Cebu Pacific Air on Tuesday announced that it is removing its change fees permanently, just in time for its anniversary.
In a statement, the budget airline cited the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approval of uniform travel protocols in coming up with the removal of change fee.
“Booking flexibility is critical in restoring confidence in air travel. The permanent removal of change fee fully supports the reopening of domestic tourism and the latest IATF resolution on standardized travel requirements,” the carrier said.
“We continue to listen to our passengers, so we can make it even more convenient for everyJuan to fly again. Here’s to #MoreSmilesAhead with EveryJuan!” it added.
In a separate statement on its website, Candice Iyog, CEB vice president for marketing and customer experience, also pointed out the passenger’s preference based on a survey.
“In a recent survey we conducted, flexibility remains one of the considerations of our passengers when deciding to travel again. Because of this, we are removing our change fee effective immediately, Iyog said.
She was referring to the travel survey of the Department of Tourism, Asian Institute of Management – Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, and Guide to the Philippines released last February 17 showed that 81% of the 7,234 respondents nationwide said that they consider the varying LGU entry requirements as a factor that makes travel “most inconvenient.”
Previously, change fees cost P1,500 for domestic flights, P1,300 for international short haul and P2,800 for international long hauls.
With the removal of these fees, passengers of the budget airline can now rebook their flights as needed for free.
The carrier said minimal fare difference may sill apply.
Meanwhile, in Resolution No. 101 released to the public last Saturday, the IATF-EID said that COVID-19 testing, health certificates and travel authority will no longer be required for travelers unless the local government unit requires it.
“Testing shall not be mandatory for traveler except if the LGU of destination (province with respect to their municipalities and component cities, and highly urbanized cities [HUCs] and independent component cities [ICCs]) will require testing as a requirement prior to travel, and such shall be limited to RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction),” read the resolution.
Quarantine is also no longer required unless the traveler exhibits symptoms upon arrival at their destination.
The budget carrier’s move to remove change fees drew mixed reactions from social media users.
Some are relieved for the convenience, some are excited to travel more. However, others remembered their standing refund requests.
Positive reactions to this include relief or excitement.
Aba mabuti naman https://t.co/C1rM6uBBVz
— Nirvana Time (@nirvanatime) March 2, 2021
excited na ako!!! https://t.co/UoumM8vTRn
— Andrei (@geol_andrei) March 2, 2021
Some, however, lamented the airline’s perceived poor customer services on refund requests.
“Refund request was processed July 24, 2020. Any updates?” one Facebook user said.
“If you really listen, you should probably refund your customer’s hard earned money,” another said.
“Our refund it’s almost one year wala pa din. Tapos may mga papromo na kayo. Dapat you should refund first our money,” another commented.
Others pointed out that the airline’s travel requirements should also be updated in line with IATF’s new travel protocols.