In recent years, the demand for air transportation services has increased, so it is important to know the rights that passengers have and the mechanisms contemplated by the regulations to enforce them.
First of all, it is important to take into account that, due to the broad existing and applicable regulations, the following should be considered as pointed out by the article published by the Universidad del Rosario regarding the protection of air transport passengers in Colombia (2019):
- From the point of view of consumer protection regulations, the applicable regulation is the Consumer Statute.
- From the point of view of aeronautical regulation for domestic air transportation, there is the Code of Commerce and the RAC, especially 3.
- From the point of view of aeronautical regulation for international air transportation, there are the Montreal Convention and Decision 619.
Most common mechanisms for the protection of passenger rights:
Consumer Charter for Air Transport
The competent entity for the application of this regulation is the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, by means of a summary verbal jurisdictional process of sole or first instance, depending on the territory and the amount of the claims.
This process establishes the exhaustion of certain formalities such as the direct complaint to the airline and the formulation of a claim in accordance with the requirements of the General Procedural Code.
In this case, the consumer has a participation in the process and is not required to be represented by a lawyer when the value of the claims does not exceed 40 SMLMV. You can apply online at the following link: https://sicfacilita.sic.gov.co/SICFacilita/index.xhtml
- It stipulates that the request, complaint or claim regarding air transportation may be made to the airline or intermediary agent for direct settlement through compensation or indemnification. The request, complaint or claim may be submitted in writing or verbally.
In these cases, the recipient of the request, complaint or claim must assign a file number and will be informed within a maximum of 5 days following the presentation. This communication shall state the maximum response time to the request, complaint or claim.
- Secondly, this same regulation establishes the possibility of filing a complaint before the Aerocivil for an investigation and administrative action against the airline and to impose sanctions if appropriate.
These can be submitted through the following link: https://aerocivilsgdea.com/ControlPQR
Specifically, resorting to this mechanism is more beneficial to the general interest, since the decision of the Civil Aeronautics is directed to the adoption of measures to avoid the repetition of the facts in the air transport.In this process, the consumer has a more passive role because it only requires the presentation of the written document and the administrative authority carries out the investigation and imposes the sanctions.
- Finally, it is proposed to take legal action to file claims for indemnification.
Air passengers have different mechanisms to enforce their rights. However, it will depend on your needs and the specific case which mechanism will be most beneficial.