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Japan Airlines v Asuncion | Ynares-Santiago | 2005

FACTS:
 Michael and Jeannette Asuncion (respondents) left Manila on board
JAL bound for Los Angeles
 Their itinerary included a stopover in Narita and an overnight stay at
Hotel Nikko Narita thus the need for a shore pass, which is required of
a foreigner who desires to stay in the neighborhood of the port of call
 Upon arrival, an employee of JAL endorsed the Respondents’
applications for shore pass to the Japanese Immigration Official.
However, Respondents’ application was denied because Michael
appeared to be shorter than his height as indicated in his passport.
 And so they were brought instead to the Narita Airport Rest House and
were charged $400 each for their accommodation
 Respondents filed a complaint for damages claiming that
o JAL did not fully apprise them of their travel requirements
o JAL did not exhaust all means to prevent the denial of their
shore pass entry applications
o They were rudely and forcibly detained at Narita
 JAL contends that the refusal of the immigration official is an act
of state which JAL cannot interfere with or prevail upon
 TC and CA ruled in favor of the Respondents
ISSUE: WoN JAL is guilty of breach of contract
DECISION: NO
 A contract of carriage includes the duty of JAL to inspect whether its
passengers have the necessary travel documents. HOWEVER, this
duty does not extend to checking the veracity of every entry
 This is because the power to admit or not an alien into the country is a
sovereign act, which cannot be interfered with even by JAL. AS SUCH,
JAL cannot vouch for the authenticity of a passport and correctness of
the entries therein
 RE: JAL’s failure to apprise the Respondents, it must be noted that
Respondents, prior to their departure were aware of the need to secure
shore pass entries for their overnight stay at Hotel Nikko

 RE: failure of JAL to exhaust all means, as mentioned, JAL has no
authority to interfere with or influence the immigration officials. The
most that it could do is to endorse the Respondents’ applications, which
JAL immediately did upon arrival of Respondents. IN FACT, JAL did
all it could to assist them (making reservations at the Rest House)
 RE: allegations of improper behavior, it must be noted that Michael’s
testimony did not categorically state those allegations
 RE: claim for damages, since there is no breach of contract nor proof
that JAL acted fraudulently, there is no basis for the award of any
damages
 RE: claim for reimbursement (accommodation fee), it was proven
that the amount did not accrue to the benefit of JAL