Compensation rates and their applications have undergone some tweaking.
Passengers will get compensation of VND200,000 ($9.26) for delayed domestic flights below 500 kilometers, VND300,000 ($13.89) for flight from 500 to 1,000 kilometers, and VND400,000 ($18.52) for flights above 1,000 kilometers in distance. These figures are VND100,000 ($4.63) higher than the current amounts.
However, compensation for delayed international flights will stay the same. The amount is $25 for 1,000 kilometers or below, $50 for 1,000 to 2,500 kilometers, $80 for 2,500 to 5,000 kilometers, and $150 for 5,000 kilometers or more.
Remuneration will be applied for customers who have been confirmed for a seat on their flight but find it delayed for more than four hours beyond the scheduled time.
However, the airline operating the delayed or cancelled flight will be exempt from obligation to compensate in cases where the flight is affected due to one of the following reasons: weather or security risk impacting the safety of the flight, an authorized state agency delaying or cancelling the flight, or if the airline announces the delay or cancellation to passengers at least 24 hours before the departure time.
The reason for this change is that the current compensation rate is quite low compared with the ticket price level according to Mrs. Trinh Thi Hang Nga, Head of the Legal Department for the Ministry of Transportation. "Moreover, the increase of compensation level also aims to reduce the number of delayed flights," said Mrs. Nga, "Keeping the current compensation level will not make it work".
The Legal Department of the Ministry of Transport has agreed to remove the cases where technical issues cause the delay from the list of exemptions. However, there are different views about this. "I have been to a lot of places and used different airlines but I haven't seen any cases when airlines have to compensate for delayed or cancelled flights due to technical issues," said Mr Pham Quy Tieu, Deputy Minister of Transport. Meanwhile, experts believe that ensuring technical operation is the job of airlines, and the new regulations will hold them more responsible.