How travelers reacted to pending probe into complaints vs Cebu Pacific

June 16, 2023 - 11:46 AM
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(image from https://www.cebupacificair.com)

Some Filipinos felt relieved that their complaints against a budget airline will be tackled at the Senate.

This came at a time when Cebu Pacific Air, a budget carrier, is under fire on social media for complaints over its alleged poor customer service, delayed flights, technical issues with its system and other travel problems.

The notice of the hearing was posted on the Senate’s official website on June 14.

This was prompted by Senate Resolution No. 575 that Senator Nancy Binay, who chairs the Committee on Tourism, filed last April.

The resolution seeks an inquiry about the public’s complaints against Cebu Pacific Air. These include “overbooking, offloading and booking glitches.”

It also calls on the Department of Tourism and the Civil Aeronautics Board “to address these concerns and consider measures on how affected customers should be compensated.”

The notice was addressed to the joint panels of tourism and public services.

The Senate hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 21.

Keij Ejercito, a lawyer and a vlogger, posted a copy of this notice on Twitter.

In her tweet, Ejercito encouraged travelers who recently have bad experiences with the airline in question to course their complaints to the lawmakers who will handle the matter.

“I suggest everyone who had horror stories against Cebu Pacific to send your concerns to the members of the Senate Committees handling this matter so they would fully understand your concerns,” she wrote.

“Contact information of the senators can be found on the @senatePH website here: http://legacy.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen19th.asp…,” she added.

Several Filipinos expressed relief over this development.

“It took a long time for them to be called out officially. But still, I’m hoping that this would ensure a resolution and give justice to all who have been affected,” a Twitter user said.

“Good. Sana gawin rin sa lahat ng airlines para maiwasan yung overbooking and rescheduling,” another Filipino user said.

What the resolution says

Senate Resolution No. 575 was filed last April 23. It cited the earlier fiasco of Cebu Pacific’s Super Pass voucher sale as one of the reasons for seeking the inquiry.

READ: How to rebook flights amid Cebu Pacific ‘super pass’ glitch 

The Super Pass is a massive voucher sale that offered the public a P99 base fare for all flights.

Minutes after it was rolled out, however, the airline received numerous complaints from their clients on its social media accounts.

In the resolution, Binay pointed out the supposed unpleasant experiences that air passengers in the country have to regularly deal with.

RELATED: Cebu Pacific, Air Asia passenger affected by NAIA power outage? Here’s what you can do 

“With the sheer number of passenger complaints, traveling in the
Philippines has become incredibly frustrating. It is no longer a pleasant experience,” she said.

“Aside from the bad airline experiences, passengers have to deal with technical-and personnel-driven fiascos oftentimes of epic proportions, such as long queues, flight delays and cancellations, ground traffic, lost luggage, mobile app glitches, unnecessary security checks, lengthy immigration interviews, and airport operation issues,” the senator added.

Binay also emphasized the need for the strict implementation of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. This law was issued in 2012.

The Air Passenger Bill of Rights can be read on this link: DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order No. 1, s. 2012 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

Cebu Pacific has yet to issue a statement about the matter as of writing.

Recent issues

Recent travelers bared their experiences of Cebu Pacific flight cancelations even if they were checked in and waiting for their boarding time.

A Facebook user named Maizy Colleen posted that her flight was canceled while she was eating her breakfast at the boarding gate.

Senior human rights researcher Carlos Conde also shared that Cebu Pacific canceled their flights without explanation.

Other passengers, who were used to the delayed flights, complained about poor customer service by their ground personnel.

A Facebook user named Michael Kevin Gox Goco decried the alleged “lack of empathy” of the Cebu Pacific staff for the passengers, particularly the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Some stories and rants on social media also include alleged overbooking issues, rebooking with higher fares and no compensation for inconvenienced passengers.