Cebu Pacific Sucks

Hey all. We had a great New Year’s celebration in Boracay (which I will write about later this week), but at the very end of it all our January 1 flight out of Kalibo got cancelled. Since it was the last flight of the day, we got stuck in Kalibo for one night. That wouldn’t have been so bad, if it weren’t for Cebu Pacific shafting us. Below is an email my mom wrote concerning the poor treatment we got from Cebu Pacific staff and the irregularities concerning the cancellation of our flight.

I am really sorry for sending this very lengthy email to all of you. Please bear with me as I just have to let all of you know a very unpleasant experience I had with Cebu Pacific.

I was one of the passengers of the above-mentioned flight from Kalibo to Manila [Flight 5J344], which was cancelled last Jan. 1, 2008. We were a party of 10 people coming from a vacation in Boracay. There were about 150 passengers for that particular flight, many coming from Boracay, mostly Filipinos, with some foreigners.

The flight was scheduled to leave at 4:30PM. We checked in at about half past 3 and patiently waited for our flight. Boarding was supposed to be at 4:05. However, by that time, there was no sign of our plane. On the ground were 1 Asian Spirit and one PAL plane. Shortly after 4, the Asian Spirit plane took off. An Air Philippines plane landed after that. Still, there was no sign of Cebu Pacific plane. At 4:50, I inquired at the counter why our plane still had not landed. I was told that it could not land because the PAL plane was taking off. 15 minutes after PAL took off, there was still no sign of our plane. The passengers were all quite concerned by this time, but we waited patiently.

At about 5:40PM, an announcement was made that our plane was circling in the air waiting for clearance to land, as it was raining at this time. At a little after 6, another announcement was made that our plane headed back to Manila because it could not land. So, our flight had been cancelled. We immediately proceeded to the counter where we were informed that indeed, our flight had been canceled so we had to find lodging for the night. It was clearly stated by the people manning the counter that our lodging would not be shouldered by Cebu Pacific since it was due to inclement weather. We were given telephone numbers of the different hotels in the area and were made to call these hotels, on our own.

We were ready to accept inclement weather as the reason for the flight cancellation until an Asian Spirit plane landed. We could not believe that a smaller plane could manage to land in spite of the rain, and the Cebu Pacific plane, a bigger plane, could not land. On further questioning, we were told that since our plane was running out of fuel, it headed back to Manila. This angered us even more, because, if indeed fuel was running low, the most logical thing to do was head to the nearest airport with complete facilities – that would be Cebu – gas up, and return to Kalibo. Why on earth would the plane, low on fuel, head back to Manila, a much farther destination, then decide to no longer return to Kalibo?

We were informed that the airline could not give us a special flight. We were told that we would have to be chance passengers in the 3 flights the next day. That was a ridiculous thing to say to about 150 or so angry passengers. Many of us had appointments on Jan. 2. That was precisely the reason we all opted to return to Manila on Jan. 1, New Year’s Day. How on earth could 150 people be accommodated in three fully-booked flights? One other option given to us was to take the Ro Ro.

It was already close to 8 PM, but, not even a drop of water or a single peanut was offered to any of us by the crew. We had been in the airport since about 3PM were tired, hungry, and thirsty. But we had to face a very unsympathetic Cebu Pacific crew. Every time we asked for their manager, we were told that they were trying to reach him/her. What kind of a manager could not be reached for more than 2 hours, in an emergency situation like this?

When we were told that there was definitely nothing else they could do, we finally left to find a hotel so our children could rest. But when we left, we still had no assurance that there would be a special flight for us. We were asked to leave our contact numbers so they could get in touch with us for any developments.

We found room in La Esperanza Hotel. We ordered dinner from Chow King since the hotel had no restaurant. At about 10pm, we got a call informing us that arrangements had been made for a special flight at 10AM the next day. Thankful for the new development, we all went to sleep.

The next day, after settling our hotel bill, we hired a van to take us to the airport (10 people + luggage). We were able to leave Kalibo after 11 am, more than one hour later than the planned 10:05 am departure time. We were so thankful that, at least, we were on our way home to Manila.

Everything was alright until my officemates informed me the next day that our plight found its way to the newsroom. And according to the news in ABS CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda show, Cebu Pacific shouldered our hotel accommodations in Kalibo. That is an outright lie! Not a single centavo was given to us by the airline. We had to pay for our hotel accommodation, our dinner, and the van rental. I am very sure the other passengers will say the same thing.

I learned a painful lesson the hard way. After this incident, I WILL NEVER FLY CEBU PACIFIC AGAIN. And, I will tell this story to as many people as I can, so that they will see how we were treated by Cebu Pacific.

So there you go. Cebu Pacific sucks! Next time, we’re taking Seair or Asian Spirit or even Philippine Airlines.

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10 thoughts on “Cebu Pacific Sucks

  • January 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm
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    hello.,

    i was actually in that flight too. i was also in the same hotel. 🙂

    I wrote something in my blog about it too… you could visit my blog:
    http://janmania.blogspot.com

    i wrote a blog post about it which made its way into e-mails., until it made its way into the hands of an employee of cebu pacific.

    you can see the whole thing in my blog., 🙂

    my first post:
    http://janmania.blogspot.com/2008/01/cebu-pacific-horror.html

    cebu pacific’s reply:
    http://janmania.blogspot.com/2008/01/to-cebu-pacific.html


    Jan Richard Renes
    janmania.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • January 11, 2008 at 11:32 am
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    I always knew they sucked, but not like this. The worst we’ve ever experienced was to have a couple of flights delayed for a couple of hours. Not a day.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2008 at 11:07 pm
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    Thanks, Jan Richard! I’ve read your blog entry (and the Cebu Pacific reply) and it expresses a lot of the frustration we felt. I’m pretty sure if I had been with my mom at the desk, I might have had some strong words to say to Kalibo Cebu Pacific management.

    BB_ANNE, thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t explain why the flight from Manila had to turn back to Manila when the visibility problem was just over Kalibo. Couldn’t they have landed at a nearby airport (Iloilo, Caticlan, Cebu?!), refueled, then come back to Kalibo for us?

    Pau, so this is what people get when they fly budget. *sigh*

    Reply
  • January 11, 2008 at 11:16 pm
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    have you read what happened to the cebu pacific employee who sent me that email? looks like she got in trouble., hehehe., 🙂

    Reply
  • March 25, 2008 at 7:05 pm
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    I want to share our really bad experience with Cebu Pacific….

    March 22, 2008 (HK-Manila flight) while we were checking-in our baggages, the Cantonese check-in personnel of Cebu Pacific suddenly tell us that we should pay HKD1563.00 (1-way) fare for our 2 year old daughter. HKD 1563.00 is the rate of Cebu Pacific if you get your ticket in HK airport, rate is same for child and adult. They are asking us to pay the fare because we booked our daughter as an infant and now, 5 days after her birthday, she is already 2 years old. According to the Filipina who seems to be the station manager (Liza Anarete – if I spelled her name right), 1 day or 5 day is just the same, my daughter is still considered a child and not an infant.

    Apparently, Cebu Pacific’s online booking system has a problem, they calculate the passenger’s age based on the booking date and not on the flight date. When my wife booked our ticket a few months ago, the system wont accept my daughter as a child and only accepted her as an infant which means fare is free. When we left Manila last March 19, we were not asked by check-in personnel to pay for my daughter’s fare.

    I tried to explain all these but to no avail, worse the Cantonese check-in guy, plus an Indian and the station manager told us we better leave our daughter or cancel our ticket if we cannot pay. They even threatened us by trying to cancel our ticket if we don’t pay immediately.

    Obviously I paid for the fare since I don’t have any choice, all flights to Manila are fully booked during that night.

    Yesterday when we tried Cebu Pacific’s online booking system, the problem is already fixed. I guess they learned about this problem way before and my daughter’s name was actually marked so we will be asked to pay for the fare before we go back to Manila.

    You pay peanuts you get peanuts….

    Reply
  • July 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm
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    Yeah… I absolutely agree that CEB sucks!!!
    Fuck them all…
    Nagsisi talaga ako at I broke my New Year’s resolution and gave them another benefit na sumakay ako sa kanila ng balikan pa… ZAM-CEB-ZAM…
    Dammit ang mga tao dyan sa Mactan check-in nila,… Napaka-arogante… Led by Ms Marjorie Rivera… Putang ina nyo… Pina-police pa ako ng gaga… Eh, kampi naman police sa akin dahil alam ang kagaguhan nila…
    Nawala na kasi talaga ang pasensya ko dahil ayaw na ayaw ko na talaga sumakay dito dahil ang dami-dami na talaga kagaguhan ginawa sa akin, from letting me call their hotline (na ang hot ay ang ulo lang ng caller dahil sa tagal maghintay; my bill spiraled to n thousands shit) to delaying without proper assistance…
    Tapos this time, I was on my way back to Zamboanga from Cebu, kahapon to…
    I saw someone na kaka-check-in lang… 35 minutes prior ETD na to. Yeah I admit I’m late for the 45 mins cut-off pero, pwede pa yun e. May kakapasok nga lang e. Tapos kaka-announce lang ng boarding. Napakamapagkumbaba kong nag-request na pagbigyan dahil may connecting pa ako to Tawi-tawi…
    Bull shit, lalo naging arogante. Sabihan ba akong pumuntang Ticket office at ipa-rebook… Kung di ba naman bastos…
    Ayun, sige pumayag na lang ako… I asked if merong flight para bukas (that’s now, Monday)dahil last chance ko na to catch up a trip for Tawi-tawi yun.
    Sabi sa akin meron. I said OK but dont let me pay a single centavo…
    Apparently, mukhang pera pa rin talaga sila (and lumala pa pala this tim, nagmukhang mga holdupper at swindler na sa style nila)…, pinbayad ako ng 1,100+
    Sabi ko, ayaw ko magbayad dahil I dont deserve to pay for it…
    Kaya namanako na-late because walang in-email na ticket sa akin…
    I asked their ticket agent sa DUmaguete a couple of days prior kung anong oras ang ETD, ang sabi sa akin nun was 0525H… Yun pakla 0505H
    Bwisit talaga.
    Kaya ayun, nagtaasan na ng boses, lalo naging arogante ang mga gago.
    nagtawag ng police…
    After everything, medyo lumamig ulo ko, I agreed na magpagancho na lang ulit at bayaran sila ng additional 1000+. To my surprise, Tuesday pa pala yung binook sa akin. Kung di ba naman mga tanga ang mga to… Klarongklaro sabi ko bukas, e sa makalawa ako binook… Ayun na naman ang fixed answer nila sa lahat ng galit, nasa system na raw nila so I have to pay!!! Putang inang bulok na sistema yan… Gaguhin pa ako e major in Information Systems ako… Kung sa grocery nga, nagagawa ng supervisor i-void ang purchase, certainly sila may makaka-void nuhn… Eto pa isa nilang permanent alibi, ibang department daw at wala silang pkialam dun kaya tumawag na lang ako sa Customer Service… Goddamn… Lahat ng number na ng customer service nile (kung totoo mang may customer service sila), tinawagan ko na… Wal talagang sumagot o kayay di macontact. I told them ipa cancel ko na lang lahat… I’ll travel any other ways papuntang Zamboanga wag lang makita mga pagmumukha nila. Kahit bumili ako sarili ko eroplano!!!
    Ayaw ba naman…
    Hanggang ngayon, di pa narefund… Bombahin sana yung lahat ng eroplano nila… Mga empleyado lang nila at ang admin pipz mamatay!!!

    Reply
  • July 30, 2010 at 11:10 am
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    I read your article, and the written is good to me. Wow great, you celebrating new year in boracay. So how is your vacation, is it great?

    Tanya Gemarin

    Reply

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