Since I wish to refrain from using the four letter word that begins with an S and an H and ends with an I and a T, I will only say that Cebu Pacific is presently in deep doodoo.
The airline’s mishandling of the Davao incident did not do their reputation any good.
Some of the passengers of the flight that overshot the runway are said to be planning to
sue Cebu Pacific, and even if Lance Gokongwei and company were to agree to settle out of court, it would certainly cost them a whole lot of dinero.
It has often been said that Lance G. matured a lot as a person and as an executive after the crash of one of their planes resulted in massive loss of life. If memory serves, there were no survivors. This was many years ago, and the son of Big John Gokongwei personally attended to the families of the victims in their hour of grief.
Cebu Pacific executives may argue that what happened in Davao earlier this week was nothing compared to that tragedy. Still, the presence of a few senior executives at the Davao International Airport immediately after the accident would have helped tremendously in appeasing the frustration and anger of the passengers.
This didn’t happen.
No one is suggesting that Lance G. head for Davao by however means possible to meet with the passengers of his airline. But if he had done so, then they would not now be facing these problems. Consider that the Ateneo de Davao has declared a boycott of the airline. Such bad press provided another black eye to Cebu Pacific.
Me? Whenever I travel locally, I have a slight inclination to fly Cebu Pac over Philippine Airlines. Or had.
Know those little games that they play onboard? I’ve won on a few occasions. The prizes aren’t anything to write home about. Bags and t-shirts mostly. But it’s always nice to get something for nothing.
Also, whenever Universal Robina Corp. has a new product to launch, the passengers of Cebu Pac are given free samples.
Such small steps make for good PR. And let us not forget their dancing in-flight crew, who became a minor hit on YouTube not too long ago.
It will take a lot before the airline can win back the good will it has earned over the past several years, when they proudly proclaimed that they were on time most of the time.
Not for them the old line about their competitor standing for Plane Always Late.
The Gokongwei airline was also the first to come up with promo fares that were ridiculously low. At one point, they even sold P1 flights to anywhere in the archipelago. A brilliant marketing strategy that was.
The airline should review the steps they took vis-à-vis the Davao incident as soon as possible. Corrective measures should be taken if it should occur again.
In the meantime, their top execs should put on their thinking caps and come up with more market-pleasing gimmicks to regain the public’s trust.
Just as long as they don’t consider pole-dancing flight attendants. This is a bad idea, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it??