-- August 2013 ~ Travel and Immigration 101

Thursday, August 8, 2013

House Bill 23 Filed to Protect Airline Passengers

A proposed bill aimed at protecting the rights of airline passengers has recently been filed in Congress by Reps. Francisco Ashley Acedillo and Gary Alejano (Party-list, MAGDALO).
House Bill 23 seeks to address the problem of airline passengers ranging from poor quality of service, delay and cancellation of flights and disappearance of reservations, among others. Alejano said under the bill to be known as the "Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act," an air carrier would establish and implement procedures for handling complaints from passengers.

The bill will provide passengers on board an aircraft or in the airport timely, reasonable and truthful information regarding delays, cancellations or diversion affecting the customer's flight including its cause. The air carrier will use airport overhead announcements, on aircraft announcements and postings on airport television monitors.

Under the measure, air carriers would establish and implement procedures allowing passengers to exit the aircraft in case of departure and arrival delays. Airline passengers will be provided with the essential needs at all times during which the aircraft is on the ground, in the event of a departure delay, including the needs for food, water, sanitary facilities, medical access, adequate ventilation and comfortable cabin temperatures.

In cases of chronically delayed flights, air carriers will publish and update monthly on its Internet website a list of chronically delayed flights. The same will be disclosed to customers when purchasing tickets. The proposed bill will also ensure the prominent display of information outlining the consumer rights of passengers. It will also penalize erring carriers with a fine of P10,000 but not more than P30,000 depending on the severity of the offense caused. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Skyscanner Reveals Filipinos’ Favorite European Destinations

Leading flight search engine, Skyscanner has recently reported an increase by 53% in flight search to European destinations this year. Following the decision to lift the ban on Philippine Airlines by unanimous votes among the European Commission’s 28 member states, Skyscanner also revealed top destinations of choice among Filipinos.
Topping the list of most searched destination is the United Kingdom.  With an estimated Filipino population of 200,000 in 2007, UK has been a favorite destination not only for its rich culture and castles but also for the visiting families of Filipinos working there.

Coming in second is Germany, famous for its rich culture, mouth-watering cuisine and people who know and love a good party. In fact, Filipinos travelling this great country date back to the 19th century and our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal is one of them.

Filipino’s penchant for fashion, food and discovering interesting spots made Italy the third on the list. 
“We Pinoys love to shop, eat and go sight-seeing. So a country that offers all these definitely plays a part when we decide to travel,” Janet Ranola, Skyscanner Philippines Manager explains. “Plus the fact that a lot of Filipinos are working and are scattered in Europe, flying at cheaper rates is great news indeed,” Ranola added. 

“Now that Filipino travellers can fly to Europe without having to catch connecting flights and such, I think online search and inquiries to more European destinations will increase” Ranola concluded. 
Other destinations that made the top 10 list are France, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Switzerland. 

  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Germany (DE)
  • Italy (IT)
  • France (FR)
  • Spain (ES)
  • Netherlands (NL)
  • Norway (NO)
  • Denmark (DK)
  • Ireland (IE)
  • Switzerland (CH)

For more information on cheap flights, deals and where to go in Europe visit www.skyscanner.com.ph.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

China and Taiwan Excluded in New Philippine Visa Privilege

When the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) extended the visa-free privilege of foreigners last Monday, Chinese nationals criticized the move for excluding them.
Zhuang Guotu, dean of the Research School of Southeast Asian Studies at Xiamen University claimed that the visa requirement for Chinese is Philippines' way to get even on the South China Sea territorial row.

"Both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are embroiled in disputes with the country. Its decision to exclude people from the two regions is a retaliatory move, especially, against Taiwan," Godu told The Global Times on Wednesday.

DFA extended the 21-day visa-free privilege of 151 countries to 30 days--a list which has not included China and Taiwan since 2010. The Philippines is also barring Taiwanese from the privilege as Taiwan already sanctioned a red travel alert against Manila over the May 9 shooting incident of a Taiwanese fisherman off Batanes.

"This is a tit-for-tat response to Taiwan's sanctions and Manila wanted to show they would not give in to pressure," Zhuang said.

However, China mainland residents with Australian, Japanese, Canadian, Schengen or US visas coming to the country for tourism purposes can stay without a visa for seven days. The Global Times reported that Chinese netizens reacted negatively to the latest move by the country, which they say is likening itself to the US."

"This has also angered Chinese social media Net users, with many even calling for a boycott on visiting the Philippines," the article says.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Most Expensive Cities for Business Travelers

International business travel is often a necessary part of remaining globally competitive, but paying for transportation, lodging, dining and entertainment can be expensive for companies. A recent report has revealed the top 10 world’s most expensive cities for business travel.

Concur, a provider of travel and expense solutions for businesses recently released the report which looks at the habits of business travelers. To determine how businesses are spending money on travel they processed$50 billion in expense reports last year. Note – costs are all in American dollars and are based off the average spend of business travelers. 

To determine how businesses are spending money on travel, Concur processed $50 billion in expense reports last year. Here are the  10 most expensive international cities for business travelers:

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