The Regulation does not: (i) provide clear rules on passenger compensation, specifying, for instance, any monetary awards; (ii) cover how a passenger would make a compensation claim; (iii) specify who determines whether an event that causes a delay or cancellation is attributable to the carrier; or (iv) clarify what constitutes a “domestic flight/carriage”.
Before 2017, several guides were published in China with regard to passenger compensation, including monetary awards for flight delays. The “Service and Compensation Standards of the Flight Carrier for Anomalies in Aviation Transportation Service Quality (Trial)” (in Chinese: 航空运输服务质量不正常航班承运人服务和补偿规范（试行）) (the Compensation Standards) published by China Aviation Transportation Association (CATA) in 2010 recommended a cash compensation of RMB200 (approximately US$30) or compensation in the form of a credit, discount or air miles to the value of RMB300 (approximately US$45) for flight delays between four (4) and eight (8) hours. Despite not being mandatory, the Compensation Standards have been adopted and applied widely by airlines in China. The four (4) hour threshold is criticized for being relatively high and, similarly, the suggested compensation is criticised for being low. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has refrained from creating regulation on passenger compensation, deciding to leave the decision with airlines.
The new Regulation is the first in this area and this is likely to be just the start. Following its introduction, a series of new administrative rules were enacted covering implementation. The “Working Procedures for Confirming the Reason for a Flight Delay or Cancellation” (in Chinese: 航班延误取消原因确认工作程序) enacted on 1 January 2017 provides that the Operation Monitor Centre of the CAAC will be the authority for verifying the reasons for delays or cancellations of flights within PRC. Also, an official website and a hotline were both launched by the CAAC for the public to use to establish the reasons for flight delays and cancellations. The new “Methods of Managing Consumer Complaints for Public Aviation Transportation Service” (in Chinese: 公共航空运输服务消费者投诉管理办法) enacted on 1 January 2017 provides that the CAAC, the Consumer Centre of the CAAC and the CATA will oversee and consider all claims raised by passengers against the Regulated Airlines and their agents for ground service, sales and the airport management agencies.