Thousands of would-be travellers have six days to claim quick refunds for tickets bought for the collapsed Philippine Airlines (PAL). With no deal for other carriers to accept PAL passengers, the airline pledged to give full refunds within three weeks instead of the usual six months. The local office will close at the end of October. Claims made after next Wednesday's deadline will be processed by the Manila accounts department, which will operate until December. Those refunds may take longer to clear. PAL Hong Kong office head Joanne Sarmiento said the Manila headquarters had promised extra funding to repay travellers. About 5,500 people had booked tickets with the airline, mostly through tour agencies, and now must buy tickets for other carriers if they still wish to travel to the Philippines. Depending on the type of ticket, an economy-class return fare to Manila on Philippine Airlines costs between $1,100 and $1,600. Travel Industry Council chairman Simon Hau Suk-kei said the council had ordered its members to help travellers obtain a refund or transfer. He urged ticket-holders to call their agents. Travel agencies do not expect the price of Philippines tours to rocket because the country is not a popular holiday destination and competition remains between airlines and agencies. Seven other airlines operate scheduled direct flights between Hong Kong and Manila. Prices for an economy return fare range from $1,520 on Emirates to $2,520 on Cathay Pacific and China Airlines. Most carriers have seats available for the coming few days, but bookings were much heavier for the October 1 National Day weekend - even before the closure of PAL. Quince Chong Wai-yan of Cathay Pacific said the airline was considering whether to upgrade its fleet to Manila to provide more seats or increase the number of services. Wong Kwok-hung, marketing and customer services division manager of Kwan Kin Travel Services, said his firm would not change its tour prices to the Philippines. 'The airline's market share in Hong Kong is very small. The effect will be minimal,' he said. And most local customers are willing to pay a bit more to choose a Cathay Pacific flight.'