The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has mandated that airlines refund airport service fees to passengers who cancel tickets.
The CAAV issued the mandate on Thursday following Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reports on numerous cases in which various airlines refused to refund passenger service charges (PSCs) and passenger security service charges (PSSCs) to those who had canceled their flights.
The order was directed at Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, and Vietravel Airlines.
PSCs and PSSCs are collected from passengers alongside the air transportation service fees charged by airlines before they are transferred to enterprises which provide passenger terminal services, passenger security services, and bagage services, according to the CAAV.
"When a passenger cancels the flight ticket, the amount of PSC and PSSC collected by the airline from the passenger is not part of the amount payable by the carrier to the passenger service, passenger security, and baggage service providers," the aviation governing body said in its document.
"Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that these fees are returned to passengers."
The CAAV mandated that the carriers begin carrying out refund schemes, as well as publicly and transparently inform passengers about their rights and the procedures of receiving PSC and PSSC refunds after canceling air tickets.
The airlines are required to report the implementation results to the Ministry of Transport before May 17, according to the CAAV's order.
On May 9, Tuoi Tre published a reader's inquiry regarding the process of how airlines handle PSCs and PSSCs after passengers cancel air tickets.
On May 11, the newspaper ran a report on more queries for the refund of the two aforementioned charges after flight cancelations.
According to current regulations, each passenger is charged VND20,000 (US$0.87) for passenger security at the airport.
Meanwhile, PSCs at the airport are divided into three tiers – VND60,000, 80,000, or 100,000 ($2.6-3.5-4.3) per passenger.
The airlines collect the fees when passengers purchase flight tickets and transfer them to the airport operator after the passengers board their flights.
They also receive 1.5 percent of the charges for the collection service.
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