Just a friendly advice, avoid Cebu Pacific

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A big riding public flies Cebu Pacific every day, and John Gokongwei, who is listed on the Forbes magazine annual roster of Filipino dollar billionaires, and his family make a lot of money on them. However, the service Cebu Pacific renders is not worth half the money and trust the public gives them. People put up with the rotten service simply because they have no choice, but the State has a duty to intervene. It must now intervene. Better yet, the public should stop flying Cebu Pacific.

Last week, I flew Cebu Pacific to Zamboanga City for a meeting. With me was a senior colleague on the National Transformation Council. This was a few days after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte announced he was dropping out of the 2016 presidential race, and on the day LP presidential wannabe Mar Roxas tried to rekindle the nation’s memory of the infamous “siege of Zamboanga” one year ago when he and President B. S. Aquino 3rd led Western Mindanao’s entire armed contingent to wipe out a couple of hundred poorly armed Moro National Liberation Front fighters, burn down 10,000 civilian homes and displace over 100,000 residents.

Given the awful Metro Manila traffic which has turned into a worse nightmare since the Highway Patrol Group took over, I woke up at 4 a.m., heard Mass at 6, skipped breakfast, and gave myself two and a half hours for the previously one-hour ride from my home to the airport, after checking in on-line the evening before. I got to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal-3 after two hours, grabbed some coffee, and with my colleague joined the rest of the passengers waiting for Cebu Pacific Flight No. 5J 857 to take off at 11:05 a.m.

This promised to take us to Zamboanga international airport at 12:45 p.m., where another colleague would be flying in from Davao. Together, we would all drive to a late lunch with a high Church official. Boarding time was at 10:35 a.m. We waited for the boarding announcement, but as the time struck nothing came. At 11:05 a.m., our plane was still nowhere. At 12 high noon, still nothing. But the airline wasn’t saying anything. As it was my writing day for this column, I opened my Mac Book Air to make use of the time. Meanwhile my companion’s diabetes started acting up, reminding him to take some sugar.


I had finished doing my column for the next day, although I could not send it out because of wifi problems, when finally the plane came. It was 1 p.m. No apologies, no nothing, they just asked us to board, and we started boarding. I dozed off as soon as I sank into my seat, from sheer exhaustion. We were favored with extremely good weather, and landed in Zamboanga City at 2:45 p.m. Our colleague from Davao had arrived an hour and a half earlier, but waited for us at the terminal. The lunch was cold when we got to our host, but the durian was rich and creamy, and our host extraordinarily genial and warm, as usual.

This experience did not cost us our good humor, knowing the growing hazards of air travel. Flight delays happen everywhere. But wherever else it happens, the passenger is always the first to know because the airline never stops apologizing for the delay and the inconvenience. It is the passenger’s right to be informed. This right is apparently completely alien to the Cebu Pacific culture, if there is any such culture. But what happened on my way to Zamboanga did not prepare me for what would happen the next day on my return flight to Manila. In fact, nothing that has happened to me anywhere before that seemed to have prepared me for it.

I have had my share of incidents as an air traveler, but had never experienced anything as unpleasant as my Cebu Pac Flight No. 5J 852 from Zamboanga City on Sept. 11. It wasn’t nearly half as harrowing as, for instance, my flight across the Atlantic on board the first 747 jumbo jet that ever made an emergency landing in history, in September 1970. But it was by far the most distasteful. For perspective, let me recall that trans-Atlantic experience.

My wife and I were on our honeymoon, flying from London to New York on board that PanAm plane in September 1970. After flying for several hours, the plane began to make a fast descent, prompting the passengers to blow from their mouths to relieve the pressure on their ears. From the window, we could see fire trucks or ambulances circling around on the ground. ‘“This is not New York, this is not New York,” chimed the Americans on my cabin. For a while I thought we had been hijacked and our plane would be set afire on some desert. But the stewardess asked the passengers to fasten their seat belts and prepare for landing. And in three minutes, the plane was on the ground.

The stewardess said: “Please remain seated until the plane has come to a full stop and all the signs are off.” Then as soon as the lighted signs went off, the captain’s voice boomed: ”This is an emergency. Start evacuation!” The 236 passengers all rose to a man, the emergency exits and chutes opened, and the evacuation was completed in 90 seconds. We had landed at an abandoned airport facility in Bangor, Maine, and there we stayed for the next several hours while bomb experts examined the plane.

We learned then that three minutes or so before we landed, the pilot received a call from New York or London saying that a bomb had been planted on board our plane and that it would explode in ten minutes. Immediately, the pilot headed for the nearest place where he could land, and this was the facility at Bangor, Maine. After a thorough search for several hours, no bomb was found, but PanAm sent in a brand new 747 from New York nevertheless to bear us to our final destination. At no time during this episode did the passengers lack for care or attention from the PanAm personnel.

Nothing half as chilling happened on my flight from Zamboanga. But the airline’s lack of regard for the passengers’ sensibility and well-being was unimaginable; we were treated as non-human cargo. My flight was booked at 7:45 a.m. This promised to take us to Manila by 9:25 a.m, early enough to allow me to cover the preliminary conference of the Senate Electoral Tribunal at the Supreme Court on the disqualification suit against Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares in the morning, go to an important lunch, and tape my weekly TV program on GNN with Ariel Ayala in the afternoon. I skipped breakfast at the Garden Orchid Hotel so as to be on time for my flight, only to be told upon checking in that my plane would not be arriving from Manila until 9 a.m.

At 9:15 a.m., we finally took off. I had lost the SET conference where Rizalito David, who used to be my political officer in the Senate, and his lawyer Manuelito Luna, who is also my lawyer and that of several bishops in a Supreme Court petition against the realignment of Comelec funds to support a questionable contract to lease 93,977 Optical Mark Readers, the new name for PCOS, from Smartmatic, would agree with the defense on the issues to be resolved in the quo warranto suit against Mrs. Llamanzares. But if we got to Manila before noon, I would still be able to meet my guest for lunch, and have Atty. Luna and David on my TV program on GNN in the afternoon.

At 11:30 a.m., we were asked to straighten our seats, fasten our seat belts and prepare for landing. But we did not land. At 11:35, the pilot announced our plane “could not be accommodated” and that we were being diverted to Clark. There was no explanation why, nor whether Clark was going to be our terminal point or merely a technical stop. Not having been diverted to Clark before, I did not know how we would be transported to Manila from Clark. And there was not a word about those who might miss their connecting flights from Manila as a result of the extended delay.

On some of my trips abroad, the traffic of incoming planes would sometimes be so heavy that our plane would end up circling overhead several times while waiting for clearance to land. But always, the pilot would inform the passengers on what was happening, and what our number was in the line of planes awaiting clearance to land. In the case of Cebu Pacific, instead of circling overhead a few times, Capt. Nelson Solis assisted by First Officer Timothy Lopez decided to immediately divert to Clark, obviously to save fuel and money for Mr. Gokongwei.

From my seat on 8E, I called on the cabin crew — they gave their names later as Michelle Ong, Angela Rose Cadarao, Christine Baustista, Jonafe Tubera—to tell the pilot to tell us a little bit more why we were being diverted to Clark. Those who came listened to me with a blank stare, said nothing, then shuffled toward the tail of the plane instead of going to the cockpit to relay my request to the captain.

At 12:10 p.m., we landed at Clark. I went to the pilot to complain, saying he owed it to each of the 166 passengers who had every right to know why we were being diverted. He tried to raise his voice saying he already had. “Don’t be brash with me,” I said, “you never did.” Only then did it become clear that Clark was but a technical stop, that we would sit there until we got clearance to land.

But the crew could not answer questions about connecting flights. One Ronie Castillo, who runs Peninsula Travel and Tours in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, said he was traveling with 33 others who were supposed to connect to Kuala Lumpur at 2:10 that afternoon. Another one was a 24-year-old Chinese girl who was seated next to me — Anna Sui from Xiamen, whose flight homeward was at 2 p.m., and who said she no longer had any money.

At 1 p.m., many of the passengers started saying they were hungry. I told the crew the passengers had a right to a free meal, and the airline had a duty to feed them. One attendant said they would have to buy their own food. I then asked, could I not order food for everyone, and then just send the bill to Mr. Gokongwei? She would have to refer it to the Ground Personnel, she said.

At 1:30 p.m., the plane finally took off, and at 1.50 p.m, we landed at NAIA-3. All 166 passengers walked away without charging a single bottle of water to Mr. Gokongwei.

fstatad@gmail.com.

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54 Comments

  1. I used to fly with cebu pac when I lived in manila. One time, during my flight from Jakarta to manila,the pilot didnt inform us that we were about to landing. So, the stewardesses were still roaming around the plane. Some passengers were still sleeping -it was 5am. I saw the Window and I could see buildings were so near. We were in the process of landing! Right away i checked my seatbelt. because of lack of training, the stewardesses didnt notice the plane was flying low… And we never heard any apology from cebu pac for this incident.

  2. I suggest keeping a soft copy of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights in your tablet / laptop and show it to them if these things happen.

  3. To be fair to Cebu Pacific, management might have read this article and took action. There was like a 30 minute delay with our flight earlier but we did arrive almost on time in our destination. It was my first time to fly with Cebu Pac together with my baby, husband and nanny. It was not as bad as I thought. When it comes to delay, I experienced the same thing with Cathay Pacific in our Europe and Asian Vacations.Try to be late and CX couldn’t care less for you. I had to pay for 4 HK round trip tickets when we were late one time, without consideration to the return flight that was already paid for. This is another complaint altogether but talk about focus on income generation without consideration to the clients who have not used the return ticket that was already paid for. Did I use CX again? Yes! Because I have no choice.

    Going back to Cebu Pacific, perhaps they learned their lesson because the pilot kept on apologising for the delay. Perhaps the airline was a little bit cramp than what I am used to; Perhaps a little bit like a market – with all the FAs roaming around offering you to buy something here and there; And yes there was an advertisement of Globe in the seats and the FAs were endorsing Bench ?? Food was dry… But hey, it was 6k cheaper than what I would have paid for PAL tickets so it was worth a try. Will I get them for a long trip, maybe not. But for asian vacation, it’s not that bad guys.

    Don’t get mad at me but it’s a bit irritating that those who always go for discounted or budgeted treatments/ trips/ promos are the ones who COMPLAIN a whole lot. My goodness, don’t expect first class VIP treatment if you can’t pay for the full price.

  4. Rosemarie Oxinio on

    I am a frequent flier of Cebu Pacific, being a resident of Cebu with two college kids there and assigned in Region 6. Other than the business trips, I go home approximately twice a month and I book several round trip tickets when they have their sale to minimize travel cost. What I have observed recently is that Cebu Pacific has been incurring so many delayed flights which seldom happened last year or early this year. Likewise, they have also been sending me advance notices of cancelled flights which was more than the usual. However, in one of my delayed flights which was 4 hours delayed, they served everyone breakfast. But still, if they continue cancelling flights and having delayed flights which has been happening frequently lately, people might start patronizing other air lines. I hope Cebu Pacific management should look into this seriously and fix it. It can be very inconvenient to their customers, specially those who have scheduled meetings and appointments.

  5. Dino T. Dayanghirang on

    Hahahahaha!!! I have stopped patronizing this carrier a long time ago. Apart from all the unexplained delays of their fleet, the worst that happened in the past was depriving my handicapped brother from a special handling service that I paid for on a rainy evening flight to Singapore. From Davao, the plane landed on Cebu airport, far away from the terminal as there wasn’t any tube available at that time. We have to deplane as we are boarding another aircraft to Singapore. And because there was no assistance extended, I have to carry my brother all by myself from our seats on the plane, down the 15-20 ft metal stairs, and to the shuttle bus to take us to the terminal. That experience has totally turned me off and made me swear that I will never again choose CebuPacific for future flights. No shame!!!

  6. Many years ago, my Cebu Pacific flight was cancelled due to bad weather. When I went to the airline’s office a few days after to rebook my flight, the lady manager in Mactan charged me 200 pesos for rebooking. When I complained that my missing my flight was not my fault but because of inclement weather, she answered it was the company’s policy and I had to pay.
    Luckily. I had the number of Marlene, Lance Gokonwei’s Cebuana secretary and complained to her about this policy, if indeed it was, and that they were driving their customers away. She requested me to fax a letter complaint addressed to Lance which I did. A couple of days later, the Cebu Pac office called and asked me to come to their office to rebook my flight without any charge.
    I remember last year they were fined a hefty sum by the government for delayed and cancelled flights.
    What a company.

  7. I always vote with my wallet. After several harrowing and horrible service from the flight crew, as well as the usual delayed flights, I’ve decided not to support them anymore.

    All and i really mean all, the flight crew, give me a sense that they are there only for porma,but can’t be relied on in emergency situations. This was shown to be true from anecdotes after that Cebu Pac incident where the crew didn’t know what to do after the emergency landing.

  8. Cebu pacific is the WORST airline operating I had the worst experience from them right from the check in counter until you fly. the government should make sure that all riding passengers shall be compensated due to lost of income over their delays.

  9. Just a friendly advice:
    Correct grammer would be “Just SOME friendly advice”. I personally have only experienced courteous flight crews and that the delays are more often than not due to our inadequate airport infrastructure.

  10. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    Remember this, any kind of business held by Chinese in the Philippines has a zero customer satisfaction. PAL has the same kind of service from NY to Manila and some overseas flights. They do sometimes good if the passengers are foreigners but if their customers or passengers are Filipinos, they don’t care. These Chinese companies just do care for MONEY or PROFIT. Money is the GOD of the Chinese businessmen. Palayasin ang mga Intsik sa Pilipinas gaya ng Indonesia at Vietnam.

  11. victor m. hernandez on

    With all these complaints about the way Cebu Pacific treats its customers, I do not wonder why Secretary Domingo of DTI resigned due to burn out. The overcrowding of vehicles in EDSA is also big complaint of consumers. DTI has Bureau of Consumer Protection that should attend to all these complaints (on air travel) together with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority); and complaints (on land transport), should be filed with DTI Bu. of Consumer Protection and DOTC, LTFRB, and LTO. We have all these agencies to serve the public, but apparently these are all good in paper, but actually they prefer to serve the capitalists interest instead of the public welfare.

  12. victor m. hernandez on

    I can relate with the complaintrs posted here. I had a 12 hours delayed flight to Cebu via CebPac, and arrived at my destination at 2 A.M. early morning.

  13. a few years back, we took the Cebu Pacific ( Mla/Catiklan/Mla ). Yes, i agree that the service has a big problem, communications as well amongst themselves inside the Cebu Pacific airlines. They would not let the passengers know if flight is delayed, nor, the flight has arrived early or what.
    The main objective is is that the Managers/supervisors must be able to communicate, but, when you ask them, they yell at you ! It is not you get what you have paid for. I work in the hospitality industry, and i have never taught my staff to be rude. Unfortunately in our very own country, we were treated as shits..i just coulnt imagine why. So, after that incident, i told to myself, never do we take Cebu Pacific flights anymore..and i have been telling the travel agents here not to use this airline. It sucks !

  14. C’mon you want class then you fly with cebu pacific? I cant get your points.cebu pacific is a low cost carriers most preferred by filipinos because its cheap.who the hell care for fancy foods and amenities when flying is cheap?!.pay peanuts and get monkey.

    REPLY
    The Tatad party was fprced tp take thast f;light becaise that was the onl.y one that, according tpo the schedule, was supposed to bring them to their destination at the right time!!!

  15. It is a shitty airline with no care for its passengers.. Flight crew is courteous though .. Management sucks … Hope the owners take the money with them when they leave this earth….otherwise it’s all for nothing … Bad taste in the mouth

  16. dear sen. kit tatad, this is not just a problem with cebupacific service. this problem is just a manifestation of a larger problem here in the philippines, which is that consumers and customers are not given importance. it is a culture as well as a systemic disease in businesses. you can experience bad service everywhere, from smart, globe, cebupacific, pldt, meralco, etc… there is no concept of customer service in the philippines. the businessmen forgot that customers should be number 1 or more likely they don’t really care at all. what the governtment should do is put more teeth in the law and be aggressive in protecting the rights of consumers and customers. but i am not hopeful that this will happen, even 100 years from now. this is the philippines after all. nobody cares for no one.

  17. I have solved all of those problems as stated in the Comments section simply by refusing to fly either Cebu Pacific or PAL. I don’t care about layover in airports as it doesn’t matter since the plane takes off on time anyway as compared to PAL/CebuPac which make you waste hours either in a cramped plane while waiting to take off or in that sorry excuse of an airport known as NAIA 1/2/3). And the planes of PAL really suck in terms of food and in-flight entertainment. Same goes to CebuPac. Recently, I took China Airlines to the USA and spent a few comfortable hours in Taiwan’s comfortable airport eating delicious yet reasonably priced food, lounging in the spacious and clean waiting area with free unlimited WiFi that works very well and is quite fast. And the planes of China Airlines? Amazing. New planes with very modern interiors, good meals and an excellent entertainment system.

  18. I already stopped taking CebPac flights both international and domestic.
    They asked ur contact number when you book but can’t call you when flights are delayed.
    They just inform you when you check in. Take note also that they never inform you what to do in case of cancelled flights. This airline makes money out of unused bookings. Refund takes time that so costly than the ticket price.
    Just take the lesser evil PAL…

  19. No wonder that John Gokongwei has become a Filipino dollar billionaire. To gain more revenue, one of his companies Cebu Pacific skimps on service and is indifferent to international norms and practices. Its pilots and service personnel are low-salaried, and so don’t really care about the passengers welfare.

    I really feel sorry for that poor Chinese who sat beside Mr. Tatad who said that she had no more money and presumably did not know what to do if she missed her connecting flight to China. With all the plane delays and lack of food vouchers by Cebu Pacific, I wonder if she got something to eat and if she even reached her final destination.

    The passengers should sue this airline.

  20. Pera pera lang kailangan nitong GOKONGWEI na ito sa mga filipino at hindi ang serbisyong totoo. Wala siyang pakialam kung ano man may serbisyo ang kanyang airlines. I heard na lahat ng kanyang eroplano ay puro second hand at very old model. Kaya naaksidente ang mga eroplano nya.. Aside of gokoongwei employees from being rude to the passenger marahil walang seminar iyang mga crew niya how to treat the passengers properly. HIndi pwede sa international flight ang ganyang mga attitude ng flight attendant. makatikim sila ng salita if they were on board. otherwise they will loose their jobs..

  21. Rommel T. Samson on

    I will be flying for Cebu this coming Sunday and will be my first time to experience Cebu Pacific’s service. Looking forward for a safe and pleasant flight. By the way, I am not a frequent flyer but was a former employee in one of Gokongwei’s companies…

  22. I think Filipinos should learn how to make their leaders “criminally accountable” to any mismanagement of their organisations’ operations. Filipinos should learn how to complain and not only endure.

    Good thing this experience saw print. What if there was no journalist, hotel owner or mayor in the flight? What if there was no Kit Tatad?

    My friends and I went to Madrid last year and on our way coming home to Sydney, British Airways (BA) cancelled our connecting flight via London. Though the reason given us was flimsy, they apologised and booked everyone overnight hotel accommodations with free meals (dinner, breakfast and lunch) until the next flight was available. There were hundreds of passengers affected.

    Shuttle buses were provided to and from the airport and should any passenger incur any expense whilst at this stage, s/he could have had the expense refunded by BA.

    I was in Manila in Christmas 2014 when, on Christmas eve, several passengers of Cebu Pacific from both international and domestic origins were trapped in NAIA 3 for some system malfunction. I could just imagine the melee the situation created. The passengers complained of not having been properly attended to. They were not booked a hotel accommodation. They were not given free meals and they were left guessing as to what caused the delay.

    It is about time Cebu Pacific reshapes its policies and be more customer-friendly.

  23. I have been riding Cebu Pacific for the past fifteen years. I travel to Cebu, Iloilo, Davao & Cagayan de Oro at least twice a year, so that makes for 8 round trip flights every year.
    1. Agree that Cebu Pacific has its share of delayed flights. The last time I flew, we were already poised to take off when the pilot suddenly killed the engines. We were towed back to the hangar and transported back to the departure area where we waited for two hours before boarding the plane again. According to the pilot, they had to conduct an emergency check, although we suspected something else due to the presence of military and police personnel at the baggage compartment while the plane was being checked. To compensate, we were given free snacks.
    2. I never had experienced a discourteous flight crew. All were friendly and accommodating. Take note, I said “flight crew”.

    To sum up, there are a lot of reasons for delayed or diverted flights, but in my opinion it pretty sums up to one thing – passenger safety above all. Mr. Lance just wouldn’t let that plane crash in Bukidnon 15 year ago happen again.

    Maybe a lot of you failed to realized that the delays last December and the corresponding fine paid by Cebu Pacific was due to:
    1. The huge influx of balikbayans and the increased arrival of international flights in Manila, which bumped off domestic flights (except PAL). Take note that NAIA runway can only accommodate one take off or landing at a time.
    2. No runway lights or control towers in some local airports like Laguindingan and Tacloban. Consider too that there is less daylight hours in December. If a pilot can easily land visually at 5:30pm during summer, he can’t do it in December, because it is too dark already. So the airplane has to leave earlier from Manila, but as explained in no. 1 above, NAIA’s priority are incoming international flights and PAL, so Cebu Pac has no recourse but to cancel the flight.

    I am not apologizing for Cebu Pacific, but consider all factors first before writing.
    What about PAL, are their flight crews polite and friendly?
    Remember when Cebu Pacific was suspended due to that plane crash in Bukidnon? I rode PAL from Davao to Manila. When we landed in NAIA, the stewardess said, “Thank you for not flying the cheapest airline”. That is PAL’s version of friendliness. I never heard a Cebu Pacific flight attendant say any derogatory words about PAL.

  24. You get what you pay for. If you want comfort, try other airlines but infairness to cebu pacific, they opened the door for ordinary filipino to ride a plane. Cebu pacific is still preferred here than a 14 hour bus travel

  25. Well, I’ve stopped flying with Cebupac long time ago after several incidents of poor service or no service at all. I fly to the Philippines 30-40 times a year, so all of you should do likewise till we are treated in the proper manner as “valuable customers” .

  26. it looks like this is more of our culture as laid back people. being late is normal in fact when you have a meeting business or personal, expect that if the meeting is 8am one or both will show up at 9am. lol, I’m one of few Filipinos who is more on American time, if the agreement is 8am I’m usually there at 8am and just wait. I’m not pro gokongwei or Cebu pacific management but sorry and sadly that is the Filipino style management and that is laid back and pwede na iyan. lol

  27. I agree absolutely with what Kit Tatad wrote in this column. The CEBU Pacific must be held accountable for all its past and present sadistic treatment of passengers.The government should cancel its franchise and confiscate all its assets and sell them to pay for all the damages this fuckin airline has done in the past. Hang and execute all the members of Gokongwei family.They are the most greedy taipans in the country.

  28. Yes,this not the first time that Cebu Pacific failed to provide what public travelers deserve. You can not count how many bad stories to tell about the services of that airline.

  29. What do you expect from a BUDGET AIRLINE like CEBU PACIFIC which made NAIA Passenger Terminal 3 like a North Harbor to the detriment of the Airport Authority and other but refutable Airlines operating at the same Pax Terminal? They swallow a huge profit; thus, the mngmt continue to increase flight frequencies and destinations. However, CEBU PAC mngmt it seems never increase the fleet of aircrafts, improve a/c maintenance and customer service, increase employees’ salaries, and never mind the inconvenience they brought to mostly passive Pinoy pax.

  30. I have experienced the same situation last april for my flight to palawan. Actually, both my flight from manila-palawan and palawan-manila were delayed. Before the actual flight, there were already series of reschduling. My original booking was scheduled 8am, and they informed me that their were some changes due to flight realignment, so it was rescheduled on 12am same day. However, on the scheduled day, the flight was still delayed. Our plane arrived 2am. It was so disappointing, I chose that schedule because It was the most convienient schedule for me, and had I know that the flight would be rescheduled, I should have filed my leave of absence half-day instead of a whole day leave. I think these airlines forgot their dulty to the public.

  31. Easy to say? i tell you how everyone gets together before everyone leaves the airport. But that is another story.

  32. And those whining ass-lickers still gave Mr. Lance some award for being a “good” businessman when the truth can now be told that he is another capitalist with no conscience and civic mindedness short-changing the hard earned money of tax-paying air travelers? For a company making so much billions, they should not even charge nun, priests and NGOs who travel by cebupac for cargo that will be given as relief goods or donations. Na solicit na nag lang gun ibibigay para sa mga kababayan nation sa Mindanao ay pinagkakakitaan pa. There ought to be a law where relief goods or charity wares from duly registered foundations or charity organizations should be free of baggage charges.

  33. I experience several delayed flights from cebu pacific, some had an announcement that the plane was delayed but some haven’t. It is true that when case like this the plane admin must provide us food and water while the plane is delayed. I don’t know what is the SOP of Cebu Pacific.

  34. I remember, however, that I’ve also had a sad experience with PAL. I was in Dumaguete and was waiting for my flight back to Manila at the airport when it was announced that our flight was cancelled as there was a problem at NAIA. We were then told that the earliest flight to Manila that we could book was still two days from then as all the earlier flights were already fully booked. Fortunately for me, my hosts picked me up and took care of my accommodations, but there were some other passengers who told me that they no longer had any money. Upon learning that, I asked the person in charge from PAL if they could help those passengers by providing them with free board and lodging. He then told me, “We couldn’t because it’s not our fault that the flight was cancelled.” I flared up, telling him, “So these passengers could die from starvation for all you care because it’s not your fault anyway that this happened?!!” I then asked to talk to the manager and was told that he had already left. Good thing the passengers turned out to be members of a religious congregation who went to Dumaguete to attend a church event; their church leaders just took care of their accommodations. I guess the owners of these airline companies (John Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific and Lucio Tan of PAL?) really don’t give a hoot about their customers and just want to get their money, and they can manage to do that because our government doesn’t care about us either. What a sad country!

    • We are a third world country. What do you expect. You cannot sue them because our justice system is so corrupt and will take you dozens of years to get a decision. Right now i am planning to settle back in the united states.

  35. That sounds like a quite normal day for Cebu Pacific.

    My wife and me sat in Davao airport for 2 hours after our scheduled departure time, without a word of why!

    Apart from the standard “sorry for the inconvenience” line that is wheeled out every time another plan fails in the Philippines not much happened.

    My wife who was ex cabin crew on an international airline and now a lawyer knew the procedures related to caring for passengers of delayed flights approached the airline counter and reminded them of their obligations. Very reluctantly the ground staff offered bottled water at a 50% discount. Bottled water at airports is outrageously expensive and the 50% discounted was still twice the cost of the same water outside the airport. It seems that the philosophy of the power people in the Philippines is maximum profit for minimum effort. We cannot complain about the service as there is none.

  36. My friends and I have had sad experiences with Cebu Pacific as well and have thus never taken it since then, always preferring to fly PAL. My friend was checking in early for her flight when the lady at the counter told her that she could still catch the earlier flight if she wanted to. She agreed, but when she boarded the plane, she was met with the glaring eyes of the passengers. She then learned from her seatmate, who told her some nasty things, that the passengers were told that the plane couldn’t take off as scheduled as it had to wait for another passenger who was late, who turned out to be her. As for me, I was aboard a Cebu Pacific plane and had to go to the lavatory, thinking that I’d be out before the plane could take off as the other passengers were still putting their things inside the luggage compartments. While inside the lavatory, I was surprised when someone started banging on the door. I thought to myself, “How rude this passenger is!” When I went out of the lavatory, I found out that it was not a passenger but a stewardess. She told me with a nasty tone that the plane was about to take off.

  37. I hope this article will move the Philippine government’s regulatory authorities decide to fine Gokongwei and his airline.
    And the pilot and the cabin crew should also be penalized–if not FIRED.

    • akala ko may batas na para sa karapatan ng mga pasahero?? ano ang nangyari sa batas na ito?? i suppose nothing happened coz kit tatad should have known this if there is now such a law. mukhang napunta sa basurahan dahil sa lobby ng mga airlines like cebupac at pal???

  38. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Cebu Pacific erred and failed to make sure that its personnel attended properly to the needs and welfare of its passengers for the inconvenience. It may not be its fault but the passengers were supposed to be informed of any inconvenience the delay or rerouting would make. Profit should not only be the interest of Cebu Pacific if it has to thrive in this kind of business. And, firstly it has to train its personnel in character and good conduct in dealing with passengers. God bless the Philippines.

  39. Similar thing happened to us but your situation was better. We took off cdo at 530 pm instead of 430 pm supposed to land NAIA by 7 pm but diverted to Clark due to congestion. Took off Clark around 9 pm arrived manila 930 pm but stayed in plane until 1115 pm because no gate available. Got out of airport 1130 pm. Pilot capt. Paulo promised dinner when we get to manila. But no meal ever came. Not even a cup of water

  40. Cebu Pacific had received so many complaints over the years and had so many unpleasant incidents caused by their poor services and arrogant personnel. We Filipinos like the cheap fare but the cost of delays and the insensitive personnel for the welfare of the passengers could be costlier and put one in a state of high anxiety.

  41. laguatanlawzen.com on

    This isreally true CEBU PACIFIC is notorious in delayed flights. The entire crew are disrespectful and BASTOS.

  42. I thank you for highlighting Cebu Pacific’s woes and never fly with them anymore after experiencing similar lack of customer service. Indeed I fly exclusively with PAL domestically. You highlight their cultural issues which I speculate are from a lack of training and possibly extremely low salaries. So please continue to highlight shortcomings where you see them as I can see you are an influential person and also please continue to highlight Manila’s appalling traffic congestion which in the six years I have been coming to this wonderful country have gone from terrible to atrocious because no one in government seems capable or designing a coherent strategy to address them.

  43. One could draw the simple conclusion that the pilots knew nothing more, except flying the plane. Their behavior that day demonstrates nothing more than a shuttle driver who just want to go from point A to point B, without simple regard to the cabin occupants who pay their salaries.

    Cebu Pacific is a service company, but its pilots’ behavior do not seem to demonstrate that they understand simple courtesy and politeness, much less basic customer service. What was required in the situation was just simple courtesy and politeness, plus a bit of common sense -nothing more. But obviously it was not shown..Why? It escapes me as well..

    There should have been a contingency system in place such that when there is a operational exception like a major delay or a diversion, all concerned Flight Crews, Cabin Crews, Ground Operations Crews, Customer Service, Flight Dispatch, Corporate Communications, already know by heart what’s best to do for the flight and its passengers. If such a system already exist in CP, it looks like its not working, at least not consistently.

    It is a common management practice to do a post-mortem after the occurence of a major unpleasant experience or disruption deemed harmful to the company. Management would evaluate what-went-right/what-went-wrong, producing CAP’s, or corrective action plans, with the endview of preventng recurrence, quality assurance and continuous improvement purposes.

    But like the waters of mighty rivers, sad stories like this seem to keep on flowing with no end in sight. .

  44. Salamat at napNsin din ninyo ang CebU Pacific. NooNg isang buwan Sumakay din aKo sa Cebuc PacifiC pa Zamboanga.
    Pabalik ng Manila dumatIng ang CebuPacific wala pang limang minuto pinasakay na lahat ng pasahero, habang ako ay patungo sa erpoplano napansin ko na di pa tapos ang pagkakarga ng Jet Fuel. Sinita ko ang Stewardess at kinausap ko ang Piloto, sabi nyo pankaraniwan na nilang ginagawa ang ganoon at di naman daw delikado. Ayon sa ICAO Standard pinagbabawal ang ganitong gawain. Kayo na po ang maghusga kung sumusond ang Cebu PAcific sa mga regulations panghingpapawid..

  45. Cebu Pacific Airlines should provide safe and quality services to all passengers. Full stop! Mr. Gokongwei and family should ensure that the planes are kept well maintained and operated without compromising safety and quality. If you can’t provide this minimum service get out of the business and sell the airlines to businessmen who cares about the welfare of the passengers. Even China Airline planes are better than Cebu Pacific by a mile.

  46. Cebu Pacific Airlines should provide safe and quality services to all passengers. Full stop! Mr. Gokongwei and family should ensure that the planes are well maintained and operated without compromising safety and quality. If you can’t provide this minimum service get out of the business and sell the airlines to businessmen who cares about the welfare of the passengers. Even China Airline planes are better than Cebu Pacific by a mile.