installed in passenger lounges.
However, most of the airlines disagreed.
Managing Director of Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Le Hong Ha said that there were two official regulations on compensation for passengers in case of flight cancellations and delay.
In the event of a flight cancellation, passengers are compensated VND100,000 ($4.7) for routes less than 500 kilometres, VND200,000 ($9.4) for routes between 500 and 1,000 kilometres and VND300,000 ($14.1) for distances longer than that. Passengers receive no compensation if the airline notifies them 24 hours before the flight.
In case of delays, the airlines must notify and apologise to passengers after a 20-minute delay, serve drinks and food for a 3-hour delay, give accommodation for a 6-hour delay.
Ha said his airlines, as well as Vietnam Airlines and low-cost carrier Vietjet Air, gave better compensation than the regulations stated. He cited an example of his carrier, which allows passengers to return their tickets, change their flights times or switch to other flights.
Deputy Director of Vietjet Air, Nguyen Duc Tam agreed, saying that his carrier offered up to VND300,000 ($14.1) for domestic flights and $150 for international ones.
According to the VAAC, the percentage of cancelled and delayed flights made up 25 per cent of the total in the first five months of this year.
Earlier, the Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang asked the CAAV to speak with airlines in HCM City and Ha Noi to find out the causes for delays.
He gave a number of targets for domestic airlines. Accordingly, Vietnam Airlines must reduce the number of cancelled and delayed flights, which should be lower than the previous year. Other carriers should reduce by 50 per cent of the delayed and cancelled flights recorded in the first six months this year.
All carriers must ensure that 90 per cent of their flights are on time by next year. — VNS