This blog is about my life. How I live it with the people I love. Adventures and misadventures in my life is journalled here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just sharing some experience re: Cebu Pacific

This was not my own experience, only got this from my egroup but since I've been hearing a lot of bad feedbacks about the carrier, I've decided to post it here, with the same hope as the sender that this gets to the management of Cebu Pacific.


I have been flying to and from Manila and Cagayan de Oro every month
and I've normally enjoyed flying. I've tried all the airlines and
have concluded that apart from the usual delays and little
imperfections, every company seemed satisfactory. That is, until
August 1, 2008 when I had the most horrible and unfortunate incident
with Cebu Pacific.

My flight was scheduled at 2:50 PM. I was excited because this was
the first day that the NAIA terminal 3 had opened so I opted for an
early check in. I arrived at 1:00 PM and had a normal, uneventful
check in. Shortly after I got my boarding pass, I proceeded to the
inner terminal. As I passed through security and x rays, the next
sight that I saw was shocking. Instead of the usual airport bustle
and people orderly going to their boarding gates, I saw hundreds of
confused passengers trying to ask anyone for help. Some were sitting
on the floor with their luggage, others just looked lost.

I tried to look for any directional signs to where I was supposed to
go. As I looked at my boarding pass to get information, I noticed
that the space for the boarding gate was blank! After wandering
around for a few minutes, I found a girl in a Cebu Pacific shirt. She
directed me to a tiny crowded counter. There, surrounded by hundreds
of noisy passengers was one girl who was as confused as we were. She
couldn't give any concrete information about any of the flights!

After 30 minutes of waiting, she asked us to go down to the boarding
gates and wait. That was 3:00 PM, past our flight time. We went down
and waited for 30 minutes, only to be told that the flight was
further delayed and that our new boarding gate was back upstairs.

Carrying our heavy luggage, we went up several flights of stairs and
waited for boarding. At 4:30 PM, we finally boarded the plane. After
30 minutes of waiting, the pilot announced that the flight has been
cancelled because it was too late to fly and it was impossible to
land in CDO airport when its dark!

We went down the plane angry and confused. When we asked the crew
what the reason was, they said that the flight couldn't take off
because thirteen passengers were missing! Of course, how would these
poor lost passengers know what was going on? The ground crew didn't
have a PA system and the Cebu Pacific people were giving vague
information. We also found out that several other flights were
cancelled that day due to their incompetence.

We waited in front of the counter while a girl was giving us flimsy
excuses and asking us to pick up our luggage. There was no
representative from management to at least apologize to us. They said
there was none present at the airport. This was highly impossible as
I saw Cebu Pacific top officials having a lunch party at the area
adjacent to the check in counters! Don't tell me they didn't know
what was going on!

People were fuming mad. After a while, they told us that there will
be a special flight for us at 5 am and that they were going book us
in a hotel and that the shuttle bus was waiting outside.

We waited for the bus for 30 minutes. We were about a hundred thirty.
Finally two buses (capacity about 40 plus each) and the staff stuffed
us in. We felt like sardines during the 30 minute ride.

To add insult to injury, they brought us to a dank, sleazy hotel
somewhere in Malate where prostitutes were lurking in the doorway,
offering sex and massage to the foreigners who were with us. The
passengers included several minors whose parents were shocked at this
too. The rooms were musty and the included in the list of items in
the bathroom item menu were local and imported condoms! It was
disgusting! They put us in a motel! And according to the staff this
was their "official hotel"! This airline's sister companies are
Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza!!!! Why didn't they put us in there?
They then offered us a poor meal at around 8:30 in the evening.

They woke us up at 1 AM, put us on the bus at 2 AM, gave us packed
food on the bus (half a bangus and rice) but they didn't give us any
water or drink!

We arrived at the terminal at 2:30PM, lacking sleep and very tired.
We were shocked to be told that there was no special check in lane
and we had to go and check in like the other new passengers. One
foreigner, who was a doctor who came for a Charitable medical mission
in Mindanao yelled something like this: " Get me out of the
Philippines!" This is horrible! " Another foreigner, who was a pilot
for an airline told us that he has never experienced such
incompetence, unprofessionalism and humiliation in his life because
of a delayed flight. Not only did Cebu Pacific make their passengers
mad, they have shamed our country!

At this point, we got mad and demanded that a special lane be
provided for us. The duty manager didn't come until 30 minutes after
and the people in the counters were rude to us. They were not
listening and they were turning their backs to us whenever we'd talk
to them.

We finally got to check in after we made a big fuss. When they handed
us our boarding pass, they told us to go to gate 131. Our boarding
time was supposedly 4:30 AM. We waited for thirty minutes, only to
be told that we should transfer to gate 134 and that the flight was

In counter 134, passengers were demanding for the one way ticket
travel voucher that was promised to us. They gave it only after an
hour and after we asked for it and the counter clerk told us we had
to pay travel and fuel taxes! The nerve of management to put us
through this and give us something worth nothing! Meanwhile, another
flight delay was announced.

At this point, we demanded that the duty manager speak to us. The
counter personnel was giving excuses. We asked for names and they
could just give us first names and they said they didn't know the
officers' family names because they were "just newly hired"!

We made our own initiative and proceeded to the check in counter to
demand for the duty manager. We finally talked to her and we demanded
that she apologize and explain to us passengers why this all
happened. We also told her to provide food especially for the

On the way back to the terminal, the manager was stopped by
passengers from other flights asking for directions. One angry
foreigner who missed his Dumaguete flight was so upset! It turns out
that we were not the only ones inconvenienced by their incompetence.

When we finally got to gate 134, we told the manager to make the
announcements. Another person arrived with a radio. We overheard that
there were no available plane for us! They lied to us! They never
arranged for a special flight! They were about to announce another
flight cancellation when people went wild. The manager had no choice
but to request that the plane from Butuan be given to us.

A staff member arrived and they announced that they were going to
give us breakfast. They distributed 2 packets of Dewberry cookies and
the tiniest mineral water bottle for each passenger! They call that
breakfast? After approximately seven hours of waiting deprived of
sleep, they couldn't even offer us a decent meal! There were more
that 10 children there and when we asked that they at least given
some Jollibee breakfast, the manager said "We're sorry but we cant do
anything. This is all the management allowed to give us.". How could
they do this to us?

Finally, after what seemed like forever, we boarded the plane at
around 9:00 AM. When we took off, the passengers applauded. A few
minutes after, the flight was completely quiet because all of us were
tired. We slept but not soundly enough, being constantly reminded
about the nightmare that we had just gone through.

We got to Cagayan de Oro and we were thankful to be safe. However, we
all resolved to relate this horrible experience to all our family and
friends until it reaches Cebu Pacific management. We also all signed
a manifesto/complaint to be submitted to concerned agencies so that
this unfortunate incident wouldn't be duplicated.

To date, we are still hearing of cancelled flights and complaints
because of incompetence from Cebu Pacific management and staff. We
could understand that no one is perfect but there is no excuse for
treating people badly. We were not expecting VIP treatment although
some airlines give this to their inconvenienced passengers. What made
this all intolerable was that fact that we were not treated as human
beings. We especially pity the children who had experienced this
ordeal. Their innocence has been marred by an airline's lack of
consideration and disrespect for their customers.

We hope that if this reaches the management, they will do something
to rectify this mistake. They just lost more than 70 passengers and
they will lose so much more soon.

This is a horrible experience that anyone shouldn't be able to go
through. I hope it doesn't happen to any of you.

May Salvana - Unchuan

We are the passengers of Cebu Pacific Air flight 5J 389 on August 1,
2008 (2:50 PM flight) and we would like to warn people to think twice
before flying with them. Their advertorials say "Cebu Pacific is
committed to giving you quality service at the lowest airfare
possible and now, with our brand new Airbus fleet, we believe it's
time every Juan flies." - Today, we have proven that this is a lie!
They don't care about passengers. They have lousy service. The ad
should go, "Cebu Pacific is committed to giving you the lowest
airfare possible and because you paid for cheap seats, we can't give
you any service." At least they could've just been honest.


Sayang naman Cebu Pacific, they got a big market share na nga because of their promos kaso if they keep on having these kinds of booboo mawawala lahat ng customers nila. Btw, I cut the message short as supposed to be, the names of all the passengers will be listed but due to space constraints (masyado nang mahaba ang email), I removed their names na lang.


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Cebu Pacific said...