Several of my colleagues from the media texted me during my radio program last Wednesday morning complaining about the three hour long delay of their Philippine Airline (PAL) flight to Tacloban City.
Almost all media outfits, including the foreign press, are hustling to get to the said area for its first anniversary observance of the catastrophe that claimed thousands of lives and left hundreds of thousands more homeless after it was hit by super typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013.
According to the complaints, the inconvenience started after check-in coùnters over at NAIA Terminal 3, where PAL passengers for Tacloban were all told not to proceed yet to the departure area. They were not told why.
After almost an hour, they were finally led into the departure area. But they waited for two more hours before finally boarding their flight to Tacloban.
PAL employes at the terminal had conflicting answers to their passengers as to why there was a long delay for the Tacloban departure.
One employee said the Tacloban airport was congested. However when the passengers arrived at the suppposed congested airport, its runway and parking bays were empty.
Another PAL supervisor, however gave a different reason. He said the baggage handlers have to balance and evenly distribute the weight plane’s cargoes.
Balance my foot!!! This delay of the Tacloban flights has been going on for days now.
Several of my friends, who took the same flight last week, had to wait for several hours too, and were given the same baloney reasons.
Perhaps, the new management of PAL is forgetting that the main reason travelers take the airplane instead of the boat or land transport to go to the other parts of the country is the time and sped. They want to get there the quickest and fastest way.
One wonders if PAL management is aware, or perhaps they have forgotten, that delays in plane departures defeat the purpose of air travel.
Mr. Lucio Tan should closely monitor PAL’s operations. Otherwise, his airline might just lose its passengers to its closest competitor, Cebu Pacific.
I heard Cebu Pacific is getting better in their service, aside from charging the cheapest fares in this industry.