Cervantes v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 125138, 2 March 1999, 304 SCRA 25

FACTS:

The private respondent, Philippines Air Lines, Inc. (PAL), issued to the herein petitioner, Nicholas Cervantes (Cervantes), a round trip plane ticket for Manila-Honolulu-Los Angeles-Honolulu-Manila, which ticket expressly provided an expiry of date of one year from issuance. The issuance of the said plane ticket was in compliance with a Compromise Agreement entered into between the contending parties in two previous suits

Four days before the expiry date of subject ticket, the petitioner used it. Upon his arrival in Los Angeles on the same day, he immediately booked his Los Angeles-Manila return ticket with the PAL office, and it was confirmed for the April 2, 1990 flight.
Upon learning that the same PAL plane would make a stop-over in San Francisco, and considering that he would be there on April 2, 1990, petitioner made arrangements with PAL for him to board the flight In San Francisco instead of boarding in Las Angeles.

On April 2, 1990, when the petitioner checked in at the PAL counter in San Francisco, he was not allowed to board. The PAL personnel concerned marked the following notation on his ticket: “TICKET NOT ACCEPTED DUE EXPIRATION OF VALIDITY.”

Aggrieved, petitioner Cervantes filed a Complaint for Damages, for breach of contract of carriage.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the act of the PAL agents in confirming subject ticket extended the period of validity of petitioner’s ticket.

RULING:

From the aforestated facts, it can be gleaned that the petitioner was fully aware that there was a need to send a letter to the legal counsel of PAL for the extension of the period of validity of his ticket.

Since the PAL agents are not privy to the said Agreement and petitioner knew that a written request to the legal counsel of PAL was necessary, he cannot use what the PAL agents did to his advantage. The said agents, according to the Court of Appeals, acted without authority when they confirmed the flights of the petitioner.

Under Article 1989 of the New Civil Code, the acts of an agent beyond the scope of his authority do not bind the principal, unless the latter ratifies the same expressly or impliedly. Furthermore, when the third person (herein petitioner) knows that the agent was acting beyond his power or authority, the principal cannot be held liable for the acts of the agent. If the said third person is aware of such limits of authority, he is to blame, and is not entitled to recover damages from the agent, unless the latter undertook to secure the principal’s ratification.

*Case digests by Terence Eyre B. Belangoy, LLB-4 (Refresher), Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019

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