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Flight Delay Compensation in the Philippines: A Guide on the Montreal Convention

Updated: Jun 17, 2023


Cebu Pacific delay

In the wake of recent flight delays and cancellations with Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, understanding your rights as a passenger has never been more crucial. This blog post provides a comprehensive guide to your rights during flight delays and cancellations in the Philippines, with a focus on the Montreal Convention.

The Montreal Convention in the Philippines: Application and History

The Montreal Convention, an international treaty adopted by many countries, including the Philippines, modernizes the rules governing international air travel. It ensures passenger protection and provides equitable compensation based on the principle of restitution.

What the Montreal Convention Covers

The Montreal Convention applies to international flights. It covers scenarios where the place of departure and destination are within the territories of two State Parties or within a single State Party's territory if there is an agreed stopping place within another State's territory.

Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations: What You're Entitled To

Under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of flight delays and cancellations with Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. The carrier is liable for damage caused by delay in the carriage by air of passengers, baggage, or cargo.

Maximum Compensation Allowed

Philippine Airlines delay

The Montreal Convention sets limits on airlines' liability in the event of passenger injury or death, loss or damage to baggage, and delay. The exact amount of compensation depends on the specifics of the case and the prevailing exchange rate.

As per Article 22 of the Montreal Convention, in case of damage caused by delay in the carriage of persons, the liability is limited to 5,346 Special Drawing Rights (“SDR”) per passenger. As of June 15, 2023, 1 SDR equals approximately PhP75.80. Thus, a passenger may be entitled to as much as PhP402,448.84.

In the context of flight delays, the compensation is intended to cover any reasonable expenses that are incurred as a direct result of the delay. This could include, but is not limited to:

  1. Additional transportation costs: If the delay causes you to miss a connecting flight, you may need to book a new flight or other form of transportation. The cost of this could be covered by the compensation.

  2. Accommodation costs: If the delay forces you to stay overnight in a city other than your final destination, you may need to book a hotel room. The cost of the hotel, as well as any meals or other necessary expenses, could be covered by the compensation.

  3. Lost wages: If the delay causes you to miss work, you may be able to claim for lost wages.

It's important to note that the airline is only liable for damages that were foreseeable at the time of the contract of carriage. This means that if the airline could not have reasonably foreseen the expenses, they may not be liable for them.

Procedure and Time Limit for Filing Claims

Claims for compensation under the Montreal Convention must be made within a certain time frame. For damage caused by delay, the action must be brought within two years from the date of arrival of the aircraft, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived.

To file a claim, passengers should:

  1. Contact the airline: The first step is to contact the airline that operated the flight. This can usually be done through their customer service department.

  2. Submit a written claim: The claim should detail the incident and the damages suffered. It's important to include all relevant details and any supporting documentation.

  3. Follow up: If the airline does not respond within a reasonable time, or if the response is unsatisfactory, passengers may need to escalate their claim.

What’s not covered by the Montreal Convention

According to Article 20 of the Montreal Convention, there are certain instances where the carrier may be exonerated from liability. These include:

  1. If the carrier can prove that the person who has suffered damage caused or contributed to the damage by their negligence or other wrongful act or omission.

  2. If the carrier can prove that the damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party.


Understanding your rights as a passenger can make your international travel experience smoother and less stressful. The Montreal Convention provides a framework for these rights and the compensation you may be entitled to in the event of flight delays or cancellations with Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. It's important to familiarize yourself with these provisions to ensure that you are adequately protected when you travel.

If you've experienced a flight delay or cancellation on an international flight with Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific and believe you may be entitled to compensation under the Montreal Convention, Lawyers Online PH is here to assist. As a trusted referral service, we bridge clients to top-notch lawyers who specialize in flight compensation claims. Let us connect you with legal experts who can protect your rights and guide you through the process. Contact us today and take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve.

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