Boy, 12, seeking urgent medication abroad off-loaded by Cebu Pacific due to alleged damaged passport

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The mother of a 12-year-old boy with a congenital deformity has filed a complaint before the Manila International Airport Authority-Customer Relations Center after her son was not allowed to board their flight to Vietnam last Saturday night due to an alleged damaged passport.

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Regin de Guzman Palileo, mother of the 12-year-boy with pectus excavatum (Latin term meaning hollowed chest), sought the help of airport authorities so they can immediately bring the child to Vietnam for his medication.

Palileo said that she, her son, and mother Luisa Punzalan were scheduled to board Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) flight 5J-751 at around 10:00 p.m. when Mark Rotanel, an airline ground staff, prevented the boy from getting in the plane for possession of an alleged damaged passport.

Palileo said that as far as she was concerned, there was nothing wrong with her son’s travel document since it was the same passport her son used in their recent trip to the US.

The mother explained to Rotanel the urgency of their trip to Vietnam which was to let her son undergo medication there as he is suffering from the congenital deformity.

Despite the mother’s explanations, Rotanel reportedly insisted that the airline has the right to off load a passenger with a damaged passport.

Airport authorities referred the matter to the Department of Foreign Affairs which said that the passport was valid and has no defect. To avoid further arguments with CEB, the DFA on Sunday opened up its consular office and issued a temporary passport to the 12-year-old boy after realizing the urgency of the trip.

The three were allowed to leave for Vietnam Sunday night with CEB waiving its rebooking charges.

Palileo, on the other hand, asked CEB to impose sanctions against Rotanel for the humiliation and inconvenience experienced when they were prevented from flying to Vietnam last Saturday night. PNA

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2 Comments

  1. Joan Infante on

    Customer’s rights need to be protected. There should be sanctions for the unreflected action of this airline ground staff. We cannot allow this to happen again and perhaps cost someone’s life. Cebu Pacific needs to properly train their staff in handling matters like this. If Cebu Pacific or the government does not take action, the public should not let this case rest.

  2. this airline ground staff should have referred the case to his supervisor for a second opinion due to the gravity of the situation rather than arrogating himself to deprive the passenger of his right to travel despite much explanation from his mother. such an arrogant and unassuming person!