Nalzaro: A Cebu Pacific passenger’s lament

I RECEIVED a complaint from Dean Wong ( about his sad experience with Cebu Pacific Airline:

u201cThis is in connection with our very sad and bad experience with Cebu Pacific last Aug. 30, 2014. We booked our tickets last February 2014 for our scheduled vacation.

“On Aug. 29, 2014 we availed of their Web Check-In for the Cebu-Manila and Manila-Denpasar Bali trips. Meaning, we didn’t need to check in at the airport counter but just to drop our bags as check-in luggage.

u201cBut just to be sure, we had our boarding pass printed at the airport counter and we even asked the attendant at the Cebu Pacific counter if we could also have our Manila-Denpasar boarding pass printed since we had a connecting flight. But the attendant declined since she said we will just have our Manila-Denpasar boarding pass printed upon arrival in Manila.

u201cOur ‘kalbaryo’ began upon entering our designated gate 5 to wait for our flight. We heard an announcement that our flight to Manila will be delayed. No exact time was first announced and eventually there was a succeeding announcement that our flight will be delayed by one hour.

u201cWe left Cebu at exactly 12:50 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2014 but to our surprise we were diverted to Clark airport arriving there at 2:10 a.m. We were told that the airport in Manila was closed due to maintenance and that we will leave Clark in an hour for Manila.

u201cWe informed the flight stewardess that we have a connecting flight to Bali (Indonesia) and that we would miss our flight if we didn’t leave earlier than 3 a.m.

To our surprise, we were told to change plane at Clark, which made us all suspicious that this airline was not telling the truth. We suspected that we made an emergency landing at Clark and they made it appear as airport maintenance in Manila.

u201cWe left Clark at 4:30 a.m. and arrived Manila at 5:50 a.m. and indeed we missed our Manila-Denpasar Bali flight.

u201cWhen we arrived in Manila, we were told to go to Cebu Pacific's regional office and ticketing counter to rebook our flights. Mura mi og bola sa pingpong didto sa NAIA 3 airport, gipasa-pasa sa international check-in counter then adto sa ticketing office then balik na sad sa check-in counter then balik na sad sa ticketing office.

u201cWe were informed by a check-in counter supervisor that they only allow a rebooking of one month from the date of our missed flights. We argued that we decided to rebook our flights by April 2014 since, with me being a businessman, we have to schedule our vacations and that we just could not leave anytime at the rebooking policy schedule.

Besides, it was the airlines fault that we missed our flight.

u201cBut the airline representative said that it was either we rebook within a month or we refund our tickets. Since it was pointless to argue, we decided to refund our tickets.

u201cAgain, to our surprise, we were told that only the Manila-Denpasar-Manila tickets would be refunded. Our Cebu-Manila tickets would not be refunded because we already used it and that if we fly back to Cebu, they would rebook our flights using our Manila-Cebu booking dated Sept. 2, 2014.

u201cWhere's the logic here? Why did they not include for refund our Cebu-Manila-Cebu flights since this was used to connect to our Manila-Denpasar-Manila flight?

u201cWe flew to Manila to connect our flights to Manila-Denpasar as well as going back to Cebu. To add insult to injury, they wouldn’t refund our hotel reservation in Denpasar Bali since it was only airline tickets they would refund.

u201cWith a heavy heart and with no sleep, dead tired, hungry and with Cebu Pacific rebooking and using our Manila-Cebu dated Sept. 2, 2014, we flew back to Cebu arriving at 4 p.m. the same day on Aug. 30, 2014.”

(I forwarded this letter-complaint to Mr. Charles Lim, the airline's point man here.

But he said he also forwarded this to the airline's designated spokesman for their formal answer.)



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